Posts Categorized: Real Weddings
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
Rustic and Relaxed at Granlibakken Tahoe
A nature-loving couple living in the big City, Whitney and Richard really wanted an outdoor venue for their wedding. Whitney liked boho elements, so the couple was seeking something on the rustic side. After seeing some sites in San Francisco, they realized that Lake Tahoe was a much better fit for their style. Plus, Tahoe already had a special place in their hearts – Whitney and Richard got engaged there too!
Meeting and Engaging
Whitney and Richard met when they were students at the University of Oregon. They dated there for a while, then went their separate ways, but remained friends. Eight years later, they reconnected. The couple dated long distance until Whitney was able to join Richard in San Francisco.
They got engaged at the top of Squaw Valley’s KT-22 chairlift during a late-season ski trip. On a previous visit, Richard had scoped out a gorgeous tree with a backdrop of Lake Tahoe. But to reach the spot he had selected, they had to go past an “Experts Only” sign, which scared Whitney.
Fortunately for Richard, he was able to convince Whitney to go up to his chosen proposal place, and she excitedly said “Yes!” when he popped the question. And fortunately for Whitney, they skied down an easier way afterwards. [Publisher’s Note: There is no such thing as an “easy” way down from KT-22, so they both must be great skiers!]
Wedding Planning Particulars
Regarding their search for the right site, Whitney explains how she and Richard reached their decision. “Granlibakken had the onsite accommodations we were hoping for, a low-key vibe and the property possesses a lot of natural beauty,” she notes. Richard had even stayed at the property as a kid when his family frequently visited Tahoe.
While Whitney likes being creative, she didn’t want to DIY anything for her wedding. “It was really important to me to just be able to enjoy the day and not have to be fussing about other things,” she says.
The groom personalized the day in one special area: his hobby, calligraphy. Richard wrote names on the escort cards for each guest. “Just kind of a nice touch that I wanted to add,” he says.
The Big Day
Even though their wedding was in early June, the couple was concerned about the weather. “There had been a ton of snow in Tahoe this year,” says Whitney, who visited the venue a month before the wedding and found patches of show all around. Nevertheless, Whitney and Richard decided to have the wedding outside. There was a little rain in the morning, but then it cleared. “It really was perfect,” she says. “Sunny and warm.”
One hundred guests attended the wedding, including the bride’s family from her home state of Alaska, as well as guests from Ireland, Texas and other parts of California. Richard’s long-time friend, Mac, officiated the ceremony.
Before their I Do’s, Whitney and Richard had a First Look, then spent some additional time together. Whitney recalls, “We took some time to go to a pier to take some photos with our photographers. And despite the fact that it threw off our timeline a tiny bit, it was totally worth it to have that quiet alone time before the ceremony.”
Many wedding details stood out for the couple. For example, their florist, Love and Lupines, created a stunning arch, bouquets and centerpieces. Rental items from Celebrations! Party Rentals, along with a “Tahoe Tree” napkin fold fashioned by Granlibakken, added to the ambience. And cupcakes from Sugar Pine Cakery were so yummy (guests kept devouring them!) that the newlyweds almost didn’t get any.
After an outdoor ceremony and dinner, it started to rain, so the party moved inside the Big Pine Lodge, where the wedding party stayed for the weekend. The indoor setting provided the perfect opportunity for toasting the newlyweds.
Back outside, two-thirds of the dance floor was covered by the lodge’s roof to keep people dry, but water lovers also had the option to dance under the drops. “There was never a dull moment on the dance floor and we never had to lure people out to the party,” says Whitney. Guests especially enjoyed dancing to Led Zeppelin’s “Fool in the Rain.”
As the night wound down, Whitney and Richard relaxed by the fire pit for some late night portraits with their photographer, Marie-Louise Palmqvist, owner of VILD Photography. Palmqvist recalls the wedding fondly. “Perfectly laid back, the entire day couldn’t have gone more smoothly, which meant we simply got to enjoy taking photos,” she says.
Looking back on the day, Whitney and Richard were grateful for all of their service providers who helped make it a memorable experience for everyone. “Honestly, the day from start to finish was completely magical,” says Whitney.
Hire a planner. The couple, who lived in San Francisco while they planned their Tahoe Wedding, recommends hiring a local planner to assist with wedding details. “Our planner, Stephanie Morris of Stephanie Marie & Co. was hugely instrumental in the way everything unfolded, including the months leading up to the wedding,” says Whitney, who praised the planner’s help finding and hiring vendors. “We couldn’t have pulled it off so successfully without her.”
Relax and roll with it. Palmqvist loved the couple’s dance party at the end of the celebration. She also praised Whitney and Richard for how they handled the changing weather. “It’s not worth freaking out if the weather changes,” she says. “Keeping a good attitude and enjoying the day for what the day is, that’s the best thing you can do.”
Trust your service providers to make it great. As she began to plan her wedding, Whitney recalls, “I definitely spent a lot of time on Pinterest and Instagram, and while helpful, I think it may have been more overwhelming than anything. There is so much beautiful inspiration out there, but it sort of left me feeling lost.” But then the couple placed their trust in the team of experienced service providers they hired (including 3 members of Tahoe Engaged). In the end, Whitney concluded, “I know we’re biased, but for us, everything was just perfect.”
Photographer: VILD Photography | Venue and Catering: Granlibakken Tahoe | Bride’s Dress: Eddy K | Bridal Salon: Bataeu Bridal Boutique | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: BHLDN | Groom & Groomsmen’s Attire: Indochino | Wedding Planner: Stephanie Marie & Co. | Hair and Makeup: Solstice Weddings and Special Events | Florist: Love & Lupines Floral Design | Rental Items: Celebrations! Party Rentals | Cake Designer: Sugar Pine Cakery | Music: DJ Tony