As a little girl, I vacationed in Lake Tahoe and to say it’s a nature lover’s paradise is a gross understatement. It’s so much more. Gorgeous scenery, lakeside bungalows, lots of latenight campfires…you get the drift. But Lake Tahoe is even better when matched with an elegant al fresco wedding like this beauty photographed by Rachelle Derouin, designed by Archive along with the prettiest blooms by Krista Jon. Have a look here!


From the Bride… Choosing a location was easy. Growing up with Lake Tahoe in my backyard, and together enjoying nothing more than the outdoors, Lake Tahoe was the perfect domestic destination venue. Its natural beauty reflects our casual but active personalities. When it came to planning the details, my mother and I love projects so we gladly took on the DIY’s. From invitations, to table runners, table numbers, and a seating assignment tree, we put our creativity to the test. We also created unique traffic signs that hung throughout the venue to help guide guests throughout the open space lawn.

On our wedding day we kept some traditions, but made sure to add our own flavor: we walked down the isle to my brother playing Ben Harper’s “Not Fire, Not Ice” on Rob’s acoustic guitar, and our flower girl wore the same dress my mother had worn as a five-year-old flower girl 60 years prior. When it came to the ceremony, we focused on personal & simple: we wrote & recited our own vows, we stood alone within a ring of rose petals with Lake Tahoe as our backdrop, and Rob’s childhood friend officiated the ceremony – declaring us husband and wife after a very unique, and personal speech.
To get our party started we offered our friends & family a choice of my favorite beverages: Rose Champagne, spicy margaritas, or cool cucumber gimlets. And for Rob and the beer-loving Midwest crowd, we offered a beer-tasting bar with a sampling of Rob’s favorite West-Cost craft beers. After all, people traveled from far away, why have them taste beers from a familiar list?

We also knew we wanted our wedding to be fun! With hopes of getting everyone on the dance floor from the first song to the last, we passed on the traditional wedding DJ in favor of our local favorite from San Francisco. Realizing that even the most eager dancers need their break we had a Polaroid guest book, a bocce ball court, and the biggest hit of all: s’mores over a fire pit. With a gluten intolerant bride and a groom that dislikes cake, it was a natural choice to forego the traditional wedding cake. With marshmallow flavors like Coconut, Mexican chocolate, and Irish cream, the s’mores went over well. No one missed the cake! Rob and I could not be more pleased with how are wedding went. It really was as “us” as we had hoped it to be. And because we stayed true to ourselves, it was a perfect day. We had the time of our lives and will forever remember this special day.

Photography: Rachelle Derouin Photography | Coordinator: West Shore Cafe | Floral Design: Krista Jon | Wedding Dress: Anne Barge | Invitations: DIY by the bride | Shoes: Rebecca Minkoff | Bridesmaid Dresses: Bill Levkoff | Hair + Makeup: Mili Simon | Wedding Venue: West Shore Cafe | Decor: Archive Rentals | Flower Girl Dress: Vintage, worn by mother of the bride at age 5 | Groom + Groomsmen Suits: J.Crew | Music: DJ Magic Matt | Rentals: Archive Rentals | Venue + Catering: West Shore Cafe | Wedding Design: Archive Rentals