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Family Focused Lake Tahoe Wedding

With a backdrop like Lake Tahoe, it’s hard to imagine that anything could go wrong. Oh it can. And it did. But even when this bride’s venue didn’t work out at the 11th hour, she managed to pull off an intimate, gorgeous wedding that will clearly left a mark on the hearts of her guests. With stunning photos by Carmen Santorelli, a design by Stems by Diana and a sense of love bursting through every image – this wedding is easy to fall in love with. Click here for more!

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Al Fresco

From From the brideBrandon proposed to me on a random Wednesday night in October of 2014, I turned the corner to three pumpkins carved with the words Will You Marry Me? After going back and forth with what we wanted for our wedding, we decided on an small destination wedding in Lake Tahoe. Once we realized that random October date fell on a Saturday this year, we knew it was meant to be.

We originally had found a private estate online and thought it would be perfect, so we booked it! Well…once we arrived in Tahoe for our last bit of planning in April, we realized it wasn’t going to work. Panic set in and we were frantically searching online for the perfect venue, since all of our vendors were already booked I had to keep our special October date! The stars lined up for us that weekend because we found a true hidden gem. The Tahoma Boathouse, perched right on the lake, filled with old Tahoe charm, a gorgeous lush lawn for cocktail hour, a stunning fireplace for s’mores later in the night, and just the right size for our guests.

Being from San Diego where the sun shines 365 days a year, I was so conflicted on whether we should have a tent or not. Better safe than sorry, right? We rented a clear tent and had huge wooden chandeliers draped with florals by the amazing Stems by Diana, Celebrations Party Rentals strung twinkle lights around the ENTIRE property, it was magical.

We enjoyed a delicious dinner from Butter + Salt, danced the night away under the stars, the guys enjoyed the Cigar bar and everyone loved the beignets for dessert! Photography and videography were the two most important things for us, once we spoke with Carmen of Carmen Santorelli photography, we knew she was our girl! Dax Victorino Films completely blew us away with a same day edit that played at the bar during the reception, our guests couldn’t believe it!

On that same October night, exactly two years later, we were married by Brandon’s stepdad with 65 of our closest family and friends right on the lake. There was so much love surrounding us that weekend, it was an absolute dream. To say Lake Tahoe will always have a special place in our hearts is an understatement.

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Photography: Carmen Santorelli Photography | Event Planning: Elise Events | Floral Design: Stems by Diana | Wedding Dress: Anne Barge From Bustle | Invitations: Ella Made | Bridesmaids: Lulu's | Hair + Makeup: Haley Rice | DJ: Ian McDonald | Venue: The Tahoma Boathouse | Bridal Boutique: Anne Barge From Bustle | Linen Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental

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A Lake Tahoe Locale That Will Make Your Jaws DROP

Saying “I do” on a picturesque mountaintop is dream-worthy in its own right, but saying “I do” atop a mountain overlooking Lake Tahoe? That’s an entirely new level of pretty. Case in point? These two sweeties, who tied the knot at the Zephyr Lodge in a take-your-breath-away celebration featuring mesmerizing views, crystal blue waters and a gondola or two. See it all in THE VAULT.

From First Pick Planning…. When we met Katie and Grant they let us know they planned to get married in Lake Tahoe, CA. The couple wanted a place where they could surround themselves with family and friends in a place near and dear to both of their hearts. Both Katie and Grant grew up spending time in Lake Tahoe and had fond memories with their families. It seemed like the ideal place for the two families to become one. They decided on a picturesque view at the top of Northstar’s Zephyr Lodge.

Northstar and its magical mountains set the perfect backdrop for their romantic wedding. The ceremony was outside facing out into the mountains and encompassed the love they had for each other, family and friends. During the ceremony they honored their parents longstanding marriages and Grant paid tribute to his grandfather by choosing his wedding ring as his wedding band. 

After the ceremony guests entered the reception inside Zephyr Lodge, which only lends itself to the stunning natural beauty that surrounds it with the floor to ceiling windows along one side of the venue. Art in Bloom brought us wild and free blooms that were placed in small clusters of mismatched vases that Katie’s mother had lovingly collected over the last year. The palette of rich greens and bright blooms complemented the scenery outside.

Guests dined at long family style tables with views of the mountains. As we further got to know Katie and Grant, we learned that family and friends truly mean everything to them. Based on this it was decided that we would serve the dinner “family style” with guests being able to try a little bit from each of the plates as they passed and encouraging guest to chat with one another.  After dinner was served and the traditional dances and speeches commenced.

Guests danced the night away and filled up the couple’s guest book with photos from their photo booth. We had a last minute décor addition of several green shrubs that were placed behind the DJ to separate the space and also made for the perfect backdrop for the photo booth. The couple had received a wedding gift of a personalized shotski that made the best addition to the photo booth greenery! To play off the fact that they got engaged in Ireland the couple served Irish Coffee’s to guests as they danced the night away.

