The Height of Nuptial Bliss

Adrian and Nate met through mutual friends at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo when she was on the women’s lacrosse team and he was on the men’s team. They dated for five years before getting engaged at the summit of Mount Tallac on the South Shore of Tahoe during a morning hike on the 4th of July weekend.

A little over a year later, they were married outside the Zephyr Lodge at Northstar California, in a fall wedding.  “I always knew I wanted to get married in Tahoe,” says Adrian, who spent her childhood summers at her parent’s cabin at Fallen Leaf Lake.

Their photographer, Ciprian Photography, captured all of the magical moments, while their Wedding Planner, Stephanie Marie & Co. made sure their special day flowed smoothly. “Establishing a rapport with my clients is paramount to having successful working relationships,” says Ciprian. “Adrian and Nate were just that, easy to get to know, talk to and communicate with. Wonderful couple.”

Most of the 115 guests were from the Bay Area, as well as out-of-town guests, including some from England, Switzerland, Austria, New York, Maine, Colorado, Washington and Oregon.  Since many guests were traveling a long distance, Adrian and Nate valued having a venue that could host both the ceremony and reception. “The reason we picked this location was honestly the gondola/ski lift ride on the way up,” says Adrian. “We thought, ‘what a cool way to get to a wedding?!’”

The couple had a First Look photo session in Northstar Village.  Adrian remembers feeling overwhelmed and excited when she first saw her groom.  “I would not label myself as a ‘crier’ but immediately burst into tears when I saw Nate,” she says. “After all the wedding build up for 14 months, I was so comforted to see him that I burst into tears.”  Nate recalls that he grew “increasingly happy as I saw how happy Adrian was.”

Then the wedding party took the gondola and chairlift up to the fields surrounding the Zephyr Lodge.  Adrian loved her wedding flowers from Love & Lupines, especially the bouquets and the ceremony “altar piece” from Manzanita Glow.  She wanted the décor to be natural as possible, so she chose earth tones including greens, maroons, oranges, dark yellows, wood and bronze. Their coordinating invitations were on brown recycled paper with a rose gold tree ring print.

The ceremony was very personal, with all of the content created by the bride, the groom or their officiant Graham, who is Adrian’s brother-in-law.  “We wrote our own vows, had a couple of readings by family members and walked down the aisle to acoustic guitar,” says Adrian, who wore a V-neck, floor length dress, with a key hole on the back in a large laser print lace. “It was very special.”

The couple loved their reception at Zephyr Lodge.  Guests dined on Mexican food followed by individual pies, instead of cake.  Then it was time for dancing.  Nate remarked, “All of our friends and family let loose and you got to see everyone’s personality as we all danced together.”

Adrian recalls her favorite wedding day memory: “Right after our ceremony, after we had just walked back into Zephyr, and we were by ourselves for like three seconds and both of us realizing we were married!”

Nate was surprised by how quickly the wedding day went.  “Luckily, the pictures were a great way to remember each moment afterwards,” he says.

 

Teachable Moment:

The newlyweds advise other couples to plan some alone time during the big day to reflect on everything that is going on. “There is only one day of your wedding, so take a minute to soak it in and recharge for the next event and interactions,” says Nate.

 

Vendor Credits:

Ceremony & Reception Site: Northstar California  | Photographer: Ciprian Photography  |  Wedding Planner: Stephanie Marie & Co.  |  Ceremony Décor Rentals: Manzanita Glow  |  Hair & Makeup: Art of Beauty  |  Flowers: Love & Lupines  |  Desserts: Flour Girl Wedding Cakes  |  Music: Brian Hess Music





A Celebrated Celtic Harp Virtuoso

In the Fall of 2016, Anne Roos first captured our attention with her gentle manner and thoughtfulness when she inquired about membership in the Tahoe Wedding Industry Group. Within days, Anne had completed the rigorous membership application process, receiving the highest of accolades from former clients and wedding industry colleagues.

Who is this impeccable lady with the cool Celtic harp and gorgeous hats?

Anne Roos with Celtic harp and hat

Anne Roos is a Los Angeles native who went to North Hollywood high, then slightly westward to UCLA, where she studied a seemingly unlikely duo – Math and Music.  But Anne was quick to point out, “Einstein played the violin, so it’s not such a strange combination!”

