Posts Categorized: TWIG Member Spotlight
A Lofty Location for a Wonderful Wedding
Walk down the aisle in one of the most breathtaking venues in the Lake Tahoe region. Nestled among towering mountains, Northstar California boasts all the splendor that this area has to offer. While Northstar is most renowned as a premier ski resort, it is also the perfect location for your Lake Tahoe wedding, and an excellent place to enjoy nature with the ones you love most.
All weddings at Northstar are held at the breathtaking Zephyr Lodge which sits atop the mountain at 8000 feet elevation. The Lodge is accessible only by gondola and chairlift, affording guests the unique experience to see the Sierra Nevadas from the air. Zephyr Lodge operates as a fully functional restaurant during the winter ski season, but lends its charming ambience and panoramic views to weddings from June to September during the gorgeous alpine summers.
Zephyr Lodge is a rustic modern masterpiece on the mountain. A LEED certified building made with reclaimed materials, the Lodge complements the majesty of the surrounding alpine landscape beautifully. The restaurant is no stranger to a big crowd and can host up to 300 guests at a time, with cocktail hour held outside on the patio and the reception indoors. Due to its vast open floor plan, couples have the opportunity to customize their own layout within the space.
One of the wonderful advantages of hosting a wedding at Northstar is their all-inclusive wedding weekend package. This offering includes such details as linens, flatware, tables, staff, chairs, and much more within the price of the package. Northstar seeks to make the wedding planning process simple by including an Event Manager with each package who specializes in helping couples plan their wedding menus, overseeing set up, and managing on-site staff. Furthermore, couples have the opportunity to add on an Event Package, which includes details such as the dance floor, table numbers, outdoor lighting, and the ceremony arch.
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. The property is also very close to North Lake Tahoe for those looking to enjoy aquatic activities. Guests can take advantage of free on-site transportation within the grounds, and can opt to charter buses to off-site events throughout the weekend. Northstar also has a variety of restaurants where couples can choose to host a rehearsal dinner or farewell brunch.
Northstar strives to provide an incredible wedding experience from start to finish. With endless options, helpful staff, and the backdrop of the Sierras, it’s impossible not to fall deeply in love with everything this magical place has to offer. If you’re looking for the perfect place to say “I do” in Lake Tahoe, look no further than Northstar California.
Celebrating in Tahoe Blue Sky Style
When you’re in love, my how they fly by,
Blue days, all of them gone,
Nothing but blue skies from now on.
– Irving Berlin
Blue Sky Events is a full-service event production company owned by husband and wife duo, Kerry and Jason Hawk. They consider themselves not just an events company, but experts in all things Lake Tahoe. Blue Sky specializes in planning, managing, and producing corporate incentive groups, community events, fundraisers, festivals, concerts… and of course, destination weddings.
1. Theilen Photography
2. Scott Sikora Photography
3. Brian Walker
4. Mike Larson
5. Theilen Photography
6. Theilen Photography
7. Mike Larson
8. Corey Fox Photography
Kerry’s story began on the East Coast, as she is originally from Pennsylvania. While attending the University of Pittsburgh, she visited Lake Tahoe with some friends for a summer getaway, and met her now-husband, Jason, who is originally from Alabama. Kerry and Jason connected over a love of everything outdoors that Lake Tahoe has to offer, traveling, and now creating event magic together. They’ve been together for 25 years!
During college, Kerry began working as an intern for Zephyr Cove Resort as a summer job in between semesters and made the move to Lake Tahoe permanently after she received her Bachelor’s degree. At the time, Zephyr Cove Resort was looking to expand its events department and commissioned Kerry to design their shoreline events space, one that still stands to this day. It was through this internship that Kerry found a genuine passion for all things event planning. She then gave her notice to pursue her dream of working for herself, and so, Blue Sky Events was born.
