Tahoe wedding Photography

Turtle Rock Park Wedding | Markleeville, CA | Adam + Terin

My friend Terin is one crafty lady, and I don’t mean like a fox.  She’s so crafty that she and some of her best girlfriends host weekly craft nights.  They make, build and design things I wouldn’t even start to dream of.  Like quilts.  I’m pretty sure that’s a thing they’ve done that I don’t do.  I don’t even bother with a crafting club.  I straight up just go to Girls’ Drinking Club.  In fact, I’ve previously vowed to drink more wine just so that I have more corks to give to Jenna Palacio to craft me a wine cork wreath.  Moral of this story: Terin is a master crafter and she killed it at the DIY wedding.  Terin: 1.  Lauren: 0.  

When Terin started planning her wedding to another one of my good friends, Adam, she had the help of her family and friends to transform what is normally a bland looking cafeteria room at a local state park into the place of her dreams.  I was blown away by how they managed to turn Turtle Rock Park into a lush, intimate oasis.  It was nothing short of incredible.

Almost everything at Adam and Terin’s gorgeous Turtle Rock Park wedding was DIY: her sister made hundreds of tiny cheesecake cupcakes, she wore a reconstructed version of her mother’s wedding dress, they invented, built or designed all the table decor and screens for the ceiling, her mom made their bouquets, they created all the table runners and centerpieces themselves.  Seriously.

Adam and Terin were wed at an hilarity filled ceremony, peppered with tears and sentimentality, at a private estate at the edge of the Sierra Nevadas, overlooking the Nevada valley.  On our way there, they wanted to highlight all the scenery our backyard offers us, so the wedding party stopped in Hope Valley for photos.  The party got wild and went late into the night thanks to the boys at Liquid Craft mobile bartending and Dylan with Lake Tahoe DJ.  Adam is apparently also creative: he wrote Terin a song.  And then he sung it.  In front of everyone.  Meanwhile, everyone cried and laughed and then cried and laughed and then realized that Adam ruined weddings forever for all of their future because no one can top that.  Adam: 1.  Everyone else: 0.

Venue: Private Estate and Turtle Rock Park | Day of Coordinator: Shana Conway Schmidt | Mobile Bar: Liquid Craft | DJ: Lake Tahoe DJ | Bakery: Corie King (sister of the bride) | Catering: Stephen Moise | Bridesmaid Attire: Azazie | Groom’s Apparel: Amazon | Hair and Makeup: Katie White at Tahoe Salon Be | Rentals: Camelot Rentals | Second Photographer: Red, White and Brian Walker 

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Tannenbaum Wedding

Tannenbaum Wedding | Reno, NV | Madalyn + Eric

Maddy and Eric are both classically trained musicians and when they told me they wanted to have a first duet instead of a first dance I swooned and fell out of my chair.Thanks to a friend, they had a beautiful Steinway piano on loan for the evening.  Eric composed a medley of songs that were significant and symbolic of their relationship.

In addition to teaching music to grade schoolers, Maddy is quite an amazing artist and she hand drew all the table centerpieces for their DIY Tannenbaum wedding.  The tables were filled with succulents, games to play, and fall touches like pumpkins and fall colors.

The Tannenbaum Alpine Events Center is a fantastic location for a wedding and it was my first time photographing there.  The backdrop is beautiful and it’s located far enough up Mt. Rose Hwy that you can drive over to Mt. Rose Ski Resort to poach their aspens for beautiful portraits.  Overall, Maddy and Eric had a wedding that was exactly what they were hoping for: a laid back DIY affair that featured all their favorite people playing games and spending time with the ones they loved.

Venue: Tannenbaum Alpine Events Center | Officiant: Tim Hosfeldt | Bakery: Nothing Bundt Cake | Catering: Cherry Bomb Catering | Bride’s Attire: Deja Vu Bridal | Groom’s Attire: Menguin | Hair: Kelly Marsh at Salon 606 | Rentals: Celadon Events | Second Photographer: Annie Robillard of Annie X Photographie

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Gather Estate Wedding

Gather Estate Wedding | Phoenix, AZ | Jerri + Nick

Jerri and Nick had originally planned to wed at a brand new venue in downtown Phoenix, AZ, but when construction didn’t seem to be coming along as quickly as it should, they scrapped their plans and discovered The Gather Estate.  You wouldn’t have any idea that this simple unassuming house on a major thoroughfare in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa, Arizona is an incredible wedding venue!  The ranch style house is long and sprawling, offering great spaces for getting ready, indoor and outdoor receptions and dining al fresco under the stars.

