First off, high five to you for choosing to have a Lake Tahoe wedding; since all eyes will fixate on what’s interpreted from Native American Indian to mean “Lake of the Sky,” you can save money on decor. But why stop there? Hello, repurposing.

Repurposing furniture or decorations from your bridal shower can save you thousands, money you can put toward travel or a downpayment on a house. Yes, it’s nice to make your wedding day lavish—it’s a once in a lifetime occasion, after all—but you don’t need to end up in debt making the day memorable.

In the name of diminishing financial stress, we’ve come up with ways you can use what you’ve already got to decorate your Lake Tahoe wedding.


Re-use Bridal Shower Decorations

At your bridal shower, you’re likely to have all sorts of wedding-appropriate decor, like garlands featuring photographs of you and your soon-to-be-spouse, colorful paper lanterns, and string lights. Don’t use these as “one and done” items! Collect your bridal shower decorations and feature them at your Lake Tahoe wedding venue. It’s a “twofer.”


Turn Tea Tins into Vases

In the lead-up to your Lake Tahoe wedding, strongly encourage all your guests to drink tea when they visit. Why? You can turn the empty watertight and shatter-proof tea tins into charming vases for your wedding-day flowers. The old-fashioned prints and lettering are perfect for enhancing the whimsical ambiance, and gusts will love the unique touch. Should you find yourself short nearing the big day, eBay has a healthy selection of reasonably-priced ones you can have shipped to you or your florist.


Repurpose from Ceremony to Reception

Instead of buying double the flowers and double the vases and double, well, whatever other decorations you may want on your special Lake Tahoe wedding day, share the goods. With a little bit go planning, you can seamlessly move your decor from the ceremony to the reception, in turn saving yourself half the cost. Large arrangements at the altar can bring life to a buffet table, and bouquets placed on the ends of the aisles can be divvied up between cocktail tables.


Use Old Plates for DIY Food Stands

The win-win here is that mismatched vintage plates and vases have a certain charm that your guests will swoon over, and you’ll save money using what you have on hand. Kindly ask your friends and family to borrow a couple dishes. In the name of your happiness and gratitude, I’m sure they’ll offer up a dish or several.


Turn Vintage Drawers into Trays

Move your clothes aside—it’s time to let your vintage drawers shine at your Tahoe wedding. Vintage drawers make excellent food trays, not only for their novel looks, but for their ability to safely hold a lot of nibbles, especially ones of the dessert family.


Recycle Wine Corks into Place Card Holders

Regarding repurposing, this is the real winner. For the months leading up to your wedding, you’ll now be able to fully justify consuming bottle upon bottle of wine; with all the corks you collect, you can fully outfit your Lake Tahoe wedding reception with place cards. Genius, we know.


Turn Unused Maps into Garlands

Thanks to modern technology, our once much-used maps are collecting dust. Don’t let them linger any longer! Turn those colorful beauties into garlands. Not only with they attract intrigue, they’ll brighten up your venue and save what could equate to hundreds of dollars.

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Ceremonies by Meredith Richmond

Welcome the newest member of Tahoe Unveiled, Meredith Richmond. A seasoned wedding officiant, Meredith creates incredibly beautiful and personalized ceremonies for an unforgettable wedding. Being a Lake Tahoe native and living in Truckee, she has a deep reverence for the wild beauty of her surroundings.  We can assure you that Meredith will be the best addition to your Lake Tahoe wedding. Find out a little more about Meredith in our interview below.

Ceremonies by Meredith-4 Photo: Chelsea Jean Photography

Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.

It’s an absolute honor and privilege to be a part of couples’ wedding ceremonies. As a wedding officiant I lead couples through the process of developing their customized wedding ceremony that expresses who they are and tells their unique love story.

How and when did you decide to become a wedding officiant?

Years ago I was asked a few times to perform a few of my friends’ wedding ceremonies. I truly loved the experiences, though at that time I didn’t think about offering officiant services commercially. Then a couple of years later shortly after moving to Maui, I became friends with a woman who was in the wedding industry. I shared that I love performing ceremonies, and she immediately got so excited to hear this. She believed that there was a huge niche for an officiant with my style and approach. This conversation led me to begin my officiant business in Maui. Within just 3 years I had the opportunity to perform over 250 ceremonies.

