This is a story about Mandy and Chris’s Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel wedding, but it’s also about how Mandy and Chris are my people and I get really excited when I find my people.
To be honest, at first I thought they weren’t my people. They were sporadic with communication and there were long delays. I thought they didn’t like me. They confused this type A person who just takes care of things and I felt like maybe they weren’t serious about hiring me. It turns out that Mandy and Chris are just BUSY. They are busy taking care of a menagerie of animals, and I do mean a menagerie. They are busy giving their time to their professions, in which they take great meaning and care. They are busy spending time with the people that are important to them, who happen to be funny as fuck. They are busy going to concerts and shows and living life and walking dogs and enjoying each other’s company. They are busy doing all the things that stop you from getting adulting done, but mean that you lead a wonderfully full and meaningful life. Mandy and Chris are up to the brim with dedication, zest and enthusiasm for everything around them and I find it to be inspiring and wonderful and frankly, I selfishly want more of them around me.
When I finally met them, Mandy was working at a non-profit animal rescue. She kept fostering dogs and convincing the people around her to adopt them. She now works for another non-profit (Planned Parenthood for all those fierce women out there holla). When their engagement session in Tahoe was completely snowed out with a random May blizzard, I traveled to photograph their engagement session in Kansas City, KS and I’m so grateful that I did. You see, all the while they were working full time jobs, taking care of their menagerie, living their lives, and planning their wedding, one of their beloved four legged best friends was diagnosed with cancer. Instead of having a romantic engagement session on top of a snow capped Tahoe mountain, we had an epic full family engagement session in the park they frequent with their animals and it involved three humans if you count me, five dogs, and eventually, wine. While we had a great time, what we were also able to do was capture their sick pup before he passed away and I am honored and humbled that I was able to create those lasting memories for them.
Flash forward to their Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel wedding. Mandy and Chris wanted some very simple things when they planned it: they wanted the ceremony on the beach, they wanted their friends and family to spend quality time with them, they wanted it to be EXTRA relaxed, and since their Tahoe engagement session got snowed out, they wanted epic high views for their portraits.
I was super pumped to have both my bestie Nicky Byrnes of Nemus Photography along for the day, as well as, our friend Kimmi of Starscape Studios who has been shadowing me at weddings for the past year. We took Mandy and Chris up to the top of Cave Rock for the most epic first look EVER. If you want to skip the slideshow in this post, you can head over to my post on reasons why you should have a first look and see some of their gorgeous photos. Because I knew they wanted a relaxed day and because I knew that the hike to Cave Rock could take awhile, I had also buffered in a lot of extra time and we ended up in the bar at the Landing Resort and Spa, across the street from their ceremony, for a snack and some drinks with the wedding party before the ceremony. At the end of the day, Chris said that it was his favorite part of the day.
Today, I’m grateful to add Mandy and Chris to my list of clients-turned-friends that I get to have in my life. I’m going to try to get out to Missouri to visit them and their menagerie every once in awhile (Elton John anyone?). Their wedding and everything about their calm, relaxed and funny day was perfect and it was one of my favorite weddings of the year.
Looking for more Lakeside Beach weddings? You’ll find them here and here.