Throughout Kerry’s years in the business, Blue Sky Events has evolved into an event planning powerhouse that seeks to bring people together for a once in a lifetime experience they won’t forget. They have currently expanded their services to planning events for Google on the West Coast including locations like Phoenix, Denver, Portland, and Seattle.
Blue Sky is about the people, the memories, and the human connection. With a company culture that revolves around professionalism, fun, and attention to detail, Kerry and her team take pride in their ability to create a personalized experience for each unique client’s needs. The Blue Sky Events team is composed of incredible full time lead planners and seasonal assistants that come back year after year. They do not simply hire new employees for the sake of hiring; they have carefully curated a team of professionals that fits into their ethos and culture.
Photo Credit: Mabble Media
This season has been an unprecedented one for everyone in the wedding and special events industry, but Kerry maintains hope for the future. Blue Sky Events endured the hard times of the 2008 recession, and she believes that the lessons they learned at that time will get them through this pandemic as well. Their core focus this season is to support their couples in the best ways they can. Many couples have postponed until next year, and Blue Sky has accommodated this shift without any fees and penalties. They have even made adjustments to current weddings, adjusting to smaller group sizes and accommodating elopements and micro weddings. Working together with the incredible vendors in the Lake Tahoe area, Kerry appreciates how the community has come together to support each other this season.
Through the pandemic times, Kerry sees a silver lining in having to slow down. She has found how deeply she truly loves what she does because she misses it incredibly. For Kerry, it’s been a very eye-opening learning experience, as it can be so easy to take everyday life for granted and get wrapped up in the ‘grind’. Kerry has been utilizing this time to reflect, grow, and better aid her clients moving forward into what she believes will be a stellar season for everyone in 2021. After all, above every dark cloud is Blue Sky.
Keeping the Faith
Reverend Mark Frady is a minister based out of Carson City, who officiates both non-denominational and religious weddings all over Northern Nevada and California. Mark has been involved with weddings in the Reno/Tahoe area for over 25 years. He believes wholeheartedly in the institution of marriage and loves to bring an air of humor, spirituality, and unconditional love to his ceremonies.
Photo Credits: THE GOODNESS, HARMONY HILDERBRAND, CHRIS WERNER, CMYK PHOTOGRAPHY
Along with his years in the ministry, Mark has led an incredibly interesting life. He served in the army in Germany for 4 years during the time that the Berlin Wall stood. Mark recounts many memories of driving alongside the wall and seeing fully armed men with weapons pointed right at him. It was a scary time to be in Germany, but he embraced it fully and remained in the country for 4 more years after leaving the service. Mark spent that time driving a delivery truck, which enabled him to travel all over Europe and become fluent in German in the process.
When he returned to the states, Mark moved to Nevada with his parents to attend the University of Nevada, Reno and study German. He was an outstanding student, taking 24 credit hours per semester. Mark began student teaching German classes in Carson City but knew he didn’t want to teach forever.
Just after marrying his wife, Carla, Mark accepted a job overseas in Switzerland. Later, he was transferred back to the U.S. to work for the same company in Chicago. But after a while, Mark and his family decided they wanted to leave the big city and return to the West, so they relocated back to Carson City in 1986.
Mark decided to get into the dry cleaning business, purchasing his first shop in South Lake Tahoe, and quickly expanding to more locations around Northern Nevada. He further grew his business to include tuxedo rentals. At this point, Mark became hooked on weddings, and he eventually started an organization called Weddings of the West.
In 1998, Mark felt his calling to become ordained as a minister. He went through a 3-year training process at Fountainhead FourSquare Christian Church in Carson City. In 2005, he began officiating weddings.
Photo Credit: ZINSER PHOTOGRAPHY
Mark did not simply want to be an officiant for his couples, he wanted so much more. From previous experience in his own life, Mark and his wife, Carla, took a class through their church. And after 20 years together, they credit this class with saving their marriage, as it taught Mark and Carla how to communicate and be vulnerable with each other, an aspect of their relationship that was missing at that time.
Mark now teaches that same class, many times alongside his wife Carla, to all of his couples. The class lasts for 8 weeks and is conducted over Zoom for one hour each week. Since he began, he has taught the class to 369 couples, on every continent except Antarctica. As of January 2020, 342 of those couples are still married.
It remains important to Mark to build strong relationships with his couples. His wedding packages include a “get to know you” phase as well as the class, the wedding rehearsal practice, wedding, and lifetime marriage counseling should his couples ever need it. The deep relationship that Mark builds with all of his couples goes far beyond their wedding day. He keeps up with their lives, sends them holiday and congratulatory cards, and receives them in return. He always jokes with them that ‘Mark’ is a great name for their first child. It’s his goal to create a lifetime of friendship and his couples quickly become like family to him.
It’s no secret that 2020 has been a challenging year for the wedding industry, but Reverend Mark Frady has adjusted his sails to weather the changes. Many weddings this year have been smaller affairs or elopements, and he has even officiated some online weddings. Mark’s ultimate goal is to provide a service to his couples that is unique as they are, providing them with the tools they need to not only enjoy the experience of their wedding day, but a beautiful life together thereafter.
Evoking Awe-Inspiring Designs
A floral and event designer extraordinaire, Inspirations by Gina has transformed ordinary flowers into works of art at weddings and events all over Northern California. Last summer, we saw Owner Gina Lett Shrewsberry work her magic at a meeting of the Tahoe Wedding Industry Group, and shortly thereafter, we were delighted to welcome her as a member of Tahoe Engaged.
Photo credit: Charleton Churchill
Gina’s journey to becoming a floral designer began with a wedding planning business, which she started in 2008. For many of her weddings, she found herself designing floral arrangements for her ‘DIY’ brides and quickly discovered a new passion. Then, Gina began taking classes in floral design and slowly started incorporating floral design into her business offerings. But between both event planning and floral design, she was carrying too heavy of a workload. So she decided to transition her business to focus solely on floral design for weddings and events.
Photo credits: Simple Joie Photography and IQ Photo
Recently, due to COVID-19, Gina has learned to adjust her business strategy accordingly. She heard a quote that truly resonated with her. The speaker stated that many businesses are not going to be around when we get to the other side of the pandemic, and it really stuck with her. So instead of having a “whine and cheese party”, as she calls it, Gina decided it’s time to buckle down and innovate her business model.
During this time, Gina is utilizing her extra time to reinvent her brand, hone her craft via webinars and workshops, and reach out for new opportunities. More recently, she has found a need for floral arrangement deliveries for special occasions such as Mother’s Day and birthdays. She finds that offering this service has helped to brighten people’s days during such uncertain times. Plus it’s a great way to support her local community.
Photo credit: Emily Jean Images
As for Gina’s 2020 weddings, many of her couples have rescheduled their celebrations to 2021, and some are in what she calls a “holding pattern”, anxiously awaiting their next steps moving forward. But Gina has gotten quite creative in helping her clients continue to celebrate love during the pandemic. One couple ended up having to postpone their big day until December 2021. But the lovebirds decided they still wanted to get married this year. Gina looked into it further and discovered that Santa Cruz County was still issuing California marriage licenses despite COVID. She then contacted a photographer, sent flowers out to the bride with care instructions, and the couple was married in a small ceremony. Not only was Gina able to go above and beyond her bride’s requests, she will also be designing florals for their larger celebration next December!
Photo credits: Adrienne & Dani, Emily Jean Images and Simple Joie Photography
When it comes to growing her business, Gina loves the organic approach through authentic interaction and word of mouth referrals. Once, she booked a wedding simply by taking her pet labradoodle out for a walk. Striking up a conversation with another woman who was also walking her dog, Gina learned that this woman needed help for her daughter’s wedding, and they made a connection right then and there. Gina believes that moments like these are simply “meant to be.”
Though times are uncertain for many in the wedding industry, Gina is focused on keeping her momentum going. Through Gina’s one-on-one connections and dedication to her craft, Inspirations by Gina is an inspiration to us all.
Southern Barbecue Meets the North Shore
Moe’s Original Bar B Que, known for its Southern victuals, is an amazing spot in Tahoe City for a rehearsal dinner, engagement party or other wedding event.
Ginger Karl, Catering Manager at Moe’s, handles all of their special events and group gatherings. Although she has a busy schedule, Ginger recently chatted with Tahoe Engaged about her life and her work.
Moe’s Grows in Tahoe City
First, some background about how Moe’s made its way to Tahoe City. Owners Joshua Wallick and Eric Pilcher studied under the founders of Moe’s BBQ for five years to perfect their “pit master” Southern Barbecue skills. Then in 2013, they moved Westward to North Lake Tahoe.
The next year, Moe’s opened its first lakefront location, at 120 Grove Street. Then in 2018, they moved next door into the Tahoe City Marina building. This facility, at 700 North Lake Boulevard, has four times the seating capacity of their previous space, as well as additional catering capacity for larger groups. Patrons of Moe’s can arrive by car, boat or bicycle.
“Moe’s is a great option for casual lakefront catering in the dining room,” says Karl, noting that the dining room seats 70 people, the front porch accommodates 60, and the outdoor patio can host 80 guests.
Photo: Julie Stanley
Photo: Jacqueline Robbins
Moe’s also caters off-site events with a BBQ trailer that can be incorporated for smoking ribs and chicken at outdoor locations.
Recently Moe’s released their first brewed beer, the “Moe’s-aic IPA.” The restaurant also has a full bar. Their next project is a brewery bar which will open in a new space within the 700 North Lake Boulevard location.
“We focus on a fun, casual experience for the group,” Karl says, explaining that groups can choose from paper plates and plastic-ware or upgrade to porcelain plates, cloth napkins and silverware.
Ginger Karl enjoys live music, camping, biking and anything in the great outdoors. She loves spending lots of time with her new black lab puppy, Roxxy.
Ginger Karl with Joshua Wallick, Moe’s Bar B Que
A native of Columbus, Mississippi, Karl graduated from Mississippi State University and moved to Vail, Colorado, where she handled catering at a high-end bowling alley. Later she moved to North Lake Tahoe, where she became Membership Director for the North Lake Tahoe Chamber. In 2018, she became Moe’s Catering Manager.
Karl comes from a long background of restaurant and catering/event experience. She says Moe’s serves the style of BBQ she grew up on in the South. She says it’s the perfect venue and food for laid back couples who want to have a good time with their friends and family. Think red and white checkered table cloths, casual fun and great food!
Here’s how it works: for a standard catering menu, couples would typically pick one meat: Chicken, Pork or Turkey; and then choose two sides, such as Mac & Cheese, Marinated Slaw, Baked Beans or Potato Salad. Top off the meal with desserts like Banana Pudding, Mud Pie and Chocolate Icebox Pie.
“We’re experts in portioning meat for parties,” says Karl. “You’re never going to run out of food with Moe’s.” Aside from meats, Moe’s also offers items for guests with dietary restrictions, including a gluten free, dairy free, or egg free menu. Many of the sides at the restaurant are vegetarian – they even offer a smoked tofu called “SMOFU”.
Karl’s advice to couples planning their rehearsal dinner? “The wedding day is such a whirlwind, it’s nice to incorporate something that’s going to be memorable,” she says, noting that some couples have added lighting or special decorations to their rehearsal dinner.
Photo: Julie Stanley
The mood at Moe’s? “Laid back, fun, not stressful, with great music playing,” says Karl. And best of all, “You’re right on the Lake.”
Contact Moe’s Original Bar B Que:
Ginger Karl, Catering Manager
Email: [email protected]
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 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!
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.”
Photo: 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!
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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
Email: [email protected]