Ceremonies by Meredith-1 Photo: Jana Dillon Photography

What’s your favorite part of the job?

That’s a tough one. Every step of the process is so thrilling. I love meeting each couple, getting to know them and share in their excitement of being engaged. I enjoy writing each unique ceremony and learning about new wedding customs. The ceremony of course is such a big finale to the whole process and such a pleasure to be a part of.
Describe the type of couple that will have the most success working with you.

I find that I fit in with all types of couples. I always listen to their requests and craft each ceremony to fit. I work with couples from across the spectrum, from those who want something short and sweet, to those who come to the table with a vision and many ideas for customs and rituals to include into their ceremony.

What is your inspiration for writing ceremonies?

Each couple inspires the type of ceremony. From getting to know them and learning about their story, I like to learn about what is important to them to include into their ceremony. There may be cultural/religious traditions or customs that they feel should be recognized. Additionally, a couple may have a wedding ritual that they know or that I offer that speaks to them. I also offer couples to partake in a questionnaire, that each partner responds to separately. I then weave their responses throughout the ceremony.

Ceremonies by Meredith-3 Photo: Maui Maka Photography

What is the most unique ceremony you’ve written?

Ooh, now that’s a good question. The first that comes to mind was an interfaith wedding ceremony. The bride was Jewish and the groom was Hindu. It was very important to both of them that many of the wedding traditions from each of their religions were recognized. I enjoyed learning and the challenge of researching the different wedding customs. In the end it was so interesting to learn that numerous of the wedding rituals mirrored each other, in the rituals and shared similar meanings.

I also have to mention the triple surprise vow renewal. I was asked to perform a vow renewal for a father and his two sons, who all wanted to surprise their wives with a vow renewal ceremony while on their Hawaiian vacation. The father celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary and the two sons were each celebrating their 20th anniversaries. The men had dresses and new rings for their wives. It was so fun to be in on the surprise and see the wives’ surprised reactions. I also enjoyed the challenge of intertwining three ceremonies into one.

What is the cutest or funniest thing you’ve seen happen at a wedding?

I’ll never forget when the groom’s cell phone started to ring during his vows. He quickly handed it off to his best man and looked at his new father-in-law and said, “I never take a day off!”.

Ceremonies by Meredith-2 Photo: Caitlin Cathey Photography

What is the most rewarding part of officiating a ceremony?

I feel so lucky that I get to be a part of couples’ most special day. It is such a sweet window that I get to see in people’s lives. I continually get to be surrounded by joy and happiness.

What are some of your favorite venues in Lake Tahoe?

There are so many beautiful venues around Tahoe. I love the simplicity and natural beauty that the outdoors provide. So really, anywhere around here is my favorite!

What is the most challenging part of being a wedding officiant?

For smaller weddings and elopements, I often serve as the wedding coordinator as well as the officiant. When the weather isn’t behaving, and there is no indoor or covered option, it can get tricky to have a backup plan.

Ceremonies by Meredith-5 Photo:  Chris J. Evans Photography

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I love enjoying the outdoors with my family. We love hiking, biking, lounging by the lake and skiing in the winter. I also love yoga and date nights with my hubby.


Where can we find you on a Sunday morning?

On an outdoor adventure, summer hike or winter skiing

If you’re getting married in the Northern California area, reach out to Meredith. She’d love to hear from you!

Meredith Richmond
Phone: 808-268-7985

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Not to be blunt, but nobody likes a sweaty foot. And since a summertime Lake Tahoe wedding means warm temps and cloudless skies, that’s exactly what you risk in toe-covered heels. The solution: bridal sandals.

Sandals? You heard me right. I’m not talking plastic flip-flops; I’m talking something a little more delicate, something a little more bridal-y. From braided straps to those strung with pearls, we’ve found the perfect summer wedding sandal, a sandal that’ll keep your feet cool, blister-free, and ready to take on the dance floor all night long.

Another bonus to bridal sandals is that you can wear them again and again. They’ll make any casual outfit cuter after your big day, and each time you wear them, you’ll be mentally transported back to the happiest day of your life. Win-win.

We give two thumbs up to repurposing, two thumbs up to comfort, and two thumbs up to the bridal sandal. Here’s some inspiration to get your creative juices flowing.

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Wedding Cakes That Scream Lake Tahoe

From watching two people seal the deal to seeing all the beautiful outfits, weddings are a blast. But a large part of the blast comes down to the delicious nibbles, and, in particular, the cake.

