Cactus Collective Weddings provides wedding coordination for adventurous couples. They have helped couples from all around the world plan their dream outdoor weddings in venues such as Las Vegas, San Diego and Black Hills. By specializing in micro weddings and elopements, the Cactus Collective Weddings’ team led by founder McKenzi Taylor will ensure that every detail is met and all of your questions and concerns are addressed.
Below is a Q&A session with founder McKenzi Taylor.
- While every wedding is gorgeous, what has been a few of the more spectacular weddings that you have planned?
We’ve planned thousands of weddings and they are all spectacular in their own way, but I must admit that my favorite weddings, while maybe not be the most spectacular in terms of décor, are when it’s just a couple exchanging their vows in Red Rock Canyon. It’s a location I am a bit partial to, since that is where I had my own wedding. There is so much beauty and wonder at that location. I also think it’s just lovely when people go out and do what they want to do. The most spectacular weddings that we do are very intimate, sweet, meaningful and on purpose. There is beautiful intention to the wedding. Those are my favorites.
- Are there any budget constraints that prospective clients should be aware of prior to contacting Cactus Collective Weddings?
Our wedding packages, which start at $2500, are much more budget-friendly than the average American larger wedding, which tends to be in the $30,000 range. Additionally, we are now offering photography-only services. So people can hire us a la carte for our specialized photography if they love our photography work and want that part of our services.
- Are all your venues outdoors?
Yes, all of our venues are currently outdoors and range from the mountainous, to canyons, lakes, plant nurseries, and park setting to more iconic outdoor locations around Las Vegas, like Green Valley Ranch and the outdoor gardens of The Bellagio hotel.
- What is your most popular venue?
Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire are our two most popular wedding venues.
- What are the advantages of an elopement or micro wedding over a larger wedding?
The main advantage of elopements and micro weddings is the ability to get married on your own terms, and to have the ability to splurge where it suits the two of you. You get to pick and choose your luxury elements, because you are not spending tens of thousands of dollars hosting hundreds of guests that you may or may not be close with. A micro wedding or an elopement really brings everything that is important and special to that couple into focus. It allows you to spend your efforts and your budget on what really matters to the two of you. While you will save considerable money, you do not have to forgo luxury elements or glamour if that is important to you. You can make your micro wedding or elopement a very intimate, unique, fun, and meaningful experience.
- How soon after a couple gets engaged should they contact Cactus Collective Weddings?
Ideally, as soon as possible; especially if they have a particular date in mind. Many couples have a date or a couple of potential weddings dates in mind, and we like to try to make that happen for them if we can. That is actually one reason we do our Pop Up Wedding events. We secure a few special or iconic wedding dates that are normally very hard for couples to book, and we take care of all the wedding details and logistics. The couple simply shows up at the venue on their selected date and says “I Do.”
We book a lot of weddings one to two years in advance. Some of our locations do require that we give them at least two weeks’ notice. Even if you are trying to be more spontaneous, it’s important to keep that in mind. And some locations require much more notice than that. The shorter the window, the more limited your options will be in terms of venues and certain wedding vendors.
- How long does it typically take to plan an elopement or micro wedding?
I would say that most of our couples inquire and book with at least six months’ notice. That really allows us to secure all of the proper permitting and to make sure the best dates and times are available. But of course, as I stated above, we have couples who are planning a year and a half or even two years out, and then we do get couples inquiring just two weeks ahead of time. Believe it or not, we also get a handful of couples who inquire about next day services, and we do our very best to accommodate them.
My favorite part of the wedding planning process is getting to know people, hearing their love stories and what they love about each other, and learning about what they envision for their wedding day and how they want to remember t
- What is your favorite part of the wedding planning process?
My favorite part of the wedding planning process is getting to know people, hearing their love stories and what they love about each other, and learning about what they envision for their wedding day and how they want to remember their wedding day. I think that is something that often doesn’t get considered as part of the wedding planning process. People can get bogged down in logistics, but it is important to keep in mind that we are helping couples to create one of the most important memories of their lives. Of course there are some beautiful design elements in it as well, but the wedding day is really about the couple and their love, and I think sometimes that is easily forgotten. I enjoy helping and guiding couples to not lose sight of that, and guiding them towards creating that sacred memory.
- How long have you been in the wedding industry and what is your background?
I have been in the wedding industry since 2008, and I initially started out as a wedding photographer. I have been a photographer for many years. I was one of the first loud and proud elopement photographers in Las Vegas, before elopements became more chic and trendy. I think elopements are here to stay. The word “elopement” has really changed now that people can see how diverse, romantic, glamorous, detailed and special they can be with the right team in place. I’d like to think I played a role in that. After I started taking so many photos of weddings, I was finding that people were asking me to do a lot more of their planning, because usually the photographer is one of the first points of contact when couples are planning an elopement. I then found that I was working with the same trusted circle of vendors, continuously. From there, I started building great relationships with each of these vendors. It was after I hosted my own elopement in a scenic setting that I became inspired to create my company. For my own wedding, my two main priorities were having a meaningful ceremony in a beautiful setting with high quality photography. I thought there had to be other people who would want the same thing. In 2017 I started Cactus Collective Weddings. It was founded with the idea of providing luxury, fine art, quality photography in combination with an elopement in a beautiful scenic setting. That is how Cactus Collective Weddings was born.