Valhalla Wedding

Valhalla Winter Wedding | South Lake Tahoe, CA | Mary + Scotty

Mary and Scotty are pretty much the raddest kids around with the best hair.  Until Scotty shaved his hair off on his wedding night.  True story.

Mary ascertained that he needed “marraige hair” instead of “bachelor hair.”  What I think probably started as an inside joke grew to actuality as the dance party went on into the night and the whiskey flowed.

Other reasons they are rad: they wanted a Viking themed photo booth because they were getting married at Valhalla.  Their Hope Valley engagement session featured golden light, stylish threads and dogs.  Their grandma facetimed them while they were getting ready.

Venue: Valhalla Estate | Wedding Planner: Tahoe Dream Events | Florist: Enchanted Florist | Bakery: Cakes by Grace | Catering: Blue Angel Cafe | Bride’s Attire: Nicole Miller from The Wedding Party | Groom’s Attire: J Crew | Second photographer: Nicky Lockman of Nemus Photography

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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:

Photographer Piggybacks Groom

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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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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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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Lakeside Beach Wedding

Intimate Tahoe Wedding | Alicia + Matt

After quite a few phone conversations, Alicia and I lamented that we lived so far apart because we were all clearly meant to be BFFs forever.  Alicia and Matt believe in all the same things that I believe in: that day drinking is the greatest and that dining out is a vacation activity.

Matt and Alicia desired an intimate Tahoe wedding for their friends and loved ones.  The destination wedding was intended to be shared with only their most special people and they had really expressed how much they wanted the visit to be an shared experience with everyone in attendance, a sentiment that I am quite fond of.  I think that the best part about destination weddings is that everyone there gets to spend so much time with you over the course of the trip that it takes the pressure of the wedding day to try to connect with all in attendance.  Matt and Alicia also really wanted to showcase the gorgeous backdrop that Tahoe has to offer in their portraits and built in time for us to go offsite.  Unfortunately it was incredibly windy that day.  So windy that it was distracting.  I, however, knew just the place to tuck them away into and out of the gales and backlight them with some of that gorgeous golden sun that Tahoe gets in the late afternoon.

Venue: Lakeside Beach | Day Of Coordinator: Destination Tahoe Weddings | Officiant: Rev Ron Sayed | Reception Venue: Montbleu Resort | Invitations: Invitations by Dawn | Florist: Petal Pushers | Catering: Montbleu Resort | Bakery: Montbleu Resort | Bride’s Attire: The Wedding Shoppe | Veil: The Lace Boutique | Groom’s Attire: Michael Kors from Menguin | Hair and Makeup: Tahoe Salon Be

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Northstar Winter Wedding

Northstar Winter Wedding | Natalie + Steven | Sneak Peek

I have an insane amount of coincidental stories to share about this amazing couple but those will have to wait until their actual blog post.  In the meantime, I’d like to give a HUGE shout out and big time thanks to the poor valet guy at the Ritz Carlton, Lake Tahoe, who literally gave Natalie the shoes off his own feet so that she could take a portrait in the snow.  The poor guy had to explain to his manager why he was walking around outside without shoes and his feet were probably wet and cold for the rest of the night.  That’s serious service and I’m still totally overwhelmed with gratitude at this fantastic young man who made it possible for us to play in the snow and Christmas lights outside the resort and get a photo like this one!

More to come from Natalie, Steven and their Northstar winter wedding!

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Blue Sky Terrace Wedding

Heavenly Blue Sky Terrace Wedding | Lisa + Rick

When Rick and Lisa first contacted me, they didn’t actually have a date for their wedding.  She sent me a really amazing email that said, among other things, “I really do think avocados are their own food group, and I can eat my weight in avocados on any given day.”  Over the course of our correspondence, I fell in love with her adventurous spirit, vivacity and general good humor.  When they finally picked their date, it turned out to be a day that I had no intent of shooting a wedding on: the day following my birthday party.  I couldn’t, just couldn’t, not be part of this amazing couple who seemed like such kindrid spirits to me.  Among their love of avocados, day drinking and laughing at themselves, they were also marathon runners.  I said yes.  I would sacrifice the ability to be “not so sparky” the day after my party for these two awesome people and I am SO glad that I did.

Lisa and Rick were wed in an intimate ceremony overlooking Lake Tahoe on a perfectly gorgeous bluebird day at the Heavenly Blue Sky Terrace.  After the ceremony, we snuck off in a limo to Zephyr Cove for wedding party portraits.  Their motley crew of friends were exactly the kind of people I like to spend time with: loud boisterous day drinkers that love to laugh, dance and enjoy life.  The best part of the jaunt over to Zephyr Cove: it was topped off with Lisa taking shots with a Bachelorette Party on the beach!

Venue: Heavenly Blue Sky Terrace | Officiant: Rev. Dave Beronio Jr | Portraits: Zephyr Cove Resort

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Lakeside Beach Wedding

Lakeside Beach Wedding | Matt + Alicia | Sneak Peek

THIS.

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Have you ever seen anything more adorable?

Seriously.  This couple is so cute, so fun, so easy going and to make matters even better they had the BEST FRIENDS.  I want to keep them all for myself.

Like this one:

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You know you look really good when you get reactions like that.  Alicia was stunningly beautiful.  When she said she wanted retro vintage waves in her hair, I knew exactly who to send her to: my girl Katie at Tahoe Salon Be styled her out and after their small, intimate Lakeside Beach Wedding, Matt and Alicia and I headed over to Rabe Meadows in Stateline for a quick portrait session.  There’s more to come from this rad couple, but in the meantime…

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Valhalla Wedding Photographer

Valhalla Wedding Photographer | Dondra + Ryan | Sneak Peek

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.  Here’s a few sneak peeks from their rad day and I will certainly have more to share soon!

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Kiva Beach Wedding

Kiva Beach Wedding | Chantelle + Brandon | Sneak Peek

Chantelle originally contacted me back in February for her destination elopement here in South Lake Tahoe.  She then proceeded to get all of her ducks in a row, everything as organized as possible, and more things done in a mere two months than most of my brides ever manage in the months before their giant weddings.  Although she was organized, what really shined through her coorespondence with me was her shear excitement and giddiness over her nuptials.  After planning a “big wedding,” she and her fiancé decided to scrap the plan altogether and have a small, intimate, destination ceremony with their closest family as witnesses and officiants.  24 hours before the ceremony time, they still hadn’t picked out a location.  I loved it.  In the end, their Kiva Beach Wedding was as beautiful, loving and sweet as the pair of them are and perfectly befitting Chantelle’s benevolent and luminous spirit.

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