A Romantic Summer Love Affair at Olympic Valley Stables

Some of Lake Tahoe’s best wedding vendors came together to bring Heather and Davis’ romantic summer love affair to life. After postponing their wedding due to Covid and eloping in San Francisco, the couple finally had their fairytale wedding at the iconic Olympic Valley Stables. And believe us, you don’t want to miss out on a single detail!  

The couple’s paths crossed when they both studied abroad in Ecuador the summer after their freshman year at Clemson University. They met briefly on campus but became fast friends when Heather broke her ankle and Davis had a severe allergic reaction. Of course, this kept them from heading on weekend excursions with the rest of their classmates. “We bonded over these unique circumstances and had a fantastic time all the while!” said Heather. And what do you know, a few months later, on March 2, 2011, they officially became boyfriend and girlfriend! 

While studying in Ecuador, the couple enjoyed pre-gaming their nights out with the Ecuadorian liqueur Zhumir. Fast forward ten years, Davis surprised Heather with a bottle of Zhumir on their wedding day. Coming full circle, they pre-gamed their wedding with a couple of shots of Zhumir before walking down the aisle. “It wasn’t as tasty as we remembered, but it was the perfect way to kick off the day.”

Due to Covid, the couple decided to postpone their original wedding date of September 12, 2020. “It was an incredibly stressful and emotional process, and we are so grateful to all of our vendors for being so kind and accommodating. I work in Corporate Events and know first-hand that not all people were as kind or flexible – it felt like we were all in things together. I am so thankful for my amazing vendor team,” said Heather. 

On their original wedding date, Heather recalls thinking, “This stinks; we have been together nearly ten years and are so ready to be married. Let’s not wait any longer!” So the couple sought out to get a marriage license and elope that day. But, it turned out, marriage licenses were majorly backed up, and they weren’t able to be as spontaneous as they had hoped. Luckily they got the first available appointment and planned their elopement for November 17. “This was the 321st day of the year, and we initially started dating on 3.2.11, so it felt like a beautiful sign.” But, then, the biggest rainstorm San Francisco had seen in years came in for that day only. So they decided to move their elopement inside and got married in their living room, over Zoom. “Our postponement/elopement /constant plan changes taught us that the most important thing is our love and commitment for each other, and it was perfect!”

One can only imagine how special it must have been to celebrate with their loved ones in Tahoe. “We knew that no matter what (if anything) went wrong, we would be surrounded with people we love and who love us. And that’s all that mattered.” Unfortunately, their wedding celebration fell dangerously close to the nearby wildfires of this past summer. And Heather admits to being scared their wedding would be implicated somehow by the devastation happening around them. “We feel so blessed that the winds and even a small rainfall the morning of our wedding cleared all of the smoke and provided the most beautiful setting. Although our wedding planning journey was a bit bumpy at times, we are so grateful for how it all turned out; the best day of our lives!”

What makes this wedding even more remarkable is all the unique elements and details the couple incorporated. Seeing that they met at Clemson University, Clemson Football has been important in their love story. Since they had already exchanged traditional vows during their elopement ceremony, they decided to do something different at their wedding celebration. “Being ‘All In’ is an important part of Clemson’s Tradition,” Heather explained. “At every football game, each player will drop an ‘All In’ poker chip into a bucket before the game starts, which signifies their commitment to ‘doing the best they can, in everything they do, with everything they’ve got.” So when Davis asked Heather’s dad (also a Clemson fan) for his permission to propose to her, he created a custom “All In” chip to show he would be “All In” in his commitment to her. He also created one for her, which he gave her on the day he proposed. “During our wedding ceremony, we dropped these ‘All In’ chips into a bucket to signify that we would be ‘All In’ in our commitment to each other. ‘All In’ for our marriage, our family, and our lives together.”

It’s difficult for Heather to name only one highlight, so we asked her to share a few. “One of my favorite moments was surprising my dad during our father-daughter dance. He had always wanted a slow, sentimental song for our first dance, so we had a sweet dance to Rascal Flatts’ “My Wish.” Just as the song was about to end, the band switched to “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses. Our planner from One Fine Day Events ran out with inflatable guitars. We ROCKED out and had so much fun! The surprise and absolute joy in my dad’s face is something I will never forget. It was the best!” Another highlight for Heather was stepping back with Davis to soak everything in. “It was so cool to see everything after months (and months) of planning and anticipation. Our planner, Vanessa, took all of our wedding dreams and made them a reality, and we were just so happy to see it all and be surrounded by all the people we love most.” The couple also really loved how their Welcome Boards turned out. “As guests arrived at the wedding, boards were telling the story of us, with 11 years of photos and memories!” From start to finish, Davis was blown away by everything. “It is very rare to be in such a beautiful place surrounded by all the people you love. Each moment was special, but the day did go by in a blur. The next day Heather and I couldn’t stop talking about how everything exceeded our wildest dreams. We felt so loved and overwhelmed with happiness – it is a feeling I wish we could bottle up and keep forever,” he said. 

Heather doesn’t have any regrets about her wedding day, but there are two things she is glad she did. And that is arranging a sunset sail on Lake Tahoe the Thursday before their wedding as a thank you gift for their wedding party and closest friends. “It was so much fun and a great way for everyone to meet!” Also, instead of doing a rehearsal dinner, the couple opted for a Welcome Party. “This allowed us to get all of our ‘hellos’ and welcome conversations out of the way so that our wedding day could be all fun!”

Scroll down for more inspiring details from one of our favorite summer weddings!

Wedding Vendors

Olympic Valley Stables / Kay Kroshus / Chair 7 Films / D’lish Catering / Milk Bar / Cornerstone Bakery / B&B Designs / The String Beings / Mercy & the Heartbeats / Northstar Transportation / La Di Da Beauty / Epics Photo Booth / Celebrations! Party Rentals / Found Rentals / Premier Portables / One Fine Day Events