The Best of Tahoe Weddings for 2020

In 2020, we learned to love a little deeper, to cherish the things that matter most, and to connect with each other in ways we never had before. While weddings may have changed, we made the most out of everything this year gave us. Many might say that this year tested them in ways that no other year before had done, but in the end, we still found something worth celebrating. Here’s a look back on some of the best moments that 2020 gave us here at Tahoe Engaged, and the incredible couples and vendors who brought them to life.

 

Amazing Tahoe Weddings

 

Love Conquers COVID

Marisa and Dacklin’s love story played out quite like your favorite romantic comedy, with the perfect ‘meet-cute’ in an airport and endless adventures together. They got engaged at the end of 2019 and began planning their perfect wedding. But when COVID-19 hit and the world shut down in March, their plans quickly changed. Marisa, being a reptile biologist, takes the science behind the pandemic very seriously and did not want to plan an event that could put people at risk. She conducted endless research and planned a meticulous and socially distant wedding that allowed everyone to celebrate safely. From bubble guns to maracas to reduce droplets, socially distant tables and individually packaged meals, accommodating vendors and respectful guests, Marisa and Dacklin’s wedding was a celebration to remember. 

Lake Tahoe real weddings 2020 - Marisa and Dacklin at The Hideout

Vendor Credits

Venue: The HideOut  |  Photographer: Sarah Rittenour Photography  |  Videographer: Vow + Covenant  |  Zoom Coordinator: Wedfuly  |  Flowers (wedding party, arch, centerpieces): Inspirations by Gina  |  Decor for Ceremony Aisle: Mama Earth Farm with arrangement by Cynthia Shambaugh  |  Lavender: Bluestone Meadow Farm  |  Masks: Marissa D Poulin Designs   |  Cake: Sugarcoated Cupcakes  |  Beverages: BevMo (South Lake Tahoe)  |  Bride’s Dress: Emerald City Gowns  |  Tailoring: Lammay  |    |  Hair and Makeup: Rah Hair Studio  |  Rentals: Premier Event Rentals  |  Rehearsal Dinner Food: Ray’s Take n’ Bake Pizza  |  Wedding Dinner Food: Swingle Meat Co., Mama Earth Farm

 

Eloping to the Top of Tahoe

Liz and Matt were originally going to have a family-only, 20-person ceremony in South Lake Tahoe in July 2020. They had already done quite a bit of planning when the coronavirus brought an abrupt halt to their progress. They hemmed and hawed for a few months about what to do.  After giving themselves the space to grieve the loss of their original plans, they decided to move forward with their lives and elope!  Liz later confided, “I’d always secretly found the idea of eloping so romantic.” Liz and Matt used their elopement as a chance to really get away and enjoy each other. With endless possibilities, they chose Lake Tahoe. They knew that they wanted their wedding day to include hiking, their dog, music, and drinks at sunset. Their photographers, VILD Photography, found the perfect mountaintop location. Liz and Matt hopped in their Jeep with Louie, their canine companion, and said “I do” as the sunset over the Sierras.  

Lake Tahoe wedding elopement 2020 - Liz and Matt

Vendor Credits

Photographer:  VILD Photography  |  Florist:  Twine Floral Co.  |  Hair Stylist:  Rah Hair Studio  |  Bride’s Dress:  Show Me Your Mumu  |  Groom’s Attire:  Indochino  |  Ring Designer:  Ben Shemano Jewelry

 

A Heavenly Experience

Two adventurers at heart, Jason and Angela spent 7 incredible years traveling and growing together. Jason planned the perfect engagement after a rigorous trek with Angela to Mt. Everest Base Camp. At just over 17,000 feet, the trek to Base Camp was one of the most intense and challenging feats they’d ever accomplished together, but it was one they’ll never forget. To keep the adventure flowing, they decided to get married at the top of Heavenly Mountain in Lake Tahoe. They planned an entire weekend of festivities for their guests and their sweet corgi, Basil, even made an appearance in the ceremony. It was truly to most epic Lake Tahoe day!

Lake Tahoe real weddings - Jason and Angela at Heavenly

Vendor Credits

Venue and Catering: Heavenly  |  Photographer: VILD Photography  |  Florist: South Lake Tahoe Enchanted Florist  |  DJ: Cornerstone Entertainment  |  Cake: Flour Girl Wedding Cakes

 

A Celebration for All Seasons

It’s been said before that rain on a wedding day is good luck. If that’s the case, then Tara and Aaron’s wintry wonderland celebration – which included rain, slush, and snow – must have meant infinite luck and prosperity. Tara and Aaron’s romance began as a whirlwind. They met at a party and quickly fell for each other. Aaron travels frequently for work and soon after they began talking, they jetted off to Hawaii together. The rest is history. Tara and Aaron chose Truckee’s Lodge at Tahoe Donner for their nuptials on what was meant to be a sunny afternoon in September. Mother Nature had other plans. Experiencing 3 seasons in one day, they were forced to bring their wedding indoors, but that didn’t slow them down! They celebrated with the ones they love under the cover of a tent with lawn games and popcorn for the bride who doesn’t love sweets. It was a day they’ll never forget!

