Could you possibly get a better backdrop for saying “I do” than the Sierra Nevada Mountains? We don’t think so! But, if you don’t believe us, check out these gorgeous images of Nick and Mariah captured by Holly Shankland Photography!
The couple met back in college, where they were setters on the men’s and women’s volleyball teams. They soon became fast friends who never missed each other’s home games. “We ran in the same circle of friends through college, and then after college, we both remained local, so our friendship continued to grow,” Mariah explained. They would often go to A’s games together and to the same bars with friends. However, they remained “just friends” for the next eight years until something shifted, and Mariah realized she was falling for Nick. No wonder Nick and all of their close friends exclaimed, “About time, Mariah!” when it finally happened. “Having such a great friendship spanning from freshman year of college to now has been the best foundation for our relationship.”
After Nick and Mariah made things official, the first trip they took together was up to Lake Tahoe for a friend’s birthday. Tahoe was also where they got engaged while walking their dog, Flyer, at Donner Lake early one weekend morning. So, it came as no surprise that they chose PlumpJack Inn on Tahoe’s North Shore to start their journey as husband and wife. “Lake Tahoe was the perfect place for our wedding celebration because it has held a special place in our hearts. It is so beautiful year-round, and it offers endless places to explore for out-of-town guests that would be coming to our wedding celebration. It was another way to share a little piece of our story with our guests!”
We have to admit, here at Tahoe Unveiled; we just love a wedding with personalized details. Especially when you can tell the couple had a lot of fun making their wedding feel unique to them. For example, they used locations and places important to their story as a couple instead of table numbers. These places include Donner Lake (where they got engaged), Stadium Pub (where they first confessed their love for each other), and Pine Street (where they first moved in together). They also made a large, framed collage at the entry of their reception that showcased how they have been ‘Surrounded by Love’ their whole lives. These frames held wedding photos of their parents and grandparents on their wedding days and some pictures of the couple’s micro-wedding earlier in the year. “It was a fun way to honor the love and relationships that came before us and helped get us to where we are today, celebrating our marriage.” The couple also opted to have an audio guest book where guests left them voice messages in a vintage phone rented by FêteFone. “We loved the idea of getting to capture our guests’ voices, especially our older relatives, as a keepsake for us from our reception.” And then there are the unique wedding favors we still can’t get over. Nick and Mariah spent the entire year collecting different mugs that they loved and thought guests would enjoy. This included mugs that featured their favorite sports team, referenced their favorite show or movie, and included places they had visited or their experiences as a couple. “The guests had the best time deciding (and fighting over) which one they would bring home with them. We often get texts from guests when they use it now for their morning coffees, and it’s a fun reminder of the day we all shared!”
Highlights of the day include a crème brûlée bar where guests could select a flavor they wanted instead of cake as dessert. The couple also enjoyed celebrating with their loved ones the way they always wanted to. “We took our vows and got married earlier at an intimate ceremony that we zoomed for our guests to see because of COVID-19. So now, this was finally time to have our grandparents, extended family, and closest friends celebrate our marriage with us as we had always dreamt of.” They also had an anniversary dance where couples would be eliminated based on the length of time they’d been married, so the last couple standing would be the ones married the longest. “It was great to see the couple at our wedding had been married for 51 years. We loved having that experience and celebrating others’ love stories as well!”
One piece of advice Nick and Mariah would like to give to other couples is to avoid getting caught up in the planning stress and pressure. Mariah explained they she spent more time than she should be worrying that their guests would judge their wedding because they were doing things a little differently. “Then, when we did it anyways, we were so happy we did because not only did the guests enjoy it all, but it really was a day that reflected us as a couple. It’s so easy to compare these days, but there are no rules for planning a wedding, so don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourselves. Do what you both want as a couple!”
Scroll on to take in every last detail of this stunning North Lake Tahoe wedding.
Photographer Holly Shankland Photography / Second Shooter Wade Snider / Venue + Catering PlumpJack Inn / Wedding Planner Curated by Grace + White / Flowers Twine Floral Co. / Videographer Logan Lisle Production / Dress Needle & Thread / Hair Jessica Odom / Makeup Abbie Noland / Photobooth Tahoe Photo Booth Rentals / DJ All Ears DJ