If you are looking for an "Old Tahoe" style wedding like Alexis and Patrick, then the Thunderbird Lodge is your venue. This historical site offers stunning views of Lake Tahoe and an experience like no other. Summit Soiree planned every detail and the results are completely gorgeous. And our favorite part? The bride surprised the groom with a special performance by Sean Cummings of Tahoe Bagpiper as she and her father walked down the aisle. Tahoe Unveiled photographer, Catherine Hall tells the couple's tale in words and in photos below:
The Proposal When Pasadena native Alexis headed to Chicago to meet up with her brother, she expected to see some great music at the Lollapalooza Festival. Little did she know she'd also meet her future husband, Patrick--a friend of her brother's from Georgetown University who joined the pair during their visit to his hometown. Ultimately, Chicago served not only as the backdrop for their unexpected introduction; it was also the site of their engagement. With a ring he designed himself, Patrick proposed to Alexis in front of the iconic Buckingham Fountain as the couple strolled through picturesque Grant Park.
Choosing Lake Tahoe Plans for their wedding, on the other hand, took them to an entirely different part of the country. "My family has been coming to Lake Tahoe my whole life," says bride Alexis. "My mom spent much of her childhood there and my parents actually spent part of their honeymoon there. Pat fell in love with Tahoe the first time we went, so it was an easy choice."
Graphic designer, and bridesmaid, Samantha Witter created the couple's save-the-date card, invitations, and wedding-day signage.
One of the bride's favorite moments came during the ceremony itself. Inspired by her own Scottish heritage and the groom's Irish lineage, Alexis surprised Patrick by hiring Sean Cummings of Tahoe Bagpiper to perform as her father walked her down the aisle.
The Venue The couple wanted an "Old Tahoe" feel for their special day--something a little bit rustic and romantic. To convey that sensibility, the couple and planner Caitlin Murphy of Summit Soiree chose Thunderbird Lodge as the wedding venue. Built in 1939, the historic stone lodge featured colors and materials that perfectly echoed Lake Tahoe's natural beauty.
Wedding Fashion Alexis dressed in a beaded, cap-sleeve gown by Christos for Amsale, pairing it with Kate Spade shoes and heirloom jewelry from her family. In her bouquet, the bride carried a rhinestone clip from her great-grandmother's wedding. Her hair was styled by Sarah Santana, and Natalie Cusson completed the bride's look with soft, natural makeup. The bridesmaid dresses, in rich royal blue, were designed by Alfred Sung. The groom dressed in a classic Brooks Brothers suit.
The Reception After a cocktail hour, the couple and their guests dined on a meal catered by Season'd. The reception hall was beautifully appointed with linens by Event Masters, rentals from Camelot Party Rentals and floral arrangements designed by Thran's Flowers to suit the rustic elegance of the event.
Later, the couple celebrated their first dance to Van Morrison's "Crazy Love," and Alexis danced with her father to "As Time Goes By"--the first-dance song from her parents' own wedding 39 years before. Guests enjoyed Rosť Prosecco as an accompaniment to a three-tiered wedding cake, decorated with magenta flowers and served atop a tree-trunk stand by Flour Girl.
The Gifts On the morning of the wedding, Alexis treated her groom to a massage. Patrick's gift to his bride was an Hermes scarf. "This is a tradition that my dad started with my mom," Alexis says. "We each get them for birthdays and anniversaries." Each bridesmaid received a small, jeweled clutch that matched the bride's shoes, as well as ivory enameled bangles and earrings. For the groomsmen, Patrick purchased suits and ties.
From Lake Tahoe, the couple embarked on a three-week honeymoon that took them to Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Cambodia, and Bali. Asked about life after the wedding, Alexis happily reports, "It feels the same--in a good way," and advises brides-to-be to savor each moment of their special day because "it goes way too fast."
Lake Tahoe Wedding Vendors: Photographer : Catherine Hall, Catherine Hall Studios | Wedding Planner : Summit Soiree | Ceremony Venue & Reception Venue : Thunderbird Lodge | Florist : Katie Long, Thran's Flowers| Dress Designer : Christos for Amsale | Shoe Designer for Bride : Kate Spade | Bridesmaids Dresses : Alfred Sung | Bride's Jewelry and Accessories : family heirlooms | Groom's Wardrobe Designer : Brooks Brothers | Hair : Sarah Santana | Makeup : Natalie Cusson | Invitations : Wedding Paper Divas | Wedding Paper Goods : Samantha Witter (bridesmaid) | Officiant : J.B. McIntyre | Caterer : Season'd | Cake Designer : Flour Girl| Rentals : Camelot Party Rentals and EventMasters | Linen : EventMasters | Ceremony & Cocktail Music : Sierra Strings | Bride's Entrance Music : Sean Cummings of Tahoe Bagpiper | Reception Music : The Mixx Band | Transportation : A Beautiful Ride & Bell Limo