The love of music was instilled in Anne at an early age, as her father frequently took her to summertime concerts at the Hollywood Bowl.  Anne recalls, “I have fond memories of experiencing the L.A. Philharmonic performing classical works, watching the bows of the stringed instruments rhythmically undulate up and down.”   Professional musicianship also ran strong in relatives on her mother’s side of the family – a concert pianist, a jazz pianist, a guitarist, and another Celtic harpist in Israel.  So it’s obvious that Anne was born to be a musician!

An important turning point in her life came when Anne attended a Winter Solstice Festival, which included an exhibit booth populated with all kinds of Celtic harps. The woman in the booth said, “If you want to learn to play, I can rent a harp out to you and teach you.”  Anne remembers thinking to herself, “I have a stressful job. This is exactly what I need.”   The rest is history, as Anne got hooked on the harp and her wedding business was born!

Anne Roos Celtic Harp Lake Tahoe wedding

Now based in Lake Tahoe, Anne has been creating beautiful music for more than 30 years, with consistent 5-star ratings across social media platforms and a prestigious Grammy® Award to her credit.  She stays on top of the latest wedding music trends by perusing lists of popular downloads on iTunes, listening to “Wedding Music Radio” on Pandora, and checking out new movies containing song possibilities for weddings.  Anne adds, “Of course, when a couple requests a new song that is not in my repertoire, I quickly order up the sheet music online and create a harp arrangement.”

Anne Roos Celtic HarpPhoto:  Ciprian Photography

When asked what she loves most about working with wedding couples, Anne remarked: “I love the surprise element of creating music organically for weddings.  The experience leaves everyone in amazement and touches their hearts in ways that the original recording of the same song can’t duplicate.  Frequent feedback from guests is, ‘Wow! I didn’t know you could play THAT on the harp!’” From classical to Broadway, from Celtic to new age, from rock classics to heavy metal, Anne can do it all!

Anne Roos playing Celtic Harp at wedding Lake Tahoe

 

Selecting Music for Your Marriage

So what should you do for your wedding?  When guests first arrive at your wedding ceremony location, they are filled with anticipation for your big day ahead.  But if they are greeted with dead silence, it’s an awkward feeling. That’s why it’s important to have music in the air, to set the tone for your ceremony. It signifies that “something special” is about to happen.

Your ceremony venue may control the type of music selected for your auspicious occasion.  If you are in a house of worship, you may be required to abide by strict rules and regulations.  Check with your ceremony site before you have your heart set on a particular selection of music and musicians.

On the other hand, if your ceremony site is in the great outdoors of the Lake Tahoe region, you may select just about any kind of music that you love.  There are hundreds of options beyond “Here Comes the Bride,” so consider your favorite songs – whether Top 40’s or classics, just make it sing to you! 

No matter what kinds of tunes you choose, your ceremony is typically divided into five musical phases:

  1. The Prelude Music typically begins 30 minutes before the ceremony. For example, if your invitation indicates a four o’clock ceremony, begin your prelude music at 3:30 p.m. The music welcomes and entertains your guests as the excitement builds. Depending on the length of the songs, you will want to select up to ten pieces for your prelude music.
  2. The Processional Music is for the Wedding Party to make their grand entrance. This is where the “celebration” comes into play – you definitely want to get your guests’ attention. You typically will select three music pieces: one for your officiant, readers, and groom’s party; another selection for the bridesmaids; and a third selection for the bride’s magical moment as she walks down the aisle.
  3. During the Ceremony, you may have several opportunities to personalize your musical selections. You could have musicians playing if you choose to have a blending ritual or some other symbolic rite. Also, ask the musicians to play an interlude while readers are walking to and from their seats.  Another great moment for music is immediately following your exchange of vows and rings.
  4. The Recessional Music is played when the wedding couple exits back down the aisle as newlyweds. Making this piece lively and celebratory is definitely the way to go. Your attendants and parents may or may not walk out to this same selection; if not, select two recessional pieces.
  5. The bucks you paid for ceremony musicians shouldn’t stop here – they should continue playing the Postlude Music as your guests continue to file out of their seats. Festive music should continue until all guests have departed the ceremony area.