 

Real weddings - Tahoe Donner

Vendor Credits

Venue & Catering: The Lodge at Tahoe Donner  |  Bride’s Gown: Swoon Bridal  |  Cake & Desserts:  Lake Tahoe Cakes  |  Floral Designer: Love and Lupines  |  Photographer: KSL Wedding  |  Wedding Planner:  Marcella Camille Events 

 

Fantastic Tahoe Vendors

 

Inspirations by Gina

Gina Lett Shrewsberry discovered her love for floral design by way of her event planning business. She began by offering florals as a part of her wedding packages but loved it so much she made the full time shift over to floral design. Though this year has meant she’s had to adjust her sails, Gina welcomed the challenge. She’s used her time this year wisely, offering delivery and personalized floral arrangements as well as designing for much smaller events and elopements. She puts extra love and care into her designs, and loves to create something truly unique and awe-inspiring. 

Lake Tahoe wedding vendor spotlight - Inspirations by Gina

 

Blue Sky Events

Kerry of Blue Sky Events began her career in event planning working at Zephyr Cove Resort as a college student at the University of Pittsburgh. After meeting her now-husband, Jason, and receiving her dream job offer from Zephyr Cove Resort, she made the permanent move to Lake Tahoe. Jason and Kerry eventually decided to go into business for themselves, and so Blue Sky Events was born. The two grew their business into an event planning powerhouse, planning events around the area as well as up and down the West Coast for companies such as Google. Though the 2020 season is unprecedented for them, Kerry believes that they can endure anything. She misses creating beautiful events terribly, but looks forward to a bustling 2021 season doing what she loves most.

Lake Tahoe wedding planners - Blue Sky Events

 

Swoon Bridal

Michelle of Swoon Bridal inherited her love for ‘beautiful things’ from her mother, Kendyl. After working in bridal in the Bay Area, she returned to Reno/Tahoe to share her love with local brides. A year after her mother passed away in 2008, she opened the doors to Swoon Bridal in Reno in her memory. Michelle and the Swoon team take pride in the diversity of their hand-curated collection, bringing designers from all over the world into the area. Through the pandemic, they’ve discovered unique ways to continue to cater to their special brides from virtual appointments to socially distanced dress fittings. Michelle and her team continue to live by the motto ‘love isn’t cancelled’ and look forward to seeing their new brides married in the new year. 

Reno-Tahoe wedding vendors - Swoon bridal salon

 

Northstar at Tahoe

Nestled atop the Sierra Nevada mountains sits the Zephyr Lodge, with panoramic views and wide-open spaces of everything that the Lake Tahoe region has to offer. Northstar at Tahoe’s wedding destination is built with reclaimed materials and boasts an epic dining hall and patio that can accommodate up to 300 guests. Northstar also offers all-inclusive wedding weekend packages, making it simple for their couples to leave much of the planning to the pros while enjoying their weekend with family and friends. In addition to mountaintop nuptials, Northstar offers a multitude of entertaining activities both on-site and in the area during the summer months. Fun-filled favorites include golf, mountain biking, youth activities, swimming, retail shopping, and dining. Its proximity to Lake Tahoe also makes it the perfect destination to celebrate your Lake Tahoe wedding!

Lake Tahoe wedding venues - Northstar

 

A Safe Landing at Edgewood

Tim and Kelly met online, as many couples in the digital age do. They got together for ‘quick drink’ on a Tuesday night. What was intended to be a casual meeting turned into 5 hours of wine and banter. The chemistry was there from the start, and that ‘quick drink’ was the beginning of a truly adventurous relationship. Their wedding website mentions, “Kelly liked to say…she was only using Tim for his free flights on United and the laundry machine in his apartment. Tim would say Kelly was his personal tour guide to the city.” Two months after they began dating, Kelly traveled to meet Tim’s family in Ohio. A month later, they headed to Egypt, where they discovered a love of traveling together. Since Tim is a pilot for United Airlines, they have been able to travel to unique and beautiful places all over the world. Until, of course, COVID-19 changed the world as we know it.  Feeling the pressure of the unknown and a desire to be safe, Tim and Kelly decided to plan their wedding sooner rather than later. They selected a date in June in Lake Tahoe.Lake Tahoe safe wedding at Edgewood - ceremony, bouquet and couple on pier

