There are a million things we love about Abigail and Chris' lakefront wedding, especially that they chose Lake Tahoe as their destination of choice and so many talented Tahoe Unveiled vendors, including La Di Da Beauty and Ceremonies by Meredith. The love that radiates between them is practically palpable, as evident through the lens of Annie X Photographie. It's the type of day that truly defines romance, and we've got it all in the gallery below.
The bride, Chris, tells the story of their day below:
We met online through OK Cupid, a dating website, where Abigail was only seeking "friends". We were friends for a few months and dating others before the relationship took a romantic turn. I proposed to Abigail with the help of a guitarist outside of Zuni Cafe where we went on our first date. This was Plan B. I had originally planned to propose by song at Martuni's (a piano bar across the street), but I chickened out.
Abigail grew up going to Alford Lake Camp in Maine. The camp had a pine grove where campers would come together, tell stories, and sing songs. Both Abigail and I attended Dartmouth College which is located in a beautiful, natural, and idyllic setting in New Hampshire. It is especially stunning in the Fall. We were looking for a venue that felt like Alford Lake and Dartmouth on the West Coast. The theme for the reception was bringing the outdoor and community feeling indoors.
We scripted the ceremony in collaboration with our Officiant. We wrote our own vows. At the reception, we hired a vendor to produce "flipbooks" which captured guests' short animated videos and breaks the videos into old school flip/animation booklets which were personalized party favors. In addition, my kids each had a Instax Fiji (similar to polaroid) cameras and they each took pictures of guests and later created a scrapbook from the instant photos.Our favorite parts were the vows, family support, rehearsal dinner toasts, reception toasts, and dancing. My highlight was when Abigail stood on the stage and sang (spontaneously) "Your Song" by Elton John to her with the band at the end of the night.
The florals were beautiful - we had a Fall theme at the rehearsal dinner with Autumn colored Gerbera daisies, plus mini white daisies and red/orange roses. For our wedding and reception, the colors were seafoam (green), light pink, and ivory. The bouquets included roses, eucalyptus, and some succulents. The ceremony backdrop was a natural birch arch with similar florals as the bouquets in each corner. We asked Celadon to put up draping, hedges, live wall with greenery, and additional lighting to create a romantic outdoor ambiance.
We wanted a rustic, but not shabby, chic decor -- more down to earth than glitzy. We had a few DIY elements including having guests sign Adirondack chairs that we assembled in our hotel room. We also wanted support and guidance from those who went before us in marriage and created labeled wine bottles for people to leave messages for us to read on our 1st, 5th, 10th, and 25th anniversaries. We came up with a natural tree logo that is similar to the Dartmouth lone pine symbol and put it on our welcome bags which we assembled.
Abigail had an image of what she wanted her dress to look like -- A-Line with lace but not too much. She found it at Vera Wang. I wanted to wear a dress for the ceremony but a pant suit for the reception. She was drawn to the sleek simple but feminine lines, and that is how she chose both outfits.
Planning Advice: If both people in the couple have time constraints due to work or life demands, take more than 9 months to plan the wedding. Do not rush the venue selection or contract review processes due to time pressure. Ask for clear explanations and understand the details of the food and beverage "minimums", including tax and service fees.
Also, on the invites, do not put the RSVP deadline on the invite itself, put them on the separate RSVP card instead b/c you may want to invite more people after getting the RSVP returns. No guests want to receive an invite knowing they were part of a round 2 of invites.
Marriage Advice: Be kind -- especially during stressful planning moments. Always take the high road and maintain the long view.