As adventurers to the core, we’ve traveled just about everywhere within the United States (and some in other countries)! As a general rule of thumb, if an RV could fit, we would be there exploring every National Park, little town, and hiking trail along the way. We’ve seen some spectacular views, and, to be perfectly honest, we also had our fair share of disappointments. When it came time to turn in our RV wheels to plant some roots, there was no question where we wanted to start our forever — near Lake Tahoe in Northern California.
So, when a couple comes to us as wedding photographers to ask us where they should get married, a Lake Tahoe wedding is always at the top of our list of suggestions. Whether you’re in NorCal or are dreaming of a romantic destination wedding, we’ve made a list of why you should consider getting married in Tahoe:
P.S.A. While we love visitors coming to Lake Tahoe, as Leave No Trace photographers, we ask that all travelers practice the 7 principles of Leave No Trace. Thank you for taking care of one of our favorite places.
As a husband and wife photography & videography team in Northern California, we’ve had the privilege of joining couples for their most special days in some of the most spectacular places. We’ve captured breathtaking weddings in Yosemite National Park, beautiful weddings in Big Sur, and countless weddings and elopements throughout Northern California. But, we always get butterflies in our stomachs every time we get to participate in a Lake Tahoe wedding. We’ll tell you ten good reasons why (in no particular order):
Although pets are not the main reason to choose Lake Tahoe as a wedding destination, they are definitely a top ten reason. Pets are family too! If you want a dog ring bearer, nearly all public lands around Lake Tahoe allow them as long as they are well-behaved, leashed, and you clean up after them. There are a few restrictions, such as designated areas for wildlife protection and swimming beaches. But, there are also a few dog-friendly beach choices.
There are many pet-friendly accommodations in the area, including cabins, suites and bed-and-breakfast options. Your furry family member will be welcomed around many of the attractions and restaurants in the nearby towns!
Lake Tahoe consistently ranks well on the list of the most romantic destinations. It’s actually also on lists of the best places to propose, honeymoon and travel with your spouse, too. Nestled high in the Lake Tahoe basin between the Sierra Nevadas and the Carson Range on the other, this huge freshwater lake is like its own world, blocked off from the rest of civilization. It’s the perfect place to disconnect from real life and focus on what matters most—your wedding day.
If you stay and honeymoon in Tahoe (or visit in advance to prep), there are plenty of memorable things to do for just the two of you. Take a hot air balloon ride to see the mountain views from 10,000 feet up, take a dip in the clothing-optional Sierra hot springs, or cuddle up on the Heavenly gondola ride at the Heavenly mountain resort. These are just a few of the adorably romantic activities the area has to offer.
Your guests will appreciate staying a few extra days to make a vacation out of your destination wedding. For summer weddings in Tahoe, guests can enjoy the Tahoe Ale Trail. There are also countless hiking trails and water sports activities. If you’re planning a winter wedding in Tahoe, guests can ski at one of the epic Lake Tahoe ski resorts.
No matter when you get married, there’s always something to do. Stop by one of the gold rush-era towns, and enjoy world-class restaurants and local shops for those who want to explore local life. But, for the adventurous at heart, there’s always a reason to go outside.
Lake Tahoe is accessible for everyone on your guest list and in your wedding party to get to. It’s conveniently on the California and Nevada border, about three and a half hours from the San Francisco Bay Area. Or, if anyone is flying in, it is only about an hour from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.
If your idea of a beautiful day is sunny and in the mid-70s, a summer wedding in Lake Tahoe is perfect for you. Summertime is perfect for a lake view wedding and reception at one of the Tahoe area resorts or a small, intimate wedding or elopement at the top of one of the mountain peaks.
In the winter, you may get caught in a snowstorm. But, don’t worry, the snowcapped mountaintops surrounding the lake will create a breathtaking backdrop for your wedding photography and videography. Then you can cozy up at the end of your wedding day as newlyweds next to a roaring fire and hot cocoa— what a romantic way to kick off your honeymoon!
If you and your other half are avid nature lovers, Lake Tahoe will be your perfect wedding getaway any time of the year. Nature enthusiasts will enjoy the variety of Lake Tahoe hiking trails, ranging from beginner to mountain climber status. Visit waterfalls, explore tree-lined panoramic views of the mountain range, or swim in the turquoise water of the bay, nature is calling! Whether you’re exploring as a part of your Lake Tahoe honeymoon or you’re saying “I Do” at the end of the hiking trail, we highly recommend every nature lover visit at least one of these trails while visiting Lake Tahoe:
Did we mention that Lake Tahoe is gorgeous? There’s a reason that travel advisors consistently list Lake Tahoe as one of the best places to visit. But, as wedding photographers, we personally love that Lake Tahoe doesn’t have a single unphotogenic view, from the crystal clear water to the colorful granite cliffsides, it’s all stunning. Sunshine or snow-covered, it’s always breathtaking. Here are a few popular views to consider:
Dreaming of a forest-themed wedding? Lake Tahoe. Want a beach wedding complete with sandy toes? Lake Tahoe. Craving a picturesque mountain backdrop? Lake Tahoe. Secluded waterfall? Lake Tahoe. If you decide to get married or elope in Lake Tahoe, your wedding video and photos can include a variety of backdrops.
Lake Tahoe wedding venues can be a blog all on its own—and likely will be at some point (its on our list!). Since couples are always asking us our favorite venues and where we recommend, it would be a good one to have for you, but honestly, what we recommend is different for every couple! A couple interested in an adventure elopement at an unmapped location will not have the same recommendations as one interested in a South Lake Tahoe resort wedding with an impressive floor-to-ceiling window that frames the perfect view. There are even different recommendations between Lake Tahoe elopements and engagement photos or surprise proposals. We would love to help you find your perfect wedding venue in Lake Tahoe!
Here are a few of our favorites:
Last but not least, the number one reason to get married in Lake Tahoe are the excellent wedding vendors. Okay, so the last few actually tied for the top spot, and it was so hard to choose a top spot. But, ultimately, we decided that since this was a blog about why to get married in Lake Tahoe, not just visit or hike, it is important that you have the best support on your wedding day. Sure, you can find spectacular views around the country (or around the world) but if there isn’t anyone there to officiate your ceremony, did it really even happen?
Lake Tahoe is a destination that gives you both the frame-worthy wedding portrait backdrop and excellent service all in one trip-worthy destination. You’ll easily be able to find everything you need for your wedding day—wedding planning, florists, wedding cake bakeries, caterers and more!
Of course, what is the purpose of a stunning backdrop and venue without photo and video to remember it with? As wedding photographers and videographers in Lake Tahoe, we specialize in capturing your big day as it unfolds. Rather than staged, forced smiles, we want your day to happen naturally so you can soak up every blissful moment. Don’t worry, we’ll be by your side, camera in-hand capturing every beautiful detail. Contact us today for a free consultation. Call us at (605)-728-1980 or get in touch through our website’s contact form. We’ll contact you within 48 hours. In the meantime, our blog is a combination of our wedding photography and videography portfolio, and a source of information to help you prepare for your wedding or elopement. We look forward to getting to know you!
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