The two had a trip planned to go to Costa Rica for her birthday last year, and Kelly caught the hint that Tim might propose. The week before their planned vacation, Tim and Kelly decided to take a camping trip to Big Sur on the California Coast. To Kelly’s surprise, Tim dropped to one knee and asked her for forever as the sunset over the Pacific. In a comical turn of events, their cockapoo puppy ventured off on his own in the emotion of the moment. When Tim and Kelly finally realized he was gone, a couple who were also walking on the beach returned him to his newly-engaged parents. Not wanting to interrupt, the strangers waited with him patiently, mentioning they were more than happy to watch the darling pup during the festivities. 

Edgewood Lake Tahoe Wedding reception tablesEdgewood Tahoe safe wedding - couple kissing after ceremonyEdgewood Tahoe wedding date changed to be safeEdgewood Tahoe wedding - flowers by Create with T - Blue Lotus Photographywedding at Edgewood Tahoe - table centerpiece by Create with Tlakeside wedding ceremony at Edgewood Tahoe - bride reads vowstoasting couple from safe distance at Lake Tahoe weddingEdgewood Tahoe wedding newlyweds walking on beachLake Tahoe wedding - Blue Lotus Photography - candles and table decorEdgewood Tahoe lakefront ceremony with social distancingEdgewood Tahoe wedding table decor by Create with TEdgewood Tahoe wedding couple on pierEdgewood Tahoe wedding - ceremony floral structures by Create with T - Blue Lotus Photography

 

Kelly is originally from Georgia and Tim is from Ohio, but they currently live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Tahoe is a special place for them as they both enjoy skiing Heavenly together each winter. Heavenly became their dream location to say ‘I do’. Unfortunately, the universe had other plans. With the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the area, the California side of Lake Tahoe remained locked down through much of the summer. Their original wedding date was June 20th, and to be safe with restrictions, it was pushed to July 19th. Two weeks before Tim and Kelly’s Heavenly nuptials were set to take place, the venue had to cancel. But the incredible Lake Tahoe wedding community came together to give Tim and Kelly their dream day. The team at Heavenly assisted them in finding Edgewood Tahoe Resort to host their wedding, which is located on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe. They pared the guest list down from 88 to the approved 50 people and went with the flow, hosting their ceremony lakeside rather than high atop Heavenly. 

Tim and Kelly took the appropriate precautions to keep their guests safe. They placed the chairs during the ceremony 6 ft apart and guests maintained distance where necessary. Kelly’s best friend was their ceremony officiant, and Kelly was the officiant at her wedding last year. Kelly originally ordered her gown through Novella in San Francisco, but due to the virus, her dress would not make it in time for the wedding. She made the decision to go to Gesinee’s Bridal in Concord, CA to purchase her dress because San Francisco was shut down at the time. 

On a breezy, sunny afternoon in July, Tim and Kelly said ‘I do’ on the shores of pristine Lake Tahoe. It was the perfect evening with the people Tim and Kelly love most in one of their favorite places. All of their wedding vendors worked seamlessly to make Tim and Kelly’s day incredibly special: the captain of their rehearsal dinner cruise on the Safari Rose; their florist, Tahoe Engaged Member Create with T; their photographers, Blue Lotus Photography; and the staff of both Edgewood and Heavenly.  Everyone was committed to making their Lake Tahoe wedding dreams a reality in an uncertain world.  

Lake Tahoe safe wedding at Edgewood

 

Vendor Credits:

Venue & Catering: Edgewood Tahoe  |  Photographer:  Blue Lotus Photography  |  Florist:  Create with T  |  Bride’s Dress: Gesinee’s Bridal  |  Music: Jeff Jones  |  Rehearsal Dinner: Safari Rose

 

 

Eloping to the Top of Tahoe

Liz and Matt were originally going to have a family-only, 20-person ceremony in South Lake Tahoe in July 2020. They had already done quite a bit of planning when the coronavirus brought an abrupt halt to their progress. They hemmed and hawed for a few months about what to do.  After giving themselves the space to grieve the loss of their original plans, they decided to move forward with their lives and elope!  Liz later confided, “I’d always secretly found the idea of eloping so romantic.”

Liz and Matt’s photographers, M and Rob with VILD Photography, helped them find a spectacular alpine setting to wed in true Tahoe style.  And of course, they also photographed (and even officiated) the couple’s mountaintop marriage.