Jerri and Nick are incredibly competitive and decided that to really set the stage for their reception that only an epic surprise lip sync battle would do.  It paved the way for an awesome dance party, an evening of celebration with their large close-knit families in attendance, and overall, an incredible fall Gather Estate wedding.

Venue: The Gather Estate | Bakery: AJ’s Fine Foods | Caterer: Pork on a Fork BBQ | DJ: Desert Music Entertainment | Bride’s Attire: Brilliant Bridal | Veil: David’s Bridal | Bridesmaids’ Attire: David’s Bridal | Groom’s Attire: Nick’s Menswear | Hair: Ynez Martinez at Plush Salon | Second Photographer: Brian Dunham

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Tahoe Private Estate Wedding

Tahoe Backyard Wedding | Meyers, CA | Clint + Sierra

Backyards.  Tacos.  Mismatched cups.  Koozies.  Kegs and coolers.  Golden late summer sunshine.

These are the things my wedding job dreams are made of.

Clint and Sierra delivered all this and more, despite some venue hiccups.  When their private estate rental cancelled on them for their wedding service, they did what any woodworking self-reliant couple planning a DIY wedding would do: scramble to turn their own backyard into a wedding oasis fit for the party of the century.

They filled their yard with lanterns and candles, wildflowers and string lights.  The dogs ran underfoot, the children serenaded us, the laughter spilled over the fenceline into the dark of night and the photographer had to make a late night beer run for the partiers (yes, this is a service I provide).

I loved every bit of this Tahoe backyard wedding from start to finish and I am so thrilled to have these two as friends now!

Venue: Private Estate, Lake Tahoe, CA | Bakery: Witt’s Cakes | Catering: La Promesa | DJ: Ascent DJ | Bride’s Attire: Janene’s Bridal Boutique and Forever 21 | Hair: Britney Mitchell | Make-Up: Maxine Reyna | Rentals: Tahoe Entertainer

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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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Marshmallow Gun Fight Wedding

The Grove Reno Wedding | Nicole + Howard

Once upon a time, Nicole threw a magnificent birthday party at which she had planned a multitude of fun activities, including, but not limited to, mud wrestling and marshmallow gun fights.  Much to her chagrin, none of her friends would participate.  Howard, however, who didn’t know Nicole, but had come to the party in the company of a mutual friend, would.  They bonded over an epic marshmallow gun fight and as they started to date and their relationship progressed, many a marshmallow gun fight occurred.  When Howard propsed to the animated Nicole, it was in the midst of one such fight.  Subsequently, it was clear that such a thing needed to be part of their wedding day and as Howard and Nicole recessed down the aisle, wed in front of their friends and family, everyone offered a marshmallow gun salute out of the guns they made themselves before the ceremony.  Even better, Nicole is insanely crafty (she made her mermaid tail y’all) and hand made all the decor for the wedding, including her magnificent paper bouquet.

I feel ridiculously lucky to have these two rad people in my life.  Nicole and Howard are vibrant and fun and the best sort of people to be around.  They lift you up, make you excited about the small things, and turn the mundane into an adventure and adventures into commonplace activities.  They love costumes and laughter, dancing and good times and I’m excited to call them friends.  This was hands down one of my most favorite weddings from this past wedding season and I’m super excited to share Nicole and Howard’s Grove Reno Wedding with you today.

Venue and Catering: The Grove Reno | Bakery: Haven on Earth Bread and Bakery | Band: The Markleevillians | Dress: David’s Bridal | Groom’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse | Make-Up: La Di Da Makeup | Hair: Angela Ramirez

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Tahoe Ranch Wedding

Tahoe Ranch Wedding | Mo + Adam

I feel super lucky to have been connected to Monique and Adam through mutual friends.  Frankly, I’m shocked that I hadn’t met these two rad souls before.  They are gorgous, giving people full of light, love and clear adoration for each other and their young son, who is ridiculously adorable.  They met with me at the suggestion of some mutual friends over lunch and immediately signed a contract that minute.  I actually ended up ending a Costa Rica vacation early and flying home to photograph their Meyers, CA Tahoe ranch wedding at the Celio Ranch, a private historic estate in South Lake Tahoe and I’m so thankful I did.  It kicked off a summer of ridiculously awesome outdoor backyard and ranch weddings and I loved every bit of it.  Their friends and family were a joy to be around, they had a fantastic bluegrass band (local favorites Worn Out Welcome), and unbelievably delicious Indian food catered by good friends.  Mo was super worried that it was going to rain on her wedding day – the skies the days before (and in the weeks after) were to be threatening frequent downpours – but thankfully, the rain held off and they were treated to a gorgeous celebration under beautiful blue Tahoe skies.

