Tahoe Beach Wedding

Tahoe Private Estate Wedding | Zephyr Cove, NV | Maggie + Joe

It was incredibly difficult to narrow down the photos for this post.  I usually try to restrict myself to just ten photos per blog post, but these two people, along with all the folks around them in their wedding images, hold such a special place in my heart that I simply couldn’t pick only ten.

Joe is overwhelming responsible for teaching me to love Kirkwood and snowsports and powder days.  I often wonder if he knows how empowering he is for the people around him – and girls in particular.  He has an incredibly supportive, kind and bolstering nature when he skies with you that allows you to gain skills, the confidence necessary to pull them off, and have an unbelievably awesome time while doing it.  There have been so many days in my winter life where Joe has possied up with a group of girls and taken us around the mountain, telling us where to jump and where to straight line and where to go fast, with patience, enthusiasm and encouragement.  Not only did he help me fall in love with winter, but he is one of the major reasons I finally fell in love with Tahoe.

Maggie is an effervescent basket of laughter.  She is all smiles and wide eyes and beauty.  She is fun, smart, incredibly beautiful, and has this way of responding in conversations with this perfectly deadpan voice that cracks me up.  It’s so obvious how much she and Joe care for each other – it carries over in their laughter and smiles and the twinkles in their eyes.  And oh, do their eyes twinkle.  Just look at these photos.

My friends are rambunctious, adventurous, obstreperous people with a thirst for life that inspires me on a daily basis.  I love Maggie and Joe and all of them so much – I just want the whole world for all of them.  I want them to be happy, healthy, successful, and to live a life of no regrets because that’s what they inspire me to do.

Mags and Ruckus: send it huge, stay safe and have fun.  Congratulations to you both.

Venue: Private Estate in Zephyr Cove, NV | Caterer: Sonny’s BBQ | Ceremony Music: Lake Tahoe Bagpiper | DJ: Lake Tahoe DJ | Bride’s Attire: Jeanelle Hardin | Hair and Make-Up: DIY | Second Photographer: Annie Robillard 

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Family Photos at Lake Tahoe

Family Photos at Lake Tahoe | Hyland Family

Who ever would think that you’d find a ladybug infestation in the sand at a beach in Tahoe?  Not I.  Certainly not these adorable kids.  This awesome family from Northern CA really wanted some family photos at Lake Tahoe to commemorate their vacation together.  The end result were some fantastic family photos and an adventure in millions of ladybugs (and one snakeskin).

This was a veritable gold mine for the candid family photos that I love and while the kids were distracted by tiny polka dots and their parents were pleading with them to look at me, I was silently very happy that they were refusing to accommodate the wishes of the taller folks around them.  If you love candid family photos, make sure you get down and dirty with your kids!  The more you naturally interact and play with them, the better the photos you’ll get.  Photo sessions can be stressful for children and requires a lot of concentration and sometimes a little break for play offers great opportunities for wonderful family memories just like these.

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Zephyr Cove Wedding

Zephyr Cove Wedding | Lake Tahoe, NV | Susan + Rick

This post could also be titled: OR, that time I piggybacked a groom through the lake.

True story.

Exhibit A:

Zephyr Cove Wedding

It’s a really good thing that Susan and Rick are adventurous.  They are craft beer lovers (the boys at boutonnieres made out of hops) and climbers, so we got along splendidly.  So splendidly, in fact, that when I told Rick to get on my back and that I was going to carry him across the lake for a portrait on a free-standing rocky outcropping, he only slightly protested, “I weigh 180 lbs!”

“Good for you,” I replied, “I weigh 145.  Now get on!”

I feel super lucky to have been part of this amazing crew of people and their fantastic friends for their afternoon Zephyr Cove wedding.  I was only with Susan and Rick for a short two hours, but we packed in the awesome: from piggybacks to a bare bum, this short wedding was full of surprises and I loved every minute of it!

