Once upon a time, I forgot I had a wedding.
Wait, let’s not go there yet. Let’s back up.
2019 was a weird year for the wedding industry. It was, on average, about 25-35% down universally for all vendors. I predicted this when I started booking 2020 weddings in 2018. You see, 2020 *SOUNDS* so much more delightful and cohesive than 2019. In a normal year, people mostly get married on weekends and holidays. Every once in awhile, because Tahoe is a wedding destination, they get married in the middle of the week. Sometimes people get married in the winter, but not often. You don’t want Grandma slipping on ice and breaking her hip after all. You don’t want to worry about not being able to drive into the basin because a snowstorm closed the roads. And as such, while winter weddings do sometimes happen, they are few and far between. In short, my work/wedding season is fairly predictable.
Now, on the day in question, I had friends visiting and I we were planning on brunch at my favorite Tahoe breakfast joint, Artemis Lakefront Cafe, where you can get Greek breakfast. “What is Greek breakfast, Lauren?” You ask. Well, let me tell you: it’s FUCKING HEAVEN. It’s eggs, any way you want them, gyro meat, tzatziki sauce, extra crispy seasoned potatoes, grilled peppers and onions, AND pita bread. For those of you in Austin, TX, you too can have Artemis, but not breakfast because they don’t offer it at the new Bee Cave location. This day was a Thursday. In February. I woke up, got my morning lounge time coffee, took it to bed with me, read my 20 minutes, and then grabbed my phone and had an alert. ALERT my phone says. You have a wedding. “Oh shit!” I realize, “I can’t go to brunch! I have to go to work!”
“How did you not realize that you had to go to work you idiot?” you might be thinking to yourself. That is a good question. It’s because never have I ever had a wedding in the middle of the week in the middle of winter on a Thursday.
I had one on this day because it was 2-20-2020.
The best part about this wedding was that Maria and Lery threw their Lake Tahoe Golf Course wedding together in mere months. The date wasn’t so much important, though it was charming, as the fact that they had decided that after almost a decade of making each other laugh that they were ready to be married. And they just wanted to be married. So they booked a venue, and booked a place to eat tacos and drink beer after, and booked a photographer (me!) after reading on my website that I believed that guacamole was an “all the time food.” Everything else about their wedding was DIY. Lery’s son was their wedding party. Their best friend was the officiate. Another friend did Maria’s hair and makeup. Everything about this wedding was incredibly relaxed, joyous and simply about sharing their union with the people they loved most. It was the most wonderful way to spend a Thursday in February EVER.
It was better than Greek Breakfast.
Maria and Lery’s Lake Tahoe Golf Course wedding was everything they wanted it to be: it was full of laughter and surprises and inside jokes. It was poignant and at times tearful, like when Maria read vows created especially for her new stepson. It represented every bit of them and the people they love. Maria shared a shot of whiskey with her dad before they walked down the aisle. Lery shared a dryer sheet (a whole entire post in itself) with Maria in the middle of his vows. Post ceremony, Lery surprised Maria with a wedding gift even though they said they weren’t buying each other gifts. They met over softball and so Lery had a custom mitt just for Maria created in their team colors and embroidered with her nickname.
At the end of their ceremony, in addition to inviting me to their reception to have tacos and beer (duh), they handed over a tupperware of Lery’s homemade guacamole and a gift bag containing….. you guessed it….. tortilla chips and a bottle of wine. Future and current clients take note.
I may or may not have spent 10 minutes in the parking lot shoveling guacamole into my face before I went to the reception.
Maria and Lery, I hope the first month of you being married in 2020 was as full of as much laughter and spirit as you had hoped. Thank you so much for including me in your day. Here’s to a life of laughter, softball, guacamole, tacos and beer.
Here are some of my favorite images from Maria and Lery’s Lake Tahoe Golf Course wedding. Are you planning a wedding? You’ll find more real wedding posts here and frank discussions about wedding planning here.
Lauren Lindley is Lake Tahoe wedding photographer, also available for elopements and family portraits in the greater Northern CA Area. She also services New Orleans, LA, Dallas, TX, and Austin, TX. Have camera: will travel. She is available to provide services for weddings across the U.S. and worldwide. She specializes in capturing artistic portraits paired with unique storytelling moments to produce photojournalism based wedding photography with classic, clean and vibrant images. Lauren Lindley is currently booking weddings from 2020 and 2021 in Lake Tahoe, CA and other destinations worldwide.