When you think of a Las Vegas wedding, the things that may come to mind are an officiant dressed as Elvis, photos in front of the Bellagio, a late-night buffet in a casino restaurant, a wild night of dancing, and a pretty sore head the next day!
You don’t automatically think of gorgeous florals, beautiful tables, fine dining, and a garden setting by a lake.
But Anna & Jeff’s romantic wedding at Lake Las Vegas was filled with elegant style and meaningful moments; their beautiful pictures by Gaby J Photography show there’s so much more than stereotypes to a Vegas wedding.
With the Florentine Garden at the Hilton as their backdrop (it even has a replica of Florence’s Ponte Vecchio bridge), Anna & Jeff created an atmospheric outdoor wedding with the help of their planner, Open Invitation, and some of Las Vegas’ best wedding vendors.
From the food to the music to the gorgeous attire, each detail was thoughtfully curated, with an emphasis on creating a memorable evening for their guests rather than trying to impress with fancy decor or Pinterest recreations.
And the results? It was an authentic, romantic, beautiful wedding that paid homage to this sweet couple and their fated love story.
Scroll down to see a new side to a Nevada wedding and to fall in love with Anna, Jeff, and their intimate garden soiree.
Wedding Day Snapshot
Our Love Story
Jeff and I met 18 years ago at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is not where our love story began, but it is the prelude to it.
Jeff was the popular quarterback admired by the ladies, and I was more concerned with building friendships than chasing after the boys.
We shared a history class and were each other’s goofy counterparts. Jeff would sing a line from a song, and I would finish it, and vice versa. We were friends and nothing more.
Jeff and his family moved away to California at the end of our Sophomore year, and I believed that would be the last I would ever hear of Jeffrey Cooper.
Fate would say otherwise.
I stayed in Las Vegas while Jeff moved all over from California to Portland, to Chicago, and finally back to Las Vegas. Twelve years had passed since we last spoke, and it was the evolution of Facebook that would reunite us.
Jeff likes to think that I was waiting for him all this time, but I almost blew him off when he reached out to set up a lunch date. My curiosity got the best of me, and we set a date. The stars aligned.
After spending most of the summer of 2012 together, we realized that we had something neither of us had ever felt before, and neither of us wanted it to end.
On September 10th, 2012, Jeff became that high school boy I first met and asked me to be his girlfriend. This is where our love story began.
We had been dating for about two and a half years when Jeff made the move that would set in motion our future together. It was just before Easter, and Jeff had inherited his Grandma Bea’s wedding ring.
He knew if he had taken me out to dinner, I would have known something was up. Instead, he decided he would propose using an Easter basket. The plan was to offer ON Easter day,. Still, when he received thit e phone call ,om the jeweler that the refurbishing of his Grandma’s ring was complete, his excitement took over, and he drove straight from the jeweler to the store to get all the necessities for his Easter basket.
I walked in after a yoga class to Jeff making dinner and an Easter basket on the table.
I laughed at him for not being able to wait as Easter was still four days away. Jeff had me open all the plastic eggs in the basket to discover all the different candies he hid in each one.
One by one, I popped them open until I came across that special one. The egg that held his Grandma’s beautiful ring.
It was April 1st, 2015. Yes, April Fools Day. That’s my Jeff. It wasn’t in his plan, but his excitement and inpatient nature made him oblivious to the date. I said yes, and we set a date.
Our Wedding Day
Jeff and I married on March 11, 2016, in the Florentine Gardens at the Hilton in Lake Las Vegas.
We wanted our wedding day to be a reflection of ourselves. It will be a special day shared with our closest family and friends with great food, music, and company. We wanted our personalities to shine through all the details and the style to mirror our own.
A former chef for ten years, Jeff created a custom dinner to be served family style and, with the help of his brother, hand-selected every song played from beginning to end.
We wanted an evening full of organic moments that we would cherish, and our guests would cherish forever. It was a beautiful day that even a little wind couldn’t ruin.
As he stood at the altar, holding Jeff’s hands, he whispered, “Do you hear the birds?” It was a surreal moment of calm. The wind had stopped, and the birds began to chirp.
As our officiant shared our love story with our guests, I was consumed with appreciation for this moment. For fate. Those stars. They aligned at the right moment for us.
They guided us together, and as I looked into Jeff’s eyes, I knew he was always part of my destiny.
I wore a Morilee by Madeline Gardner ivory dress made of chiffon with crystal beading from Bowties Bridal.
My bridesmaids each wore a different style of dress by Adrianna Papell in various shades of nude with beading.
We wanted our ceremony and reception to be outside. When we toured the Hilton Lake Las Vegas and saw the Florentine Gardens, we both fell in love.
The location is surrounded by the building, which allows for a very intimate yet open environment. Lots of greenery and very picturesque.
With the help of our wedding planner, we wanted to create a whimsical boho-chic garden party inspired by pops of boldly-colored flowers with tons of greenery and vintage gold accents.
Base Colors: Cream & Rustic Brown.
Accent Colors: Blush, Coral, Orange, Green and Gold.