A Lake Tahoe Wedding // Nina and David

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I remember sitting in the sand on the southern shore of Lake Tahoe at the age of 5, eating a bowl of ice cream and thinking how nice it’d be to dip my toes in the lake to cool off. It’s one of my most vivid childhood memories. For us, that was a “day at the beach”.  At over 1600 feet deep and situated a mile above sea level, Lake Tahoe is our nation’s largest body of water by volume west of the Mississippi. It is incredibly blue, and incredibly beautiful…but absolutely freezing cold year-round.

As much as we love the area, we don’t get up to Lake Tahoe enough, so we were extra psyched for Nina and David’s Tahoe wedding weekend. The festivities kicked off with a sunset welcome dinner at Homewood Mountain Ski Resort atop the quail chair lift. It was great to finally meet David, Nina, and their gorgeous boy Remi. Headed up the chairlift, the serenity of the panoramas behind us were breathtaking. As the sun dipped behind Ellis Peak, the veiled evening light hinted at the two wildfires which earlier in the day, had begun raging to our west. The Howard Wiley jazz quartet added the perfect soundtrack to this ethereal dinner setting as friends and family greeted each other and shared a family-style dinner together high atop Big Blue.

The next morning we met Nina at the home that has served as their families getaway spot since she was just 10 years old. In the breakfast nook, the girls were finishing hair and makeup, down in the laundry room dad was wrapping up some last minute ironing, while in the upstairs bedroom, Nina’s brother was revising his final draft for his part in the ceremony. It was family at its best. Over at the boys cabin, David (a savvy music lover as well as a full time music producer) kept the playlist jazzy while friends sipped single-malt scotch on the balcony, overlooking the clearing in the pines where guests would soon begin to congregate for their ceremony.

Friends and family play such an important role in our lives, shaping the people we become and giving us inspiration, hope, laughter, and love. Nina and David’s ceremony was very family oriented and acknowledged the major contributors in their lives and assigned them formal roles which they brought to life through words and song. There were The Connectors (the one’s responsible for the meeting of David and Nina), The Bard, The Wandering Sage, The Scientist, The Humorist, The Balladeer (and evoker of tears), The Midwife, The Guardian, and The Wild Rose. Whether through a funny anecdote, a song, or a shared memory, each provided a new layer and perspective on Nina and David’s life; past, present, and future. In between speakers, the only thing that could be heard was the gentle wind dancing through the pine needles overhead and there was a ubiquitous feeling of combined love and tranquility.

As the ceremony concluded, Howard Wiley and his players led a jazz procession down the windy path to the cocktail reception which was held over Lake Tahoe on the Chambers Landing Dock Bar. Here, guests were treated to freshly shucked shellfish (try repeating that five times), local favorites, and a multitude of libations whilst taking in the ineffable beauty of this special corner of the lake.

The sun set over the Pacific Crest and dinner was served. There were no speeches during dinner, rather a lot of great conversations punctuated by bursts of laughter and smiles filled the room. The family spirit of the day carried through. Remy sat on mom’s lap as she and dad shared their wedding dinner with him and just before turning into a pumpkin, he reluctantly made his way back to the house for some well-deserved snuggle down time. This is when the attention shifted to speeches, cake, and one sumptuously comprehensive cheese board, amongst other things. Friends and family donned props and got their sillies out at the photo booth before the dj directed everyone back inside for the apex of the day’s events: the family band. It seems that everyone in this family is incredibly talented at at least a few things, and the musically gifted members of the family continued their tradition of spontaneous jam-lesions, this time welcoming Nina and David to their first dance with a heartfelt – and slightly more folksy – rendition of I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston. As they danced close, surrounded by friends, family, and band, all singing together, I couldn’t imagine ending a wedding day on any sweeter a note.