 

After she came down to earth from her amazing nuptial experience, Liz was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.


What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific
theme or style?

Since we were eloping, the possibilities were really endless. Did we want to hike? Go to the spa? Chill on the beach? It was totally up to us. Matt and I knew that we wanted to hang out with our dog, have some drinks, listen to some music, and watch the sun go down.  (This is basically our weekend routine living in SF.) Our photographer took that information and scouted a completely awesome mountaintop location.  While it was tricky to get to, we have a Jeep Wrangler, so we could get there!

The entire vibe of our day was adventurous, casual, spontaneous, and rustic.  I threw on my hiking boots after our ceremony, we popped champagne, and watched the jaw-droppingly beautiful sunset.  We got to hang out with our dog.  We filled in the details as we went, and the evening flowed so organically.  We NEVER could have enjoyed that moment, in that location, together if family had been there.  It all worked out the way it was supposed to.  


Let’s talk wedding decor.  How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the
reception?

Well, given our nontraditional elopement on top of a mountain, there wasn’t much to consider in terms of decor.  And that’s exactly why we did it that way.  I was never interested in having a big wedding (our pre-COVID plan only originally involved immediate family).  When we changed our plan to truly elope, there was nothing to think about other than what we were wearing and where we were going.  It’s cliché, but it really allowed us to focus on each other and be present in the moment, not fussing over external details.  Our “decor” wound up being Lake Tahoe views, alpine forests, mountain vistas, and a pink and orange sunset.


What were the florals like in your wedding?  Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?

After stripping down our ceremony and deciding to elope, I knew one of the only things I still wanted to make me feel like a “bride” was a big, rustic wedding bouquet.  My vision for the bouquet was an “undone” look, with pops of color and quintessential elements of California (such as pampas grass). Andi from Twine & Dandy brought my vision to life beyond my wildest dreams.  She curated bright blue delphiniums and red ranunculus, with orange and pink touches and a few dusty elements to soften the palette.  She called it my “Tahoe Sunset” bouquet.  It was massive and asymmetrical, which lent itself to that wild, “undone” vibe I wanted.  Andi also wrapped a piece of my mother’s wedding veil around the stems—a personal touch that meant so much to me (especially without our families physically present).  In addition to the bouquet, we did a boutonniere for my husband and a flower hair piece for my updo. This bouquet ended up being such a large part of our pictures and really matched the adventurous, spontaneous vibe of our elopement.  I felt so special carrying those flowers around that mountain.


Did you personalize the day in any way? What were
some of your favorite parts of your wedding?

Our sunset elopement had a few special touches 🙂 Our dog, Louie, wore a blue bowtie from The Foggy Dog.  We brought champagne glasses from my brother and sister-in-law and a bottle of vintage Dom from my parents.  We also drank Labatt Blues (a tribute to Matt’s hometown of Buffalo) and Sam Adams beers (a tribute to my Boston stomping ground).  We got to give our dog lots of kisses and watch him run around like a maniac across the mountaintop. The best part of our wedding? Driving down off the mountain in the dark, with the top down on our Jeep, blasting Chris Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey.”


How did you both choose your wedding day look? 

Well, I never had a really specific vision for how I wanted to look on my wedding day.  Unlike a lot of other women, I had never daydreamed about a particular dress or “fashion moment.” Once Matt and I got engaged and started planning our original ceremony, I thought I might even wear blue instead of white.  When COVID happened, I realized that it was going to be really difficult to try on dresses with SF in lockdown and no boutiques open.  

But then I had a thought: if we are eloping and I don’t have family there to help me maneuver a traditional wedding dress (AND I want to be comfortable if we’re riding in our Jeep up a mountain), I’m not going to be relaxed in a big, fussy gown.  And I knew that the ONE thing I wanted to feel on our wedding day, given our unique elopement circumstances, was to feel PRESENT and relaxed. So I decided to order a few dresses online from Show Me Your Mumu, tried them on in my living room in front of my husband (we’re not super traditional!), and picked a short dress with flowy, lace sleeves.  I bought some simple sandals from Soludo’s, some jewelry from Mejuri and Rellery, and had my little cousin paint my jean jacket with a classic Tahoe illustration.  (Her name is Daisy Gulla and she’s an amazing artist. ) The Blundstones and high socks were a completely spontaneous, last-minute decision on the day of our wedding, but, again, I knew I wanted to be comfortable.  I’m so glad I threw them in my bag because those boots are my signature look and the pictures are that much more “us.”

My husband bought a custom suit from Indochino (and did two road trips to Sacramento just to find a showroom that could do measurements during COVID). He opted for a beautiful, deep linen blue that complements his blue eyes.