Venue: Zephyr Cove Resort | Coordinator: Stephanie Stugart | Violinist: Olena Klingman | Bride’s Attire: The Dress Theory | Groom’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse

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Gatekeeper's Park Wedding

Gatekeeper’s Museum Wedding | Lake Tahoe, CA | Diane + Daniel

I think I can say that I have a type when it comes to brides and grooms: almost every couple I’ve photographed recently have been climbers!  Which is to say, they are outdoor loving, adventure seeking, relaxed, loving people with a thirst for life and love and quite often, adult beverages.  So basically, I wish I could be best friends with all of them.

Diane and Daniel are no exception.  Daniel works for REI – as Diane told me, he’ll probably be a “lifer.”  They contemplated camping in the days after their wedding and then decided that they’d splurge and stay in a bed instead, which sounds like something that over half of my friends would say!  Diane’s smile just lit up the place the entire day.  There were SO MANY moments that I loved from their Gatekeeper’s Museum wedding, it was hard to pick just ten to share on the blog.  Those kids on the dance floor!  I love it!!

Although it was a little chilly that week in Tahoe, you wouldn’t ever know by looking at the photos thanks to those incredibly blue skies. Lake Tahoe DJ Ryan Palmer had an epic dance party going almost immediately – best way to keep warm is to shake it like a polaroid picture!

Venue: Gatekeeper’s Museum | Bakery: Sugar Pine Cakery | Caterer: Mountain Magic | DJ: Lake Tahoe DJ | Bride’s Attire: BHLDN | Bridesmaids’ Attire: BHLDN | Hair and Make-up: Tahoe Salon Be | Rentals: Camelot Party Rentals

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Dangberg Home Ranch Wedding

Dangberg Home Ranch Wedding | Gardnerville, NV | Emma + Austin

Austin and Emma’s Dangberg Home Ranch wedding left me swooning.  What an incredible venue!!  Overlooking the expanse of the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountains, the ranch is just minutes from Minden and Gardnerville, NV but because of it’s expansive swath of ranch land, feels all alone in the valley.  The view is unbeatable but like most days in the Nevada valley, the wind rages through there late in the day.  It didn’t dampen any spirits on this weekend though and Emma and Austin’s guests danced the night away thanks to protective tents surrounding the dancefloor.  A delicious family style dinner courtesy of Roundabout catering really topped off the evening and left me happy and full!

Emma and Austin’s gorgeous wedding is just the start of their new adventures.  Although they have strong ties to the Carson Valley, this newly wedded couple is moving to Phoenix next week for new experiences together!

Venue: Dangberg Home Ranch | Coordinator: Atypical Consulting and Events | Invitations: Seahorse Bend Press | Florist: Carson City Florist | Bakery: Nothing Bundt Cakes and Homage | Catering: Roundabout | DJ: Leep Entertainment | Bride’s Attire: Augusta Jones from Swoon Bridal | Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Jos A Bank | Make-up: Morgan Crawford | Linens: Camelot Party Rentals | Second Photographer: Annie Robillard

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Tahoe Maternity Portraits

Tahoe Maternity Photos | Chelsea + Ben

Maternity sessions are a great way to remind yourself of how beautiful you are, even when you may not feel at your best!  Better yet, when we take your Tahoe maternity photos in that golden CA evening light, you’re going to flat out glow and this awesome session with Chelsea and Ben is a prime example of that!  Photos are memories and one day, your maternity portraits are going to help you recall all the tumultuous feelings, cravings, hopes and dreams that you had while pregnant.  Valhalla Estate remains one of my most favorite places to photograph at in Lake Tahoe: the opportunities and variety of backdrops are seemingly endless in an easy walk.  In a few mere months, this happy couple is going to have a gorgeous little girl join their family and they’ll have some awesome memories from their trip to Lake Tahoe to remember the journey by!

