Engaged Life’s Colorful Backyard Wedding at a Private Estate in Tahoe City

Nearly four years ago, Brett and I were Tahoe Bound for our wedding weekend.  Saying the five days we spent on the lake were the best days ever is an understatement, there are no words for how incredible and memorable the experience was.  The photos below were captured by Colleen Amelia and I will forever be grateful for her ability to capture the magic and happiness and could not be more excited to share my story on the Engaged Life blog!

We decided to rent an Airbnb for the weekend, a modern lodge-style home tucked away in Tahoe’s National Forest.  The house had unique furniture, a wood burning river rock fireplace, and a grand master bedroom.  The property had a large backyard with a deck, fire pits and yard games which we used for our fiesta themed rehearsal dinner.  We truly felt at home and loved that friends and family stopped in to visit throughout the weekend.

July 27th started with champagne in bright Nacho Average Bride cups from my San Diego bachelorette.  Love Is In the Hair and Whitney Stassi Artistry were my rockstar hair and makeup team.  These ladies are so freaking talented and fun to be around.  I wore the Luxe Lace Robe by Le Rose and still find excuses to wear it today.  The lace was so soft and I felt like a princess with it’s short train and flowing sleeves.  I made each of the girls a tank with our wedding logo and gave them my favorite pair of sweats to match!!  My besties live all over the country and looking at these photos makes me miss each one of them SO much!

My husband and I were very particular about what we wanted out of a wedding venue.  We needed panoramic Lake Tahoe views from the north or west shore, and it had to be the backyard of a home.  This was so incredibly hard to pull off!!  Just as I was about to lose hope, I stumbled upon As You Wish Catering‘s website and there it was.  A perfect home at the tip of Dollar Point with towering trees, immaculate landscaping and two decks.

Redwood farm tables from Camelot Party Rentals were decorated with eucalyptus runners and flowers in gold compotes.  Blush water goblets, hand-died indigo napkins, a copy of the Holstee Manifesto and watercolor menus by Parkside Prints sat at each place setting.  We used a vintage globe, gifted to us by Brett’s father, as our guestbook and our Instagram signs by Salt and Sage Designs said “Collect Memories, Not Things.”  Salt and Sage also made us the coolest wedding party sign, among others, and was such a blast to collaborate with!

But before we get too carried away with reception decor, let’s get this bride and groom married!

It’s impossible not to smile looking at this next collection of photos.  Our ceremony was everything I could have imagined.  We kept the space simple, no alter or floral arrangements, just the trees and the sparkling blue lake.  Our pups, Madden and Lolly were very excited to be included and smiled down the aisle with tails wagging and flower crowns.  My father married us and two of our closest friend’s children were the ring bearer and flower girl ever.

Brett and I didn’t do a first look and I was beyond nervous when the pianist from Lucky Devils Band started playing When You Love A Woman started playing.  The rest was a blur, I cried, he cried, guests cried.  The tears of joy were followed by tears of laughter during Brett’s vows.  He got so choked up he couldn’t read from his book but what he said in the moment was better than anything he could have written.  It was perfect.  And every time I have a rough day or feel overwhelmed, I think about the joy and peace I felt in this moment, marrying the man of my dreams, and everything else fades away.

One of my favorite photos from the wedding is this one of Brett hugging my sister, who cried the entire day and is my very best friend.  After the ceremony family and wedding party snuck off for a woodsy adventure with Colleen.  The groomsmen took photos of their cufflinks to showcase that Eric forgot to wear his.  The bridesmaids trekked over pine cones to snap photos in a whimsical shady grove.

The dress.  A strapless lace Essence of Australia with drop sleeves.  Fun fact, I bought extra hem lace and had those sleeves added last minute and it was SO worth it.  They ended up being my favorite part.  My earrings and cuff were from BHLDN and the wonderful Laren O Jewels designed our rings.  If you follow me on Instagram you already know how obsessed I was with my bouquet, A Floral Affair knocked it out of the park.  Packed full of color and greenery and wrapped with Tahoe Blue and Ivory Nettle Textiles ribbon, these flowers were the perfect pop of color in every photo.  My bridesmaids wore mis-matched Show Me Your Mumu dresses in sage, blush and beige and layered on gold jewels from James Michelle and JordanLovesJames Jewelry.

And then there were two.  Being alone for the first time after your ceremony is really strange at first.  For weeks leading up to the big day you’re constantly chatting with friends and family, planning, executing, in full on wedding planning mode.  But then it’s quiet and you’re married and everything went perfectly.  If I had to describe bliss this would be it.  Shout out to As You Wish Catering for bringing our cocktail appetizers to us.  One of their servers walked all the way to the spot where we took photos to make sure we tasted each and every one of our delicious snacks.

When we got back to the venue I had a surprise waiting for Brett. I’d rented a white vintage Cadillac Eldorado from Rental Vintage as our getaway car. He was pretty happy about it. To match our wedding day ride, we invited Petite Street Bistro to the party. This trendy mobile bar makes the most incredible drinks with homemade syrup and colorful garnishes. Owners, Angela and Jeff became our besties by the end of the night, and our guests raved about the Petite Street drinks and experience for weeks afterwards! We slow danced to Ed Sheeran before dinner and speeches, and when the sunset was just right we snuck off one last time for photos overlooking the deep blue lake from a nearby beach.

It was the perfect day in every way. If you’re debating a backyard Tahoe wedding I’d recommend it a million times over!! Thank you to all our guests for traveling to the lake and falling in love with Tahoe City just like we did. Thank you to our vendors for being so much fun to work with and bringing my vision to life. Thank you Lake Tahoe for being the most magical place in the world to say I Do!!

Photographer. Colleen Amelia
Planning. A’Reve Events
Hair.  Love Is In the Hair
Makeup. Whitney Stassi Artistry 
Robe. Luxe Lace Robe by Le Rose
Dress. Essence of Australia 
Jewelry. BHLDN 
Rings. Laren O Jewels
Flowers. A Floral Affair
Ribbon. Nettle Textiles
Bridesmaids. Show Me Your Mumu
Bridesmaid’s Jewelry. James Michelle and JordanLovesJames Jewelry
Band. Lucky Devils Band
Catering. As You Wish Catering
Mobile Bar. Petite Street Bistro
Desserts. Sugar Pine Cakery

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