Yes, elopements can happen with very little notice, at least they can with us. Sam and Sydney called me the day before they wanted to get married and I was so happy to be able to accommodate their request to get married with one day's notice! They did have a big wedding planned for later in the year, but wanted this ceremony to be special, just the two of them, and I was very grateful to be able to participate!
One of the joys of not having a physical wedding chapel is that we can go anywhere to do a wedding, and accommodate just about any request! This couple, Cheryl and Doug, wanted to have horses at their wedding. The horses you see in these photos are actually my horses, and Cheryl and Doug got married on my property out near Topaz Lake. It was perfect and they thoroughly enjoyed themselves! My horse Sonny is very loving and wanted to be a part of this wedding. He was never very far away from our activities.
What interesting times we live in! And weddings are no exception. This last summer many of our weddings were rescheduled or relocated due to fires, evacuations, smoke and COVID. As winter progresses, we are finding that indoor weddings are much more practical and pleasant than outdoor ones. Who knows what this next summer will bring?
It seems that flexibility is the name of the game with elopements these days. As Lake Tahoe becomes more and more crowded, we are finding places off the beaten track that are just as beautiful in their own way as Tahoe. The last thing we want for our wedding couples is a wedding that is full of stress because you can’t find a place to park!
While in years past we primarily did weddings only in Lake Tahoe, we are now finding many other wonderful places to hold small elopements. If you are seeking a lake, consider Topaz Lake or Washoe Lake. If you are looking for a park setting, consider one of the many parks in Carson City. If you want the peace of the high desert, I’ve got some wonderful ideas for you!
It doesn’t matter what is going on out there in the world. If you want to elope, I want to help you!
Here it is August already! The summer is not yet over but we have certainly enjoyed officiating weddings at so many wonderful places! Here are some of the places we have been: Wellington, Nevada; Reno, Nevada; Carson Valley, Nevada, Genoa, Nevada, Incline Village, Nevada, the Tahoe Biltmore in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, Tahoe Vista, California, Truckee, California and private homes in both California and Nevada. We've been to meadows, beaches, overlook points and hotel rooms; we have even done a wedding in a parking lot and next to a trolley car!
About 95% of the work we do is with smaller, more intimate weddings, and we like it that way. Not all of our weddings have professional photography done, so we don't have photos of all of them. But when Image Angels does the photography, you can bet we've got some awesome photos!
This particular wedding was held in July, in Lake Tahoe, on a bluff overlooking the lake. The photography was done by Image Angels, with Pete Rezac doing the ceremony photos and Karen Linsley doing the portraits.
I really enjoyed being with this couple. We were making chit chat as we progressed along doing the photos, and at one point I asked the bride what she wanted to do for a living. She replied, with an impish little grin on her face, "I want to be a trophy wife!"
Cute couple, all the way around. I hope you enjoy the photos.
Most folks in the wedding business are a bit slow this time of year. The wedding business is definitely seasonal. This is the time when web sites are typically updated, advertising is chosen and implemented, marketing programs designed and begun. And most vendors are also booking weddings right now. With couples having gotten engaged over the holiday season, many are now making arrangements for their weddings to happen this summer, spring or fall. I've noticed a plethora of posts about receptions: the latest cake trends, information about DJs, decorating ideas and themes. And while I can appreciate a donut wall as much as the next person, the truth is that most of the weddings we are privileged to officiate at and photograph do not have receptions. Some of our weddings are the couple only, some have a few guests, and most never have more than twenty or so guests. Why is this? It's our specialty. We specifically market to those folks. I believe that even elopements deserve great photography and a heartfelt ceremony. Gone are the days of tacky "quickie" weddings. Well, actually there are still some folks who do provide those kinds of services, but we aren't one of them. We just want to see our couples have a great wedding experience, and awesome photos to back it up. You might say that our weddings are intimate. It's a good word for it. So if you are seeking a special kind of wedding, one in which the ceremony will be tailored to fit you and one in which you will have awesome photography to preserve those memories and show the family and friends left back home, check us out. We will go just about anywhere to accommodate you, and can help suggest some places if you are stuck or unfamiliar with the area. We will treat you the same as if you were one of those big production weddings, with dignity and willingness to be of service. We do same gender weddings, weddings with dogs, weddings in the snow, weddings on the beach, weddings with horses. We have done weddings with young couples, and weddings with couples in their golden years, and everything in between.
