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Calling all prepsters! Have we got a wedding for you! From koozies, camp mugs, and patriotism, to nautical stripes and sail boat table number, One Fine Day Events hit the nail on the head with the planning of Meagan and Kyle’s Gar Woods Lake Tahoe wedding.

The bride’s stunning up-do, styled by Greco Rose Creative, is as classic and beautiful as can be. The gorgeous rosy pink floral design from Jiosia Designs looks amazing against the navy and white stripe decor.  Sara & Rocky Photography captured the summer day in the gallery below:

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From the bride, Meagan ~
Kyle and I have been together for over 10 years, and we started dating when we were 19. Our history together played a huge part in this celebration. Kyle proposed to me on a sailboat and we’ve always loved boating and the water, so it was no question that our wedding was going to be unabashedly nautical. (Kyle called it ‘extreme nautical.’) So I was really inspired by boating culture and the water. Other than that, we both agreed that we wanted our wedding to be a joyful celebration with family and friends, so we tried to stay focus on that as the goal for the event.

Lake Tahoe is a special place for me and Kyle. We’ve been coming up to the mountains from the Bay Area since we started dating both to ski in the winter as well as adventure and enjoy the water in the summer months. We considered a variety of different locations in the area, but after Kyle’s company hosted an awesome Fourth of July party at Gar Woods, we knew it was the perfect fit. The lakeside location is unbeatable, but what made the location a good fit was the great attitude of the restaurant staff – we knew they’d help us achieve our ultimate goal which was to throw an awesome celebration with our family and friends.

One detail that was really special to me was my grandmother’s dress. I have had my maternal grandmother’s dress in my closet since I was a kid, and always wanted to wear it for my wedding. Since it is a tea-length dress, I opted to wear a classic long dress for the ceremony, and change into my grandmother’s dress for the reception. Putting it on was really special, and seeing the reaction of my family members (some who had even been at my grandmother’s wedding over 50 years earlier!) was really awesome. It was a special way to honor her. I wasn’t the only one with a costume change – Kyle and his groomsmen also changed into shorts, which was only fitting since he runs the American-made shorts company Chubbies Shorts (many of the guests were wearing shorts too). 

Wedding Vendors:
Photographer : Sara & Rocky Photography | Wedding Planner : One Fine Day Events | Venue : Gar Woods Pier and Grill | Makeup : Kari Addison Beautiful | Hair : Elyssa Corson, Greco Rose Creative | Floral Design : Jiosia Designs | Bride’s Dress : WToo Mimi | Veil : January Rose Boutique | Shoes : JCP, Brian Atwood | Groom’s Suit : Hugo Boss | Bow Tie : Kiel James Patrick | Shirt : J.Crew | Bridesmaids Dresses : Love Lane via Bella Bridesmaid | Groomsmen Bow Ties : Sperry Top-siders | Pants : J.Crew, Chubbies Shorts | Rentals : Crux Events | Band : Orella Entertainment Group, Smash City Band | Cake : One Divine Cake | Boat : Wild Goose II | Videography : Natasha Drobina

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There are a few things Tahoe weddings are not. To name just three: complicated, stressful, and unsightly. For this reason, we’ve come up with some wedding reception meal ideas that are simple, stress-free, and aesthetically pleasing. To boot, they’ll help you come in under budget.

I recently went to a wedding where Paella was served, and here’s why it was a hit:

1. No individual menu cards: the chef stood in front of the reception and explained the meat and veggie options. This not only created a more intimate feel, but saved money on printing. You can also rest well knowing you saved a tree or two.

2. Efficiency: There was no waiting for multiple courses, which carved out more time for dancing and mingling.

3. No servers: Again, a money-saving strategy! Guests serve themselves from the pans, making the experience interactive. Bonus: you can control your portion.

4. All the colors!

5. It’s not something the average person eats frequently, making the dinner portion of the wedding that much more exciting.

