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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

Married in a Stunning Mountain Meadow? Yes Please!

This couple’s “how we met” story is straight out of a movie. They (quite literally) bumped into each other at a local bar and the rest is history. Maria Lamb photographed their wedding day set in a mountain meadow the gallery is a rustic bride’s inspiration goldmine.


From The Bride…11 years ago I took a waitressing job at the local college bar to help pay my way through school. A few weeks in I turned the corner too quickly and ran into the bar-back who was carrying several cases of beer. Behind those cases of beer was the cutest guy with bright blue eyes and a smile that suddenly made me feel a little bit better about the mess I’d made. I was mortified to say the least, but took the opportunity to introduce myself. We became fast friends and eventually started dating. We jointly discovered a passion for travel and set out on numerous trips around the world.

In September 2014 we planned a trip to Turkey and Greece. We had a list of sights to see, places to eat, and little to my knowledge, a place for Brad to propose. A private evening cruise on the Bosphorus Straight in Istanbul, Turkey will hands down always be my favorite adventure. It is where Brad asked me to marry him and I joyfully accepted. We love the outdoors, so we wanted everything about our wedding to reflect that. We found an incredible property just outside of Lake Tahoe, California and set the date for August 22, 2015.

Photography was a top priority, so I started researching shortly after the venue was booked. Maria Lamb’s images spoke to me the moment I saw them and I knew I had to talk to her. It was love at first chat and Maria was quickly booked to capture our wedding day. As you can see from our photos, Maria has an amazing talent for capturing the moments in between and the raw beauty of Mother Nature. I can’t wait to look back at these photos over the years and remember just how young and carefree we were.

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Photography: Maria Lamb | Cinematography: Kristen Bliss | Floral Design: Erin Go Bloom | Wedding Dress: Watters | Cake: Safeway | Bride’s Shoes: Ivanka Trump | Engagement Ring: Padis Gems | Jewelry:Nadri | Rings: Jewelry by Design | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Adrianna Papell | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Vera Wang | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Lela Rose | Bridesmaids’ Dresses:Watters | Catering: Farm to Belly | Makeup: Samantha Moreno | Hair: Alysha Anderson | DJ: Caliber DJ’s | Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse | Officiant: Alison Holeyman | Transportation: Northstar | Venue: Mitchells Meadow | Accommodation: Hampton Inn Amelia Island | Accommodations: Northstar Zephyr Lodge | Alterations: Just My Size | Bride Belt: Haute Bride | Cake Topper: Cake Topper Bliss | Day of Coordination: Forget Me Knot Events | Dessert Truck: Lazy Sundae, Lizette Rios | Event Planning, Design + Styling: Bride | Film Lab: PhotoVision Prints | Mother Of Bride + Mother Of Groom Dresses: Adrianna Papell | Photo Booth: Das Bus | Rentals: Camelot Party Rentals | Signage: Mother of the Bride

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For This Couple, Family + Friends Were the Focus of the Big Day

For this gorgeous Bride and her handsome Groom, their vision for a wedding was a personal, intimate affair that was all about our love, and giving close friends and family a fantastic weekend. With a special emphasis on honoring his deceased parents and her Jewish heritage, Hunter & Company brought this day together perfectly. See it all from Anne Ciotola and Light The Moment in The Vault!


From The Bride…Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that the only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. I lived by those words, but it wasn’t until I fell in love with my husband that I realized that the person I decided to be with (aka the man I was destined to marry) would also play a big role in shaping me.

I was introduced to Greg by a mutual friend a few days after I relocated to San Francisco for work, and we just clicked. People say that when it’s right it’s easy, and it was always just so easy with Greg. I was quick to fall in love with him, for his charismatic charm, impeccable manners, big heart, twinkling blue eyes, but most of all for his unflappable integrity and sense of morality. I have never met a better man, and I knew I was going to marry him when I realized that I became the best version of myself when I was with him.

In early September, he got down on one knee in a beautiful garden in France’s Rhone region, and neither of us wanted to wait until summertime to tie the knot. We happened to spend a weekend at the Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe for a charity event benefiting Make-A-Wish just after our engagement, and we realized it was a perfect winter wedding venue. Greg is from Melbourne and I grew up between the super warm climates of LA and Tel Aviv, so we were both enchanted by the idea of a snow-covered wedding.

We had the same goals in mind for our wedding-we both wanted a personal and intimate affair that was all about our love, while giving our close friends and family a fantastic weekend. We also wanted to honor Greg’s deceased parents, as well as my Jewish heritage.

I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by Sleeping At Last played as Greg walked down the aisle, and my parents walked me down the aisle to the instrumental tune of I’m Kissing You by Des’ree. Charms with photos of Greg’s parents hung from my bouquet, and memorial candles inscribed with their names and birth dates flickered in front of us as we stood under the gorgeous and elaborate floral chuppah (Jewish wedding arch). The weekend was everything we wanted it to be and more.

I read an article about weddings many years ago, and I never forgot the writer’s advice. She wrote that while a wedding should be about the couple, it was not for the couple; rather, it was for the couple’s friends and family. I happily embraced the notion, and kept it always at the forefront of my mind throughout that magical weekend, even though it meant skipping dinner at our reception (I don’t think I would have been able to eat anyway!), and never sitting down again after the first course was served.

Based on my experience, I would very humbly offer the following advice to future brides:

(i) Your guests have invested huge amounts of time, effort and expense to be at your wedding (this is particularly true for destination weddings)- do your best to find a few minutes to have an individual chat with each guest, and thank them personally for being there.

(ii) Everyone loves a good photo booth!

(iii) Get a fantastic photographer-I think I found the best with Anne Ciotola.

(iv) Take private dance lessons. Knowing how to move together will always come in handy, and we so cherished that bonding time. We were at our busiest in the weeks leading up to the wedding what with our respective full-time jobs, wedding planning, and acting as pseudo travel agents, but also desperately in need of quality time together. Those weekly lessons forced us to stop the world and enabled us to focus only on each other. Bonus points for getting to do that while locked in an intimate embrace.

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Photography: Anne Ciotola | Cinematography: Light The Moment | Event Planning: Hunter & Company | Floral Design: Art In Bloom | Wedding Dress: Pronovias | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Invitations: Hunter & Company | Bride's Shoes: Valentino | Bride's Shoes: Dolce & Gabbana | Hair + Makeup: Laurie Jones Hair | Lighting: Red Carpet Events And Design | DJ: Will Magid | Groom's Attire: Christian Dior | Venue: The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe | Cufflinks: Van Cleef & Arpels | Photo Booth: The Traveling Photo Booth | Veil: Rime Arodaky

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