Ben and Samantha // Secret Elopement // 2017

The Backstory // A Las Vegas Elopement

Have you ever wanted to secretly run away and get married? Chances are the answer to that question just might be yes, especially if you’re reading this post. And are you guys in for a real treat today. Whatever you do – don’t miss the video of this Las Vegas elopement below…

Just over two years ago, Samantha and Ben contacted me and wanted to know if I’d be willing to shoot a wedding, but not share any of the images…just yet. They were eloping, but their friends and family didn’t know. Now, this request is NOT uncommon – at all! Lots of clients have asked me to wait to share images for one reason or another, and it’s never a problem.

They mentioned that they would have their own videographer with them – a friend of theirs – Tony Delgadillo. And I thought that was super cool! How fun to have photo and video of your elopement – something special to share later with friends and family that weren’t able to attend. However – what came out of this story was something unlike I’d ever seen. The raddest Vegas elopement to date?! These two sent me the video below earlier this month and I literally laugh-cried so hard I woke my baby up. #WORTHIT – hit play!! ❤️

Video by Tony Delgadillo and Creative Bliss Events

I’ve watched their film like 12 times. Do you want to hop on a private plane and come to Vegas and get married and also do allthethings? Well, I’d love to be there if you do – and I bet Tony would come and make an awesome Las Vegas elopement film for you, too – if you ask realllllyyyy nicely! Read below for Ben and Sam’s story, as told by them!

How did you guys meet?

We both moved to LA in 2012 and ended up working for the same production company. When we first met, Ben pushed his accent super hard to impress Samantha… her response: “What are you?!” We were best friends long before we started dating. After a year in the US, Ben’s visa was expiring on Christmas Eve. We drove across the country to Samantha’s hometown in Massachusetts, before Ben skipped the country to Canada! We didn’t know how long until we’d be reunited. Ben headed home to New Zealand – after 9 long months apart he came back to LA so we could be together for good!

How long were you engaged?

Ben proposed in Joshua Tree, at the start of a Thanksgiving road trip in 2017. BUT… we had already been married for months! Despite this, Samantha was surprised… (note: these two are clearly quite funny)

Why did you wait to tell friends and family about your formal paperwork date?

With Ben’s visa needing to be renewed every 2 years, we finally talked about eloping so we could lock him down. Samantha suggested we go big in Vegas, so we started planning the ultimate Vegas wedding – Elvis, Cadillac, machine guns, etc. We wanted to turn our “legal” wedding into an amazing fun adventure. At the same time, we always wanted to celebrate with a “big” wedding with our friends and family, especially as our parents had never met in person – so we figured why not have the best of both? We didn’t want to steal the thunder of the LA wedding, and (because we’re evil) we thought it would be fun to surprise our guests. It seemed the most fair to keep the secret from everyone!

We wouldn’t change a thing – having our Vegas elopement was a perfect intimate celebration as a couple, and took a lot of the pressure off planning our LA wedding. When we got married with our friends and family, it was the first time we’d really had all of the most important people in our lives in one place. Luckily, everyone took the surprise really well – definitely made for a memorable reception!

That dip… ❤️
And those double high fives… 😍
Cheers! 🍻

What do you guys like to do on the weekends?

We love to travel together and capture our adventures on camera – we’re both a couple of video geeks, and shoot and edit our travel vids together (posted at @benzoandchaos). Samantha often works weekends as a camera operator for live video game broadcast, so when we do have weekends off together we fill them with mimosa brunches, Netflix binging, beach days, too much coffee, and video games.

Ben filming the signing of the marriage certificate 📹 #professionals

What emotions or vibes were you hoping to portray in your Las Vegas elopement session?

Surprise, ha! For our Vegas video we wanted to capture all the madness of a crazy and jam-packed 2 days. When we planned our LA video, our main priority was getting great reaction shots of our friends and family when we finally hit them with the big reveal.

Why did you choose the desert for your Las Vegas elopement?

We knew that the ultimate elopement destination would be Vegas, and only a quick plane ride away. We thought that holding the ceremony in the desert would be a really cool and unique setting, and also bring an intimacy through its remoteness. Stark contrast to the rest of Vegas! The photos came out incredible with a pink caddie and a red-suited Elvis in the barren landscape. We also loved the downtown Vegas street art for some cool city settings.

How did you choose your venue in LA?

When we were searching for a venue in LA, Samantha found Millwick and immediately started crying… it was the perfect oasis in the middle of downtown LA, and suited our casual style and guest count perfectly. It has a great industrial quality combined with walls of greenery, and plenty of quirky decor for some amazing photo settings.

