Love In Lake TahoeWords by Taylor Wilson
Photos courtesy of What Shanni Saw
After Mark taught Alena to snowboard on the breathtaking mountains of Lake Tahoe while staying at the Ritz Carlton, the couple feel in love with this California gem, making it one of their go-to getaways. When the idea of a destination wedding came to mind, the couple knew they wanted to venture off to someplace away from the city life their hometown in the Bay Area offered. In an attempt to fulfill their idea of wedding in a locale with natural beauty that would be an experience in itself, they remembered all their fond memories in the sleepy town and knew Lake Tahoe was the destination for them.
Because most of Mark and Alena’s family and friends frequent Lake Tahoe as well during ski season, they were all excited to make the trip for the wedding. The only major concern for some guests was the weather, which Mark and Alena addressed on their website, including travel reminders and tips on a card with the formal invitation. To keep guests warm at the ceremony, the couple had heat lamps set up, a bartender serving delicious hot chocolate concoctions and blankets, which doubled as the favors.
“There was something so alluring and magical about the idea of getting married in the mountains in the snow,” says Alena. The couple was determined to host their fairytale wedding, which ended up being a pleasant experience. All of their vendors were absolutely fantastic and planning a wedding from afar meant the couple got to take a weekend trip with their parents to sort everything out. “This allowed [our parents] to get as excited about the little details as we were,” recalls the bride. Not to mention, their wedding planner from One Fine Day Events was spectacular and also instrumental in organizing the perfect day for Alena and Mark.
Because of the competitive prices with the Bay Area, Alena and Mark feel they saved an exponential amount of money in hosting a destination wedding. This is because they were met with far less restrictions and creating their vision was effortless in Lake Tahoe where it would have been much more difficult at home.
Alena shares some final tips with other brides hosting a destination wedding. “Decide early on what’s important to you and your partner about your wedding, and let that help guide your budget allocation and vendor search. Take the time to find vendors you trust and will have a blast working with! We also highly recommend investing in a quality photographer and videographer. It was a decision that has allowed our wedding to live beyond that one day.”
Photographer: What Shanni Saw, Wedding Planner: Stephanie Martin, One Fine Day Events, Ceremony/Reception Site: Ritz Carlton Ballroom, Gown Designer: Jim Hjelm, Shoes: Jimmy Choo, Florist: Hattie Reed, Bridal Art in Bloom, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Ralph Lauren Black Label, Bridesmaids/Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: Occasions by Jim Hjelm & Calvin Klein, Ceremony Music & DJ: Brian Hess Trio and Brian Hess, Makeup Artists: The Makeup Dolls, Videographer: Darren Baca, Reel Eyes Media, Rental Companies: Red Carpet Events and Design, Crux Events, and One Fine Day Events
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