Whimsical Summer Wedding at Lake Tahoe
March 16, 2016
When it comes to planning a wedding our unofficial mantra resolves around these two key ingredients - make it pretty, make it personal. And today we're got a celebration that perfectly encompasses that sentiment thanks to the designers behind it - Elise Events and BandB Designs, just to name a few. It's a long-awaited ending to a classic love story (these two met as teenagers!) and the incredible Ryan Ray and Johnny B Films beautifully told the story. Head to The Vault to see why we're hopelessly obsessed.
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From the Bride and Groom... It’s not every day that a person meets their husband at 15 years old! By the time I turned 16, I knew Michael and I had something that some people only dream about. After 13 amazing years together, we decided it was time to walk down the aisle. Needless to say, our wedding was a long awaited event for many of our friends and family members. This was part of the reasons that we wanted to make it a very personal affair with many details that came from our hearts.

We both grew up spending our summers on the beaches and our winters in the snow of Lake Tahoe, so it made perfect sense to have our wedding there. Since we now live in North Carolina, this made for a destination wedding for us and many of our guests. We wanted a location that was unique, but I wanted to have the amazing Tahoe water in the background. When we stumbled upon the Hellman-Ehrman Mansion, we knew it was perfect. The beautiful stone house is perched upon a grassy hill, full of Tahoe pines, and down the hill is the gorgeous water. Since one of our first dates was to Michael’s prom, we included our picture from that night in our save the date! To give our guests some inspiration, we included a copy of a Lake Tahoe watercolor-done by my father.

The day of our wedding started off so perfectly. Our rehearsal had been almost washed out by rainstorms the evening before, but we awoke to perfect temperatures. Small personal details made our day even more special for us. The ceremony took place in the grass-near the water of Lake Tahoe with several boats in the background joining in the fun! Before the ceremony, guests were greeted with lemonade and sweet tea. I was escorted down the long hill by my father to Sigur Ros, “Untitled 1” - a song that Michael and I listened to together in college and throughout the years. We were married under an arch built by my father-in-law that was adorned with flowing greenery and floral by Brandie from B & B Floral Designs. We wanted to add something special to the service so we included a ribbon tying ceremony. Each of our parents, grandmothers and attendants tied a ribbon around our hands while giving us a personally written blessing. This was one of my most treasured parts of the day. Their words will be something we always remember and cherish. I’m so happy that Johnny B Films was there to catch each one on film.

I surprised Michael with a bluegrass band (The Pine Street Ramblers) as a nod to our home in North Carolina. They played through cocktail hour and part of dinner. Before the reception guests had to locate their seat by finding a funny picture of themselves on our escort wall. Michael and I had scoured the internet for months to find photos of each person and Michael’s father built the free standing wall. Together we handmade paper pockets to go under each picture, and inside was a card that I hand-lettered with their name and table number.

Our florist and wedding coordinator both went above and beyond with our vision. It was even more beautiful than we planned out. We spent so many hours carefully preparing with Danielle, from Elise Events, and watching it unfold was so magical. I loved seeing the set tables and the gorgeous flowing flowers at our reception! Each table setting had a beautiful menu with a ribbon that my mother and I hand-dyed together. These same ribbons were in my bridesmaid’s bouquets. Almost all of the gold vases and candlesticks were gathered by my mother. We included celebration crackers that I hand-lettered with each person’s name as their place card. In each cracker there was a handwritten note from either Michael or me. We were later told that these notes brought tears to a few of our guests. That meant so much to us to hear!

The night was perfect under the mountain stars! We danced under the bistro lights, ate delicious food and had a wonderful time being silly in our big photo booth. I only wish it could have lasted for hours longer. All of our vendors did such an amazing job pulling our day together. We cannot thank our team enough-they truly were the stars of the day.

The best advice I received and would pass on is that something may go wrong and you just have to flow. No one even knew that something we had planned was missing on our day, and everything was just as perfect without it.