Destination I Do
Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Real Destination Wedding Wednesday: Lake Tahoe

Words by Jennifer Stein
Images by Jay Reilly
Wedding Design & Coordination by Merrily Wed

Meet Cameron Smith Miller and David Webber Rivinus.

Married on June 27th, 2009, these jet-setting love birds flew over 2,000 miles from their hometowns of St. Lois, MO and Richmond, VA to tie the knot in Lake Tahoe.

They met and fell in love at a Christmas party in 2002 and 7 years and 6 months later, made their love and union official by way of destination wedding.

p>We decided to do a little Q&A with the Mrs., so she could tell you first hand, what her experience of planning a wedding away was really like.

Q: Was planning a destination wedding easy?
A: I think "easy" is a tricky word. I do not think that planning a wedding is easy, regardless of where, when, or with what budget. I have to say that my biggest fears of a destination wedding were the things that I could not really control – primarily the quality of the final product. Having frequented Tahoe for years, one of my favorite aspects is the homegrown, down-to-earth persona. Tahoe City is a ski town that has not been overly commercialized by trendy celebs or high-end hotels. While this is one of the reasons I love Tahoe, I was concerned that the remoteness of the location would mean that the food, flowers, and service would suffer. I was ABSOLUTELY wrong. While the lack of options (I only tasted one caterer, met with one florist, and took my wedding planners advice on hair and make-up) scared me at first, it ended up making the process so much easier because I did not have to waste time on those decisions.

Q: Describe the ceremony & reception:
The ceremony setting was picture perfect, with the low afternoon sun and boats passing in the distance. I loved that Dave and I could gaze out over the lake while taking in the importance of the covenant of marriage that we were entering. Everything felt so right.

Cocktails, dinner, and dancing followed the ceremony on the lawn. We served our signature cocktail, the Faded Crane (a favorite from Umami Restaurant in San Francisco), and enjoyed a beautiful afternoon on the lake. Bobby Yang continued to play throughout dinner, which was an absolute hit with tables breaking into song. The night of dancing ensued, with minimal breaks for cake cutting and a costume change – I changed into a little black dress, much better for the boogie!! Bobby Yang joined the band for some of the songs and made for a fantastic show. Dave and I were sent off in an old woody boat, aptly named Say When.

Q: What did you use when planning your wedding?
Our primary resource was Merrily Rocco our wedding planner extraordinaire. For invitations and other paper products, we used resources from our hometown and wedding magazines to help inspire ideas.

Q: What was your favorite moment on the wedding day?
Exchanging rings with Dave. Although we were surrounded by so many people that love and support us, I was so in the moment with him and felt that we were the only two people in the world. I also loved the fact that I got to be a bride, a princess, and a rock star on my wedding day. Singing on stage with the band was definitely a highlight for me!!

Q: Do you have any special advice you would like to share with our readers to help prepare them for their day?
First and foremost, remember that this is all about FUN and the importance of love, honor, and respect for your partner. When I would get bogged down in the details, I would try to lift myself up and remind myself what a wedding is really about. I am lucky and have a mother and husband who were very involved. While this sometimes made for disagreements, overall it took a lot of pressure off of me. In those tougher moments, I suggest taking a deep breath, going for a run, and figuring out what is really important at the end of the day.

Photographer: Jay Reilly
Wedding Planner: Merrily Rocco from Merrily Wed
Ceremony/Reception Site: West Shore Estate
Gown Designer: Monique L’huillier
Florist: Diana’s Floral Design
Grooms Clothing Designer: Burberry
Bridesmaids/Groomsmen Clothing Designer: Melissa Sweet dresses; Vineyard Vines ties
Other Vendors: catering - D’Lish, band - Tainted Love, strings – Bobby Yang and his Unrivaled Players

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