Vendor Love

VEGAS
Elvis: Little Vegas Chapel – @thelittlevegaschapel
Videographer: Tony Delgadillo – @tony_delgadillo
Dress: Dress the Population – @dressthepopulation
Locations:
The Neon Museum – @theneonmuseumlasvegas
Battlefield Vegas – @battlefieldvegas
Skyline Helicopter Tours – @skylineheli
Jetsuite X – @jetsuitex

LA
Photo: LOVE + WOLVES CO – loveandwolves.co
Flowers: Sybil Sophia – @sibylsophiafloraldesign
Caterer: Hungry Bear Catering – @hungrybearcatering
Coffee Cart: Cappuccino Man – @thecappuccinoman
Bartender: The Whaling Club – @thewhalingclub
Coordinator: The Joy Parade – @the_joy_parade
Dress: Anais Anette – @anaisanette
Suit: Ted Baker – @ted_baker
Invitations: Minted – @mintedweddings
Cake: Susie Cakes – @susiecakesbakery
Music: Subito Strings – @subitostrings, DJ Art – @itsdjart
Venue: Millwick
Videographer: Creative Bliss Events – @creativeblissevents
Officiant: Evan Dollard – @evandollard
Makeup: Kassandra Karr – @kkarrmakeup
Hair: Ginger Watson – @hairbygingerwatson

Now it’s your turn! I want to hear about your wildest Las Vegas elopement dreams – even if that is just the two of you standing out in the desert with just an officiant. Call me and spill the details! Click below to contact me directly and hold your date! 🥰

Contact Deidra Wilson

How many hours of (Las Vegas) wedding photography do I really need?

Ah yes, the age old question of every bride – maybe ever?! How many hours of wedding coverage do I need? Vegas weddings are very different than the weddings I grew up around as a kid. Southern weddings were long and humid, and involved lots (and lots) of hours of photography coverage. Oftentimes, “bridals” (portraits of the bride alone) were taken weeks before the wedding. This is because the wedding day would be too busy and chaotic to have time for portraits of her alone. I can’t imagine what that would be like for one of my wedding clients.

What are Las Vegas weddings like?

Las Vegas weddings, however – those are something else! We like our weddings short and sweet around here! Many of my clients elope and it’s just the two of them (plus me!) during the ceremony and photo session. Elvis may or may not be there. We may be out in the middle of the desert, or at the Neon Museum, or in an alley downtown. For the clients that bring guests along, the list is usually intimate and intentionally curated. There may or may not be a reception. We may travel to two or three locations – and we always have a good time (that is one thing that is required when booking with me). ❤️

How many hours of photography do I need?

So, what does that mean for photography coverage? Well, that’s a great question! And it’s exactly why I wanted to write this post. It can be confusing and overwhelming – and hard to decide! When I first started shooting weddings in Las Vegas many years ago, I offered a baseline Two Hour Collection, and then offered to customize the coverage from there – all the way up to eight hours. What I found was that most of my clients book for two hours (after a chat with me, of course!) and it’s exactly what they need. I’ve booked the occasional eight hour days – but it’s typically more suited for a traditional wedding day of getting ready, portraits, ceremony and long reception.

Most of my clients fall more under the “elopement” umbrella with smaller, more intimate events. I do believe that it’s important to have a completely custom timeline based on your day – and your vision! None of my clients fit exactly into the same mold, even when we are visiting the same spaces for the same amount of time.

The Elopement Collection

When it comes to booking a wedding photographer, many Las Vegas wedding pros will only book 6+ hour days – and that leaves clients with fewer choices for who to hire, or it leaves them stuck with many more hours than they truly need. For 2019, I have decided to offer a one hour Elopement Collection on weekdays to accommodate clients that may not actually need two full hours of coverage. I want beautiful wedding photography to be accessible to anyone that wants it!

This Collection is best for small events with four or fewer guests, going to one or possibly two locations if they are close together. I would love to help you navigate the timeline planning and provide you with my professional guidance on exactly what you might need. This is, in fact, a huge part of my job! I want my clients to feel like they have everything covered that they want, but not that you booked me for too long. I oftentimes have someone email me, requesting 6-8 hours of coverage (because that’s super normal everywhere else!). But, when we talk about the timeline and their ideas, they may need much, much less than that!

What does one hour of coverage look like?