What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?

I think the most special moment of the elopement was getting to the top and seeing the views—and then having that space all to ourselves.  We were so immersed in the natural beauty of the location that it took our breath away.  It was a bit overcast at the start of our ceremony, but as Matt started reading his vows, the sun emerged from behind the clouds and beamed directly down onto us.  As we drank champagne and the sun started to go down, we were basically just continually gasping at how beautiful the sky looked. Marrying Matt was the best day of my life, but to do it in such a unique way—in SUCH a beautiful location—was by far the coolest part.


Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other
couples planning their day?

As a “COVID couple,” Matt and I chose to look at the pandemic—and ultimate decision to elope rather than postpone our original ceremony—as a silver lining.  While it was bittersweet not to have family there, eloping the way we did was so romantic.  Everything stripped away.  Just us and Louie (and the amazing Rob and M, who were our photographers, wedding planners, location scouts, and hiking buddies all wrapped into one).  Neither one of us had ever felt so present as we did on our wedding night.  It was the most meaningful way to enter our marriage, standing on a mountaintop alone. All the bells and whistles of a more traditional ceremony are great, and those things may mean a lot to some folks, but at the end of the day, it’s really just about you and your partner. If I could tell engaged couples anything, it would be not to sweat the small stuff.  Constantly reminding ourselves about what the day was REALLY all about—marrying each other—kept us positive and sane. When you’re looking into each other’s eyes, reading vows, you realize that none of the small stuff matters at all.

 

Vendor Credits:

Photographer:  VILD Photography  |  Florist:  Twine Floral Co.  |  Hair Stylist:  Rah Hair Studio  |  Bride’s Dress:  Show Me Your Mumu  |  Groom’s Attire:  Indochino  |  Ring Designer:  Ben Shemano Jewelry

Celebrating Safely – Love Conquers COVID

An Intimate Yet Socially Distanced Wedding

On September 5, 2020, during some of the most uncertain times, Marisa and Dacklin promised each other forever, surrounded by their socially distanced loved ones in one of the most unique places on Earth, The HideOut in Kirkwood, California.  Their warmhearted (and COVID-free!) wedding celebration was delightfully captured by Sarah Rittenour Photography.

 

How Their Relationship Began

Marisa is a reptile biologist who travels the world studying snakes. Dacklin is a visual effects artist who works on Hollywood productions. Being that movies are a big part of their lives, it’s only fitting that Marisa and Dacklin’s love story unfolded much like some of our favorite ‘Rom-Coms’.

In 2015, Dacklin had just moved up to San Francisco from Los Angeles. Missing his family and friends, he celebrated his 30th birthday by taking a trip to Southern California for a visit. In the perfect “meet cute” manner, he crossed paths with Marisa at the airport, where she teased him for leaving his Ray Bans sitting out as he went to throw his trash away.

At first Marisa didn’t think she and Dacklin were the perfect fit, so she actually set him up with a friend of hers, but that didn’t work out. After a close relationship as friends, they grew even closer, adventuring all over the world, and eventually moving in together in San Francisco. They each adopted their own cat, and Marisa warned that once the cats became friends, they couldn’t be separated. Luckily for the cats, and Marisa and Dacklin, it was never an issue. Dacklin eventually popped the question after a snorkeling trip in Maui, and all that was left was to make it forever.


How the Wedding Came Together

Though Dacklin had proposed in November 2019, he was on set of a major production until March 2020, right when the world shut down due to COVID-19. Marisa got a little “quarantine crazy”, as she calls it, and decided to plan their nuptials in the middle of a global pandemic. Being a biologist, Marisa took the threat of COVID-19 very seriously, following the situation closely through the media and in the science world. An indoor venue was out of the question, but she knew that if they had the right outdoor venue, and could get everyone to participate in proper social distancing, they could very well pull off the wedding of their dreams!

Marisa discovered The HideOut in 2018 during a fishing trip with her father, and she knew it was the perfect outdoor space to say “I do”. So the couple sent out a Google Form with questions to family and friends, to gauge interest as well as learn more about how comfortable their potential guests would be with certain elements of the wedding. They then made a YouTube video “pitching” their nuptial ideas, further explaining precautions they would be taking to ensure the safety of all parties involved. To their surprise, everyone was enthusiastically “in.” Marisa got right to work and planned the entire wedding in 5 weeks completely on her own!


