Sometimes, the body of water closest to you isn’t the right one for a wedding. Erin and Mike’s love story may have been filled surfing the Pacific Ocean, but when finding the perfect spot to celebrate their wedding, they knew it had to be the waters and woods of South Lake Tahoe.
Perhaps it was the West Coast waves lured Mike out here to California, but I’ll bet it was Erin that kept him here. Their first date played out in San Francisco after a not-so-lethal surfing accident. Rather poetically, they were engaged after another surfing session together over a year later. They had fallen in love over the course of exploring the California outdoors, travelling, and adopting their “fur baby” Henry.
So they set the date. They invited their loved ones. They found the spot. All the pieces were in place to tie the knot for an intimate destination wedding at one of crown jewels of California: South Lake Tahoe.
Here’s how that day played out…
Let me introduce you to our heroine, Erin.
Keeping Erin’s hair all in place.
…While also getting Maid of Honor Amy’s hair curly to the max.
Even Erin’s mom got in on the makeup fun.
Saying “yes” to the dress.
One last touch…
…and the look was complete!
Making the most of a woman at her most beautiful with just a kiss of light.
What are staircases for if not for making us look graceful?
How often does your dress have a train, after all? Work it!
Meanwhile, at another room nearby, the awesome vibe kicked in as quickly as you could say “boutonniere”.
Why, there’s the groom himself. Mike was so reflective I didn’t even have to pose him like this.
Buttons come naturally to this guy.
Mike makes suiting up for action look downright heroic.
But for all his skill in suiting up, he still needed a hand with that boutonniere. Like every other guy.
When you’re wearing as much blue as Lake Tahoe, you flaunt it.
Moodier than Batman. I mean the photo, not the groom.
Erin was whisked away to a South Lake Tahoe Aspen grove for her first look with Mike.
Mike…also whisked away to an Aspen Grove.
You can only keep a woman from her man for so long. It was time for that first look.
You’d have thought they were exchanging vows right then and there. Nope, just getting cozy.
Speaking of cozy.
What happens when Erin, Mike, and the fall season come to South Lake Tahoe.
The cologne ad shot, you know, where nobody is looking at anyone.
High altitude, chill temperatures, and plenty of sun is a recipe for romance.
Lost in the woods of South Lake Tahoe. But lost together.
I don’t know that anyone expected quite this much beauty and color to frame Erin and Mike.
Making an escape…
Since, you know, the wedding ceremony was soon to begin.
Meanwhile, back at the shores of South Lake Tahoe, the guests had arrived…
Mike is first to step up, arm in arm with Erin’s mother.
Then came the bridal party.
Redheads make everything better.
So do flower girls with wands.
Mike was ready for anything…
…With his wingman Henry at his side.
And then she stepped on to the beach.
Right where she wanted to be.
We Californians call this “hitching your wagons together”. Or maybe that’s just me.
Bouquets flying high can only mean that the kiss was a success!
The family portrait.
Bringing the party.
They may not be sisters, but they’ve got sister power.
Oh, and hats off to Matron of Honor Amy who designed the florals herself!
Just as the breeze picked up it was time to head inside Riva Grill and kick off the reception.
Pleased as punch.
Stealing a quick moment before stepping inside the room. Probably agreeing about how much they loved their photographer.
Making their entrance grand.
Mike’s dad was certainly impressed. Though I’m not sure it was the entrance as much as that drink.
Before they could even get settled, Erin and Mike returned to the dramatic Tahoe shoreline for a sunset sneakout. Too good to miss!
Taking his lady out for a dip…just not in the always icy waters of Lake Tahoe.
Swoon, in color.
What a stunning place to vow “forever together”!
I’m just glad that rogue seagull didn’t crash into them.
“I’m just glad that rogue seagull didn’t crash into us,” quipped Mike. Probably.
Back inside and out of the plunging temperatures.
They were grateful for the warm glow…
…And probably eager for some cake.
…As well as Amy’s tenderhearted speech.
A couple can only be toasted so long before they’ve just gotta dance!
It wasn’t long before the rest of the room got up to dance…
…Including these guys.
Then this guy cut in on Erin’s dance. Redheads have more fun!
Mike didn’t take it too hard that his wife had been dancing with another (little) man.
Inbetween dances, Mike told fish stories…possibly.
…While Erin humored him. She was figuring out this wife thing pretty quickly.
Before long, hunger got the best of our heroes. Cake hunger.
Mike was all too eager to smash that cake in Erin’s face.
Erin was a little more subdued in feeding Mike his cake.
Before long, Erin had recovered from her cake-related injury and returned to the dance floor.
She wasn’t the only one on the floor either.
I think this guy was trying to steal the spotlight. The nerve!
It didn’t matter. She just kept on dancing.
That time when MMMbop blared out through the speakers and the whole floor just stopped and belted it out.
Parents like these deserve hugs like these.
The music played on, even as Erin and Mike took a quick break for some last shots.
Wrapping up the evening in style. Remember what I said earlier about grace and staircases?
And the fun went on…
Erin and Mike, your wedding day was chock full of cool breezes and warm hearts—not to mention some truly beautiful vistas. It was a pleasure to get to know the two of you over the course of that day. Your lust for life, shared love for the outdoors, sense of humor, close family ties, and understanding of each other will provide a wonderful foundation for the life ahead. I pray that this first year is unforgettable, only to be bested by each year that follows. You’ve got this!
Stellar service provided by:
Venue + Catering: Riva Grill
Dress: Trudys Designs and Special Occasions + Pronovias
Tuxes: Tailors’ Keep
Rings: Brilliant Earth + Blue Nile
Makeup: Greco Rose Beauty
Hair: Greco Rose Beauty
Cake: Tahoe Cakes by Grace
DJ: Total DJ
Video: Wild 35
Hotel: Aston Lakeland Village