When Victoria Hogan's aunt and uncle got married nearly a decade ago in Italy, it struck a chord with her. They did it inside the Sistine Chapel - without fanfare, without guests. An elegant, timeless expression of love.
"They waited until the chapel was completely empty and they just exchanged personal vows to one another," says Hogan.
That intimate moment inspired Hogan to open her own wedding business in 2014 while working as a florist in the highly competitive Las Vegas market.
Hogan, who exudes vintage style, came up with a unique business model - one that simplifies weddings to make it mostly about the couple.
"My main goal is that it is stress-free."
Hogan launched FloraPop - a company that plans "pop-up" weddings mostly in desert settings surrounding Las Vegas, Palm Springs and Los Angeles.
"One day it really hit me that I was in the wedding capital of the world and that there was no reason that I couldn't do it all. So I decided to be the officiant, the florist and the venue to essentially cut out the middle man," says Hogan.
"When a tourist comes to Las Vegas, they're not anticipating that they're going to drive out and see this really beautiful, vast, expansive desert. They're expecting to come to Las Vegas to see neon, and be on the strip," says Hogan.
Hogan shows up in a replica of a 1950s Teardrop trailer she built herself. She hooks it up to her Jeep and drives to the desert with the floral arrangements she made, a pink box full of cake donuts, champagne, her prepared remarks and her assistant. She opens up the back of the trailer, places her gorgeous floral bouquets inside and a pink neon sign that reads "SURE."
Hogan marries the couple at the trailer which acts as an altar.
Hogan has a knack for design, having gotten her Masters degree in Studio Art. That experience - plus growing up on a farm and having a carpenter as a grandfather - helped inform her inventive start-up.
"I think that the desert is extremely romantic. It really highlights the emotions of the couple," she says.
On the day we showed up to watch her perform a ceremony, a British couple and their intimate group of three friends pulled up in two vintage cars - a service Hogan's friend provides.
A photographer Hogan recommended to the couple took pictures with the mountains as her backdrop. The bride posed with her husband, who was wearing pink shorts.
"We're not traditional, we're quite alternative in the way we dress. We're alternative in what we do. We wanted to do something that was completely different," said Michelle Grizzell shortly after the sweet 15-minute ceremony.
Hogan says she's been performing weddings non-stop. More than 150 have been in settings like California's Joshua Tree National Park, the El Dorado Dry Lake Bed in Boulder City, Nevada and a botanical garden inside a greenhouse filled with cacti in Palm Springs (her favorite spot to date).
"It's very fantastical," Hogan say. "You walk in and your eyes are just taken to every corner. It's just a magical spot."