March 19, 2008

Nicole + Aaron: Wedding at Plumpjack Squaw Valley Inn in Tahoe

Wedding

I am so excited to bring around one of my first weddings of 2008! I shot this one with the talented Lisa of Lisa Leigh Photography at Queen of the Snows Catholic Church and the PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn in Tahoe. It was great that the wedding was in March because there was still snow everywhere! It was so neat to make the three hour drive from San Francisco towards Tahoe and see everything change to crisp and white.

The couple was the very beautiful Nicole and Aaron. As usual, I got to go off and photograph the guys while Lisa took care of the girls. Aaron was surrounded by a funny group of guys and a great brother to serve as his best man. Being that we were in Tahoe, I wanted something special to highlight their rings so what’s more perfect than a pine cone? And though Aaron is certainly suave, there’s not much he could do with his two nieces, Madeline and Sydney who almost took the spotlight of the day as you’ll see later.

The girls were just too cute and Sydney loved her grandfather and simply lit up and ran to him whenever she could. With faces like these, how could they not take center stage every once in a while throughout the day?!

And enter Nicole. Totally stunning. Really. Like some exotic mix between Penelope Cruz and Winona Ryder with her fair skin and dark hair. Stunning is the closest I can come to describing her. Her beautiful Vera Wang dress and beautiful mantilla just completed her.

Her maids work cute silk dresses in a variety of styles but all were a luxe jewel-toned purple that carried through the wedding. Each one of these girls could have been a model – they were all beautiful. The girls had snow white bouquets of tulips as Nicole carried white calla lilies. The little ones wore cute purple hair wreaths with little berries. I did feel bad for the girls during a lot of the outside pictures because they were absolutely freezing in their knee-length dresses. They savored being in the sun to try to warm them up a bit and poor Nicole was forced in the shade for most of the pics.

And of course Madeline is just as cute as can be with Nicole, her soon-to-be aunt who just adores them. (FYI, I worked with this image and the one of Nicole above to make it look a little softer and “antique-like”. I think it suits the picture perfectly, don’t you?)

The church, Queen of the Snows, was spectacular. It was just this little place that we literally passed by a few times because it looks plain and blended in with all the snow on the outside. Once inside, there was an enormous window facing the snow-covered mountains and evergreens. Well, I don’t think I need to describe much, see for yourself!

The light was so beautiful and it was all so picture perfect. Unfortunately, everyone in the first row was sweating buckets by the end of the ceremony and Aaron was just soaked for sitting up on the altar in the direct sun in the middle of the day. He apparently took a shower after the ceremony to freshen up!

It was a great ceremony and the happy couple were just in grins the entire time. They were so obviously in love.

Back at PlumJack, the dining area was set up with it’s classic candelabras and white gauzy panels on the ceiling. It was so detailed and everything looked amazingly put together. Even the favors of hot chocolate mix and marshmallows (how fitting for wintery Tahoe wedding!) were well attended to with deep purple ribbon.

The toasts by the maid of honor (Nicole’s sister), the best man (Aaron’s brother), and the father of the bride were heartfelt and funny. Nicole’s father thanked his beautiful wife for their lovely lives together and everyone mentioned how Nicole and Aaron completed each other.

They didn’t want much fanfare and there was no cake smashing, so Aaron and Nicole quietly cut the wedding cake after dinner. It was a really elegant and simple chocolate cake with purple dendrobium orchids adorning it.

Before heading back to San Francisco that night, we had some fun at the reception and watched Nicole and Aaron share their first dance together. As cute as can be, Madeline showed up and the three of them danced around in circles a few times before the couple finished off their dance together with a kiss.

A flawless day with beautiful surroundings for a great couple. Congrats, Nicole and Aaron!

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away. (anonymous)

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