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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
Website: www.ceremoniesbymeredith.com
Phone: 808-268-7985
Email: ceremoniesbymeredith@gmail.com

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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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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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Troy and Annika’s Al Fresco Wedding at PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn was warm and welcoming. The whimsical lighting, and long, rustic feasting tables fit beautifully in the gorgeous garden and pool deck at PlumpJack. Top the design off with pretty as can be florals from Art in Bloom and romantic table runners from La Tavola Fine Linen and you have the most stunning elegant affair.

Lucky for us, we’ve got the entire day captured by Wild Whim Photography in the gallery below.

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Venue: PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn | Planner: Sarah Renfro of With Grace & Love Events | Photo & Video: Wild Whim Photography | Photo booth: Rose Street Studio | Florist: Hattie with Art in Bloom | Ceremony & Cocktail hour musicians: Avalanche Acoustics | Rentals: Crux Events | Reception music: DJ Anthony Sanchez | Linen: La Tavola Fine Linen | Beauty: Hello Darlings

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What happens when a Texan and a New Yorker living in Los Angeles get engaged? They get married in Lake Tahoe of course! Rachel and Rob knew they wanted to have a destination wedding that was unique and would capture their love of the outdoors. They found both in Lake Tahoe.

From the lakeside ceremony to the reception at Homewood Mountain Resort, the wedding planners at Elise Events created an incredibly gorgeous scene. We especially love the colorful bouquets from Art in Bloom,  cross back chairs and farm tables from Celebrations Party Rentals and we know HIP Entertainment kept the dance floor full!

Scroll the entire gallery from Gagewood Photo below:

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From the bride… After four years of traveling near and far to attend the weddings of friends and family, Rob and I wanted something that would truly be unique and would capture our love of the outdoors. We knew that we wanted to have a destination wedding and upon my parents’ recommendation after having spent their 40th wedding anniversary there, we headed to Tahoe for a scouting trip the summer after getting engaged. When we saw the view at Hellman-Ehrman Mansion in Sugar Pine Point, we knew we didn’t need to see any more venues – this was the perfect spot to recite our vows.

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Because we were an 8 hour drive away and couldn’t regularly make the trip to decide every detail, having someone in the area with an intimate knowledge of Tahoe’s best venues and vendors was incredibly important to us. After interviewing several local wedding planners, my mom stumbled on the Elise Events website and we instantly fell for Danielle’s style, attention to detail, and her sweet, outgoing, take-charge personality. She was exactly who we needed to make our dreams of a fun, family-oriented wedding weekend come true.

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Sugar Pine Point is a California State Park, so it presented several challenges to hosting the entire night of events there. We decided after the lakeside ceremony & cocktail hour we would shuttle our guests to the nearby Homewood Mountain Resort South Lodge for sunset mountaintop views, dinner, and dancing.

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 Several of our married friends had advised us to find some time in the night to have a moment for just to the two of us, which we accomplished by arriving to the Lodge early and riding the chairlift to the top of the mountain, where we were greeted by an acoustic guitar player from the band, Apple Z. This was, to me, the most special part of our day. For a moment it was just us, as newlyweds, enjoying a beautiful sunset over Lake Tahoe for the first time as husband and wife with a sweet serenade in the background. We greeted our friends and family as they joined us at the top, and everyone took in the beautiful view, making sure to document it all on social media. Once enough wine was served with dinner, we opened the mic for live band karaoke, a must from our long list of little details that would make the night feel more “us.”

VENDOR CREDITS:
Photography: Gagewood Photo | Ceremony Venue: Ehrman Mansion | Reception Venue: Homewood Mountain Resort | Event Planning + Design: Elise Events | Video: Dax Victorino Films | Floral: Art in Bloom | Hair and Makeup: Hello Darling | Paper Goods: Vita Popov Studios | Dress: Shareen Bridal | Bridesmaid Dress: BHLDN | Table Number Holders: Esselle SF | Silk Ribbons: Frou Frou Chic | Officiant: Jackie Phillips | Accommodations: Cedar Crest Cottages | Ceremony and Reception Music: HIP Entertainment, Apple Z Band | Rentals: La Tavola LinensCelebrations Party RentalsTheoni Collection

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Cheryl Seidel, etiquette expert, and regular contributing writer for the Huffington Post, shares her expert advice on the do’s and don’t’s of destination weddings. Destination weddings have become increasingly popular and what’s not to love about combining a fun, memorable wedding with a fabulous honeymoon?! We’ve discovered several reasons that couples are choosing a destination wedding over a local wedding:

melina wallisch photography Melina Wallisch Photography

1. It’s easier. A destination wedding can be easy to plan. Many wedding planners specialize in destination weddings and can plan the entire weekend. Also, many venues have become wedding specialists, with full-service ceremony packages and on-site wedding coordinators to help plan the big day, which can help reduce wedding planning stress.

2. Ease any family issues. any problems can be solved with a destination wedding. Sometimes relationships are complicated and family situations may not be ideal. Also, if each set of parents has a different opinion about the style and location of the wedding, a destination wedding may be something to consider.

3. You can start the honeymoon early. Just arriving at your destination is sure to put you in a relaxed mood as the pre-wedding festivities begin. Many hotels offer automatic upgrades to the bride and groom on their wedding night, and you may be able to negotiate an extended minimoon at a reduced rate after the guests have gone home.

