Tess + Chris lived in Tahoe, California for a year during the pandemic and absolutely fell in love with the notoriously gorgeous area. When wedding planning began, choosing to hold the celebration there was a super meaningful decision for the couple.
Stanford Sierra Conference Center at Fallen Leaf Lake supplied the dreamy lodge vibes and beautiful Mother Nature did the rest. Planners from Louise & Third teamed up with Tess + Chris to bring their woodsy wedding to life and played a key role in weathering some day-of cloudy skies!
The whole crew closely watched the forecast, trying to thread the needle with timing for the outdoor ceremony on a particularly unpredictable Fall day in Tahoe. Guests (who all had a joyful stay on the property for the wedding weekend) waited excitedly through morning rain and a power outage in the cabins. The sun peeked out, and clear blue skies followed, so they pushed onward…only to have the skies open mid-ceremony! HAIL fell as Tess walked down the aisle.
The result? Some of the most romantic ceremony photos we have EVER seen!! So glad Kendra Cates Photography was there to capture the day!
We love the embossed leaves on these invites by Copper Willow.
A beautiful moment in black and white.
The Lakeside Ceremony
Twine Floral Co. designed and built this two-piece ceremony backdrop made entirely of leaves and greenery! It looks like a magical part of the lakeside landscape!
SO clever to use canoes as part of the ceremony decor!! And yes, those are cozy throw blankets to keep chilly guests warm.
These touching leaflets were such a thoughtful way to include all the love stories in the couple’s family history.
Me Beauty is responsible for this stunning bridal braid as well as Tess’s radiant makeup look.
Here comes the HAIL!!
Take a look at some ideas for how to handle the elements like Tess + Chris if you’re worried about weather-related surprised on your own wedding day.
Our Musical Choices
Processional: "By Your Side" by Sade
Recessional: "You Make My Dreams" Hall & Oates
First Dance: "Lovely Day" by Bill Withers
The pearl headband Tess is rocking makes her look like a beautiful Snow Queen. This one from Anthropologie Weddings doubles as a choker!
Tess brought her mom and dad along on her wedding dress shopping journey. When she found this sleek and classic one-shoulder champagne wedding gown from Loho Bride she was a huge fan of its simplicity and the fact that it wasn’t a traditional wedding white. Also, a note from Tess: “I highly recommend inviting your dad to your dress try-ons. His reactions were by far my favorite.”
The Perugia veil from Anthropologie added a delicate embroidered floral moment to the look.
How glamorous is this cropped white fur jacket from Maison Sully?! Take a peek at this one from Revolve if you dig the look and check out our list of chic cold weather wedding accessories.
Our Advice To Those Planning Now
Don't focus too much on how everyone else is doing things - more power to you if you decide to go off the beaten path.
The Rustic Reception
We love the elegance of Chris’s classic black tux against cozy cabin vibes of the venue.
The seating chart was woven into the greenery garland on the wood burning fireplace’s mantle.
From Tess: “We love weddings that put the spotlight on the couple’s community, and we tried to do that by including as many personal touches as possible. We wrote each guest a handwritten note that we used as place cards for dinner, expressing how happy we were that they’d chosen to be with us that weekend.”
Cinnamon sticks and cedar sprigs collected from around the property were worked into the sage green napkins from BBJ La Tavola.
White blooms added romance to the centerpieces full of ferns and other greenery.
We spy the ceremony backdrop adding some festive floral energy to the reception as well!!
Tess + Chris went with greens and warm copper tones to create a color palette that would feel cohesive in the environment.
We love to see a bridal sneaker!! Tess went with the adorable Zina Pearl sneaker from Dolce Vita so she could dance the night away.
Congratulations, Tess + Chris! If a rainy wedding day means good luck, imagine what HAIL and SNOW must mean!!! All the best from GWS!
photography: Kendra Cates Photography // venue name: Stanford Sierra Camp // planning: Louise & Third // florals: Twine Floral Co. // wedding dress: Loho Bride // hair stylist: MeBeauty // makeup artist: MeBeauty // paper goods: Copper Willow Paper Studio // catering: Stanford Sierra Camp // linen rentals: BBJ La Tavola Linens // specialty rentals: Celebrations! Party Rentals // music: Four Count Concepts // lighting: Sierra Lighting
Amazing photos! :)