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


Matthew and Shannon | 2 Hour Wedding | Downtown | Neon Museum

Eloping for your Las Vegas wedding can be both a relief, and somehow stressful at the same time! Weddings, whether large or small, intimate or elaborate, tend to cause stress for even the coolest brideCHILLA! Vegas weddings can be easier and quicker than a traditional wedding back home, but there are still factors to consider. You’ll need:

– A marriage license – and you can even pre-register for your Las Vegas marriage license ahead of time.

– An officiant – I adore Angie from Peachy Keen Unions, and her ceremonies are so genuine – I cry all the time!!

– A witness – if you have guests, typically you can ask one of them to sign for you as witness to your union – and if not, I absolutely volunteer to be your witness!

– Each other – this is obvious, but I’m listing it anyway – ha!

– That’s it! Really! You don’t need flowers, or a cake, or even a fancy dress. You literally only need the items listed above.

Here’s Angie from Peachy Keen Unions giving my couple the scoop on their ceremony and how everything is going to go down, and running them through any last minute details before we get started. I love these moments of butterflies and excitement – they’re the last moments before you make it legal!

Writing your own vows can be so special. A lot of clients get super nervous about this part, but the truth is, just speak from the heart! Your partner knows you better than anyone, and they will cherish what you took the time to create and say to them. Only you know all those inside jokes, and those will be some of your favorite moments! Of course, if you just want to “repeat after me” (but not actually ME), you can totally do that, too!

Poof! Just like that, husband and wife! Those post kiss giggles are the best!

Kitty!!

Kitty (again)!

Now it’s your turn!! Click below to tell me about your ideas, your vision! I would be honored to help you create the afternoon of your dreams! ❤️

20 years – Vegas style

These two cuties traveled from Hong Kong to celebrate 20 years of marriage. They had a Queen-themed vow renewal at the Viva Las Vegas wedding chapel, complete with Freddie Mercury in a white tank top and four showgirls. Afterwards we traveled to the Neon Museum (which is basically my second home), and made our way through the main gallery – pretty much laughing the whole way. And that’s just one way to kick off the next 20 years.

So if your partner still slaps you playfully on the butt and then agrees to light up rings to celebrate 20 years, you’re probably doing something right. If you have a milestone coming up and you’d like to celebrate with a photo shoot – I’d be honored to help! Call me or click below! ❤️

downtown and the neon museum | like pb&j

Ah yes, downtown Las Vegas and the Neon Museum. Honestly, probably my favorite combo of locations! Like peanut butter and jelly – ha! I’ll actually be filming more videos on these spots soon – what do you guys want to know about? What are your most burning questions?! I’d love to answer them for you in a future post or video. I’m here for you guys, so please feel free to use me as a resource. Email me directly or contact me at the link below. I’m all ears!

And now it’s your turn! Are you ready to tie the knot? Run away to Vegas and get married by Elvis? Please call me and tell me all about your vision – I would love to be part of the big day!

Winter weddings in the desert

Happy engagement season (and Happy Thanksgiving)! Should you find yourself here, newly engaged and considering an elopement this winter, congratulations! Vegas doesn’t really have a “wedding season” – and I’m often asked if it’s going to be cold or rainy or cloudy or (insert weather phenomenon here)… And the answer is….*drumroll please*….I have no idea. I’m sorry. But I can tell you that it’s totally possible to get married (even outdoors!) in Vegas in the wintertime.

Our winters are typically mild compared to where most of my clients are from. If you’re coming from the east coast, or Canada or the UK, you’ll likely be pleasantly surprised at the lovely weather we have in February. For my Australian friends, coming from summer to winter might be a little bit rough, but I promise you’ll survive. The biggest thing to contend with in the wintertime is the wind. But to be honest, it’s almost always windy here, so I warn my clients of that ahead of time, regardless of the time of year. Note the photos below. If you just roll with it and embrace the desert, the desert will embrace you right back.

windy lakebed wedding with the ever fabulous Peachy Keen Unions

 

wrap yourself up in a pretty stole to keep your shoulders warm

 

don’t take the wind too seriously

 

wear your hair down (or maybe half down) and love the movement the breeze creates

 

Now – call me so we can plan on where we’ll freeze our butts off in the wind for your big day. At least we’ll freeze and be windblown together! ♥

Contact Deidra Wilson

Elopement vibes

I’m often asked exactly how it’s possible that I can photograph so many weddings in a year (usually somewhere between 100 and 125). Yikes! But the truth is, almost all of my weddings are intimate elopements and most of those clients only need and opt for two hours of wedding coverage. It’s something that not a lot of photographers are willing to offer, especially on “prime days” (Saturdays in June, anyone?!). But I believe that beautiful wedding photography in Las Vegas should be accessible to anyone and you shouldn’t have to have a 6 or 8 hour minimum for wedding day coverage. If you’re tying the knot and want beautiful images for your walls to treasure forever, I’m your girl!

