Winter is on the way and this wedding gallery has us sipping spiked cocoa by the fire. After poring over this stunning soiree at Lake Tahoe wedding venue The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe and captured by Ciprian Photography, I am sold that art deco meets winter elegance may just be one of my favorite wedding styles. My eyes are aglow with the white floral design by Art in Bloom and the Northstar Ski Resort backdrop is as lovely as they come. See what the bride, Allison, has to say about her amazing Lake Tahoe wedding day below:
Rob and I met in 1995 at Cornell through Ski Club. Rob graduated ahead of me and moved out West, so we lost paths for 7 years…until 2006, when we ran into each other in the Pittsburgh airport baggage claim after a flight home for Christmas (also a native Pittsburgher, he happened to be on the same flight). At that moment, we realized we had both been living and working in San Francisco for the past handful of years, exchanged numbers, and started dating. In December 2011, we got engaged on the way home for the Holidays, while once again hanging out in the Pittsburgh airport, at baggage claim K.
The Style, Decor and Planning
Art deco meets vintage winter: my 1920s-style dress set the art deco tone in terms of design elements we used, and I wanted to also incorporate Tahoe/vintage winter sports pieces. Rob and I spend a lot of time in Tahoe so the entire weekend had to feel really different and special to us. The goal was to make the event elegant and chic, with a touch of rustic mountain/alpine details. I chose a palette of champagne gold, icy blue, deep turquoise, and earthy browns as I thought they’d work well in the event spaces, while also highlighting the pretty hues of mid-winter with the classic tones of a wedding.
I run my own business as a web/experience designer and my oldest and dearest friend Kara is a print/graphic designer, so she custom-designed an art deco pattern from my dress details that we used on everything. We selected a wintery fresh palette and deco font, designed a custom logo of Rob and me silhouetted/hanging on a chairlift, as well as an R&A monogram that was on most pieces. We also created a custom stamp, stickers, envelope stamp, etc. Together, it was really fun developing a full suite of design assets and elements that we could use on all of the wedding collateral we created. We designed almost every single design element in the event: the lift ticket save-the-dates, welcome boxes, the trail map, menu, program, custom “A” and “R” s’mores sticks for the welcome party at Petra’s, wedding website, invitations, signage throughout the event, escort card display, guest book skis, family photo display, etc. We used wintery materials like vellums, metallic papers, deep gold accents, rich texture linens, antique sports equipment, etc., to tie it all together.
Throughout the planning, I browsed antique stores, ebay, and craft suppliers to collect vintage gold mercury glass for the ivory florals, wickets for the Save the Dates, paper samples, vintage winter toboggan, mini-snowshoes, vintage fur stoles, gold baskets, ski race cowbells, blankets for the ceremony, vintage skis to be used/signed as the guest book, luminaries for the patio, gold boxes for the cookie table takeout, etc.
I am of Greek heritage and Rob is of Syrian heritage, so we wanted to incorporate some traditions from an Orthodox ceremony, as well as the cuisine we know and love. During the ceremony, officiated by our friend Josh who became ordained as a “Dudeist Priest” by the Church of Lebowski (no joke), we used my parents’ Greek Wedding Crowns, which serve as a sign of the bond between the Bride and Groom, and make the couple ‘King and Queen’ of their new family. My sister placed the crowns (which were tied together by a long ribbon) on our heads during the ceremony, and exchanged them three times between our vows.
Lake Tahoe was the obvious choice for our wedding, since we met via Ski Club, took a cat-ski trip to Canada for our first real getaway, and currently spend most of our free time there, when not living and working in San Francisco. We selected the Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe because it had the best food and facilities to host a winter wedding, and also had an outdoor patio where we could hold the ceremony. It was the perfect, luxe setting for an extended-weekend of parties in one location, and it minimized logistics for guests who would be traveling from afar. The hotel and staff provided our guests with an amazing Tahoe experience, complete with easy access to the outdoors and slopes, great service, food, spa, gear rentals, attention to detail, transit, etc.
We also had traditional Greek Dancing, a Mediterranean menu, and a “Cookie Table,” which is a wonderful wedding tradition from our hometown of Pittsburgh, where in addition to a wedding cake, a large table with different ethnic cookies is presented at the reception. Cookies are generally prepared by family members in advance of the party, and my aunts and mom contributed with classics such as Baklava, Kourabiethes, and Buckeyes.
Allison’s Favorite Wedding Day Memories
Skiing laps that morning with Rob. Walking down the aisle with my Dad. Seeing Rob for the 1st time at the altar. Our vows. The overwhelming feelings that hit me the moment the ceremony was complete. Dancing up on stage with Rob during “Two Tickets to Paradise.” Having a great friend marry us. Our dog as a “Ring Beast.” Dancing with our parents, family, and dearest friends. My niece Greek dancing. Putting on my dress with my mom, sister, and niece. The Mediterranean eats. Group shot-skis. The live music. A close friend showing up at 9pm after having emergency appendix surgery at Truckee-Tahoe Hospital earlier that day! All of our friends and family re-meeting in a place we absolutely love.
From the planner, Shannon Leahy ~
The weather was perfect for a Winter Wedding… snow on the ground, sunny skies and the temperature allowed for the ceremony to be outside by the fireplace with some cozy blankets and cider. Perfect.
I just adore the paper materials that the Bride created and the table numbers from Yonder. It was also my first time seeing the Greek Orthodox tradition of the wedding crowns and it was absolutely stunning and beautiful to watch.
Lake Tahoe Wedding Vendors:
Photographer : Ciprian Photography | Ceremony & Reception Venue : The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe | Event Designer & Planner : Shannon Leahy Events | Florist : Hattie Reed with Art in Bloom | Catering & Cake : The Ritz Carlton, Lake Tahoe | Rentals & Lighting : Crux Events | Linens : La Tavola Fine linen | Paper : Yonder Event Design | Music : Guilty Pleasures | Invitation Designer : Chapas Design & Kara Reid | Wedding Gown Designer : Jenny Packham from Nouvelle Vogue | Bridesmaid’s Dress Designer : Aidan Mattox from Saks Fifth Avenue | Jewelry : Custom by Sally Rumble & Maria Elena | Hair : Talia from The Ritz-Carlton | Makeup : Jennifer Ergut Makeup | ShotSki : Andy Costigan