6. Since you only need one meat and non-meat option, it’s easy to plan.

7. You spend just a fraction of your wedding-planning time testing food.

8. It’s filling, but won’t weigh you down, and it’s appropriate for all ages.

Paella aside, here are some stress-free meals for your stress-free Tahoe wedding:

Mashed Potato Bar (a.k.a. “mashtinis”): all you need is a few giant bowls of mashed goodness, and the rest is history, I mean toppings.

Chicken & Waffles: to bring out the inner kid. This is one surefire crowd-pleaser.

Taco Bar: Taco ’bout a way to celebrate?! Could be a little messier, but always a hit. Ingredients aren’t expensive, guests can customize, and you can eat as few or as many as you’d like.

Mac ’n Cheese Bar: By dinner time, you’re all in your dresses, so there’s no need to hold back. Plus, since Lake Tahoe offers many chances to burn energy outdoors, you have every right to load up on carbs; you’ll just be prepping for post-wedding festivities!

Breakfast for Dinner: Anything tastes better in nature, but when you’re at a Tahoe wedding, nothing’s like huevos rancheros or eggs benedict in the evening.

Pizza: Why? Because fun food makes a fun party!

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You’ve made the first step in ensuring your special day is truly memorable by choosing a Tahoe wedding venue. Now, it’s time to seal the deal with a beautifully put-together wedding party. From dress color to silhouette, you can achieve that elegant but eye-catching look you’re after, but one way you can’t is by making each bridesmaid wear the same dress.

Why do matching dresses potentially work against the beauty of your Tahoe wedding? Because every body is different.

The key to creating a striking bridal party is to embrace the mismatched look. Some bridesmaids will feel more comfortable with sleeves, others will prefer a body that’s loose and flowy. Ultimately, the more at-ease your bridesmaids feel, the happier you’ll be, and the better the whole day will turn out.

Here are 5 ways your bridal party can nail it on the mismatched front:

1. Coordinate just print or color: Leave it up to your bridesmaids to pick the cut that suits their body most, but keep the print or color the same. This way you avoid a chaotic look, but encourage personality.

2. Set a theme: Your bridesmaids dresses don’t actually have to match at all in cut or style if you have a theme. Take “vintage,” for example; it’s virtually impossible to find multiple identical vintage dresses, but if each bridesmaid is wearing a vintage number, the party will look cohesive. Groomsmen can tie the look together by finding a pocket square that matches each of the bridesmaids.

3. Throw in matching cardigans: Cardigans (with sleeves either above the shoulder for warmer months, or below for colder days) help bring a slew of different bridesmaids dresses together. Bonus: since a Tahoe wedding can get chilly in the evening, your bridesmaids can stay warm while looking the part.

4. Coordinate with your bouquet: Encourage your bridesmaids to pick a dress they feel most comfortable in that at least matches one of the flowers in your wedding bouquet. Not only will this add to the uniqueness of your Lake Tahoe wedding, it’ll bring the look full-circle.

5. Find a common factor: Tell your bridesmaids the vibe you’re going for, and then ask them to send you a few dresses that’d boost their confidence. Chance are you’ll be able to find a common thread, ensuring all your girls are happy. You can also find a common factor by curating your bridal party look around a design detail, like sequins. In this case, each dress could differ entirely, but have sequins in common.

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There’s no doubt about it, your Tahoe wedding venue is going to be whimsical. But the whimsicality doesn’t have to stop at the cobalt blue lake, aromatic pine trees, and golden beaches. From one-of-a-kind veils to personalized “something blues,” Etsy, an online marketplace used by creative entrepreneurs to sell their homemade goods, will make your Lake Tahoe wedding that much more exquisite.

Don’t give in to run-of-the-mill. Etsy is affordable, enjoyable, and reliable. The site offers thousands of lovingly-made items you and your guests will swoon over. There are bridal party gifts and wedding signs, cake-toppers and centerpieces, and everything else you could ever need to complete your special day. You can even customize, creating Tahoe-centric wedding additions, like bowties with the Sierra mountain range printed across them. Just an idea!

To whet your whistle and introduce you to the wonderful world of Etsy’s exhaustive wedding department, here are a few Etsy-like ideas that’ll take your Tahoe wedding to the next degree of stunning. The key here is to go for the natural look; that’s what Lake Tahoe weddings are about, after all.