Every aspect of the venue was perfection due to the amazing team at Northstar. During the planning process we quickly learned that Grant had a sweet tooth and dessert would be his main focus. In lieu of a traditional cake the couple opted for an entire dessert table filled with a few of Grant’s favorite’s: mini chocolate mousses, cupcakes, cookies and even doughnut holes. The night was truly one of those beautiful brisk mountain nights and guests enjoyed hot cocoa as they waited for the gondola to take them down the mountain at the end of the evening. Many of the guests joined the couple at the after party at Mikuni’s Sushi restaurant in the village where the rest of the doughnut holes were devoured and the life-sized cut outs of Katie and Grant made their grand appearance!

To plan your very own dream day perched on an 8000 foot mountaintop, contact the Zephyr Lodge today. Whether you’re planning a small, intimate affair or a larger gathering of 500, your guests will marvel at the stunning Pacific Crest views and drop-dead gorgeous sunsets, no matter the time of year. Just promise to invite us, okay?

Photographer: Candice Benjamin Photography | Videographer: Jordan Claverie | Coordination: First Pick Planning | Florist: Art In Bloom | Makeup: Jen With Kiss And Makeup | Hair: Sam Harris | Lighting: Event Masters Rental | After Party Bar: Mikuni Sushi | Ceremony and Reception: Northstar Zephyr Lodge | DJ/Musician: Brian Hess | Desserts: Treat Box Bakery | Photo Booth: The Traveling Photo Booth | Rentals: Celebrations Party Rentals

A Truly Chic Tented Ceremony That You Won’t Believe

If there was one wedding that would convince me to pack up everything and move to California, this would be it. Captured by Gagewood, it’s a celebration brimming with seriously elegant style and a few Bella Figura flourishes for good measure. It’s classic with a modern twist and we’ve got it all waiting for you to fall in love with via The Vault!

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Elegant

From The Bride…All it took was a game night setup, lots of wine, and great friends for Bret and I to see that there was something truly special between us. Our relationship was instantaneous from that first night and every year that passed thereafter seemed to fly by faster and faster. Before I knew it we had been together over three years and Bret was proposing to me at his family’s ranch in Northern Nevada. High on excitement and love, coupled with the excitement of our family and friends, it didn’t take long to start planning our nuptials.

We had three mains that were nonnegotiable when we started wedding planning. First was we had to have great food. Bret is an insanely talented ‘amateur’ chef so great food was a must. Secondly was location, we wanted something that was true to our style and to the area we grew up in. Northern Nevada is so incredibly beautiful and we truly have the splendor of all four seasons here. The both of us have grown up spending all seasons outside, doing some type of activity in the Lake Tahoe basin and we wanted to share our love of this area with all of our guests. The last thing, and probably our most cherished looking back, we wanted a resort where our family and friends could stay to enjoy in all the weekend festivities with us. With all of those in mind we selected one of the most stunning contemporary mountainside resorts, The Ritz-Carlton at Lake Tahoe.

From there we enlisted the help of Danielle from Elise Events to tie all our ideas together. She was, by far, one of the best decisions we made. We were able to vocalize all of our ideas, loves, hates and concerns and she took all of them in and delivered way above and beyond anything we could have imagined. With her in tow she brought our wedding style of organic understated romance to life. We wanted everyone to feel cozy and wrapped in the love that, the both us have for each other, and for our families and friends. Because of this, Bret and I pushed to keep our guest list limited and it made for a very intimate celebration.

Leading up to our wedding weekend we had beautiful sunny weather and then that Thursday a big storm rolled in. It started raining Thursday and it kept going all the way till about ten minutes before our ceremony. Determined to have my ceremony and pictures outside we made the decision to bring in a tent for our outdoor ceremony and I still cry thinking about how beautiful that tent was. It made for the most romantic and intimate ceremony we could have imagined. That tent may have been one of my most favorite things from our wedding. Funny how that works out!

It was the work of our florist that helped to create that gorgeous tent and the overall vision of our organic understated romance. Floral for me was one of the most important things and B & B delivered by leaps and bounds. Everything from my bouquet, to the table pieces, the flower crowns and the hanging greenery in our tent it was just beyond. She worked so closely with our wedding coordinator to bring this vision to life and oh my god was it gorgeous.

As we spent the night dancing away it started snowing heavily outside making for the most beautiful and serene evening. I only wish the night could have lasted longer. All of our vendors did an amazing job and we couldn’t be more grateful for their hard work every step of the way.

The best advice I received was to remember that this day is about you and your love and at the end of the day the only thing that matters is that the two of you are together, healthy and happy. Everything else will fall into place. Oh, one more, remember to have fun and enjoy every step because everything goes by so fast!

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Photography: Gagewood | Cinematography: Dax Victorino Films | Event Planning + Design: Elise Events | Floral Design: BandB Designs | Invitations: Bella Figura | Stationery: Forever Heyday | Bride's Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Jewelry: Jenny Packham | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Joanna August | Makeup: Jackie Trombley | Hair: Greco Rose Beauty | Calligraphy: Chloe Legras At Boxwood Avenue | DJ: Moonlight Mobile DJ | Groom's Attire: J.Crew | Venue: Vera Wang Papers | Bridal Boutique: Swoon Bridal | Hair Accessories: jennifer behr | Rentals: Celebrations Party Rentals | Rentals: Theoni Collection | Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Sash: Sara Gabriel | Veil: Paris By Debra Moreland | Wedding Dress One: JLM Couture, Inc | Wedding Dress Two: Watters

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here