When it comes to adventurous types, my clients Greg and Daphne might just take home the gold. They came my way from another set of favorite travel loving adventurous clients of mine, Ryan and Laura, whose intimate backyard wedding at Revive Coffee and Wine Bar (now the defunct Lakeview Social), was as charming, relaxed, and full of laughter as I can ever ask of. Greg and Daphne definitely take it up a notch though. They wanted NOTHING more than a magical white Tahoe winter wedding and a magical white blizzard of a Tahoe winter wedding is what the weather gods provided for them. If you are cold blooded, or just want to stress out your family (I kid, I kid), the magic of a Tahoe winter wedding is unmatched: glistening snow, brutally crisp air, and breathtaking landscapes (that you might not be able to see from all that pow coming down) create a memorable backdrop. However, planning a winter wedding in Tahoe comes with its own set of challenges and opportunities, as this rad couple discovered and it is not for the faint of heart.
Things to consider when planning a Tahoe winter wedding
THE DATE – If you really truly want snow, you should know that outside of about every 5 years when we have a REALLY big winter (as we did this past year), that it often doesn’t snow by Thanksgiving. In fact, it often doesn’t snow straight into the Christmas holiday. Selecting the right date for your Tahoe winter wedding is crucial if snow is very important to you – generally the end of February, all of March and the beginning of April is a safe bet for guaranteed white stuff.
THE VENUE – You might be thrilled to force your friends and loved ones outside during your ceremony, come snow or shine, but make sure there is somewhere warm, cozy, and inviting to enjoy the rest of your evening in. The Idle Hour made a great location for a wedding on the intimate side – it’s lakefront patio was the perfect informal backdrop for their ceremony and the warmth of the indoors was just steps away.
DRESS FOR THE OCCASION – invariably, city folk will come to Tahoe and make the mistake, regardless of the time of year, of wearing heels. Make sure that you encourage your guests to dress appropriately for the weather (think warm accessories, flat boots with tread on them, wraps and hats!).
PLAN FOR EXTREME WEATHER – Tahoe’s winter weather can be unpredictable, as Greg and Daphne discovered, so it’s essential to be prepared. Work closely with local services to manage snow removal and transportation logistics. Have a contingency plan in place for unexpected storms and keep guests informed about any potential changes to the schedule. There is a chance that the roads into Tahoe may close to snow conditions and avalanches at any time in the winter, so make sure that your guests recognize that not only can they not drive on the same day (or they may miss the extravaganza) but in the most extreme of winters, they may want to arrive a few days early and they will need to carry tire chains for their rental cars.
At the end of the day, Greg and Daphne got absolutely 100% of what they wanted on their wedding day: a winter white extravaganza. Because they are familiar with winter weather and conditions, they were able to anticipate and address potential challenges that arose during the planning and execution of their Tahoe winter wedding – from slightly adjusting timelines due to weather conditions, coordinating with vendors to clear the deck of snow, and making sure that everyone was on the same page with some last minute finagling, their proactivity allowed the to have the winter wedding of their dreams and a mostly seamless event!
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