Weddings and large celebrations certainly look a little bit different this year. Since outdoor locations often make pandemic restrictions easier to follow, we are lucky that there are countless outdoor venues in Lake Tahoe. This PJs Grays Crossing wedding from last summer is a great example. Even though this wedding took place last year, I believe the layout of this Truckee wedding venue is applicable to any 2021 wedding you may be putting together. I hope these photos inspire you to dream up a beautiful outdoor celebration.
This was a memorable event for me because it was so easy to blend into the scenery. Cindie and Noah shopped very carefully for a wedding photographer. They wanted someone who could capture special moments throughout the day, without resorting to directing or posing. Because this is exactly how I approach weddings, their careful diligence meant that we were on the same page. From the start of the day, we knew it was a good fit. Except for the guidance I offered for portraits, they basically just pretended I wasn’t there.
Every wedding ceremony is different, and you should stick to what feels right for you. But since Jewish weddings tend to be a little longer, I enjoyed the additional time to cover their ceremony from a variety of angles and focal lengths. Two of my favorite “ceremony” photos are actually their “second kiss” as husband and wife, as well as their hug immediately afterwards. Outdoor receptions and early evening toasts are awesome because I can use natural light and quickly shoot from pretty much any angle I want. The evening light that day was amazing. So, we jumped into a golf cart and left the party behind for few minutes to find purple lupines and alpenglow!
Planning a Gray’s Crossing Wedding at PJ’s
Although Gray’s Crossing offers clubhouse locker rooms, most couples get ready at a family residence or vacation rental. In Cindie and Noah’s case, they gussied up ahead of time before arriving at PJ’s. As a Lake Tahoe wedding photographer with more than a decade in the game, I find this pretty common. I believe this is because most families spend several days with family and friends before the wedding. So, they already have a comfortable base camp established. If the venue offers accommodations, the newlyweds may stay there for a night or two after the wedding.
Except for the bar, everything at this venue is outside. So, I am able to use natural light throughout the vast majority of the day. As I mentioned above, constant natural light allows me to shoot more quickly and capture more of these special photos without having to constantly change my camera settings. The flip side to this important detail is that summertime PJ’s weddings are your best bet. If it rains, there isn’t much indoor space to use as a backup.