I was so excited for this wedding! Not long ago, I photographed this couple’s surprise proposal on a mountaintop in Tahoe. A few months later, I shot their engagement portraits at Chimney Beach. I couldn’t wait to see them again and photograph their wedding at Palisades Tahoe.

This couple booked my inclusive wedding photography package. This means that in addition to wedding proposal photos and an engagement session, I was there to capture their entire wedding day from start to finish. Their package also included a second professional photographer.

One of the coolest things about this wedding was their first look at High Camp as a thunderstorm rolled by!

A bride and groom that chose to get married in Olympic Valley share a special moment in front of the Olympic rings.
A bride and groom's first look at Palisades Tahoe High Camp.

Getting Ready in The Village at Palisades

All day wedding coverage means I can capture the anticipation and excitement that begins well before the ceremony starts. So, I started the day photographing the bride and her bridesmaids in The Village at Palisades.

A bride enjoys wedding makeup done by her friend.

Even if they are facing different directions, mirror reflections are a great way to include multiple people in a single frame.

A bride and her bridesmaids get ready in a hotel room in the Village at Palisades.

I am a wedding photographer with a documentary style. That means that I try to remain as unobtrusive as possible throughout the day. I want everyone to simply be themselves while I capture all the special moments naturally.

An important skill is anticipating moments and seeing the so-called “ingredients” for an interesting photo before it happens. When I saw the maid of honor pick up a bottle of hairspray, I saw the potential for a creative photo. In order to capture this artistic silhouette, I quietly moved over to the other side of the room.

Soon after, I could feel the excitement building. Following my intuition, I moved back to my original position to capture this awesome moment between the bride and her maid of honor.

Getting ready for a wedding in the Village at Palisades Tahoe.

Meanwhile, my second shooter photographed the groom and his groomsmen. Adding a second shooter is a great idea if you and your fiancé will be getting ready in separate locations. It also means extra photos and additional angles throughout the wedding day.

Next, the wedding party rode the Aerial Tram up to High Camp for the bride and groom’s first look and a few group photos.

Bridesmaids taking a selfie as the wedding party rides the Palisades Aerial Tram.

First Look at High Camp

With storm clouds moving through Olympic Valley, the mountains and sky made a dramatic backdrop for first look photos at the overlook next to High Camp.

A bride and groom enjoy a first look at High Camp in Olympic Valley.
Storm clouds cover Lake Tahoe are a backdrop for a bride and groom's first look at High Camp.
A groom smiles at his bride at their Palisades Tahoe wedding.

While we were at High Camp, we photographed a few classic black and white portraits of the bride and groom.

A bride and groom ride the Palisades Tahoe Aerial Tram before their wedding.

On our way to to the Olympic Village Events Center, I used the unique geometry of the Aerial Tram building as a backdrop to make a candid portrait of the bride and groom.

A bride and groom return from their wedding day ride on the Aerial Tram.

Garden at Olympic Village Event Center Wedding

After we returned from High Camp, the sun came out for their wedding at the Event Center Garden! The bride’s father walked her down the aisle, and the groom’s dad officiated the ceremony.

Nestled amongst aspen and pine trees, this lush grassy area is part of a beautiful landscaped garden. Here, wedding guests witness the ceremony set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Tram Face mountainside.

The bride and her father walk down the stairs to a ceremony at the Garden.
Exchanging vows at the Garden at Olympic Village Event Center.
Wide angle view of a wedding at the Olympic Village Events Center.
First kiss in front of a hexagon shaped arch at an Olympic Village Events Center wedding.
Walking down the aisle after getting married at Palisades Tahoe event center.

Ring Exchange on the Event Center Deck

As the bride and groom exited the ceremony, they realized a page of their ceremony had been skipped. Rings still needed to be exchanged!

Exchanging rings with Olympic Village Inn in the background.
A bride and groom swap wedding rings next to the Olympic Village Inn with aspen trees in the background.
A wedding ceremony on the deck at the Olympic Village Events Center.
Congratulatory hugs from the mother of the groom wearing a corsage with a single white rose.

Just as the reception began, thunder boomed across the mountains and rain clouds opened up. The bride’s friends jumped into action and covered her head with a coat.

Reception at the Olympic Village Events Center

To kick things off, the father of the bride delivered a hilarious speech. He welcomed all the guests to Lake Tahoe, thanked them for coming to the wedding, and shared a few fun stories about the happy couple.

A funny reception speech by the father of the bride.

Next, the maid of honor made a champagne toast. Capturing these moments where friends and family share humorous anecdotes and heartwarming stories is always a highlight of the reception.

The maid of honor presents a champagne toast in front of the large copper fireplace hood.
Cutting a three tier wedding cake with white roses.
The bride and groom feed each other cake at their Olympic Village Events Center wedding reception.

After cutting their wedding cake, the bride and groom took the dance floor for their first dance. The ambient light in the Olympic Village Events Center is fairly flat and dark. So, unless your DJ or planner sets up special event lighting, I like to add dimension with my own lighting.

For most of these reception photos, I used off-camera lighting. Adding a couple directional light sources fills in shadows where needed, adds some contrast, and helps the subjects stand out in the scene.

The bride and groom enjoy a romantic moment on the dance floor.
The mother of the groom in a blue dress dances with her son during the reception.
Music in Tahoe is a popular DJ for Lake Tahoe weddings.
The bride and her wedding guests celebrate on the dance floor in the Palisades Events Center.
A cute toddler hits the dance floor as wedding guests look on.
Dancing with a wedding guest wearing traditional Scottish Highland dress.
The dance floor at a Palisades wedding can be in front of the Olympic rings.
An exciting moment as wedding guests lift the bride and groom on their shoulders.
The wedding party forms a circle around the bride and groom during the last dance of the night.

Chris Werner Photography

If you are getting married at the Olympic Village Event Center and you are looking for the perfect wedding photographer, let’s chat! Send me a message and tell me all about your plans.

You can see some of the other weddings I’ve photographed in this area over on the Olympic Valley weddings page. Learn more about Palisades Tahoe weddings here!

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