Take everything you thought about your typical Tahoe wedding and be prepared to turn it inside out and upside down. Why? Because this lakeside beauty is an unexpected take on an outdoorsy affair with formality and tradition woven throughout. Merrily Wed designed a day around the prettiest pink, gold and champagne color scheme, and I kind of want to spend all afternoon tucked away in the gallery of Jonathan Young’s stunning photos. Join me right here.
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From Merrily Wed…Karen and Cyrus were no strangers to frequent flier miles as they lived apart, she in Los Angeles and he in San Francisco. Upon their engagement in fall 2011, plans were made for her move north to San Francisco. Karen’s family has a second home in Tahoe and she grew up visiting during the summers and winters. As busy working professionals, it was naturally a special place that Cyrus and her could retreat and feel peaceful and complete. They wanted a formal black tie wedding and wondered if they could pull it off outside on the beautiful shores of Lake Tahoe. We think they did!
This past September 8th, 2012 they wed at a private lakefront estate on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe. Cyrus and his groomsmen arrived for the ceremony aboard an Italian water taxi to the delight of their unsuspecting guests. Peony pink, ivory, gold and touches of champagne comprised the color palette of this classically elegant wedding. Heavy draping reminiscent of Karen’s stunning gown’s details graced the main arch that guests walked through as well as the wedding processional. Karen wore her mother’s cathedral veil that both of her sisters also wore at their own weddings.
Gold detailed embellishments could be found through-out the reception including the vintage lounge. Crystal chandeliers and clear tents allowed the towering pines overhead to not be forgotten and blended the classic indoors with the Tahoe outdoors. Gold logs anchored the ticket style escort cards. Karen and Cyrus selected table names after their favorite worldwide locations. Vintage etched champagne glasses welcomed guests pre ceremony filled with bubbly. Gold rimmed plates, gold votives and a gold runner added the rich feel to the tablescape. Beautiful blush, deeper pink and ivory floral centerpieces brought a romantic feeling to the tables.
From the ceremony opening with a tenor and string quartet to the 8 piece band from Los Angeles for the reception, guests’ ears were treated to notes from Frank Sinatra and the rat pack days. The checkerboard dance floor was the perfect touch to the stylish feel complete with the overhead simple string lighting. After sunset, the lighting on the pier, from string lighting to lanterns, beckoned guests to come closer to the best vantage point for soaking up the Jewel of the Sierras. Just to ensure no one left hungry, warm chocolate chip cookies and sliders were passed as the dancing winded down.
Photography: Jonathan Young Photography | Wedding Design + Planning: Merrily Wed | Ceremony + Reception Location: Private Lake Tahoe Estate via Merrily Wed | Floral Design: Art In Bloom | Ceremony Music: The String Beings | Band: Jay Sterling Band | Rentals: Celebrations Party Rentals + Archive Vintage Rentals | Linens: La Tavola | Invitations + Paper Goods: Gigi Press | Wedding Gown + Bridesmaids Dresses: Monique L’huillier
This film from Velare Imaginarium has left me nothing short of breathless. Adding cinematography to a wedding allows you to hang onto every syllable during the vows, and to pause at your favorite parts that you never ever want to end. And oh, Lake Tahoe, with it’s effortless blend of sandy beaches and snowy mountain peaks, it truly is heaven on earth. This gorgeous affair is the perfect addition to this day of wedding bliss, and don’t mind me…I will be over in the gallery getting lost in all that is pretty.
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From Summit Soiree… This couple was from Colorado who wanted a destination wedding in Lake Tahoe for their guests to enjoy a weekend of fun and frolic on the beaches of Incline Village, Nv. They had their wedding on a Monday so all their travelling guests could enjoy a summer weekend in Lake Tahoe ending with their wedding celebration!