If you are planning to have live music for your Lake Tahoe wedding ceremony, please consider Anne Roos and her Celtic harp.  Her versatility makes her the perfect choice for every wedding.  And if you want to hear more, the harp harmonizes well with just about any instrument. Common choices are the flute, violin, and guitar, but Anne has also played with a piano, sax, percussion, and even a trumpet!  

Anne Roos with bride and Celtic Harp wedding Lake Tahoe

Your selection of ceremony musicians is of course dependent upon your personal tastes.  But in any case, music brings a sense of joy that amplifies the amazing experience of a wedding celebration.

 

Contact Anne Roos

Website:  HarpistAnneRoos.com

Email:  [email protected]

Phone:  530-541-2575





Celebrate Your Love and Say Yes to a Tahoe Winter Proposal

East Coast natives Jen and Max relocated to San Francisco to pursue their professional careers.  In their spare time, they both love outdoor activities, especially skiing and snowboarding.  So when Max was ready to propose, he planned a wintertime trip to Lake Tahoe to pop the question.

For this surprise proposal, the groom-to-be hired Marie-Louise Palmqvist, owner of Vild Photography, to capture the special moments on camera.  “He didn’t plan to have a photographer there originally but decided it would be worth documenting,” says Palmqvist.

In addition to surprising his bride to be, Max had to contend with a surprise from Mother Nature – a huge snowstorm moving in.  While snow in Tahoe is the norm, this particular storm was supposed to drop several feet of the white stuff, which meant that the lakeside view Max had originally planned would be a white-out.

But Max knew he wanted to pop the question at Edgewood Tahoe since that’s where he and Jen were staying. Plamqvist helped him find a good spot that was easy to get to, beautiful and special.  The photographer met with Max while Jen was in the Edgewood Spa, finishing up her hair for dinner. “That gave us a chance to show him the location we had in mind.  It was all very quick and uncomplicated,” Palmqvist recalls.

So, after a day of skiing and getting warmed back up in their room, the couple made their way to dinner.  Along the way was a cozy outdoor fireplace, where Max dropped down on one knee and pulled out the ring.  The proposal was a complete surprise.

“We managed to capture the moment perfectly – everything from the traditional on-the-knee proposal to the just-after-saying-yes reactions,” says Palmqvist. “And, of course, we made sure to find those perfect show-me-the-ring shots, too.”

Afterwards, the newly engaged couple enjoyed a champagne toast inside the restaurant at Edgewood. The restaurant’s dark wood and black trim decor served as a great contrast to the rest of the snowy pictures.

Jen and Max plan to return to their East Coast roots to get married.  Our best wishes to the nearly-weds!

 

Proposals from the Photographer’s Prospective

Palmqvist and Rob Cole, her fellow photographer, work hard to be sneaky and blend into the background when they’re shooting proposals. “We normally just pretend to take photos of each other or the landscape before we aim our cameras towards them,” she says. “It’s really exciting and we always feel like CIA agents.”

Palmqvist wants couples to know that with surprise proposals, “ANYTHING is possible.”  She continues, “Do something that is special and true to you! Don’t just follow trends because you think that that’s the right thing to do. Make it about you.”

She reminds couples to document the proposal too so you can “treasure it forever.” 

While it’s smart to keep things low key when planning a proposal, make sure you communicate your plans with key people, such as the hotel, server, photographer or any other vendors/people you’ll be working with.

 

Other Pro Tips for Proposals and Engagment Sessions

What to wear for proposals: According to Palmqvist, “They are totally free to wear whatever they like.”

What to wear for engagement sessions: “We always suggest they wear something they love that has neutral colors and that complements the season. Our number one priority is for them to feel comfortable. Then we always suggest that they should coordinate, not match each other.”

Plan ahead. Both proposal and engagement sessions typically last about an hour. However, some sessions last longer. Palmqvist notes, “Some of our engagement sessions can be two to four hours if we decide to go hiking.”

It doesn’t have to be perfect to be right. “Proposals always happen quicker than you think and no matter how much you plan and think about the details, it never quite goes according to plan, normally because of nerves,” says Palmqvist. “But that’s OK!  Those imperfect moments become perfect as they are the ones making it truly special and cute.”

 

Vendor Credits

Photographer: Vild Photography  |  Venue: Edgewood Tahoe





Lisa and Mark’s Extraordinary Winter Destination Wedding

Mark says he felt “Lucky!” when he first saw Lisa on the wedding day. She remembers feeling giggly. “I really love this man more every day,” she says.