I know you are busy with the holidays. But did you know that as soon as Christmas and New Year’s are done, wedding vendors are going to get flooded with calls? According to surveys, 66% of all wedding couples get engaged during the time between December 23 and New Year’s Day. With an estimated 2.3 million couples getting married every year, that boils down to 1,518,000 couples getting engaged very soon. Here in Northern Nevada, according to the County Clerks that issue wedding licenses, in 2018 there were 6,750 wedding licenses sold in Washoe County and Douglas County issued 4,079 in 2017 (figures not available for 2018). In El Dorado County, which is where most Lake Tahoe weddings happen, they issued 3,076 wedding licenses. That’s almost 14,000 weddings just in this area alone. This area meaning South Lake Tahoe both the California and Nevada sides, Reno, Carson City and the Carson Valley. That means you and 13,999 other couples will be searching for vendors in this area in early 2019. Simply put, after the first of the year, our phone will be ringing off the hook and our email box flooded with brides wanting information. The earlier you call and secure your reservations, the more choices you will have. Call us now to check out our services and packages! 530-906-9336 We service the entire Lake Tahoe, Carson Valley and Reno areas.
Another aspect to consider is that you have many more choices now that you did before. Back in the heydey of weddings in this area, those wedding numbers were triple what they are now. And there were fewer vendors to service all those weddings. Now, you have at least three times as many photographers, wedding officiants, hair dressers and makeup artists, florists and bakers to choose from. Those kinds of numbers mean you have lots of choices, but they also mean things might get a bit confusing for you.
I loved the decisiveness of Shayna and Michael when they called to make arrangements for their wedding. Although they had been dating for 6 years, when they decided to get married they acted on that decision right away. We scheduled the ceremony for 4 days after that initial phone call. They already had their wedding license, and 4 days was plenty of time for me to create a custom ceremony for them. They decided they wanted our Elopement Special package, which is our most popular one, on the appointed day, we had a beautiful summer day with great weather for their wedding.
They wanted a ceremony with just a little bit of religion incorporated into it, so I incorporated part of the passage of Ecclesiastes 3 into their ceremony. This passage is all about timing, and they felt the timing was perfect for their wedding. We also had a more secular reading that talked about love, traditional wedding vows, and the traditional Indian wedding blessing for their close.
The venue was Logan Shoals Vista Point, photography by Image Angels.
Randy and Gail came to us with a few ideas for where they wanted to get married. Although they don't live in the area anymore, they used to and were familiar with this area. David Walley's Resort was a strong contender for location since they were staying in the Carson Valley, and they were very happy to discover that Walley's was available on their date.
The couple wanted a ceremony with a religious theme, but they also wanted to honor their Celtic roots, so we incorporated a hand fasting ritual into the ceremony.
You can see that it grew quite dark during the ceremony, as they were late getting started, but we did some photos of the bride and groom before the ceremony began so as to be able to take advantage of the scenery.
We wrapped up the month of June with 6 weddings! Some were preplanned, and some were last minute. It happens like that sometimes. Like the guy who called me one morning and asked, "Do you accept walk-ins?" I replied, "well, I would if I had a place to walk into, but we are location only." I went on to explain to him that I certainly could do a last minute wedding, but that my "chapel" was wherever he wanted to get married, not a brick and mortar permanent location. We set the wedding for later that afternoon, and it was wonderful. No photos though.
Unlike Gordon, who although he was planning to elope, wanted a bit more lead time and photos. He called a few weeks before the wedding, wanted the Elopement Special, and said he wanted a religious ceremony. I got a bit more information from him, while fiance Sairie, participated in the background of the call. I was already getting a sense of the connection between these two and suspected this might be a fun wedding.
Sure enough, we showed up at the appointed time and place to find a huge presence in Gordon, a serene presence in Sairie, and both of them exhibiting a sense of humor.
I told Gordon that he reminded me of John Wayne and he said, "I get that a lot."
It was a beautiful day for a wedding! Here are some of the photos, I hope you enjoy them.
Venue: Logan Shoals Vista Point
Photography by Image Angels, Sarah Morey doing the ceremony photos and Karen Linsley doing the portraits.