Personalized Chocolate Coin Wedding Favor via Little Indie Studio

Personalized Chocolate Coin Wedding Favor via Little Indie Studio

Something Blue Wedding Dress Label via Fileusedetoiles

Something Blue Wedding Dress Label via Fileusedetoiles

Rustic Boutonniere via The Flower Patch

Rustic Boutonniere via The Flower Patch

Mr and Mrs Chair Signs via Cypress and Whim

Mr and Mrs Chair Signs via Cypress and Whim

Guest Book Alternative: Personalized Puzzle via Decent Craft

Guest Book Alternative: Personalized Puzzle via Decent Craft

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This may be surprising, but wedding gowns have only been traditionally white since Queen Victoria’s special day 160 years ago. Pre-then, brides wore all sorts of colors. Having chosen to have a unique Lake Tahoe wedding, why not wear a unique dress that speaks to the surroundings?

Instead of choosing the mermaid cut that looks as though it’s made of one seamless piece of lace, try dresses that incorporate crochet, embroidered flowers (that often call for pops of color), subtle sparkles and sequins, tiers (for added flounce), deep v-necks, feathers, raised hems (to show off shoes), choker necks, waist belts, and shimmery adornments. As per sleeves, there’s sheer, puffy, off-the-shoulder, cape, and the list goes on.

“Unique” when paired with “wedding dress” may raise dollar bill signs in your eyes, but special-looking dresses don’t have to be designer; rather, they can be more affordable, and they’re likely to be something you will wear again and again.

Here are 6 places you can find the indie dress that’ll speak volumes to your personality and your Tahoe wedding, and that’ll make your day feel that much more yours.

1. TOPSHOP Bride

2. J. Crew

3. ModCloth

Mary Costa Photography

Mary Costa Photography

4. BHLDN (pronounced beholden, and which is also the sister of Anthropologie)

5. Free People

6. Stone Fox Bride

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You’re going to be flooded with all sorts of emotion on your wedding day, some unexpected, but all welcome; feeling feelings is okay. But there’s a line between being emotional and letting all the feels get the better of you.

The good news is you’ve already made the right step in ensuring you stay cool, calm and collected on your big day by picking the ultimate place-of-peace: Lake Tahoe. Thanks to the natural beauty of the Sierras, your Lake Tahoe wedding venue has no choice but to be beautiful, and in that beauty you’ll find a deep sense of tranquility. Just one view of the lake is enough to soften any heart.

Nervous or not, Tahoe’s got this way of making you want to get out and explore her beauty. She’s irresistible. The towering pines alone give off an aroma that’ll ease any degree of stress. But besides hugging trees and deeply breathing in their scent, here are some easy ways to quell your pre-wedding nerves.

Go for a hike: We’re not talking 10 miles up vertical terrain; rather, something gentle, something restorative, something you probably wouldn’t need more than a bottle of water and one tasty snack on (chocolate-covered strawbs, anyone?).

In any given situation, your Tahoe wedding location will be within minutes of a trailhead. That’s just the nature of Tahoe—there are trails everywhere. Bringing your bridesmaids with you will mean you can all breathe deeply, all release any last-minute jitters, and all feel that much more in sync.

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Polar-plunge: Crazy as it may sound, jumping into Lake Tahoe is perhaps the best way to feel instantly rejuvenated. The cool water is invigorating, and being brave enough to plunge in will make you feel as though you can conquer anything. Bonus: jumping in and out is quick, making sure you have plenty of time to attend to other “business.”

Stretch on the beach: Whether you’re a yogi or as flexible as LEGO dolls, stretching does any body good. Loosening your muscles will help you feel more comfortable in your dress, and it’ll also clear your mind. Stretching is grounding, and throw in the sand, lake, and sound of chirping blue jays, and you’re guaranteed to come out zen. All it takes is ten minutes.

If you’re not in the mood for endorphins, you can also find a secluded picnic bench where you can jot down your emotions. Not only will this release any bottled-up feelings, it’ll provide something fun to read in years to come.