They live in Louisiana, where winters are mild.  So when Lisa and Mark got engaged, they knew the Lake Tahoe area was exactly where they wanted to exchange vows.  “A winter wedding seemed different,” says the bride, who grew up in Northern California.

The couple dated for two years before getting engaged while they were taking their Dachshund to meet Santa Claus. They married a year later in a winter wedding at the Resort at Squaw Creek in Olympic Valley, California.

This stunning venue provided a fitting backdrop for the gorgeous couple!  Adventure wedding photographer Charleton Churchill captured the couple and the day’s beauty.   “My favorite part of Mark and Lisa’s wedding was being able to enjoy the unique winter snowcapped mountains of Lake Tahoe and Squaw Valley throughout the entirety of their wedding day,” says Churchill.

The Celebration

Lisa’s favorite wedding day moment was when Mark cried during their first look. “It was true to who we are,” she says. “It was unrehearsed.”

The December ceremony, which was officiated by Lisa’a father, was an intimate gathering with 57 close family and friends in attendance. The 12-person wedding party included the bride’s sister who was the Maid of Honor, as well as her best friend who served as the Man of Honor. The groom’s father was his Best Man (which is a very Southern tradition).

The wedding color palette of hunter green, maroon, and gold was “a natural fit for that time of year,” Lisa remarked.

The reception was held at the Six Peaks Grille, a gourmet restaurant inside the resort. “They closed down for the night and we had the place to ourselves,” recalls Lisa. “It was perfect. Food was amazing. Cake was even better.”

 

The Dresses

 “My dress wasn’t anything like I planned,” says Lisa. “I wanted a lace ball gown with long sleeves. I’m a curvy girl and I’ve never felt comfortable in a fitted dress.”

That all changed when she saw “The Dress” on a hanger and had to try it on.

“I’ve never felt that good in a piece of clothing before,” she says, explaining the simple crepe gown had a boat neck, t-shirt like sleeves, and a cut out back. She hired a seamstress in Louisiana to take off the original sleeves and add full length sleeves.

She wore a second dress, a strapless A-line, to the reception. It was comfortable and easy to dance in.  Best of all, it meant her wedding gown would stay clean for her post-wedding photo shoot.

Family Time

Lisa and Mark loved the beautiful resort, where they and their families were able to spend a lot of time together.

“Lisa always considered her family and guests’ comfort and experience during each stage of our planning,” says planner Donna Nice Hoekstra of Joy of Life Events. “Skiing, ice skating, swimming, fireside warming, dinners and dancing were all part of the guest experience for their Louisiana family. The Resort at Squaw Creek was the perfect venue for this destination winter wedding.”

The couple stayed at the resort for a week after the wedding, a delightful setting for a mini-honeymoon. They’re still planning a big honeymoon trip. 

Nuptial Nuggets

Lisa’s advice: “Get the dress you want. Hire an amazing photographer. Don’t skip the video either!”

Sharing is good.  “A previous client of mine gifted me her gold Glitter aisle runner,” says Hoekstra. “Lisa loved it, so it was incorporated into their ceremony design.”

Plan your photos. “If you’re going to plan your wedding in Lake Tahoe to enjoy the views of the Lake and the Mountains, make time in your photo session, whether it be the day of your wedding or an adventure session the week after, to capture the beauty of Tahoe you can proudly print,” says Churchill. “If you want to capture the adventurous spirit, try and plan another day to go out and hike in your wedding attire, so you can enjoy your wedding day, yet get some creative outdoor photos when you have more time.”

 

Vendor Credits

Ceremony & Reception Site: Resort at Squaw Creek  | Photographer: Charleton Churchill Photography  |  Wedding Planner & Designer: Joy of Life Events  |  Linens:  Creative Coverings (Sweetheart Table and Guest Tables), La Tavola Fine Linen Rental (Cake Table)  | Bride’s Gown:  Pronovias  |  Bride’s Veil: Blanca Veils  |  Bride’s Shoes:  Badgley Mischka  |  Hair & Makeup: The Hair Loft  |  Bridesmaids’ Attire:  Bella Bridesmaids  |  Grooms & Groomsmen’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse  |  Rings: Lauren B  |  Officiant: Rick Haining, Bride’s Stepfather  |  Catering, Cake & Desserts: Resort at Squaw Creek  |  Flowers: Love & Lupines  |  Music: Brian Hess Music  |  Videographer: The Best Man Films  |  Seating Chart: Ivory Isle Designs





