Mountain Vibes Rentals owner Mari Orlando is an attorney by trade but an interior designer at heart. Inspired by her own Lake Tahoe beach elopement, Mountain Vibes curates personalized event rentals for elopements, micro weddings, and other small events. In this post we talk to Mari, a Brazilian married to a native of Carnelian Bay, about life and love in Lake Tahoe.
What brings you the greatest joy in your life?
I am Brazilian so... a beach day with my family!
What brought you to Tahoe?
My husband Sam, who was born and raised in Carnelian Bay. We met in Brazil just prior to his sister's wedding to my cousin. After many years of a long-distance relationship and many trips back and forth from Tahoe to Brazil (and a lot of money spent during all of our trips around the globe) Mr. and Mrs. Vacation - our nickname at the time - eloped in Secret Beach in 2009. Two years later we had a big wedding on the rooftop of a hotel in my hometown.
Tahoe lifestyle: winter or summer?
Team Summer here. I love the longer days and more time outdoors. I am a tropical transplant, after all!
If you weren't running an event rentals company, what would you do?
I would be an interior designer and, of course, still be collecting interesting piece from around the world.
What inspires your work?
My couples and nature! I really like to get to know the bride and groom, their vibe and hobbies, to create and curate something that is just very personal and meaningful to them. At the same time, I make sure to integrate it all with nature.
How would you describe the perfect day in Lake Tahoe?
A morning swim to start the day right at Donner Lake followed by an açaí bowl at the new Raley's ONE Market in Truckee- believe it or not that's the closest to the real thing! A short walk with the fam and our dog Bernie to the Legacy Trail or around our neighborhood. After that, some fish tacos and wet woodies at Garwoods for lunch and off for a little paddleboard sesh. And free concerts on the beach and dinner by a healthy, feel-good food truck. The day ends with stargazing on our deck from the hot tub!
What are you most proud of?
That I was able to reinvent myself after studying for Law School for many years. I passed the bar exam right after graduation and started working at a distinctive firm. Then I moved to Tahoe and created Mountain Vibes.
Also, I'm proud to have become someone I wish I would have known/hired when I eloped 12 years ago. My husband and I wanted to have professional pictures taken of us, a beautiful bouquet, and a catered dinner for us and our 3 guests. I couldn't find anyone who specialized in that - it was frustrating.
Who inspires you the most?
People that are concerned about the environment.
What is your life motto?
"Everything is figureoutable."
What was the most recent thing that made you laugh?
My kids ask Siri to tell them jokes and they are just the funniest so we all just laugh so hard.
Working in the wedding industry is not for the faint of heart. How do you rest and rejuvenate?
Cold Tahoe tap water. And also jumping in the lake whenever I can. I like to go to Carnelian Bay with my dog and swim.
What is something people might not know about you?
Not many people know that I was a criminal attorney and English isn't my 2nd language but 4th! I am fluent in Portuguese, Spanish and English. I've also studied French for over 6 years, but at this point can't remember much.
Pets: Any four-legged friends in your home?
Yes, Bernie! A 100-pound Saint Bernard/Border Collie mix we adopted 10 years ago. He is my shadow and I strive to be everything he thinks I am!
What is a must-see hidden gem in Lake Tahoe?
DL Bliss State Park. I have been trying to camp there for over 3 years but it's always so difficult to get camping sites and they are all full by the beginning of the year.
Describe Lake Tahoe to someone that has never been here,
Hike, bike and ski on the same day and then go to the beach? There is this huge lake and it is never the same. Some days it may look like you are in Iceland and sometimes look like you are in the Caribbean.
What is the career highlight you are most proud of?
Going to San Diego in May for an elopement.
What is your go-to conversation starter with a potential client?
We start with the Pinterest board and then elaborate.
What's the most useless talent you have?
I can juggle!
What is the closest thing to real magic?
Cryptocurrencies? Just kidding... Looking at the Tahoe sky at night and we see shooting stars!
What was your go-to activity during quarantine?
Work! We never did so many elopements. But also yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises. Finding new lakes and trails around us.
What kind of wedding guest are you?
One of the first to hit the dance floor.
Any song you can add to our brides and grooms' budding wedding playlist?
Dua Lipa - Levitating