It’s freezing today in Tahoe. Actually, it’s been freezing all week. As I was trying to decide what amazing wedding to share from this past wedding season on the blog, the cold temps, banana bread in the oven, and the promise of fall from the chill in the air reminded me of Agnes and Laurence’s private estate North Tahoe Lodge wedding in Truckee from this past spring. There was still piles of snow. So much snow, in fact, that their guests spent an entire afternoon clearing the deck of snow for their ceremony.
Agnes and Laurence wanted to have a small, intimate celebration surrounded by friends and family. They wanted amazing food, lots of laughter, and great photos. I have to say, that when you are one of two vendors, it makes you feel incredibly unbelievably special. (I’ll try not to let it go to my head, Agnes).
Agnes is Polish and customarily, at a Polish wedding, the father presents the couple with two glasses – one of vodka, one of water. They are offered first to the bride, who must make her selection without knowing which is which. Tradition says that whoever ends up with the glass of vodka will be the dominant partner in the relationship. I think you can tell by the photos which way this ended!
Agnes and Laurence, it was an honor to be part of your day and even bigger honor to be so valued. I firmly believe that your wedding day should be a day where you celebrate with the friends and family closest to you and that the pomp, circumstance, and traditions aren’t that necessary so when clients find me that not only believe, but exemplify the same values, it makes my heart sing to be part of the day.
Venue: The North Tahoe Lodge | Caterer: Blend | Bride’s Attire: Glamour Closet | Second shooting service of the sassy shutterbug Shaunte Dittmar
When Julia first hired me for her Edgewood Lake Tahoe Wedding, I wasn’t totally sure why. She is the opposite of most of my couples: super type A, extremely hands on, incredibly attentive to minute details of everything. I can only imagine what her wedding binder looked like. She would write me essays of emails and I’d be incredibly confused. As a super Type A person myself, it was baffling to get such lengthy discussions from someone because most people just (rightfully) assume I’m going to take care of business, because that’s what I do.
And then I met her. And then I fell in love with her. I realized that’s just her innate personality. When I met the two of them for their engagement session, I also discovered that her now-husband loves her for it because he jokingly and lovingly asked me how many lengthy emails she’d already sent me. When I stayed late to hang out at their wedding party and finish out the night with them, simply because I wanted to, her dad asked me if he owed me anything extra and I said, “of course not.” “But why?” I answered with the first thing to come to mind, an echo of her sister’s toast earlier in the evening, “Because Julia.”
“Julia demands excellence,” her sister had said during the toast. It is incredibly true, but not entirely true. For me, Julia inspires excellence through her demand. I loved being part of her wedding day because I wanted SO badly to do an exceptional job for her. Despite her lengthy emails and long questions, I was oddly convinced that she inherently trusted me completely, which is not would I would expect when you mix my personality with hers. But that’s exactly what happened: Julia motivated me to produce the best I could for her that day.
Mark and Julia are now my friends. In fact, I’m writing this post from a coffee shop in Chicago, just down the street from where I am meeting her later tonight for wine. I’m really happy with the work I did for them. I’m thankful that not only did she hire me, but that she trusted me and emboldened me to produce work that I’m incredibly proud of. A second big thanks goes out to Nicky Lockman who was my right hand lady that day and contributed excellent work to their wedding gallery as well, some of which is included in these highlight photos.
Mark and Julia, congratulations. Thanks for demanding excellence and allowing me to arise to the occasion. It was an honor to be part of your wedding day.
Venue and Catering: Edgewood Golf Course and Resort | Officiant: Rev. Ronald Sayed | Florist: Thran’s | Invitations: David’s Bridal | Bakery: Raley’s | DJ: Ascent DJ Productions | Harpist: Annie Roos | Bride’s Attire: Maggie Sottero gown from J’aime Bridal | Veil: Bel Aire | Bridal Party Attire: David’s Bridal | Groom’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse | Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Warehouse |Hair and Make-up: Tahoe Salon Be | Second Photographer: the incredible non-edible Nicky Lockman of Nemus Photography
Ana and Andrew had me at pizza.
When we first spoke in 2015 about their wedding, over a year out, Ana was most excited about the pizza. As a photojournalist, there are few details that I worry about on a wedding day. I am, frankly, unconcerned with the pomp and circumstance and whether or not you’re going to have any traditions. By all means, cut that cake and I will photograph it, but I’m not going to orchestrate your day or suggest that you do things you don’t want to for photos sake. What I will get behind though: pizza.
The pizza was fantastic.
But the rest of their day, that was fantastic also. From the tear inducing speeches to the cake in Andrew’s brother’s face, from the coordinated and choreographed first dances (Ana and her father danced to Time Warp!), everything about their daytime Zephyr Cove Resort wedding with a pizza buffet was right up my alley.
Venue: Zephyr Cove Resort | Coordinator : Stephanie Stugart | Officiant: Sharon Rusk | Invitations: Mighty Industries | Florist: Rose Petals Florist | Bakery: Tahoe Cakes by Grace | DJ: Southworth Entertainment | Bride’s Attire: David’s Bridal | Groom’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse | Hair and Make-Up: Tahoe Salon Be | Videographer: HeavenSide Studios | Second Shooter: Annie Robillard
Have you ever noticed how all my clients are all my favorite people? How do I get such rad people in my life? Lauren and Danny are two such kindred spirits that I want to keep forever as friends and ski partners. Their Kirkwood Mountain Wedding was exactly my style: a relaxed outdoor affair, at my favorite ski resort, with outdoor games, tons of wine, decor that represented their love of travel, and, of course, an epic dance party. They really won me over when they asked if I would be willing to take the chairlift up into the Devil’s Corral meadow under the Cirque for their portraits. Clearly the answer is, “heck yes!” Better yet, instead of a bouquet, Lauren tossed a Feminist coloring book at her friends (clearly amazing). And as a final testament to their awesomeness, Lauren and Danny recreated the dance scene from Dirty Dancing for their first dance.
Venue: Kirkwood Mountain Resort | Officiant: Rev Josh Serrano | Bakery: DIY & Costco | Bride’s Attire: mother’s wedding dress, re-designed by Bonnie Hoffman | Bridesmaid’s Attire: Renz Rags | Groom’s Attire: Custom Made in Vietnam | Videographer: XOXO Video
This post could also be titled: OR, that time I piggybacked a groom through the lake.
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
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