Oh So Pretty on the Big Day – Hair and Makeup

Bonus Interview with a Pro – Michelle Campbell

Every bride wants to look and feel beautiful on her wedding day.  You will certainly want your hairstyling and makeup to hold up throughout the day while you’re enjoying the celebration (and while your photographer is snapping away).  Since this is one of the most important days in your life, you should seek out the services of professional hairstylists and makeup artists, who have the skills and knowledge to make you look spectacular! 

Your attendants, your mom and future mother-in-law will also want to get their hair and makeup professionally done.  In most cases, you’ll need to secure 1 hairstylist and 1 makeup artist for every 4 ladies in your group.  It’s an amazing, fun experience spending this time together with your attendants and moms!

The Bridal Party After Hair & Makeup for Love Is In The Hair Lake Tahoe weddingAll Photos Courtesy of Underwood Photography

But on your wedding day, you don’t want to be running all around Lake Tahoe to get your hair and makeup done.  Tahoe Engaged recommends a full-service salon that can do both hair and makeup, and that can travel to the location where you and your bridal party are getting ready.  It’s a super timesaver for them to come to you, because you can slip into your gown immediately afterwards, while your photographer and videographer capture every moment. 

Bride getting ready with bridesmaids after hair and makeup

 

Qualifications

You will want to find hairstylists and makeup artists that are state-licensed cosmetologists and aestheticians, and have a business license and business insurance.  Licensed stylists and artists have been through many, many hours of training and certification. The right hairstylist and makeup artist will enhance your natural beauty, not cover you up with a mask.  These beauty experts will help you truly look your very best on your wedding day. 

Bride hair and makeup from Love Is In The Hair Lake Tahoe wedding

You may be wondering if makeup artists who work at department store cosmetics counters would be an appropriate cost-saving choice.  Keep in mind that these people are not necessarily professional makeup artists and usually do not have a state cosmetologist license.  Typically, they are trained only on the products that the stores carry, and are behind the counter primarily to sell the line of cosmetics they represent.  They are generally not required to blend or create specific colors needed for a professional quality of makeup, and are limited to the colors and products they have in stock.

On the other hand, seasoned makeup artists will have the skills and expertise that are beyond what most behind-the-counter artists are required to learn.  The professional licensed makeup artist works with both professional makeup and consumer products, custom blending and color matching whenever necessary.  Their goal is not to sell you more makeup, but to beautify your face on your wedding day.

Bride smiling with groom after hair and makeup by Love Is In The Hair Lake Tahoe wedding Underwood PhotographyGlowing bride after hair and makeup by Love Is In The Hair Lake Tahoe wedding

 

Timing Is Everything

Having a relaxing, fun start to your wedding day is crucial, and your professional hair and makeup artist team will certainly get you off to the right start.  That’s why it’s important to choose wisely, with a team of professionals who understand punctually and timing – they will develop a detailed timeline of services for you.  Without a professional team to help you, if your hair and makeup runs late and creates havoc and stress, it just might ruin your day!

Tahoe Engaged believes in a flawless execution of hair and makeup, and we are here to guide you every step of the way.  We highly recommend that you allow 45 minutes for each bridesmaid or mom to have her hair done, and 45 minutes each for makeup.  For the bride, we recommend 1 hour to have your hair done, and 1 hour to have your makeup done.  We prefer having hair done first, followed by makeup. The bride always goes last, so she looks freshest for photos.

Bride looks fresh after hair and makeup by Love Is In The Hair Lake Tahoe wedding

 

For more insights into the essentials of professional hair and makeup, Tahoe Engaged spoke with Michelle Campbell, Owner of Love Is In The Hair.  With over 15 years in the beauty industry, Michelle has trained under Eufora Global, Kevin Murphy, Glo Cosmetics, Redken and MAC, along with several nationally recognized freelance artists.  One of the top professional companies in Lake Tahoe for hairstyling and makeup artistry, Love Is In The Hair offers the best in fully mobile, on-location services.  Each artist on Michelle’s team is handpicked, licensed/insured, and continually educated.


