After almost a week of early mornings and late nights at WPPI (an insane trade show/conference for wedding & portrait photographers,) my dear friend and fellow photographer, Alicia, and I tagged on a few extra days to our trip. We wanted to scope out the sights, lose $20 in slot machines, and get lost in all that is Vegas. Our first morning together after WPPI, we decided to start the morning by sleeping in, throwing on some comfy clothes, grabbing a cup of coffee, and perusing “The Strip” for locations for our upcoming photo swap (we both wanted new pics for our websites…totally pays to have photog friends!). Once we were in our comfy clothes and aviators, we left our hotel to get some coffee. That’s when the first distraction came. We ran upon a line for half price show tickets. So, we waited, Starbucks in-hand (with our splurge drinks- Skinny Peppermint Latte for me, and Nonfat White Chocolate Mocha With Raspberry for  Alicia,) and ended up with some amazing seats for that night’s performance of The Phantom Of The Opera. SCORE.

Our caffeine-filled tummies were growling, so, food was necessary. In her Vegas exploring, Alicia had found this amazingly tasty AND AFFORDABLE (which was key, since we had in fact lost our $20 by then) NY Pizza joint on the 3rd floor of The Cosmopolitan. Completely distracted by everything shiny, we made our way to the Pop-Up Wedding Chapel on the ground floor of the swanky Cosmopolitan. Alicia had just been at this same little chapel earlier that week with two of her close friends who got married and photographed by the ever-so-talented, Justin & Mary Marantz.We walked around the chapel, and took it all in: The wedding ring dispenser, the cooler of wine and champagne, the classic “Welcome To Las Vegas” backdrop, and the “Mr.” and “Mrs.” shirts for sale. It was a one-stop wedding shop. Suddenly everything seemed so easy. Both being wedding photographers, Alicia and I know what brides go through to make their day perfect- and, here was a place where you could show up and be married within minutes! I was amazed.

THEN, I noticed an adorable couple signing paper work at the front desk of the chapel, and I overheard the officiant say “Let’s do this!”. My jaw dropped. I had my camera. This couple was getting married. The light was amazing. They were adorable. It all happened so fast.

I’d JUST purchased my new Lensbaby from the trade show at WPPI, and was SO eager to use it. So, before leaving the hotel I put on the latest Lensbaby lens, the Edge 80 in my Composer Pro, and said to Alicia “This’ll be fun for pics of our coffees”. Little did I know, I’d be shooting a Las Vegas Wedding with it! For my first time using this lens, I was BLOWN AWAY by the creaminess and artistic blurs. I’d wished I’d had the rest of my gear with me, but it was an exciting challenge to shoot a wedding with limited equipment. So, I couldn’t help but stay, along with several other strangers, and watch this all take place. This couple was clearly in love, and glowing just as much as couples who spend months planning their wedding day. There was music. There were vows. There was a Minnie Mouse veil and a Mickey Mouse top hat. There were rings from a dispenser. There was love. And, because I’d happened to bring my camera with me, there was photography (and a Lensbaby!)

After the ceremony, I nervously approached the newlyweds, congratulated them, apologized for being the creepy stranger photographing them during their ceremony, and handed them a business card, hoping they’d contact me so I could gift them their wedding day pics. They graciously accepted and took my card. A couple days went by. I continued kicking myself for not getting THEIR info, in fact, I never even knew their names; but, I didn’t want to add to the creepy-stranger-factor by saying “Congrats on getting married! You don’t know me, but I just photographed your wedding. Can I have your email address?”.

Today, I got an email that made me grin from ear-to-ear: “Hi Lauren! My name is Ariana and I got married Friday the 24th at the Pop-Up Chapel in Las Vegas at the Cosmo Hotel. You gave me your card and asked that I email you fro the pictures you took. I can’t tell you how excited and grateful I am to have had you there. Our wedding was a spur-of-the-moment event and we didn’t have time to search for a photographer! Again, thank you so much for being at the right place at the right time!! -Ariana & Elliott Reed

Not only do I have their names now, but I can now share with you some really beautiful, funky pictures frin Ariana & Elliott’s Vegas Wedding at the Cosmopolitan Hotel & Casino. Congratulations, you two! And, thank you for contacting me! I’m so thankful I could be there. I wish you both all the best!

Here are a few of my favorites from Ariana & Elliott’s Las Vegas Wedding. Enjoy!

Comments (6)

  1. Xenia: February 28, 2012

    Lauren, these are absolutely amazing and definitely capture the spirit of my friend Ariana! Talk about pure chance… I feel that this was meant to be! Thank you for this, I love it so much! And funny you took a picture of Texas Hold ‘Em Poker… where they are both from.

  2. laurencr: February 28, 2012

    Thank you! And, I heard in the ceremony that they were from Texas, so I planned the Texas Hold ‘Em part :) thanks for stopping by!

  3. Connie: February 28, 2012

    Hi Lauren, you don’t know me…I’m the mother of the groom :) What a surprise it was when Elliott called me from Vegas and said, “Guess what, you’re speaking to Mr. and Mrs. Reed!” I couldn’t have been happier. Like you said, these two were obvously in love and have been for a good long time. His father and I have been floating in a pink clowd since we got the call. And then a few minutes ago Ariana sent me the link to your website.You captured them and their special day spot on! These are my darlings <3 Thank you so much!
    - Connie

  4. laurencr: February 28, 2012

    Connie-
    Congratulations! I’m glad I could be there to capture their speical day for you. It was perfect. You have much to be proud of. Their love is beautiful!

  5. Janicee: February 28, 2012

    I can’t help myself, I just keep coming back and reading everything all over again. This was really nice and special. Congrats again Reeds!!!

  6. Michael from Lensbaby: February 28, 2012

    Good work Lauren!
    Using a brand new lens to shoot a spur of the moment wedding *definitely* sounds like a challenge & I’m impressed you were able to capture the moment’s magic!
    Hope to see you again at next year’s WPPI
    - Michael

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