What exactly can we accomplish in 60 minutes, you ask? Well, I’ve been shooting a long time, and I’ve shot a lot of weddings. This means that I know my gear, I shoot fast, and I shoot heavily – with a fantastic deliverable image ratio, if I may say so myself. 😉 Elopement Collections tend to yield 100+ beautiful images regularly. So, see below for five examples of clients that booked an hour of coverage with me. You can click on the link under their image to go directly to their full gallery. This will allow you to see all of the images that were delivered to the clients!

Caleb + Natalie
Adam + Amanda
Dave + Nicola
Spencer + Mattie
Jobe + Ashley

Now it’s your turn!

So, let’s chat! Ultimately I want to make sure that you have just the right amount of coverage. I average about 150 events a year, so I can definitely let you know what has worked for clients in the past with similar sessions. Planning a wedding in Vegas can easily become overwhelming, especially if you don’t live here, and I would be happy to help you. I can’t wait to hear from you and come up with the perfect timeline for your Vegas wedding!

Contact Deidra Wilson

‘Tis the season!

Las Vegas Wedding Photographer - Neon Museum

‘Tis the season to let you in on what actually happens behind the scenes around here. So – let’s talk seasons! 🍂 Fall wedding season in Las Vegas this year was the craziest I have ever seen – and I’ve been a Las Vegas wedding photographer full-time since 2011. October nearly killed me (I’m only half joking) and November was about the same if I’m honest. Now that it’s December, the dust has settled a bit and I can FINALLY focus on 2019 and checking a few tasks off the giant to-do list that has been on my desk staring at me since early 2017.

2017, y’all. Update my website. Shoot videos for my website. Edit those videos. Update portfolios. Schedule blog posts from now through eternity because the people want to read those blogs and look at those updated photos. Oh! And don’t forget about SEO for those videos – and that website! Catch up on laundry. Ha.

Las Vegas Boudoir Photographer

If only I were joking. But alas, I’m serious. 2017 is the year I had my second baby and everything went straight to 🔥 in some sort of basket. Probably a basket full of laundry. This littlest boy still doesn’t sleep through the night (at 19 months – seriously, send help 🆘 because sleep deprivation has reached a new low for me). And if I am in the house – anywhere in the house – the baby will come and find me and make me sit down and hold him. “No mama, you don’t need to do those dishes right now. Let’s cuddle and I can drive my cars in your hair.” Since he’s probably my last, I am trying to remind myself that he won’t be little forever, and to enjoy those little “mama” noises coming out his mouth, and all of those sweet snuggles. Also the tantrums and yelling coming out of his mouth. I’m trying to enjoy those, too. I’m all about balance.

Las Vegas Wedding Photographer - Neon Museum

And then recently I read a quote by Amy Westervelt that says we expect women to raise children like they don’t work, and work like they don’t have children. And I literally sat down and had a nice, long, ugly cry about that. With the baby in my lap. Because I LOVE my job. I love my job and I love my clients. I love how I feel when I’m out there killing it with those clients and crying at their wedding and laughing with them afterwards and just soaking up all the wonderful love and joy that I am so grateful to be able to capture for them. It makes me feel alive and electric and truly fulfilled. It makes me happy.

Las Vegas Wedding Photographer - El Dorado | Nelson's Landing

And then I drive home, with inappropriate loud music blasting (because kid-free time in the car must be capitalized on). And I arrive at home where…plot twist…I also love my family. My key hits the lock and the baby always says “MAMA!” and the big kid chirps “MAMA!!” and I see that they’ve missed me and thought about me while I was gone. And I love how much they all want to spend time with me. I’m the luckiest girl in the world! I told that to my kindergartner and he actually laughed at me and said that no, I wasn’t because he’s six and worldly and he now realizes that there’s probably someone out there luckier than I am. And they all need me. Everyone needs something from me. And because I love them dearly and to the depths of my soul, I do my best to give them all what they need.

Las Vegas Wedding Photographer - Neon Museum

But, it is difficult to shoot videos, or edit photos, or fold laundry with a wiggle-worm in my lap and a six-year-old that needs homework help and wants to make a craft project using scotch tape at this very moment. This season of life has been a trying one, and I am truly ready for 2019 if only for the fact that it will be different. Maybe worse? But different nonetheless – and that I can handle. I’m ready.