What beauty tips do you have for a bride-to-be who is newly engaged?

Love Is In the Hair is a destination bridal beauty glam squad, but you will also need to assemble a local glam team and stick with them!  Select one hair dresser, one aesthetician and one spray tan tech, etc.  Don’t skip around town and try every beauty pro, you don’t want too many cooks in the kitchen.  Allow time for your hometown pro to develop a haircare/skincare regimen, and stick to a schedule to allow time to work toward your beauty goals.  

Make sure NOT to introduce any new products or services in the weeks leading up to your wedding.  Use the months leading up your big day to hone in on your beauty regimen.  The last thing you want is to have a reaction to a new product or new services in the days leading up to your wedding or worst have an orange spray tan.


Once the couple has selected Lake Tahoe as the destination for their wedding, what should the bride do?

Book a trial appointment.  With Love Is In The Hair, the trial appointment is a great opportunity for us to get to know one another, for you to see how your hair and makeup will look on your wedding day.  And it gives us a chance to look over your skin and hair.  We also can determine if hair extensions need to be incorporated to achieve your desired hair style.  Book this appointment up to three months prior to your wedding date.

Trial appointment for hair and makeup with Love Is In The Hair Lake Tahoe wedding

What else should the bride do as her wedding day approaches?

Schedule pre-wedding day beauty appointments. We recommend booking hair color appointments 10-14 days prior to your wedding day to allow hair color to settle and blend. Don’t overlook the peach fuzz because the camera won’t!  Squeeze one last facial in with your trusted skin care pro along with waxing appointments two weeks prior to your wedding.

Make sure to avoid salty, fried food or alcohol leading up to the wedding. Think green and lean.  I recommend the Glowing Green Smoothie from Kimberly Snyder:

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 head organic romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 3 to 4 stalks organic celery
  • 1/2 head of a large bunch or 3/4 of a small bunch of spinach
  • 1 organic apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 organic pear, cored and chopped
  • 1 organic banana
  • Juice of 1/2 fresh organic lemon

 

What about when the bride arrives in the Lake Tahoe region for her wedding?

Be sure to stay hydrated especially at Lake Tahoe’s high elevation. We want to avoid dehydrated skin and lips because healthy hydrated skin equals youthful illumination and glow.

 

Are there any misconceptions about wedding day hair and make-up services?

The most common misconception about wedding day hair is to arrive with dirty or day old hair. This is the exact opposite, please arrive with clean dry hair and let the beauty pros prep your hair with the proper products to ensure longevity to your wedding day style. Oftentimes dirty or day old hair has an excess of oil, weighing down the style or making the hair look greasy. Your wedding day pro will be able to properly evaluate your hair and prescribe just the right hair care cocktail for success.

 

Any other advice for bridal beauty?

Skin Care is EVERYTHING. Make sure you have major moisture in your skincare routine. Hydrated skin illuminates and radiates youthful beauty.  Great makeup starts with great skincare.

Bride posing for photos after hair and makeup by Love Is In The Hair Lake Tahoe wedding

At Tahoe Engaged, we are your trusted confidante for wedding professionals that have been carefully vetted by submitting their references, business license and insurance.  We are grateful to Michelle Campbell, a Tahoe Engaged member, for offering her professional advice to our readers.  If you would like to learn more about her company, Love Is In The Hair, click here.

 





Your Guide to Tahoe Wedding Transportation

Part 2

As a Managing Member of the leading transportation company in the Lake Tahoe region, Danell Wilson-Perlman is always on the move.  But she was kind enough to put the brakes on her busy schedule at Reno Tahoe Limousine and talk with Tahoe Engaged about her background and business.   Danell brings amazing life experiences to the Reno – Lake Tahoe community, and she is a wealth of information about moving people in style.

Danell Wilson-Perlman Co-Owner of Reno Tahoe LimousineBorn and raised on the southernmost tip of Africa, Danell started working at a local tourism office when she was 16 years old, and that’s when she began to dream about living overseas.   After graduating from a college in Cape Town with a degree in Tourism and Travel Management, she landed a job in 1994 at the Royal Gorge Cross-Country Ski Resort near Soda Springs, and eventually was offered full-time employment there.  In 1997, when Danell went to rent a car from a Truckee rental agency, she happened to meet the owner, Ron Perlman.  She not only rented the car, but ended up marrying the owner!