Their theme and style was a mix between vintage and retro-modern accents. They wanted an organic outdoor wedding celebration among the towering pine trees and Lake Tahoe sandy beaches. They embraced all their senses with lemons, eucalyptus, succulents and other California classics. Lots of bright lemon/citrus yellow and whites, along with touches of grey/aluminum. Large classic daisies with white and yellow spider mums were incorporated throughout the wedding. Vintage umbrellas in lemon yellow, white and grey hung above the dance floor and dining area with a candy table with every kind of yellow and white candy imaginable.
Wedding Photography: Steve Stanton Photography / Wedding Cinematography: Velare Imaginarium / Wedding Venue: Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe in Incline Village, Nevada / Wedding Planning: Heather Spear of Summit Soiree / Floral Design: Sweetpeas of Tahoe / Ceremony Pianist: Tim Callicrate / Reception Band: The Cheeseballs / Wedding Stationery: Cards of Wood / Calligraphy: Calligraphy by Tammi / Lighting: Celebrations / Sound: PSAV / Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental / Lawn Games: Crux Events / Wood Signs: Raymond Kent / Wedding Dress: Tara Keely via Blue Bridal Boutique / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew / Hair: Kori Walker of Kolor by Kori / Makeup: Jennifer Ergut Makeup / Suits: Kenneth Cole + Macy’s
Seersucker and navy. Stripes and boats. Driftwood hearts and polka dot cakes. Sounds like the makings of a fabulous nautical affair. But what really struck my fancy with this Lake Tahoe wedding was the romantic element added by Merrily Wed. Alongside the boat shoes and the color blocked maids’ were parasols and bright blooms from Bellissima Floral. Both the bride and the groom were ever present in the deets from the day, perfectly captured by both Jay Reilley Photography + Courtney Aaron Photography, and that is something we love to get on board with. Click here for more!
Click here to see the full wedding in the gallery!
From Merrily Wed … We had a lot of fun incorporating their personalities into the wedding! Abby is a teacher so we used chalkboards for the table numbers and she also had a ton of wine corks. I gave her the idea to glue the wine corks around the table number frames and create the bar menu frame backings which we simply pinned the bar menu to as well. We also stacked tons of corks in vases (along with white dendrobiums and limes) at the bar.
Abby also loves mason jars so we used these to serve her signature drink, to showcase family photos at the guest book table and to also suspend orange pillars from shepherd hooks around the property. She found some stemmed mason jars that we brought to them for their quick spin on the Lake after the ceremony. She had some old shutters which we used to present the guests’ escort cards on and embellished them with a few floral blooms. They love riding their beach cruisers so this was stamped on their escort cards and dining menus too.
Abby has a very fun, playful personality and this is seen everywhere with the vibrant orange touches from the parasols to the sashes on her bridesmaid dresses to the flowers in the bridesmaids’ hair to punches of color throughout the reception. We played up Nic and his groomsmen seersucker suits by using navy pinstripe napkins at dinner and using navy pinstripe ribbon for subtle details throughout the reception.
We were striving for an overall casually elegant with a natural, warm inviting feel. Abby wanted to use their initials somewhere so Bellissima Floral created giant initials that we hung around the necks of giant seagrass urns at the aisle entrance and reused these at the entrance to the reception tent later on. We used burlap runners on the dining tables over Tuscany eggshell knobby linen – both very appropriate for Lake Tahoe. The walnut wood dining chairs complimented the walnut wood charger. The centerpieces were a mix of clear pedestal vases and ceramic white pitchers with single stems in white and clear glass bottles – a Tahoe rustic garden elegance feel. Key tables (guest book, lemonade and cake tables) were graced with Tuscany spice knobby linen for bursts of color.
Photography: Jay Reilly Photography + Courtney Aaron Photography / Wedding Planning + Design: Merrily Wed / Ceremony + Reception Venue: Private Estate, Sunnyside Estate / Florals: Bellissima Floral / Catering: As You Wish Catering / Cake: Sugar Pine Cakery / Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier / Bridesmaids Dresses: LulaKate / String Music: Accent Music / DJ: We Ain’t Saints / Rentals: Celebrations Party Rentals