Las Vegas Wedding Photographer - Desert Elopement

P.S. Speaking of seasons – it’s ENGAGEMENT SEASON!! This is a real holiday (not actually a real holiday) – celebrated all around the world from Thanksgiving through Valentine’s Day and photographers everywhere are receiving lots of elated emails inquiring about dates for 2019. So if you guys are ready for a new calendar year 🙋🏼‍♀️ and a celebration of your love in Las Vegas and you want to join me in being silly and laughing and creating images that will sing to your hearts for eternity – please oh please call me. I would jump at the chance to be there with you guys. Click below and let’s do this! ❤️

Contact Deidra Wilson


Jonathan and Diana | 1 Hour Wedding | Neon Museum

I asked for silly faces, and this is what I got! 🤣 Jonathan and Diana didn’t want their photos to be “too serious” and they delivered! We all know that I LOVE a good Neon Museum wedding. This is what can be accomplished there in just an hour, if you can believe it. Ceremony, photo shoot, lots of shenanigans. Wash, rinse, repeat. This place is magical. ✨✨✨

* rounding the corner to see her groom for the first time *

* the kiss after the kiss *

* 🥂 one for you and one for me 🥂 *

* high fivers for LIFE – this means you guys are besties *

🎰 🎰 🎰

* I mustache you a question *

* please let me know if you’d like your last name in letters if we go to the museum! *

Ok, now it’s your turn! But you might already know that if you’ve been reading my blog for more than five minutes. I would LOVE for you to reach out to me and tell me about your upcoming day. Where is it? Who’s coming? Tell me about your outfits! I really do want the details. And I want to spend an afternoon making memories!! Click below to be taken directly to my site, and let’s chat! ❤️

* one hour elopements are only available on a case by case basis depending on scheduling and workload *

What’s it like? Ask Harriet! | 2 Hour Wedding

Dan and Harriet got married here in Las Vegas last year, and I had the honor of being their witness and photographer for the afternoon! Harriet runs a wedding blog in the UK and she asked me if she could post a recap of their wedding day on her site and what their experience was like – and of course, I said, “Yes, please!”

I feel that it’s so important to hear from previous clients firsthand and get a sense for what their day was like and how things unfolded. For many (many!) of our Las Vegas elopements, I may be the only witness or guest at your ceremony (and I might even sign your marriage license!), and I may be the only person with you for the remainder of the afternoon. It’s crucial that we click (📸 – haha – yep – pun intended!), so that we can capture you and your partner feeling like yourselves so that we get the most natural (and fun!) images possible!

Harriet first found me on Rock n Roll Bride, another popular wedding website based in the UK – and she liked that I offer a two hour wedding option – rather than feeling like she needed to book someone for several hours! And it’s confession time – I think 95% of my clients end up with a Two Hour Collection, sometimes adding travel time – but most clients don’t need more than that! Read more about her feelings about the day in the link above – and enjoy a few images from their wedding day!

You know the drill – click below and tell me about your vision. Let’s make sure we click. 📷 And let’s make an afternoon to remember! 🍾

Jamie and Patsy | 2 hour wedding | Desert and Chapel

Las Vegas Elopement - Desert Vibes

Desert elopements have been gaining popularity over the last few years, and with damn good reason. There’s just something special about spending time in this place with the one you love, and the vibe here can be so magical. Just look at the pretty light Jamie and Patsy had on their wedding day. We only had about 15 minutes on the lakebed until it was time to head to their ceremony and we got about a million great shots out there! You don’t have to spend hours taking pictures to end up with the shots you want. My 2 Hour Collection is usually just enough time for an elopement! 😍

Las Vegas Elopement - Desert Vibes

Las Vegas Elopement - Desert Vibes

Las Vegas Elopement - Desert Vibes

Las Vegas Elopement - Desert Vibes

Las Vegas Elopement - Desert Vibes

Las Vegas Elopement - Desert Vibes

Las Vegas Elopement - Desert Vibes

Las Vegas Elopement - Desert Vibes

Las Vegas Elopement - Desert Vibes

Las Vegas Elopement - Desert Vibes

Las Vegas Elopement - Desert Vibes

Las Vegas Elopement - Desert Vibes

Las Vegas Elopement - Desert Vibes

Las Vegas Elopement - Desert Vibes

Las Vegas Elopement - Desert Vibes

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

The Tunnel of Love is so classic for a Vegas wedding.

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

Cheers! 🥂

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

Elvis, baby…

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

And one more to show off how they really feel about finally tying the knot! 👰🏼❤️🤵🏻

Las Vegas Elopement - A Little White Wedding Chapel

It’s your turn – let’s run away and get married! Pretty please with a cherry on top. 🍒 Click below and tell me about your desert dreams!!

Contact Deidra Wilson