Scrolling through Kate and Cooper’s wedding album gave us storybook romance vibes. Not only were they college sweethearts, but they got engaged at the same spot where they shared their very first kiss. And if that wasn’t enough, they also tied the knot in one of the most beautiful places on earth: Lake Tahoe. So stop what you’re doing, and lose yourself in the dreamy details of Kate and Cooper’s intimate micro wedding.
Kate and Cooper met at Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) in San Diego, California, in their freshman year of college. Cooper is from Northern California, and Kate is from Connecticut, so realistically speaking, meeting anywhere else was slim. It wasn’t exactly love at first sight. However, through a little sweet talking Cooper convinced Kate to go on a date with him – her very first date. They watched a movie on the school’s Greek Amphitheater lawn and shared their first kiss just as the sprinklers shot off all around them. The kiss was yet another first for Kate. “It felt like it was out of a movie,” she gushed. The duo dated for a short while during their freshman year, then another few weeks during their sophomore year. “It took us a few attempts to get our timing right, but when we tried dating for a third time the summer before our senior year, it finally stuck.” Their love story came full circle when Cooper proposed two years later in the spot where they shared their first kiss years before.
Kate always envisioned getting married surrounded by trees. So when Cooper suggested Truckee/the Lake Tahoe area, there was no question that it was the perfect spot. Their original plan was to have a bigger wedding with a full ceremony and reception on Cooper’s cousins’ Truckee property. Months of hard work for the couple ensued. Their time was spent preparing the space, clearing out giant rocks with rented machinery, cutting down weeds, and building their own ceremony benches. They even made a full bar from scratch that would tuck perfectly around a massive tree in the center of this space. But when Covid proved that it wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon, they made the difficult decision to cancel their large family celebration and started making other plans.
“Regardless of the state of the world, we were ready to get married, and we weren’t going to let the lack of a big party stop that. So our photographer Ruthanne Z. (Cooper’s cousin), helped us to reimagine our day. We flew up from our home in San Diego to scout different locations in the mountains and fell in love with our spot.” And it’s easy to see why: surrounded by trees, mountains, and majestic views of Lake Tahoe, it looked nothing short of magical.
On their wedding day, the duo hiked up the mountain with their pastor, parents, and siblings and got married with the most beautiful backdrop imaginable. Even though their special day went from 150 people to 12, they were with the people that knew them and their hearts the most. “Though an elopement-style wasn’t our initial plan, it was perfect. It helped refocus us on the promise we were making not only to each other but to our families and God as well, without a big party to distract us. I wouldn’t change the day for anything.”