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Did you know 63 streams flow into Lake Tahoe, but there’s only outlet, the Truckee River? That Lake Tahoe’s the second deepest lake in the U.S., reaching a depth of 1,645ft?! Or that the middle is not the deepest part of the lake; the deepest point is in Crystal Bay?

Your guests are already going to be thrilled you chose to have a Lake Tahoe wedding, and there’s no better way to keep their enthusiasm running strong than by surprising them in conversation with some fun facts about the area. You could even go one step further by listing a few on the back of your menu cards, or by putting one on each place card; this way guests can swap facts amongst one another. How’s that for breaking ice and starting conversation?

Without further ado, here are some facts pertaining to your Lake Tahoe wedding location you’ll be chomping at the bit to tell your friends and family. To them, you’ll not only be a bride, but a fountain of knowledge. Cheers to that.

Lake Tahoe is:

Over 2 million years old, making it one of the 20 oldest lakes in the world.

The largest alpine lake in North America.

2/3 in California, 1/3 in Nevada.

16th deepest lake in the world, so deep it never freezes, and so deep you could stand the Empire State Building in it and not see the top.

22 miles long (that’s as long as the English Channel is wide), and 12 miles wide.

99.994% pure water, making it one of the purest large lakes in the world. To compare, commercially distilled water is 99.998% pure.

So clear because half the water entering it is rain or snow falling directly on it.

Lake Tahoe has:

72 miles of shoreline.

270 days of sunshine per year.

Enough water to submerge California by 15” if it were emptied.

A lighthouse in Rubicon Bay that was once the highest elevation lighthouse in the world.

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Yes, weddings are all about the love between two people, but they’re also all about getting down and having a good time.

To encourage the latter, Jason and Kate Abraham started Elevated Photo Booth. Their booths have a charming vintage feel, blend into the venue, and produce high-end images. Most importantly, they generate laughter and fond memories.

elevated photo booth

Here are 10 Elevated Photo Booth tips and tricks that’ll give your wedding that extra “wow:”

 

1. The more, the merrier: Invite up to 15 of your friends (both old and new) and family into the booth. The more faces to capture, the more opportunities for deep belly laughs.

2. Embrace the props: Silly props make the photo booth experience. But avoid feather boas! They can get messy.

 

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3. Strategically place the booth: Set up the booth near the main action. This way, it won’t be overlooked. Elevated Photo Booth’s booths are attractive, so there’s no need to keep it out-of-site.

4. Take advantage of commonalities within the guests: See five ladies in red dresses? Bring them together for a group shot. What about five guys wearing pink ties? Tell them to do something unconventional with them, and bam, that’s another fun photo. Bonus: encouraging guests to find similarities amongst one another is a great ice-breaker.

 

photo booth ideas Photo: M2 Photo

5. Use decorations as props: Strike a pose while holding the wedding menu in front of you, or borrow the centerpiece flowers for a quick snap or two. This way, you’ll get a unique photo and integrate a personal touch that’ll remind you of the beautiful venue.

6. Shake up your pose: Always tilt your head to the left and smile? Try a serious face instead. Diversity is priceless.

7. Jump for joy: If you’re in the booth with just a few others, say, “Everyone jump on the count of three!” Action shots are some of the best. Pro-tip: avoid large group jumps; these can often end with knees in places knees shouldn’t go, or heels on unappreciative toes.

8. Direct your attention to one person: For medium-sized group shots, tell everyone to lift one person while pretending they weigh as much as an elephant. Or, ask everyone to look like they’re fainting while the smoking hot bride and groom kiss.

9. Engage your inner animal: If you’re in the booth with upwards of 10 people, stick to expressive faces. Tell everyone to pull their best monkey face, or to stick out their tongues while widening their eyes as much as possible.

 

photo booth props

10. Act: Instead of posing, tell a story. Pretend your friend’s a shark chasing you, or act as though you’re on a rollercoaster after having just eaten half (!) the wedding cake. Organized actions create a story, and who doesn’t love a good tale?

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