4. Enjoy quality time with loved ones. Destination weddings are a great excuse to plan an unforgettable family getaway to commemorate a very special occasion.

5. You’ll share a locale you love. Part of the joy of a destination wedding is showing off a place that has special meaning to you, be it bringing friends and family back to a beloved college campus, sharing where you took your first vacation as a couple or finally going to a locale you’ve always dreamed of visiting.

lake tahoe summer wedding Virgil Bunao Photography

Who Pays?

Whether you’re having your wedding on lush tropical island or at a secluded mountain hideaway- you may be wondering who covers certain expenses. Though the costs of destination weddings are shared in the same way as any other wedding, there are additional things to consider since there are added expenses such as transportation, meals, and accommodations that may not be part of a hometown wedding.

Wedding Expenses
Customarily, a wedding is paid for by the bride’s family and this practice can stand true for a destination wedding as well. But as you know, traditions are evolving and couples and their families are sharing expenses in a variety of ways. Before any planning is done, we recommend that the couple meet with all parties involved to determine exactly how costs will be divided.

Guests’ Expenses
It is the responsibility of your guests to pay for their lodging and transportation for a destination wedding. As soon as you have your date and location reserved, we suggest sending out “Save the Date” cards. Try to do this at least 6-9 months in advance and be sure to include information about the destination and hotel accommodations. This will give your guests plenty of time to plan their trip and will ensure they have the opportunity to get the best travel rates.

Furthermore, guests’ typically pay for their own meals during a destination wedding. In addition to the rehearsal dinner and wedding reception, we love the idea of hosting extra events such as a welcome dinner or farewell brunch. After all, your guests have likely traveled a long way and have invested time and money to celebrate with you!

When you mail out your wedding invitations, include information about all planned wedding events so guests know what activities are prearranged as well as which meals will be covered during their stay. You may want to consider adding these events to your response card so that your guests can RSVP for all events at one time.

Wedding Party’ Expenses
The wedding party’s expenses are shared in the same way for both hometown and destination weddings. Traditionally, attendants are responsible for their own transportation to the wedding as well as their wedding attire and accessories. It is the duty of the couple to cover the cost of accommodations for their wedding party. However, it seems that many couples today are expecting the attendants to pay for their own accommodations for a destination wedding. We feel this cost should be included in the wedding budget. Kindly take into consideration the travel expenses and be upfront with your attendants about the costs so there are no questions about who is paying for what. When you ask your bridesmaids or groomsmen to stand up with you, let them know the location of wedding, exact dates you’d like them there, and confirm which of the expenses you will be covering. And as we mentioned about the guests- if at all possible, help cover the cost of some of your attendant’s meals.

Lake Tahoe Riverfront Wedding Mike Larson Photography

Post was in collaboration with etiquette expert Cheryl Seidel of Registry Finder

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Regina and Kris are one lucky couple! They won their wedding on Style Unveiled and were able to have their dream wedding planned by Davia Lee Events. Which incorporated rentals from Tahoe Unveiled vendor Camelot Party Rentals and a ceremony and reception at the gorgeous Chateau in Incline Village. Their prize also included photography by  Danielle Poff Photography  who provided the gallery below.

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Regina explains their venue, The Chateau ~
Kris and I met at a lakefront wedding, so we wanted to recapture the day we met in Lake Tahoe. We love visiting Incline Village, because it’s close to home. We found The Chateau and liked that you could see Lake Tahoe from certain windows, yet we also loved the wooded, deep in the forest feel. It sits up higher in the mountains and has a great view. We loved the view, the location, the rustic fireplace and beams on ceiling, the chandeliers, and that it was nestled in the woods.

The Chateau in Incline Village did all the catering. We loved the food. From the appetizers during cocktail hour to the dinner. A definite five stars for us. My favorite was actually the specialty cocktails! A traditional vanilla vodka espresso martini with chocolate drizzle and a Moscow Mule with candied ginger garnish. Kris had the New York Steak for dinner …. perfectly cooked. The potatoes au gratin were creamy and rich and paired perfectly with the steak. I had the ricotta and spinach stuffed shells in a tomato puree. I’m an Italian food lover, so these were a personal favorite. My mom had the pistachio crusted chicken, also delicious!

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Advice from the Bride ~
Plan the day around your style and your fairytale dreams. Try to pick your top ‘must haves’ and plan the rest around those decisions.  For us it was important to have all our friends and family there and the location.  Once you are there and in the moment don’t worry about anything else except the love in the room and the celebration!  It is a day of love and commitment and that is the most important thing.  Definitely get it on video … it goes by too quickly!  We used Joel VanZ and didn’t even notice he was filming … yet we know he captured some amazing memories.  Do the first look! It was so intimate and special.  Hire a wedding coordinator.  I don’t know how it could be done any other way … seriously!

Lake Tahoe wedding vendors:
Wedding Venue and Catering : The Chateau in Incline Village | Photographer : Danielle Poff Photography | Wedding Coordination and Design : Davia Lee Events | Event Rentals : Camelot Party Rentals and Embellish Vintage Rentals | Wedding Stationery : Copper Willow Paper Studio | Florist : Twigss Floral Studio | Linen Rentals : Creative Coverings | Wedding Cake : Delicious Designs | Makeup Stylist : All Dolled Up | Hair Stylist : Crystal Reyes | Reception Music : Shockproof Mobile DJ | Bride’s Dress : Alfred Angelo | Bridesmaid Dresses : Swoon Bridal

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