When Brenda first contacted me about being her Virginia City wedding photographer she gushed over my love for guacamole, enticed me with BBQ and promised me a man dressed as a miner with a donkey.  We never found the miner, or the donkey, but they did have a pistol packing preacher in a top hat (he had to check his gun at the Opera House gun check), fry bread, delicious promised BBQ, and both Brenda and Dillon have really wonderful and calm spirits.  When some things didn’t go as planned (sometimes red lipstick gets on wedding dresses), there was nary a beat in anyone’s steps because these two are so incredibly cool (so hot they’re cool!  so cool they’re hot!).  For future incidents: laughter helps and so do Tide pens!

Their venue was was full of wonder and intrigue: the Piper’s Opera House is a historic performing arts venue.  The current building was built in 1885, to replace the version built in 1878 that burned down in a fire.  It’s actually the third iteration of the Opera House: the Piper’s 1863 venue was destroyed by the 1875 Great Fire in Virginia City!  Piper utilized a lot of what could be salvaged from the original buildings when he started running out of money and you can see the use of it in the hallway leading into the great hall.  I was given a private tour by the onsite volunteer earlier in the evening and she told me that at one point they had to institute a gun check because the miners would get super drunk and rowdy and start hanging from the rafters and shooting their guns off!

I feel really incredibly lucky to have connected with these two amazing people and explored such an unbelievably picturesque strange retro town with them.  Although no one was swinging from the rafters and shooting their guns off at Brenda and Dillon’s wedding, there was a rowdy dance party!

In summary, Virginia City is quite the place, with quite the demeanor, and it is always a joy to photograph there.  Mostly because there’s brick and I, living in Northern CA, quite miss brick.

Venue: Piper’s Opera House | Coordinator: Jalie Premier Event Planning | Officiant: Rev James Matthieu, aka, “The Pistol Packing Preacher” | Bakery: Whole Foods Reno | Fry Bread: Muha’s Indian Tacos | Catering: Carson City BBQ | Bride’s Attire: Elizabeth Dye from Alt Brides | Groom’s Apparel: Saks Off Fifth | Groomsmen Attire: Macy’s | Hair and Makeup: Chellsie Danielle Kiger | Rentals: Camelot Party Rentals

Virginia City Wedding Venues

If you’re looking for a wedding venue that’s got a little bit of quirky and a whole lot of history, then Virginia City is the destination wedding location for you. If you enjoy dive bars, kitsch, and gold mining, look no further. As Virginia City wedding photographer, I’ve had the privilege of capturing weddings against some truly historical and interesting venues, but Piper’s Opera House is certainly my favorite.

  1. The Piper’s Opera House is quite possibly Virginia City’s most iconic venue. Victorian architecture meets dive bar interior. Perfected with a gun toting man wearing coattails and a top hat, obviously.
  2. Silver Queen Hotel is not only where your guests should consider staying, but also a great venue.  More Victorian architecture, opulent rooms and intimate spaces.  Romance much?
  3. Saint Mary’s in the Mountains is for those of you who maybe want to pretend you’re having a normal wedding when in fact, you are having a wild wild west wedding reception in a dive bar later.  It’s a beautiful brick church overlooking the Nevada Mountain Ranges and it will make your mother happy.
  4. The Silver Terrace Cemetery for those who really love Halloween.  Zombie wedding?  No problem.  Halloween wedding.  YES.  It’s an unconventional ceremony and venue for unconventional couples. If you’re a witch and getting married, this may just be your perfect venue.