The Celebration

Every aspect of Marisa and Dacklin’s wedding had to be planned around safety. If social distance and mask-wearing were maintained, the risk of aerosol and respiratory droplet transmission was low. Most of the guests were camping on site and all events were outdoors. Dancing was replaced by movie nights. Shared surfaces were minimized by creating boxes for each quarantine group to stage plates and utensils while not in use. Each guest was provided a metal tumbler labeled with their name to help prevent mistaking each other’s drinks. Maracas were provided during the ceremony to replace cheers for the happy couple. Even the guest book was in the form of a large puzzle (everyone was given a piece to sign).

The HideOut was the perfect place to accommodate everything Marisa and Dacklin needed to have a celebration in the Lake Tahoe wilderness while also keeping everyone they love safe. The venue has 4 ovens, 2 grills, 3 kitchens, 3 large refrigerators, and chest freezers for ice. The HideOut also installed new COVID measures of their own, with hand washing and sanitizing stations scattered throughout the property.

In selecting service providers, both Marisa and Dacklin wanted to support small, local, women-owned businesses in the area. Marissa D Poulin Designs provided handmade masks for guests with a custom sunflower fabric, as sunflowers and lavender were chosen to be the floral theme.

Inspirations by Gina brought Marisa’s vision for the perfect bouquet to life with a gorgeous arrangement that included multiple types and sizes of her trademark sunflower with stasis to add purple accents. Gina wanted the florals to flow beautifully with the landscape of The HideOut, so she added in unique textures like globe thistle to give the arrangements a rustic but delicate feel. Marisa also purchased more local flowers and vegetables from Mama Earth Farm. Marisa’s mother then assembled additional arrangements with locally grown flowers in rustic milk jugs to line the aisle.

Marisa originally had trouble figuring out what to do for food options that were safe for their guests, and many vendors were either busy that weekend or unable to get to the HideOut. For dinner Friday night, Marisa and Dacklin went into Pioneer and purchased pizzas from Ray’s Take and Bake, and each table was able to enjoy their own pie. Marisa purchased chicken from Swingle Meat Co. in Jackson, CA, which Dacklin’s brother in law barbecued for the wedding dinner, accompanied by local vegetables from Mama Earth Farm. As a no-contact breakfast option, Marisa made eight different types of individually packaged oatmeal that guests could simply add water and eat.

BevMo in South Lake Tahoe was able to deliver all of the beverages to The HideOut. For desserts, Sugarcoated Cupcakes prepared five different flavors of individually packaged cupcakes, handmade with love. Dacklin was especially partial to the Chicken & Waffle flavor.

Marisa ensured that guests were kept safe by creating to-scale maps for seating with proper space between parties, chairs, and tables. Each quarantine group was at its own table, and they rented two-top cocktail tables for the smaller parties to maintain an intimate vibe. Marisa and Dacklin sent out a written letter to each of their guests in attendance requesting everyone to acknowledge each other’s space and comfort level to protect both physical and mental health. They were delighted that all of their in-person guests were extremely accommodating and respectful.

An online option for the ceremony was essential, as Dacklin’s parents were unable to attend in person. Over 60 of their guests were able to tune in virtually through Wedfuly. Even their Officiant, Dacklin’s uncle, was remotely in attendance to marry them. Dacklin worked diligently to make sure the ceremony would translate well on the virtual platform using The HideOut’s satellite internet. Fortunately everything went smoothly!

Though these times are uncertain, love has the power to prevail above all else. Marisa and Dacklin’s wedding was not only an incredibly thoughtful representation of their love for each other, but the high level of respect that they have for those they love the very most. With each detail carefully thought out and executed, this perfect wedding celebration was an amazing experience amidst a global pandemic. Everyone remained safe and happy and left the weekend full to the brim with love and cherished memories. Congratulations to Marisa and Dacklin!


Vendor Credits

Venue: The HideOut  |  Photographer: Sarah Rittenour Photography  |  Videographer: Vow + Covenant  |  Zoom Coordinator: Wedfuly  |  Flowers (wedding party, arch, centerpieces): Inspirations by Gina  |  Decor for Ceremony Aisle: Mama Earth Farm with arrangement by Cynthia Shambaugh  |  Lavender: Bluestone Meadow Farm  |  Masks: Marissa D Poulin Designs   |  Cake: Sugarcoated Cupcakes  |  Beverages: BevMo (South Lake Tahoe)  |  Bride’s Dress: Emerald City Gowns  |  Tailoring: Lammay  |    |  Hair and Makeup: Rah Hair Studio  |  Rentals: Premier Event Rentals  |  Rehearsal Dinner Food: Ray’s Take n’ Bake Pizza  |  Wedding Dinner Food: Swingle Meat Co., Mama Earth Farm

A Celebration for All Seasons

It’s been said before that rain on a wedding day is good luck. If that’s the case, then Tara and Aaron’s wintry wonderland celebration – which included rain, slush, and snow – must have meant infinite luck and prosperity. Their special day, along with its wide range of seasons on display, was fabulously photographed by KSL Wedding.