Mo and Adam, congrats you two.  I can’t wait to dance the night away at another show with you!

Venue: Celio Ranch (Private Estate) | Florist: Morning Song Flowers |  Cake: Family Members | Catering: Kebab Express | Band: Worn Out Welcome | Dress: Trudy’s | Hair and Make-up: Audrey Graven

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Gar woods wedding

Gar Woods Wedding Photographer | Published at Borrowed & Blue

Borrowed and Blue is one of my favorite wedding blogs to contribute to.   They manage to keep things fresh with individual blogs for various locations.  Over the years they’ve been extra kind to me, publishing me at their Napa wedding blog, their Bay Area wedding blog, and now, for the seventh time, at their Lake Tahoe wedding blog.  They always write really fun, kind, complimentary things which gives you extra warm fuzzies inside and their post on Brooke and Blake yesterday was no exception.  I’m so honored to have been chosen as Brooke and Blake’s Gar Woods wedding photographer.  Their day was exceptionally amazing from start to finish and it was so worth getting in the Lake for that group shot on the pier.

Follow this link to relive Brooke and Blake’s wedding, featured on Borrowed & Blue Lake Tahoe.

You can also follow Borrowed and Blue on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

North Lake Tahoe Wedding

Tahoe Beach Wedding

Tahoe Beach Retreat Wedding Photography | Debbie + Mario

The Beach Retreat & Lodge in Tahoe South is one of my favorite wedding venues to photograph at.  They do a especially exceptional job with small and budget weddings here in the Lake Tahoe area.  There are not many venues around here that will accommodate smaller wedding parties, but Lori Cramer and her staff at the Beach Retreat & Lodge are always happy to do so.  In fact, you can host your wedding reception on the longest pier in Lake Tahoe and that’s exactly what Debbie, Mario and their amazing family and friends did!  This was a true DIY wedding: both the officiant and hair and makeup stylist were friends of the bride and groom.

Debbie and Mario were wed in an intimate Tahoe beach ceremony at the lodge on a Saturday morning and promptly followed their ceremony up with a brunch out on the pier.  If you are having a wedding with less than 40 guests, this is a wonderful way to celebrate.  Besides, who doesn’t love brunch!?

Congratulations Debbie and Mario and thank you so much for choosing me as your Tahoe wedding photographer!  I’m so thrilled to have been part of your gorgeous sun filled morning and celebration!

Venue: Beach Retreat & Lodge | Florist: Safeway

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Tahoe Wedding Photographer | Lisetta + Sam

Ciao Bella!

Lisetta and her Italian Family were unparalleled wonders of people full of amore, risata and more than one regina della danza.  Lisetta met Sam and self professed that they “did it all backwards:”  started dating, moved in together, had a wonderful precocious child when after being told she could “never” have children, and then decided to marry.  Their ceremony was intimate and filled with the hilarious tears of their son, who had both me and all of their friends and family in stitches.  He miraculously stopped crying as soon as the ceremony ended.  I loved every minute of it and I foresee plenty of taunting re-tellings in his future of the the story of their special day.

This DIY wedding was a total family affair: pops helped set the tables and decorate the reception area, Sam’s own sister made the cakes and cupcakes (which were divine), and Italy pervaded throughout it all.  From start to finish, I felt lucky to be completely included in this wonderful familiar feeling affair.  I was invited to sit at a table with some of Lisetta’s coworkers and friends and loved hearing stories about how they met and all the traditions they share.

Venue: The Chateau in Incline Village | DJ: Amazing Events | Dress: David’s Bridal | Hair: Sierra Bella Salon |  Makeup: Michaela Scott

Any family who ends their night like this is totally the kind of family I want to photograph.