This couple traded the stress of a big celebration for the intimate beauty of a Lake Tahoe micro wedding, complete with stunning views. Since their focus was on a heartfelt ceremony and time with guests, they opted for my flexible hourly photography package.

My 5-hour coverage captured everything from their pre-wedding preparations to their romantic outdoor dinner reception overlooking Lake Tahoe.

A couple that decided to have a micro wedding in Lake Tahoe enjoy the views from a private dock.

As you can imagine, there are many incredible lakeside homes around the lake. The bride and groom live locally. So, they did some scouting by boat (and online) and found this amazing property not far from where they live. The private home had a dock that made for some gorgeous photos.

Getting Ready

When I arrived, the bride was in her wedding dress and putting on the finishing touches. Her best friend and maid of honor helped with jewelry and the veil, so there were plenty of special moments to capture between the two of them.

A bride gets ready for her backyard wedding in Lake Tahoe.
A joyful moment shared between the bride and her best friend, captured by Lake Tahoe wedding photographer Chris Werner.

Backyard Ceremony with a View

The location and views at this Tahoe micro wedding were incredible. With fewer than 20 seated guests, the lawn was just the right size to accommodate everyone. As the ceremony began, the flower girl scattered pink rose petals down the aisle.

At the start of every wedding ceremony, I always keep an eye out for special moments between the bride and her dad. The steep staircase to the deck was a bit of an obstacle. But I captured the photo I was looking for, and managed to get back to the ceremony in time for the procession!

Walking the bride down the aisle at a backyard wedding on Tahoe's west shore.

With the ceremony underway, I went up the stairs again to get a wide-angle view of the venue and stunning backdrop.

Intimate wedding ceremony with views of Lake Tahoe.

This couple opted to forgo tradition, with the bride standing on the groom’s right during their vows. This setup turned out beautifully. The dappled sunlight filtering through the trees created a stunning backlit effect on her, with autumn colors in the aspen grove behind her.

Emotions peaked as the bride and groom exchanged their handwritten vows. I always time my movements carefully and discreetly during a wedding ceremony. The focus should always be on the couple, and never on me. As the weight of the moment filled the air, I found the perfect spot to capture a single tear escaping the groom’s eye, lovingly wiped away by the bride.

A bride reads her vows at a fall wedding with autumn colors.

As the ceremony concluded, I moved back up to the deck for a wide-angle view of their first kiss and exit.

A private backyard wedding with sweeping views of Lake Tahoe.

I wasn’t the only photographer at this wedding! The flower girl brought her favorite pink camera to the celebration, ready to capture all the important moments.

Taking pictures of the newlyweds with a pink film camera for kids.

Whiskey aficionados, the couple clinked glasses of a smooth, aged scotch. The hard work was finished and they could finally relax!

The newlyweds enjoying a glass of whiskey on their wedding day.

Wedding Portraits by the Lake

As guests enjoyed cocktails, the couple stole away for some portraits by the lake. We started at their picturesque wooden arch, then headed down to the water to explore the dock and a small rock jetty which jutted out into the water.

Lakeside portrait of the couple under their DIY wooden wedding arch.

At this point in the afternoon, the clouds were slowly passing in front of the sun. In the photo below, I found a composition that included the lake, the sky, and a sailboat. As the light shifted, I waited for the perfect ray of sunlight to illuminate the couple’s faces.

A wedding day couples portrait next to Lake Tahoe with puffy clouds and a sailboat in the background.

Outdoor Reception on the Deck

This outdoor reception kicked off with the couple’s first dance on the deck. There was a lot of joy to capture during those three and a half minutes, so I kept moving while focusing on the smiles.

As I edited these photos, I decided I liked the black and whites just as much as the color versions. The color versions capture the fall colors, but the black and whites highlight the contrast between the couple and the darker trees in the background. When this happens, I deliver both versions to the couple as part of their full wedding photography collection.

A joyful couple during their first dance at a backyard wedding reception.
Happy newlyweds celebrate at their outdoor fall wedding with yellow leaves in the background.

As much as I focus on the pre-ceremony jitters and excitement, my shutter keeps clicking away during the reception. As everyone begins to relax and have fun, I keep my camera ready to document the joy of the celebration.

The father of the bride gives a champagne toast at a backyard wedding in Tahoe.
A romantic walk on the pier after getting married at a private home in Lake Tahoe.

Wedding Photography in Lake Tahoe

Considering a micro wedding for your big day? It could be the perfect way to celebrate! I’ve photographed countless small and intimate weddings. I offer custom wedding photography packages to fit any timeline and I’d be happy to share a few helpful pointers.

Click over to the contact page to check my availability, or you can see more examples of my work on my wedding photography portfolio page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *