Mark says he felt “Lucky!” when he first saw Lisa on the wedding day. She remembers feeling giggly. “I really love this man more every day,” she says.
They live in Louisiana, where winters are mild. So when Lisa and Mark got engaged, they knew the Lake Tahoe area was exactly where they wanted to exchange vows. “A winter wedding seemed different,” says the bride, who grew up in Northern California.
The couple dated for two years before getting engaged while they were taking their Dachshund to meet Santa Claus. They married a year later in a winter wedding at the Resort at Squaw Creek in Olympic Valley, California.
This stunning venue provided a fitting backdrop for the gorgeous couple! Adventure wedding photographer Charleton Churchill captured the couple and the day’s beauty. “My favorite part of Mark and Lisa’s wedding was being able to enjoy the unique winter snowcapped mountains of Lake Tahoe and Squaw Valley throughout the entirety of their wedding day,” says Churchill.
Lisa’s favorite wedding day moment was when Mark cried during their first look. “It was true to who we are,” she says. “It was unrehearsed.”
The December ceremony, which was officiated by Lisa’a father, was an intimate gathering with 57 close family and friends in attendance. The 12-person wedding party included the bride’s sister who was the Maid of Honor, as well as her best friend who served as the Man of Honor. The groom’s father was his Best Man (which is a very Southern tradition).
The reception was held at the Six Peaks Grille, a gourmet restaurant inside the resort. “They closed down for the night and we had the place to ourselves,” recalls Lisa. “It was perfect. Food was amazing. Cake was even better.”
“My dress wasn’t anything like I planned,” says Lisa. “I wanted a lace ball gown with long sleeves. I’m a curvy girl and I’ve never felt comfortable in a fitted dress.”
That all changed when she saw “The Dress” on a hanger and had to try it on.
“I’ve never felt that good in a piece of clothing before,” she says, explaining the simple crepe gown had a boat neck, t-shirt like sleeves, and a cut out back. She hired a seamstress in Louisiana to take off the original sleeves and add full length sleeves.
She wore a second dress, a strapless A-line, to the reception. It was comfortable and easy to dance in. Best of all, it meant her wedding gown would stay clean for her post-wedding photo shoot.
Lisa and Mark loved the beautiful resort, where they and their families were able to spend a lot of time together.
“Lisa always considered her family and guests’ comfort and experience during each stage of our planning,” says planner Donna Nice Hoekstra of Joy of Life Events. “Skiing, ice skating, swimming, fireside warming, dinners and dancing were all part of the guest experience for their Louisiana family. The Resort at Squaw Creek was the perfect venue for this destination winter wedding.”
The couple stayed at the resort for a week after the wedding, a delightful setting for a mini-honeymoon. They’re still planning a big honeymoon trip.
Lisa’s advice: “Get the dress you want. Hire an amazing photographer. Don’t skip the video either!”
Sharing is good. “A previous client of mine gifted me her gold Glitter aisle runner,” says Hoekstra. “Lisa loved it, so it was incorporated into their ceremony design.”
Plan your photos. “If you’re going to plan your wedding in Lake Tahoe to enjoy the views of the Lake and the Mountains, make time in your photo session, whether it be the day of your wedding or an adventure session the week after, to capture the beauty of Tahoe you can proudly print,” says Churchill. “If you want to capture the adventurous spirit, try and plan another day to go out and hike in your wedding attire, so you can enjoy your wedding day, yet get some creative outdoor photos when you have more time.”
Ceremony & Reception Site: Resort at Squaw Creek | Photographer: Charleton Churchill Photography | Wedding Planner & Designer: Joy of Life Events | Linens: Creative Coverings (Sweetheart Table and Guest Tables), La Tavola Fine Linen Rental (Cake Table) | Bride’s Gown: Pronovias | Bride’s Veil: Blanca Veils | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Hair & Makeup: The Hair Loft | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Bella Bridesmaids | Grooms & Groomsmen’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse | Rings: Lauren B | Officiant: Rick Haining, Bride’s Stepfather | Catering, Cake & Desserts: Resort at Squaw Creek | Flowers: Love & Lupines | Music: Brian Hess Music | Videographer: The Best Man Films | Seating Chart: Ivory Isle Designs