Tara and Aaron’s love began years ago at a friend’s 30th birthday party. They met and had a short conversation but Aaron was a little shy. He texted her a few days later asking if she’d like to go on an adventure.  According to Tara, they’ve been on one ever since.

Aaron’s initial suggestion was for Tara to go with him to a friend’s wedding, to which Tara replied, “how about dinner first?”  So their first date was dinner, the second date was the wedding, and both went so well that Aaron asked her out for a third date. He was traveling to Hawaii for work, and knowing that Tara loves to travel, he asked her if she’d like to join him on his trip. And so their adventure began.

At the time, Tara and Aaron were living outside of Seattle, and when Aaron decided to pop the question, he invited their friends and family over for a barbecue. When it was looking like Tara’s brother wouldn’t be able to make it, Aaron became visibly upset. But at the last minute, her brother arrived just in time for Aaron to drop to one knee in front of everyone they loved and say to Tara, “I never want to stop adventuring with you”.

Following their whimsical engagement, Aaron’s job prompted a move to the Reno/Tahoe area. Tara and Aaron quickly began to build a new and exciting life around all the things they enjoyed together, especially adventure. The entrancing Sierra Nevadas and Lake Tahoe stole their hearts instantly, and it only seemed fitting to choose a wedding venue that embodied all the magic of the area. The Lodge at Tahoe Donner in Truckee turned out to be the perfect place for their celebration.

It was always Aaron’s dream to have a snowy winter wedding, but Tara wasn’t a fan of the cold, so they chose a date in September. The week of their nuptials was planned in such a way that friends and family could come early and enjoy the pre-wedding festivities, including golf and a boat cruise across Lake Tahoe. The weather during the week was typical late Summer / early Fall weather with sunny days and crisp evenings – until Saturday, when the two were given the gift of snow on their big day. Aaron got his winter wedding wish after all!

Coming from the Pacific Northwest, Tara is no stranger to unpredictable weather, so she came prepared by ordering blankets and pashminas, and the couple made sure to warn their guests that inclement weather was always a possibility. Their wedding photographers, Kevin and Suzanne of KSL Wedding, also suggested ordering clear umbrellas as a “just in case” item that ended up adding a unique touch to their photos.

The day started off warm and sunny but quickly became cold, rainy, and snowy.  To escape the elements, the ceremony was moved from outside into a heated tent out of the storm provided by the venue. Tucked away and cozy in the middle of a winter wonderland, Tara and Aaron promised each other their biggest adventure yet, forever.

Unique details made their big day truly one of a kind. Tara and Aaron included a table dedicated to lost loved ones to celebrate with them in spirit. Aaron custom made all of their lawn games, which were moved into the tent to be enjoyed out of the blustery storm. Instead of flower girls, Tara had “Petal Pushers”, women in her life that she is incredibly close to, like her aunts, and mother figures.

Accents of the beauty of the alpine wilderness were captured with lush white blooms and rustic greenery beautifully assembled by Love and Lupines. Gold plated decor and woodsy elements encompassed the warm, cozy, mountain elements that Tara and Aaron aimed to share with their loved ones. Tara wore a flowy, elegant ball gown by Hayley Paige from Swoon Bridal that truly tied together all the beautiful details of the day.

After the ceremony, cocktail hour took place under the shelter of the tent surrounded by snow-capped pine trees and snow falling around them. Guests enjoyed the “lawn” games, cuddled up in their blankets, and enjoyed the ambience of this stunning wilderness retreat in the woods.

When it came to treats, Tara doesn’t eat sugar, so she chose something that was special to her – a full popcorn bar with a variety of flavor toppings and salts. Tara even had custom popcorn holders made for her bridesmaids. For those guests who preferred more traditional desserts, Lake Tahoe Cakes created a delectable Red Velvet cake along with chocolate and vanilla cupcakes. The wedding cake even included figurines of their 3 dogs who could not physically be there that day.

The party continued into the night with glow sticks and dancing. Though the weather was a September surprise, each detail of their unexpected change in plans tied the day together beautifully, with Tara and Aaron adjusting their sails to the will of Mother Nature and enjoying their wedding to the fullest. Surrounded by love and snowy pines, Tara and Aaron’s Lake Tahoe adventure was a celebration for all seasons.

