Posts Categorized: Real Weddings
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
An Engaging Trip through the Tahoe Trees
Audrey and Brian’s love story began when they were in college after moving into houses on the same street. They met at one of Audrey’s house parties and remained friends. After a few years of friendship, the stars finally aligned, and the sparks flew. In the early days of their relationship, nights were spent discussing their future and being that their visions always aligned. There was no question that this was a ‘forever’ type of love. Brian says he knew Audrey was the ‘one’ when he learned they both had calico cats – that was all he needed to know.
Their Engagement Session was something straight out of a novel! A glowing sunset was dipping below the Tahoe tree line while the lovely couple frolicked in the tall yellow grass. Tahoe Engaged Member Blanca & Brandon Photography had the most delightful time with Audrey and Brian as they celebrated their engagement, documenting their cherished memories for all time!
Brian’s plan was always to propose once he knew for certain he could provide for the love of his life and their future. So, after receiving the offer for his dream job, he headed straight to his family’s jeweler, Forever Roxx in Incline Village. He wanted to find a ring that was the “perfect embodiment of Audrey.” A three stone emerald cut diamond ring with a hand-engraved platinum band was exactly what he was looking for.
On a road trip to Southern California, they reached their final stop in Manhattan Beach. Brian’s original plan was to propose after a lovely sunset dinner by the water. But when he realized that the sun set at the exact time of their dinner reservation, he pivoted last minute and decided on a walk on the beach. Brian dropped to one knee in front of a gorgeous California sunset, the perfect amuse-bouche to a delightful celebratory dinner with some nice champagne.
Though their wedding plans are put on hold due to COVID-19, Audrey and Brian plan to eventually have an intimate gathering surrounded by the ones they love most. The decision to postpone their date was not an easy one, but ultimately it boiled down to celebrating with their friends and families in a carefree environment, filled to the brim with love.
Brian and Audrey know that their special day remains a day to look forward to, whenever time permits. In the meantime, their love will never be canceled.
Strong Bindings at Squaw Valley
Michelle and Will’s love story began in the towering peaks of Squaw Valley, California, a place firmly entrenched in both of their lives. Michelle’s family has deep roots in Squaw Valley, growing up in the area and skiing these runs their whole lives. Her parents were also married in this very same place in 1986. To Michelle, it only seemed fitting to follow in their footsteps. There was never any question for Michelle and Will, Squaw Valley was the only place to say “I do”.
Michelle and Will met while coaching the Alpine Ski Team at Squaw, and according to Michelle, it wasn’t exactly love at first sight. But after coaching summer camp together one year, they quickly grew inseparable. Sharing a love for all things outdoors, they spent every day of that magical summer together adventuring through all the beauty that Lake Tahoe has to offer.
During a relaxing vacation in Colorado, the two ventured up to watch the sunset behind Mt. Sopris. After making Michelle reluctantly exit the car in the cold, Will dropped to his knee and asked Michelle to be his wife as the sun quietly set behind the mountains.
On a flawlessly sunny September afternoon with panoramic views of the Sierra Nevadas, Michelle and Will promised each other forever in their favorite place in the world.
Michelle’s dress, by Spanish designer Pronovias from Swoon Bridal in Reno, encompassed a modern boho style with a classic elegance and lace buttons all the way down the train. Michelle wore her mother’s wedding earrings and kept a sixpence in her shoe given to her by her godmother, who was unable to attend. Having these beautiful keepsakes to walk with her down the aisle made the day so much more meaningful.
Before the ceremony, Michelle and Will shared their first look, which quickly took an interesting turn. While it was a beautiful moment to see one another “dressed up” for each other and not in ski clothes for once, Michelle was stung by a bee on the way to meet Will. Never having been stung in her life, she joked that it was either good luck or a bad omen! And judging by the beauty of their special love, we’re willing to bet it’s the former.
Every last detail of their day was personal, intimate, and filled with joy. Many of Michelle and Will’s friends and family lent a helping hand to bring all the wonderful aspects of their wedding to life. Michelle’s friends helped her build all the florals the morning of the wedding, and she even constructed her own beautiful bouquet of white roses and greenery all by herself! Another friend handmade their boho-inspired signage, surprising Michelle by naming each table after ski runs at Squaw Valley.
The creativity and thought behind every last detail enveloped their day in love. The lovebirds celebrated their mutual love of tacos with a catered Taco Bar by PlumpJack Squaw Valley. Their cake featured an original Nao by Lladro vintage cake topper that sat atop Michelle’s parents’ cake 33 years before.
