Sugar Bowl Wedding

Sugar Bowl Wedding | Truckee, CA | Kristin + Alan

Kristin and Alan both spend their summers working for a summer camp for kids and they warned me ahead of time that their camp friends get a little rowdy, like to dance party, and that rubber animal masks often make an appearance.  What they did not warn me about: that there would be a ninja turtle at the dance party.  Best reception surprise ever!

Their Sugar Bowl wedding featured the highs and lows that you would expect from any ski resort wedding – literally.  They were wed on the grass at the base of the resort, sent their friends and family up the lift for cocktail hour at the top of the mountain and then returned to the base for a beautiful dinner and reception on the deck of the lodge.

Because their summer camp roots are so important to them, the reception was camp themed and the centerpieces featured appropriate items like lanterns.  Take away gifts were custom ceramic mugs and table assignments were according to cabin names. It was a gorgeous day, an adorably themed DIY wedding and an incredible dance party.

Venue: Sugar Bowl Ski Resort | Officiant: Rev Channing Smith | Florist: Sugar Bowl Ski Resort | Bakery: Ikeda’s California Country Market | Musician: Megan Bigelow | DJ: Ashlee Sleek | Bride’s Attire: Trudy’s Bridal | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Dessy | Groom’s Attire: The Celtic Shoppe | Hair and Make-up: Daymaker Brides | Second Shooter: Annie Robillard

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Zephyr Cove Resort Wedding

Zephyr Cove Resort Wedding | Lake Tahoe, NV | Ana + Andrew

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

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Chateau at Incline Village

Chateau Wedding | Incline Village, NV | Caitlin and Brad

Can all weddings have flower girls that clean up their flowers during the ceremony please?  For real.  Have you ever seen anything more adorable?

Caitlin and Brad met while attending the University of Arizona and now are loving living in Reno.  Mountains, athletics and four seasons are important to them and their friends definately did not let any of this, or their antics during college, escape their speeches at the wedding!  Brad’s brother actually kicked off the entertainment: he delivered, without a doubt, the most hysterical and amazing best man speech I’ve ever heard in the history of all weddings.  I could hardly take photos through the laughter induced tears.

Their Chateau wedding in Incline Village was graced with beautiful light, a kick ass dance party and plenty of laughter.  It was a beautiful day for a beautiful couple!

Venue: The Chateau at Incline Village | Officiant: Erica Jones | Invitations: Compass Rose Studio | Florist: A Floral Affair | Bakery: Dee’s Bakery | DJ: Epik Entertainment | Bride’s Attire: Bridal & Veil | Bridesmaid Attire: Jenny Yoo | Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Joseph Abboud from Men’s Warehouse | Hair and Make-Up: Tahoe Salon Be

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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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Landing Resort Wedding

Landing Resort Wedding | Lake Tahoe, CA | Lex + Michael

Lex and Michael’s image from their Hora may be one of my most favorite images ever.  The combination of surprise, concern and hands everywhere makes me incredibly happy.  I also couldn’t help but put a ton of their portraits in this post, which is unusual for me, but they are so ridiculously good looking and adorable that I couldn’t help myself.  This young couple has been together SINCE JUNIOR HIGH (yes, seriously) and their parents and families are already best friends.  What I expected to be a quiet, subdued Sunday brunch Landing Resort Wedding was the exact opposite: from a poignant ceremony, to tear filled speeches, to a pumped up dance party, this wedding delivered like no other brunch wedding ever has.

Venue: The Landing Resort and Spa | Officiant: Sharon Rusk | Florist: Thran’s | DJ: Ascent DJ Productions | Bakery: Tahoe Cakes by Grace | Bride’s Attire: Free People | Groom’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse

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Kirkwood Mountain Resort Wedding

Kirkwood Mountain Wedding | Kirkwood, CA | Lauren + Danny

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

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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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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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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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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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