Out of the handful of Lake Tahoe elopement weddings I have done this summer, Jen and Todd’s wedding on the east shores of Lake Tahoe was definitely my favorite. And it is not just because I have known the groom since we were in elementary school together! There were a lot of pieces to the puzzle that truly made this a day to remember for all of us.
Jen and Todd had originally planned to get married this summer in Ireland, but Covid-19 got in the way. When we talked in July about their switch in plans, it was nice to meet Jen over the phone and provide them with several options all around the lake that could be potential ceremony spots. They wanted something with a beautiful view and not too crowded. Luckily, I have several “secret spots” that I can refer to people who don’t mind a little hike on a forest trail. I also gave them referrals for an officiant and florist. It is always a pleasure working with Ceremonies by Meredith and Love and Lupines!
The Lake Tahoe Basin has literally been blanketed with dense smoke from the devastating wildfires that have been burning since mid August. Leading up to their wedding, we had experienced so many days where the smoke was so thick that you could not see the mountains across the lake. (And as I type this today, it is even more dense and unhealthy than it has been for the past month.) But a day before their wedding, the wind picked up and changed directions, clearing out the smoke and bringing the view and the deep blue color of the lake back just in time for their ceremony.
On the hike down to the beach, we were able to all chat about life and catch up. It was so much fun reconnecting with Todd, I had not seen him since our 20 year high school reunion! He is such a genuine, kind man, and I swear, he looks just as good as he did in high school! And it was great to get to know Jen too, we talked about all things yoga since she also used to teach.
Once we arrived to the little beach, I was amazed that there was not a single boat anchored off shore. Just the week before when Scott and I took a day off to swim here, there were 10 boats crowding this little bay! Nor were there any other people lingering as they usually do for the sunset. It was as if we had reserved this perfect spot just for them! Usually when I am photographing a ceremony, my mind is whirling with all the photography thoughts …. where I want to move around for the wide, overall shots, hoping that I am moving in a way that is not distracting them, keeping my attention hyper focused on their expressions and the different aspects of the ceremony …so I don’t really get a chance to listen to the vows. But somehow for this wedding, I was able to keep my process going and also listen to their heartfelt vows, resulting in a few tears in my eyes by the end of their exchange. After the ceremony, Jen and Todd enjoyed a toast and a first dance. And then they decided to get their feet wet in the lake for a few sunset photos.
What an honor it was to be their photographer, and I hope that we can reconnect again before the next high school reunion!