During their vows, Will mentioned that he hopes Michelle will wait for him at the bottom of the mountain on a powder day. Though Michelle has yet to beat him down the mountain, she is definitely up to that challenge! Under the magical spell of their favorite mountain, Will and Michelle’s day was an incredibly thoughtful and heartfelt tribute to their undying love for one another.
Ceremony & Reception Site and Catering: PlumpJack Squaw Valley | Photography: Annie X Photographie | Bride’s Gown: Pronovias from Swoon Bridal | Wedding Planner: Justeen Ferguson | Hair & Makeup: Jamie Latchaw, bride’s sister-in-law | Officiant: Jeff Colt, groom’s brother | Music: Mr. D DJ Services | Cake: Nancy Delumyea, bride’s mother
Love Wins Out at The Hideout
Tawny and Andrew first met during their senior year of high school near Houston, Texas. Andrew caught Tawny’s eye, and she convinced a mutual friend to set them up as dates for the prom. Following high school, they were separated for eight years by college and career building. Nevertheless, a long-distance love sprouted and continued to grow.
After orchestrating a surprise proposal in their hometown, Andrew finally joined Tawny in Southern California, where she had established a thriving career as a professional dancer. In seeking a secluded site for their wedding celebration, the couple chose The Hideout at Kirkwood. Not only is The Hideout located on forty acres of pristine mountain terrain, but it allows couples to create weddings that are personal and unique, choosing which parts of the venue they want to use and when.
Complete with fun wooden signs hung on trees to set the mood, and a gorgeously delicate lace dress for the bride, Tawny and Andrew’s special day was delightfully chronicled by Marie-Louise Palmqvist and Rob Cole of VILD Photography. “By choosing neutral and natural colors,” Palmqvist commented, “the couple allowed the natural beauty to really shine through all of the pictures we captured.”
What was the photographer’s most memorable moment? Palmqvist recalls, “While it’s hard to choose a ‘favorite shot,’ getting to capture the couple beneath their ‘send off’ parachute really was something we’ll never forget.”
Venue: The Hideout at Kirkwood | Photographer: VILD Photography | Bride’s Dress: Ventura’s Bridal Fashions | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids Dresses: Vera Wang for David’s Bridal | Groom’s Party Attire: Jos. A. Bank | Hair and Makeup: Bridal Beauty On-the-Go | Flowers: Enchanted Florist | Rentals: Forever Vintage Rentals | Invitations: Vista Print | Caterer: Lake Tahoe Catering Company | Cake: Lake Tahoe Cakes | Music: Music in Tahoe
Snowy Nuptials on the West Shore
For a Lake Tahoe winter wedding, the weather is always unpredictable. It can be bright and sunny, with the Lake looking dazzlingly azure. Or on the other hand, Mother Nature might decide to drop some bridal white snowflakes on the celebration. But no matter what the weather may be on a Tahoe winter day, it’s always a memorable occasion for a wedding!
When Will and Joyce selected the West Shore Café as the site for their celebration, they were hoping for a clear wedding day. They envisioned snow-covered mountains and a brilliant blue Lake on full display for their guests to behold. But instead, Old Man Winter decided to add himself to their guest list.
So when snow began to fall on the morning of their wedding, Will and Joyce were faced with a choice. They could move the ceremony inside the West Shore Café where guests would be sheltered from the elements. Or they could let their guests experience the authentic beauty of Lake Tahoe in the winter, and keep the ceremony outside as they had planned.
Since some family members had traveled all the way from China to witness their marriage, Will and Joyce quickly reached a decision. Celebrating in the snow was the only way to go!
The couple’s wintry wedding was creatively captured by Andrew & Melanie Photography. Tahoe Engaged is delighted to share these photos of Will and Joyce’s unforgettable day.
In the end, Will and Joyce were glad that they braved the storm, and the guests reveled in experiencing a Lake Tahoe winter wedding. Of course, they were also happy to come indoors for a heartwarming dinner and festive dancing afterwards. But the bride’s dad asked the photographers to come back outside for one more memorable moment. Even with all the snow piled up on his car, he was grinning ear to ear, giving a big “thumbs up” for the magical day that he had enjoyed.
Ceremony and Reception Site: West Shore Café | Photography: Andrew & Melanie Photography | Wedding Planner: Wild & Lovely Events | Hair & Makeup: Salon Be | Music: Modern Wedding DJ’s | Catering: West Shore Café | Desserts: Cafe Madeline