Laugh Together

Summer Solstice Lake Tahoe Wedding


February 6, 2020
Words by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of Mike Larson

Among our common suggestions on choosing a location to wed is to think about a place that you and your partner have always loved. Or, perhaps there’s a time of year you see yourself saying “I do.” Today’s real wedding couple didn’t look at their wedding as a “destination wedding” per say, but an opportunity to start a marriage in their favorite place during the summer solstice.

“We knew we wanted to be married outside in Lake Tahoe. It is one of the most magical places we have traveled to,” the couple says. In fact, Sara grew up spending her summers with her family on the lake and later on Conor actually got to join on those trips. The couple’s friends and family knew this, so they were more than excited about the chance to not only spend the weekend in Tahoe but to have a little getaway (since all of them would be traveling from other parts of the country).

As easy as the decision was to wed in Tahoe, the couple admits planning from across the country was difficult and expensive. However, a lot of stress was eased by the couple’s phenomenal wedding planner, Merrily.

“She spent time with us to understand our vision and then suggested vendors and kept us on track throughout the entire process. She also managed the entire day of schedule which helped to keep the day relatively stress-free for the two of us,” Sara says.

The couple interviewed a few photographers on the phone and were able to select their photographer, Mike Larson, based on his passion for wedding photography and the style of his portfolio. “We met him in person a few months before the wedding for an engagement shoot in Joshua tree,” the two say. “This gave us a chance to get to know one another and get comfortable in front of the camera before the wedding day.”

Although they weren’t able to have too many DIY projects (shipping would be a hassle) – one of the bridesmaids made a wooden sign for the seating chart and a welcome sign to go with the guestbook. Also, one of the groomsmen designed a logo for the wedding which he named “Saunders’ Solstice.” 

When all the pieces came together, the day couldn’t have been more personal and near perfect. Perhaps because the couple took one piece of advice from their photographer to heart: “always come back to the ‘why’.” 

“Whenever you make a decision ask yourself why you want that and why you were doing all of this,” the couple says. “It helps keep you centered. When things get stressful, which they will, it’s important to know your ‘why’ so that you don’t second-guess yourself.”

Vendors: Photographer: Mike Larson; Wedding Planner: Merrily Wed; Ceremony/Reception Site: West Shore Cafe; Florist: B&B Designs; Stationery: Minted; Cake: Flour Girl Wedding Cakes; Hair & Makeup: Jay-Lee Smith; Gown Designer: Amelie by Sottero & Midgley; Groom’s Clothing Designer: Black Lapel; Bridesmaids/Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: Jenny Yoo; DJ: Jon Don Myers

Couple in Punta Cana doing a destination wedding by the ocean
Destination Weddings at Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva
Hyatt Ziva and Zilara Destination Weddings
Black couple getting married in Jamaica
Jamaica Destination Weddings
Destination I Do Podcast
White couple getting married in Punta Cana, DR
destination wedding couple throwing rose petals in costa mujeres
Iberostar Weddings

Find a Vendor

Access our list of vendors based on your destination location.