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Lakeside Beach Wedding

Tahoe Spring Wedding | Lake Tahoe, CA | Kerby + Tyler

I texted Kerby two days before her Tahoe spring wedding to ask about the backup location in the event of rain.  “Hi Lauren!” she responded, “So far we are rolling the dice! Unless it’s pouring rain we are sticking it out!”  There was only a 50% chance of light rain during her ceremony time.  I pointed out that meant great odds that she was in the 50% off the lake that didn’t have raindrops at just the right time.  “Positive thinking!” she said.  Our positive thinking won out because it stopped raining just long enough to set up her gorgeous ceremony decor and hold the ceremony.  The minute they kissed, the light pitter patter of raindrops could be felt.  It actually made their wedding all the more picturesque: low hanging fog like clouds gave great contrast to the sky and made for a gorgeous backdrop.  The wedding party held their ground, threw up some umbrellas and didn’t miss a beat while we did photos.  After that, we moved over to the Blue Angel Cafe event loft, where wine flowed, laughter roared and a dance party so epic ensued that the bride ended up with blisters on her feet!  What a wonderful gorgeous wedding with rad people to kick my Tahoe wedding season off with!  Thanks Kerby and Tyler!

Ceremony: Lakeside Beach | Reception and Catering: Blue Angel Cafe | Florist: Friend of the Bride | Hair and Makeup: Friend of the Bride | Bride’s Attire: Occasions | Bridesmaids’ Attire: David’s Bridal

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Valhalla Wedding Photography

Valhalla Wedding | South Lake Tahoe, CA | Dondra + Ryan

I’ve known and considered Dondra and Ryan to be good friends for quite some time.  Dondra’s sister is one of the people in the world that knows me best and I was very lucky to spend a ton of time with this rad couple when they lived in Tahoe.  They’ve since moved onto newer and grander adventures in Colorado, but I was honored and thrilled to not only hear that their wedding would be in Tahoe but that I was the “only” choice to be their Valhalla wedding photographer.  Dondra is the proud owner of my former mountain bike, which originally belonged to extreme scientist Allison Olliver.  I find it hilarious that trek hard tail has made it to so many states and in so many hands, finally landing now with Dondra and Ryan, where it’s sharing a home with two people who have a passion for the outdoors, home brewed beer, and photo booths, of course.

Their wedding was intimate, simple and elegant and ended with an epic dance party.  I’m so honored to have been part of the joining of two people who not only incredibly committed to each other, but also to their families and to the water and barley grains fermenting in their closet.

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Cake Smash Portrait

Cake Smash Portrait | Schnoll Family

What’s a one year birthday celebration without a cake smash portrait?  Poor Jack – the week of his scheduled portrait session the skies turned gloomy, gray and frigidly cold.  We quickly picked a new day for his session and although we escaped the snowstorm, we didn’t escape the drop in temperatures.  No amount of chill is match for a child and his sugar however!  His first cake was consumed in it’s entirety!

It’s been so incredibly amazing to watch Dave and Jess’s family grow over the past year.  I feel extremely lucky to be their photographer!  From their maternity session, to Jack’s newborn session, their six month holiday photos and now, Jack’s 1st birthday, it’s been incredible to watch Jack grow.  It’s clients like this family and the opportunity to see such drastic change in one year that reminds me of how incredible, wonderful and powerful my job is.

Thanks Jess and Dave for sharing your family with me!  Happy birthday Jack!!

Location: Zephyr Cove Resort

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West Shore Cafe Wedding

West Shore Cafe Wedding | Homewood, CA | Lauren + Tim

Lauren and Tim’s nuptials on a rainy Tahoe day prove that a West Shore Cafe wedding is classic and gorgeous no matter what the weather.  After all, it is good luck for it to rain on your wedding day, yes?  Despite the gray skies, Lauren and Tim’s friends and families were nothing but laughter and epic dance moves to celebrate this rad couple that now calls Oakland home.  Here’s a few of my favorite frames from their special day.

Day of Coordination: Jiosia Designs | Venue and Catering: West Shore Cafe and Inn | DJ: DJ Brock | Make-Up: McKenzie Morrison | Bride’s Hair: Dona Lara | Bridesmaids’ Hair: Tahoe Born Salon | Florist: Jiosia Designs | Bride’s Attire: Monique Lhuillier | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Nordstrom | Groom’s Attire: Nordstrom | Groomsmen’s Attire: Peter Millar | Invitations: Reb Peters Press | Videographer: Agnes Grey Productions | Second Shooter: Annie Robillard

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