Vow Renewal Weekend in New Orleans

I have photographed this beautiful couple back in 2020, the day after their Vegas elopement on Halloween. When they approached me to photograph their entire vow renewal weekend in New Orleans, I jumped at the chance! The last time I visited New Orleans was in 1992 as a kid.

The weekend started off with a Halloween-themed welcome dinner the night before at the fashionable Cambria Hotel. On Halloween, the day of the wedding, preparations started at the Cambria. The ceremony was performed at the Tree of Life at Audubon Park. After the ceremony, we all drove down the 24-mile Lake Ponchartrain Causeway, which is known as the longest bridge in the world over continuous water. The reception was held at Fleur De Lis Event Center in Mandeville, which was on the other side of the bridge.

If I were to describe the weekend, I would say it was full of food! I was super full after each event, and even had to drive down the causeway at night to my hotel on a full stomach. The reception venue served great Louisiana-style food such as alligator sausage, shrimp and grits, and the best bread pudding in my opinion!

The whole weekend was wrapped up with more food, with a breakfast brunch at the French Quarter!

I was both the photographer and videographer. It was a wonderful experience!

Driving to Reno to Photograph a Wedding

I am always open to photographing a wedding outside of Vegas. However, even though the bride, groom, and their family were mostly local to Reno, I considered this wedding a destination wedding because of its distance from Vegas.

So far, I have only done one “destination wedding”, where I traveled to the San Francisco Bay area. I have also worked as a primary and second shooter for other photographers in Southern and Central California, but those do not count.

Unfortunately, I did not get to see much in Reno because I was only away for the weekend. I’ve spent a Friday driving up to Reno. The ceremony and reception was on a Saturday, and I drove back to Vegas on a Sunday. I also had to take my pugs with me and leave them in a pet-friendly hotel. One is a super senior who is deaf and near blind. My other pug, who is younger, is blind.

Reno is such a different vibe than Las Vegas. The family rented a beautiful AirBNB that was perfect for the getting-ready shots. The house looked like it was located in the mid-west or east coast. It was so much different from the typical cookie-cutter tract homes in the Vegas area.

The ceremony was at Antique Angel Wedding Chapel, which was right near the Virginia Street Bridge and the Truckee River. The reception was at the Grand Sierra Resort.

The downside of photographing a destination is the lack of familiarity of a location. That was evident when I spent too much time finding parking and walking a far distance to the reception room at the Grand Sierra.

Overall, it was a fun experience and I would love to do another wedding in the Reno area again!