 

Vendor Credits

Venue & Catering: The Lodge at Tahoe Donner  |  Bride’s Gown: Swoon Bridal  |  Cake & Desserts:  Lake Tahoe Cakes  |  Floral Designer: Love and Lupines  |  Photographer: KSL Wedding  |  Wedding Planner:  Marcella Camille Events 

A Heavenly Experience

Jason and Angela met at a friend’s 21st birthday party when they were 22 years old in Orlando, Florida. They quickly discovered that they both lived in the same town two hours away in Sarasota, and only 5 minutes away from one another. The two dated for 7 years before they tied the knot at age 29 in Lake Tahoe. Jason mentions that there wasn’t quite an “Ah-ha, she’s the one” moment, but instead many years of growing together until they couldn’t imagine not being with each other. They loved the excitement that every new experience gave them and they simply wanted to carry it on for the rest of their lives.

As two adventurers who love everything about the outdoors, Jason devised a spectacular plan for a dream engagement. After a little bit of research, he decided that a trek to the Mt. Everest Base Camp would personify everything that they loved most. At just over 17,000 feet, the trek to Base Camp was one of the most intense and challenging feats they’d ever accomplished together, but it was one they’ll never forget.  Upon reaching the top, Jason dropped to one knee and asked Angela for forever. It was truly the perfect moment!

engaged at Everest Base Camp

 

Since they had a mountain proposal, it only made sense that they get married at the top of one! There was simply no better place than the rustic, panoramic views of Heavenly Mountain in Lake Tahoe. Jason and Angela chose to make their wedding a three-day affair, which made for a one-of-a-kind, memorable experience for everyone involved.  The joy of their nuptial celebration was captured in the lovely photos below from VILD Photography.

 

In preparation for the ceremony, Jason and Angela met in a spot overlooking the lake for their first look. The emotions flew as they saw each other and set the tone for the rest of the beautiful day. The wedding party was shuttled up Heavenly Mountain on the tram where Jason and Angela would say I do with an expansive view of all the splendor Lake Tahoe has to offer.

Heavenly Tram couple first look Lake Tahoe wedding

 

Jason and the groomsmen donned vibrant blue suits with red bow ties while the bridesmaids wore dark red and gold gowns of their choosing, all coming together to paint a flashy, unique vintage feel. Angela wore an orange flower crown to compliment her beautiful, classic lace gown and carried a gorgeous bright colored bouquet designed by South Lake Tahoe Enchanted Florist.

wedding party overlooking Lake Tahoe Heavenly wedding

 

Unique accents were the name of the game with their wedding details. Jason and Angela’s pet corgi, Basil, was the perfect addition to their special day. As the third member of their family, there simply was no wedding without him. So Jason walked down the aisle with Basil in tow. During Angela’s vows, Basil popped his head between Jason’s legs and turned an already emotional moment into an even more special memory.

Dog at Heavenly Lake Tahoe wedding

 

When Jason first began his career, he moved to California from Florida while Angela stayed behind to finish her senior year of college. The two sent handwritten letters to each other sealed with wax, and they continue to read them back to each other on their dating anniversary. It only seemed fitting for a sweet handwritten note to make it into their gifts to each other.

couple sending notes to each other before wedding in Lake Tahoe

 

Jason’s groomsmen’s gifts were incredibly unique. He wanted to give them something that would “blow their minds”, something they’d never expect. So he gifted them each their own figurine that represented a memory that the two had shared together.

groomsmen holding gifts for wedding Lake Tahoe

 

The reception took place at the Lakeview Lodge at Heavenly with the catering and drinks provided by Heavenly. Their three-tier cake from Flour Girl Wedding Cakes was topped with blueberries, the couple’s favorite, and a rustic cake topper with their initials, A & J. 

cake for wedding in Lake Tahoe

 

The guests enjoyed games, libations, and dancing courtesy of Cornerstone Entertainment.  The night ended with the song, Angela, by The Lumineers, where everyone took to the dance floor to slow dance with each other. It was a beautiful moment for Angela and Jason to share with their guests.

couple slow dancing at wedding in Lake Tahoe

 

After a truly memorable weekend with all of the people they love most in the world, Jason and Angela remain deeply in love after almost a year of wedded bliss. Quarantine and COVID-19 have drawn them much closer together and they are truly grateful to have one another and their health during these times. Here’s to many more adventures for these beautiful lovers!

 

Vendor Credits:

Venue and Catering: Heavenly  |  Photographer: VILD Photography  |  Florist: South Lake Tahoe Enchanted Florist  |  DJ: Cornerstone Entertainment  |  Cake: Flour Girl Wedding Cakes