This winter Lake Tahoe wedding was truly one-of-a-kind. When I met Michele and Josh a few months before their West Shore Cafe wedding, I knew immediately that their big day would be unique. Josh and Michele are both scientists who work on marine conservation issues, primarily in developing countries. Although they live and work on the beach, they still follow their hearts into the mountains whenever they can. Michele grew up near Lake Tahoe, and they both love snowboarding. Considering how much snow we received during this season, their winter Lake Tahoe wedding was impeccable timing.

As a Lake Tahoe wedding photographer, I tend to be busiest during certain times of the year. Owing to the popularity of Lake Tahoe during the warmer months, most people plan Lake Tahoe weddings during the summer and fall months. Spring Lake Tahoe weddings are common as well, though the water is still too cold for most folks wanting to jump in the lake after getting married. With this in mind, I get really excited about winter weddings in Lake Tahoe. Although I have to think differently about what I wear and how I intend to stay warm while shooting, it is completely worth it. Even though the days are shorter, the snow can really brighten up the scene.

Michele and Josh had the ideal expectations for a Lake Tahoe wedding in the winter. To put it another way, they knew that Mother Nature calls the shots in the mountains! While they exchanged vows, everyone enjoyed a warm and intimate indoor ceremony. When the snowfall eased up, we headed outdoors for some twilight Lake Tahoe wedding photos. When fingers started to get chilly, we ducked back inside. As the beats picked up on the dance floor, we were soon plenty warm!

Tips for a Winter Lake Tahoe Wedding

If you are planning a Lake Tahoe wedding during the winter months, these winter wedding tips may help!

  • Remember that days are shorter during the winter. Be prepared to adjust your photo timeline to take advantage of any natural light a little earlier than normal.
  • If you have your heart set on an outdoor ceremony, be prepared with hot drinks and warm blankets. And if a light snowfall turns into a blizzard, always have an indoor backup plan!
  • Dress appropriately. If you are planning a winter Lake Tahoe wedding, you will probably want some photos in the snow. Although grooms, groomsmen, and family members with jackets may fare better in the cold, you and your bridesmaids will want to have shawls, throws, or coats to keep warm. It is difficult to “fake warm” when you’re shivering!
  • Use indoor spaces strategically. At this winter Lake Tahoe wedding, the ceremony space became the dance floor. Chairs from the ceremony side of the room were moved to the preset tables in the “dining area.”
  • Be adventurous! Lake Tahoe winters are known for lots of snow. If you want some gorgeous photos in our winter wonderland, be prepared to hike over a snowbank or two. Furry boots make a great pair of (second) wedding shoes! And, they will keep your tootsies warm while taking photos.

I became a Lake Tahoe wedding photographer in 2011. I am familiar with North Lake Tahoe wedding venues, and I know the best places to get married in South Lake Tahoe. Please get in touch and tell me about your Lake Tahoe wedding plans. I’d love to share some more wedding tips with you!

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