I specialize in outdoor or chapel weddings (either with or without guests) followed by a photo session for just the two of you. Lucy and Aiden actually opted for a pre-wedding session at the Springs Preserve followed by their ceremony at the Neon Museum. This gave them a chance to get the pre-ceremony jitters out before the big moment. We can structure your session however you want – traditional, funky, you name it. Helping my clients work out a timeline is absolutely one of the things I love to do. I can help you navigate the locations and time needed at each spot so that you can maximize your time (and photos!) at each place.

Can we talk about her showgirl shoes, please?

Here’s what Lucy had to say about their experience:

I really don’t know what to say – The photos are absolutely beautiful! You captured us and our day perfectly. We couldn’t be more happy. As soon as I opened the email and saw the first image of us together in Springs Preserve I started crying. Good tears I promise. We cannot thank you enough for being such a huge part of our day. We absolutely love the photos and are so happy that you were also our witness. You helped make the day absolutely perfect. I’ll be sure to write you some 5 star reviews on Facebook and The Knot so everyone else knows how wonderful you are, and next time we’re in Vegas I’ll definitely be calling you for a Boudoir shoot.

Lucy and Aiden X

If you’re ready to literally run away and get married, I would be honored to be your photographer and spend the afternoon with you, and even be your witness! Click below and let’s make it happen. ♥

and they lived happily…

I adore this mural (and pretty much every other mural in downtown Las Vegas, to be honest). Every year, the Life is Beautiful festival comes to town and commissions pieces on the walls downtown. And every year I wonder what will change… For example, the slightly famous XOXO wall is now gone, but we have gotten a TON of bright color in its place. This “Ever After” piece (pictured above) seems to be holding strong. Let’s hope it stays that way! If you want to explore downtown with me and see all the changes made in late September, call me and we’ll make it happen!

Contact Deidra Wilson

How to elope – Vegas style

This question comes across my email more than anything else. Clients want to know what their options are for wedding in Sin City – and the truth is – the possibilities are absolutely endless. I’ve had clients that have married in elegant chapels, big country clubs, on a street corner downtown, in the middle of the desert – the list goes on and on. This post is just a quick smattering of the different looks your wedding can take on here in Las Vegas. My style adapts to your vision – there’s not really a single way that I shoot – we can go bright and bold, or pastel and airy. You can be classic and timeless, or you can say “I do” with Elvis as your officiant. It would be my pleasure to connect with you and discuss your vision. ♥

For my clients that are eloping and want to keep things simple (because isn’t that why everyone runs away to Vegas to get married?!) it can often feel overwhelming to choose between so many options. I can share full galleries with you and go over pros and cons for each spot. I can help you find the perfect officiant to celebrate your connection and the perfect florist to fit with your vision. And if you need an Elvis impersonator, I can recommend one of those, too! So, poke around the blog, find some locations that are calling your name, and then call me so we can brainstorm some ideas together!

El Dorado

 

Downtown Las Vegas

 

Sunset Gardens

 

Little White Chapel

 

Downtown Las Vegas

 

Downtown Las Vegas

 

Now it’s your turn! Click below to make it happen – your perfect Vegas wedding awaits! ♥

The Gettos | 2 Hour Wedding | Downtown Elopement

I have a secret. Downtown Las Vegas has won my heart. Hands down. It is full of quirky murals and happy passersby. It’s easy to get to, super walkable and makes for some seriously classic images. Chris and Mary eloped from SoCal and officially tied the knot at A Little White Wedding Chapel – my favorite chapel for elopements, especially when you want to hit up the drive thru. The planning for their session was a whirlwind of trying to find the perfect car to rent, picking out the best backdrops for their post-ceremony session and squeezing in a last minute booking at the Neon Museum. I am always happy to walk my clients through the process and help them get everything booked in so the day goes off without a hitch!

Driving up to make it officially official!

A real, live bouquet toss. Don’t worry, the bouquet was not harmed in the making of this series.

He nailed this jump. On. The. First. Try.

Now it’s your turn! Let’s plan your big day – whether it’s downtown or not – and let’s make it perfect! I’d be honored to photograph your ceremony and then celebrate with even more fun images that you’ll treasure forever! Call me. ♥