Updated: Dec 6, 2020
I'm a year late, but on their anniversary I'm sharing Justin + Raya's VEGAS elopement! HAPPY FIRST ANNIVERSARY YOU TWO!
If you're interested in all the perks of an elopement, but with the fun of a party with your closest friends...then take some pointers from these two!
You might've previously seen my blog posting about Raya's maternity + newborn photos - linked HERE - but I was lucky enough for these two to take me to Vegas with them as well! I feel so honoured to have captured three major milestones in their lives.
NOTE TO ANY ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER: I shot their wedding the DAY I flew into Vegas - I would not recommend this, especially in August - because it does not give you time to adjust to this sort of HEAT. I think it was 35-40 degrees Celsius when we got out to the desert. I had to make sure my cameras had climatized to the heat outside before shooting, to prevent erosion on the inside of my camera. I did this by placing them in two giant ziplock bags and letting them sit in the shade of the limo for 10 minutes before we all got out.
Climatizing my cameras was the easy part....however I did not adjust well! I had to take a couple of breaks when I felt myself overheating and climb back into the limo...never again will I do a destination wedding / elopement without a second-shooter who can fill in any gaps. It's important to pick up on what your body is telling you during a session that you don't: 1 - put yourself in danger. 2 - pass out and not do any good for your couple in terms of getting their photos taken. Also...HYDRATE! Whether you're shooting in a desert, or in the mountains, hydrating during any wedding day is super important.
Can I Just say how much I LOVE that Raya helped her girls get ready - doing their hair and makeup. I feel like it's a fun ritual similar to going out for a fun girls night, getting ready together. Raya even helped me apply MY fake eyelashes.
Photos of the groom getting ready are so underrated. I love Justin's really classic black and white tuxedo. There are some really funky style grooms have been doing these days, but there's something to be said about the classics...and doesn't Justin look SHARP.
I should mention that these photos & the getting ready period took place at the Wynn, which is by far the most beautiful hotel I've had the pleasure of staying in.
The wedding took place at "A Little White Wedding Chapel" which also happens to be the chapel that was used in the movie, "The Hangover" ...if it looks familiar. Their vows were equally beautiful, which left me teary-eyed!
Before heading to the desert for their formal portraits...we of course had to take a detour to In & Out Burger.
After we popped some bubbly in the dessert, we headed out for dinner and then to a NIGHTCLUB on the roof of a hotel, with a private cabana. Can you believe that? The amount of people that were stoked seeing a bride & groom at a nightclub was something else. Unfortunately, I was unable to bring my camera with me for that part - but I'll just let you know - it was a night to be remembered.
I also managed to sneak some casino pics the day after, which is totally illegal and I got busted for but HEY! Ya gotta take risks to get the shot, right? It's VEGAS! We can't leave without some casino shots.
AND THAT folks - is how you elope in Vegas.
Wedding Dress: Blinova Bridal
Hair and Makeup: Dolled Up by Dani
Tuxedo: Hugo Boss
Florals: Roots Flowers and Events
Venue: A Little White Wedding Chapel
Photography: Jasmine Jones Photo ;)