Destination I Do

Lake Tahoe: Nevada's Other Great Destination

Words by Kelli Donley
Photos courtesy of Zorn Photography
If Las Vegas isn't your style, but the beautiful outdoors is, consider another Nevada destination for your upcoming nuptials - Lake Tahoe. The beauty of the pristine water, clean mountain air and crisp weather provide a picturesque wedding background.

"Lake Tahoe takes its name from a Native American word meaning 'Lake of the Sky' -- which describes it magnificently," says Merrily Rocco, a wedding coordinator in the area. Nestled on the California/Nevada border, Lake Tahoe's sparkling waters span 195 square miles, making it the largest alpine lake in North America. It is one of nature's most beautiful and breathtaking settings. It is an ideal destination wedding location with unbelievable and unforgettable panoramic views. 

One of the unseen beauties of marrying in Lake Tahoe is the convenience of travel. It is a relatively short flight from anywhere on the west coast or southwest, and a great vacation destination for guests who may be traveling from the south or northeast. 

"They won't have to cope with extremely long flight times to any island in the Pacific or a foreign country," she says. "Plus, when planning your wedding, you don't need to worry about foreign laws to make your marriage official."

One thing you may have to worry about is weather. Lake Tahoe is notorious for fast changes in temperature. It is not entirely uncommon for it to snow when it is least expected. Brides planning an outdoor wedding or reception may need a plan b. 

"The best time of the year to get married in Tahoe is from mid-June to mid-September, especially for an outdoor wedding,"she says. "July and August are traditionally the warmest months. June is beautiful with snowcapped mountains around the lake but it has also been known for an occasional spring snowstorm. September is a wonderful time too, but evenings tend to be cooler so tents and heaters are almost necessary. No matter when you plan to marry, just remember that the weather can be unpredictable here, so you should always have a tent or indoor location available as a backup plan.

Rocco specializes in matching couples with lavish homes where they can host their wedding and reception. "One of the most beautiful, intimate settings for a Lake Tahoe wedding is at a lakefront estate," she describes. "Venue fees can range from $6,000 to $12,000 for the day and easily double that price for the luxury of also staying a few nights at your lakefront estate. These locations can accommodate weddings most typically with a guest count between 100 - 150 people. Only a couple of sites are capable of hosting a wedding gala of 200-plus."
Merrily says the view is unrivaled and the lake can provide more than just a pretty backdrop. "One of my favorite recommendations for my brides is to use the location to her advantage and not forget about Lake Tahoe itself, she says. "Tahoe's passive beauty is effortless for all to admire but a fun idea is to let the surroundings take an active role in the wedding. There are many ideas to choose from. For the ceremony, you can set afloat a wreath for a special memorial, cast your roses together as husband and wife after a simple rose exchange or, just for fun, toss your bouquet from a pier! These make for wonderful photos. For the reception, and if your budget allows, you can host a glorious firework show over Lake Tahoe for all your wedding guests and light up the night sky. Or lastly, make an exit your guests will never forget, a grand Tahoe departure as newlyweds on a classic wooden boat known as a woodie." 

For more information on Lake Tahoe weddings and to contact Merrily Rocco, visit:

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