Chalet View Lodge is a beautiful outdoor venue in the Sierra Nevada forests near Graeagle. At this completely private resort, I had the pleasure of photographing an amazing couple as they celebrated with all their favorite people. Overwhelmingly, the theme of this day was joy! As a wedding photographer, I love being able to capture the excitement and anticipation during a day like this.

In the forest near Graeagle, a groom embraces his bride while the sun sets behind the pine trees.
Golden sunset illuminates a bride, groom, and the forest that surrounds them.

Getting Ready

Chalet View Lodge offers a spacious “bridal suite” as a getting ready space. Needless to say, this could be used by either a bride or a groom. At this wedding, I photographed the bride and her bridesmaids in this space as they prepared for the ceremony. When I first arrive to photograph a wedding, it is common (and totally normal!) for people to seem my camera and feel a little self-conscious. However, once I begin shooting, this always changes. My specialty is photographing candid moments, and my approach is very calming and down-to-earth. At every wedding I photograph, this reassures everyone that they can be themselves and enjoy the day.

Here are some photos of the bride and her bridesmaids getting ready at Chalet View Lodge. I noticed some light by a window, so I made a classic black and white portrait before making a couple more bridal portraits outside.

Black and white portrait of a bride looking in a mirror and putting on earrings at Chalet View Lodge near Blairsden-Graeagle.
A bride and her bridal party laugh together in white robes as they prepare for a Chalet View Lodge wedding.
A joyful bride looks at her bridesmaids in the bridal suite at Chalet View Lodge.
A black and white portrait of a bride holding her bouquet among pine trees, looking over her shoulder at the photographer.
A bride holds her wedding flower bouquet and leans against the shiny, reflective exterior of an airstream trailer.

Wedding Ceremony

With all your wedding guests seated and ready for the ceremony to begin, it is time to make your grand entrance! At this wedding, the bride waited inside a cabin so that guests would not see her. As the ceremony began, I photographed her and her dad walking across the lawn and down the center aisle. A careful choice of lenses and being quick on my feet allowed me to also photograph the groom waiting at “the altar”.

The father of the bride walks his daughter to her wedding ceremony at Chalet View Lodge.
A smiling groom patiently waits for his bride at their Chalet View Lodge wedding ceremony.
Arm-in-arm with her dad, an elated bride walks down the grassy aisle at an outdoor Chalet View Lodge wedding ceremony.
At an outdoor forest Chalet View Lodge wedding ceremony, the father of the bride kisses his daughter on the cheek before handing her off to the groom.

One of the best wedding gifts is one you can give yourself. Specifically, find ways be more mindful and present on your wedding day. The day flies by so quickly, it can be easy to get swept up in the fast lane. My careful approach is based on more than a decade of documenting weddings. My ability to anticipate important details and be in the right locations allows you to be in the moment and take it all in.

A bride and groom take a moment during their wedding ceremony to turn to their wedding guests and enjoy the moment.
A bride smiles at her groom as they hold hands facing each other at an outdoor wedding in Graeagle.
A bride reads wedding vows to her groom at an outdoor wedding at Chalet View Lodge in Graeagle, California.
Seated in his mothers lap in the front row, a tired young boy rubs his eyes during an outdoor wedding ceremony.
A bride reads wedding vows to her groom at their outdoor wedding among pine trees.
A smiling groom places a wedding ring on his bride's finger during their outdoor forested wedding ceremony.
As the sun shines through pine trees around them, a bride and groom kiss during their outdoor forested wedding ceremony.
The bride and groom hold hands as they exit their outdoor wedding ceremony among the cheers and applause of their guests.
Young flower girls in white dresses take a closer look at the bride's wedding ring following the ceremony.
A young flower girl in a white dress kisses the bride on the cheek at an outdoor lawn wedding reception.

Wedding Day Details and Decorations

My wedding photography style is primarily focused on capturing authentic moments and candid expressions. However, I always take a little time to photograph the unique details of your celebration. Here are a few photos of the beautiful dining area during this Chalet View Lodge wedding.

An example of a wedding reception table setting at Chalet View Lodge which includes wooden banquet tables and chairs, with golden flatware and gold-rimmed glasses.
A head dining table setup at a Chalet View Lodge wedding, with Eucalyptus leaves, short logs, lanterns, and a triangular wedding arch as decorations.
A closeup view of the table settings from a Chalet View Lodge wedding in California, featuring Eucalyptus leaves tied onto napkins with brown twine.

Portraits of the Bride and Groom

Chalet View Lodge includes more than 10 acres of grassy and forested property. So, a golf cart is a great way to get around for some photos of the bride and groom. During sunset, I like to head over to a grassy meadow for portraits of the bride and groom. To make the best photos, lighting is important. So, I communicate with the couple and the wedding coordinator (if there is one) to make sure we get our timing right.

At this wedding, our timing was perfect. We found some gorgeous golden sunlight, and the couple enjoyed a beautiful walk in the woods as the sun set in the background. In general, I avoid overly posed photos. However, how many of us ever know what to with our hands and bodies when someone points a camera at us? So, I like to offer some friendly guidance and basic recommendations that will help you look your best in your wedding photos. As long as you enjoy hanging out together, you’re going to look great!

Seated in the rear, backward facing bench of a golf cart, a bride and groom share a fun moment together at their Chalet View Lodge.
A silhouetted bride and groom lean together for a kiss during sunset at their Chalet View Lodge wedding near Graeagle, CA.
Walking through a golden meadow at sunset, a bride and groom hold hands and enjoy a romantic moment together.
A golden sun sets behind a bride and groom in a grassy meadow at Chalet View Lodge.

Wedding Reception

One of the reasons why I love Chalet View Lodge weddings is the private nature of the venue. Especially at night, when you can enjoy your own dance party in the woods! The only wedding crashers here will be the squirrels and owls. Here are a couple photos from their wedding toasts, and some fun photos of the action on the dance floor!

The father of the bride makes a wedding reception speech during an outdoor wedding reception at Chalet View Lodge.
Seated at a head dining table that is decorated with Eucalyptus leaves and candles, the bride and groom laugh together while listening to the father of the bride make a speech.
Strings of lights and an Airstream trailer decorate an outdoor wedding reception among the pine trees at Chalet View Lodge.
A bride throws her arms up in the air to celebrate her wedding reception at Chalet View Lodge near Blairsden-Graeagle.
Wedding guests party and dance together at a Chalet View Lodge wedding reception in the Sierra Nevada mountains.
As the dancing heats up, wedding guests on the dance floor point at the torn seat of a man's pants.
As they sing and dance together, a bride celebrates on the dance floor with her friends.
The uncle of the bride does a headstand in the center of the dance floor  during a Chalet View Lodge wedding reception near Truckee, CA.
Shimmying low and close to the floor, wedding guests dance and get their groove on during a reception party in Graeagle, California.
A bride and her friend dance side-by-side under strings of lights during an outdoor wedding reception at Chalet View Lodge.
The groom and bride make funny, surprised faces as their friends lift them up on chairs during their Chalet View Lodge wedding reception.

Chris Werner Photography

Are you getting married at Chalet View Lodge? I would love to hear your wedding plans and be there to photograph your big day! Go to my contact page to send me a message and find out if I am available on your date. To see more wedding photos, head over to either the Chalet View Lodge wedding photography page, or my main wedding portfolio.

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