Earlier this fall, I had the pleasure of photographing a fun, whimsical wedding at The Landing Tahoe Resort. This venue is a unique, luxury resort on the shoreline of South Lake Tahoe. From the Grand Rooftop Terrace, the views of the lake and mountains are spectacular!

Lake Tahoe under cloudy skies. Will this sync?

Wedding Party Preparations

When I arrived at The Landing Resort & Spa, I met the bride for getting ready photos. Since there were 9 bridesmaids, it was important to have plenty of space for hair and makeup stations. With this in mind, they planned ahead and reserved the “One-Bedroom Lakefront Suite”.

As a wedding photographer I am very used to seeing clutter in hotel rooms and getting ready spaces. A bit of clutter is an inherent part of the getting ready story. But the extra breathing room that a suite affords goes a long way towards keeping things cool and organized during a notoriously hectic part of the day.

If you are getting married at The Landing, this suite is a great place for bridal preparations. First, there is nice natural light coming through the large windows. This is helpful for your hair and makeup team. It is also great for photos. Plus, there is lots of space to hang out, socialize, and enjoy some champagne before the ceremony.

I also stopped by the groom’s room while he put on his tie, vest, and jacket. Thinking ahead to the album layout, I always try to capture both the bride and groom getting ready. Since guys are usually pretty quick to get dressed and prepped, I tend to spend more time with the bride.

Bridal Portraits

After the hair and makeup teams finished their work, everyone put on their dresses. The bridesmaids and the mother of the bride put on their sparkly dresses first. Then, they helped the bride get into her wedding dress.

I love this photo of everyone seeing the bride in her dress, especially her mom’s reaction!

Next, I spent a couple minutes making a few traditional bridal portraits. Whenever there is some nice natural light, I take advantage of the opportunity to make these classic photos. Parents love to frame these portraits, and they look great in a wedding album.

Bride with bouquet by a window.

Ceremony on the Grand Rooftop Terrace

If you love the idea of panoramic lake and mountain views, the Grand Rooftop Terrace is a great location for you ceremony. I have to say, it’s a pretty scenic backdrop!

As the ceremony began, the groom walked down the aisle with his mom. After the wedding party took their places, the father of the bride walked his daughter to the ceremony. I always keep my camera up during these moments. I had a hunch there might be a sweet, heartfelt hug at the end and I was right!

The lake and mountains make a beautiful backdrop for this ceremony site. Check out that view!

The bride and groom each wrote their own vows, which they read aloud during the ceremony.

Unlike traditional church weddings, most Lake Tahoe wedding venues are outdoors. In general, there are fewer restrictions for photographers, and most ceremony sites have space for me to take photos from a variety of angles. This means that as long as I am respectful, quiet, and strategic, I can capture some great candid moments during the ceremony.

People often think of the First Kiss as the official conclusion of the wedding ceremony. There are so many ways to photograph this moment. At every wedding, I take into account a variety of factors when I choose my vantage point.

At this wedding, there was a videographer shooting alongside me. By positioning myself in the aisle, I could frame the couple with the guests while still capturing the lake and sky in the background. Most importantly, I didn’t block the videographer. As the couple walked down the aisle, the videographer and I walked backwards together while capturing their exit.

After the ceremony, we headed to a grassy field near the venue for some candid portraits of the bride and groom.

Reception on the Grand Rooftop Terrace

While the happy couple and their guests enjoyed cocktail hour in the Lakeside Ballroom, I ran upstairs to photograph the dining area, table settings, and some of their floral arrangements.

The bride and groom made their grand entrance, followed by a quick speech thanking their guests for celebrating with them on their wedding day.

As the sun set behind the Sierra Nevada mountains, I wanted to make a photo that captured the bride and groom seated at their sweetheart table, surrounded by their guests. Although it took some patience, I waited for a special moment that would be worthy of a photo. As it turned out, my timing was perfect to capture this romantic kiss!

During dinner the father of the bride took the mic and proposed a toast to the couple. At this point the sun had done down and the entire scene was dark. Fortunately, I anticipated and planned out this lighting scenario earlier in the day. By setting up a couple small flashes ahead of time, I was ready for these moments as soon as they began.

After the speeches, the bride and groom played the wedding shoe game and cut their cake.

When the dance floor opened up, I joined the crowd to capture the good times and awesome dance moves!

The LED glow glasses, photobooth, and multicolor LED foam sticks made this a fun party! Before the wedding some friends made super-sized prints of the bride and grooms faces. During the reception, guests passed these around and they popped up in some funny places.

As the party came to an end, I focused on the couple and their final happy moments as they soaked it all in.

Chris Werner Photography

Are you planning a wedding at the Landing Tahoe Resort? If so, I would love to be there to photograph the celebration! Check out my full wedding photography portfolio or just head straight to my contact page. Send me a message and I will tell you if I am available for your special event.

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