But I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s been to a wedding where the cake’s icing is hard-as-nails, and the sponge tastes, well, stale. Wedding cakes have become a bit of an obsession of mine since the first I ever tasted, and I’ve tracked down my favorite Lake Tahoe-esque ones that I think will make your day that much more memorable.

Whether you’re going for a flower, mountain or water-theme, here are some wedding cakes to inspire you in your exciting planning! These cakes scream Tahoe, in a nice way, not a screamy way. Here’s to making your cake match your Lake Tahoe wedding venue.

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Add to your visual wonderland of a Lake Tahoe wedding with mountain-esque decorations. From whimsical paper cranes to canoes filled with beautifully-presented appetizers, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite Tahoe wedding decor ideas.

Surrounded by towering pine trees and crisp water, you’ll feel inspired to incorporate Lake Tahoe’s splendor in your wedding decorations. Plus, since you and your partner’s love feels so natural, why not make everything else feel natural, too?

These decorations will be sure to start a symphony of oohs and aahs. They’re simple, elegant, and, more importantly, woodsy.

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Save the roses for Valentine’s Day; your unique Tahoe wedding needs something a little more special, something with a little more “wow.” Plus, you’re a modern bride, so why not opt for unconventional flowers? Out with the old, in with the new. Your wedding day is representative of a new life, and your bouquet is a great way to reflect adventure and newness.

Yes, orchids are lovely, but we’ve found the real crowd-pleasers. Your guests will ooh and ahh over bouquets made of succulents (bonus: they’ll last a long time post-wedding), pine cones (you are having a Tahoe wedding, after all), vegetables, herbs and more. There’s no right way to make a bequest, but there is a wrong way: by going run-of-the-mill.

Make this day yours—pick the bouquet that really speaks to you.

Chelsea Nicole Photography

Succulent bouquet. Chelsea Nicole Photography

Rosemary accents. Paula O’Hara Photography

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Settling on a hairstyle for your Lake Tahoe wedding might be overwhelming; the options are endless. But whether you’re styling your hair yourself, having a family member do it, or  hiring a professional stylist, here’s one thing to consider: your surroundings.

What do I mean by “consider your surroundings?” Foremost that you’re in Lake Tahoe, and Lake Tahoe weddings are inherently natural-looking.

It’s imperative to pick a hairstyle that makes you feel comfortable and that won’t require a lot of fuss, but it’s also important to pick something that will go along with the relaxed and peaceful Tahoe feel. Two words: limited hairspray.

Here are some ideas to whet your whistle. We’re all about loose waves, natural flower accessories, delicate hair chains, and, well, simplicity.

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One easy way to put some personality into your wedding is to swap out the traditional “Canon” by Pachelbel for something that speaks to you and your soon-to-be-husband. This could be the song that was playing when you first met, or something with inspiring, partnership-related lyrics. The song could fit the overall tone of your Tahoe wedding, or be totally out-of-the-blue. Walking down the aisle is your special moment, so don’t hold back. It’s your time to shine, your time to walk toward the love of your life accompanied by a meaningful tune.

Questions to ask when picking your processional song are:

1. Do you want lyrics?

2. Do you want something guests aren’t expecting?

3. Do you want something romantic?

4. Do you want something slow?

Here are 14 nontraditional processional songs that’ll make the entire ceremony’s hearts melt, and since I’m on a popcorn kick, I’m going to say like butter over freshly-popped popcorn. But this is just the start–just something to get your creative juices flowing. I recently went to a wedding where the bride walked down the aisle to an instrumental version of “Moon River,” and it was tear-inducing. Elegant doesn’t do the song justice.

“Heartbeats” by Jose Gonzalez

“Everyday” by Buddy Holly

“Boom Clap” by Lennon & Maisy

“Can’t Help Falling In love” by Ingrid Michaelson

“Is This Love” by Bob Marley

“Moon River” by Andy Williams

“Come Away With Me” by Norah Jones

“Lucky” by Jason Mraz, featuring Colbie Caillet

“Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley

“Skinny Love” by Bon Iver

“Wonderwall” by Ryan Adams

“She” by Elvis Costello

“I Won’t Give Up” Jason Mraz

“Awake My Soul” by Mumford and Sons

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