Danell has many fond memories of both her life and business partnership with Ron. She recalls, “My husband started Royal Limousine in 1987 in Truckee as a hobby. He had an automotive shop, part shop and car rental agency at the time, but always had a love for cars, so he bought a used limo he restored for fun.  Then his friends started calling to see what it would take to rent it, and that is how it all started.   I already saw the potential of the company from early on, so in 2002 I came on board to assist him with the operations of the car rental and limo companies.  We moved the operation to Reno in January 2008 with 6 vehicles. We now have 28 in our fleet.”
Reno Tahoe Limousine team of wedding transportation experts

Danell and Ron are very proud of how they have built Reno Tahoe Limousine from the ground up to become a leader in the transportation industry.  Wedding couples often have important concerns about getting their guests – and themselves – to their celebration, so we asked Danell to enlighten us all on the finer points of people-moving.

 

What are the most common issues you encounter when providing transportation for weddings?

Timelines are crucial and it’s very important to realize that we are in larger vehicles and in commercial vehicles, so we cannot drive the speed of a race car. Our chauffeurs have to abide by strict rules – you have to account for traffic and for loading and unloading passengers. It all takes time.  Summer in Tahoe on a Saturday, you have to account for major traffic delays.  In winter, there is traffic between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. from the ski resorts, and you cannot get around Emerald Bay.

If the couple or planner is not familiar with the layout of the property, we will send one of our staff to go scout the location to make sure certain vehicles will fit in tight spots, turnaround areas, steep uphills or downgrades. Certain vehicles will bottom out, so you have to be mindful.  During winter, can the vehicles get into the property with snow on the ground or do we have to drop at the street and have SUV’s shuttle them in and out?  

 

Are there any common misconceptions about wedding day transportation services?

Transportation can make or break an event, that’s why it is such an important piece of the wedding day plans.  We still have couples call the day of, looking for last minute transportation, because someone forgot to order car service. We have pulled it off many times, but it adds unnecessary stress on their wedding day.  The idea that family members or friends will be their drivers for the day – that is a recipe for chaos.

 

What things should couples ask about before booking their wedding transportation?

First and foremost, they need to ask if they are licensed in the state that the couple will need transportation in. 

Ask for a certificate of insurance. Most commercial transportation companies these days carry $5 million, but they need to carry a minimum of $1.5 million if they are a commercial transportation vendor.  

Make sure their drivers are drug tested and are part of a drug testing consortium where they will also be randomly tested throughout the year and that background checks are done before they are hired by the company.

What is the required uniform of their chauffeurs? This is super important, I’ve seen some scary outfits in this area before.

During winter, they want to ask if their drivers have snow driving experience, this is important.  Ask if it’s a coach, will your driver be able to chain during winter conditions?

Finally, ask for testimonials from their clients which will include contact details.

Danell Perlman-Wilson with wedding chauffeurs at Reno Tahoe Limousine

 

How do you keep up with the latest developments in transportation services?

We attend the annual global limo and bus conference in Las Vegas to stay on top of trends.  Our area is very unique and different than the large cities.  The day of the stretch limo is done, unless you are based out of Vegas.  Most weddings are using Mini Buses, SUV’s and Mercedes Benz Sprinters these days. 

 

Any other advice for wedding couples?

Take transportation for your big day seriously and if you are moving large groups of people, make sure you have your wedding planner’s staff on the ground to help load and unload guest passengers onto the vehicles.  Having ground staff is crucial when passengers are missing, and they can help make the process so much easier.  Reno Tahoe Limousine needs to be in communication with your wedding planner and we need to know if cell service will be an issue. So many times with remote areas, passengers are not at the addresses where they are supposed to be, or they are running late, the list is long, so the chauffeurs need to be able to be in constant contact with a planner.

 

When you’re not working at Reno Tahoe Limousine, what other forms of transportation do you enjoy?

I love horseback riding, taking long walks with our dog, and motorcycle trips with my husband during Spring and Summer.  Also, I started a travel program to take women entrepreneurs to South Africa to collaborate and exchange with like-minded women entrepreneurs and see part of my beautiful homeland. So this keeps me busy, but it feeds my soul!
Danell Wilson-Perlman with women entrepreneurs in South Africa