When Molly and JJ called me to ask if I wanted to shoot their three-day destination wedding in North Lake Tahoe, I was so excited to say yes! As someone who has never been to Tahoe before, let me tell you something: the drive from Carmel, CA to Lake Tahoe going up the mountain was jaw-dropping. Those trees are spectacular!
Lake Tahoe is the perfect place for a destination wedding since it has hills covered in tall green pine trees and the shore meets a lake that shimmers in the sunlight. In the summer it is a haven for sun bathing, jet skiing, and hiking. In the winter, it is a dream destination for all
Molly and JJ’s destination wedding at Squaw Valley Resort in Lake Tahoe was a bright and sunny day. I initially photographed one of their best friend’s weddings in Napa the year before, where Molly was a bridesmaid. Once Molly and I met, we instantly connected!
About Molly and JJ
Molly and JJ initially lived in Chicago, where they went to high school together. JJ had a crush on Molly, but their relationship did not blossom until later. Fast forward years later, where they both happened to live in San Francisco at the same time. They found each other on Facebook, which
Their proposal story is extra special. As someone who loves music and has an interest in photography, JJ had been making albums of their pictures together for years. One album, he put a picture of him kneeling in their home with a ring in their hand on the last page of the book. When Molly saw that page, he knelt down and proposed!
Notable Wedding Moments
Since this was a destination wedding in Lake Tahoe, all of the events were spectacular. The rehearsal dinner was on a boat called TAHOE GAL, which meandered the lake at sunset.
There were heirlooms and beautiful symbols in this wedding: the purse was an heirloom from Molly’s great grandmother that has passed through each family. JJ is a huge Phish fan, so all the groomsmen’s socks are P
Molly’s father, who passed years ago, had a presence at the wedding. Molly held rosary beads that were originally from her father. His pictures were on her bouquet as he walked with her down the aisle. There was an empty seat in the front for her father. Molly’s mom gave two speeches: the first speech she had a hat on and spoke as if she was her husband speaking to his daughter, which had everyone in tears. The second speech was without a hat on and was as a mother to her daughter, which still had everyone in tears!
Molly and JJ had such fun and outgoing personalities: Molly made funny faces throughout the day (she even scored a gallery of bloopers!), their friends all created great energy, and there were touching moments during the speeches that had all the guests in tears. At their first look, Molly even brought a picture of a basketball player from an inside joke, and JJ turned around to Molly with a picture of the basketball player in front of her face!
Photographer Tips: Destination Wedding
One piece of advice that I would recommend for any photographer is to walk the venue for a Destination Wedding before you shoot there! Because I was able to find a place that had an unobscured view of the trees and mountains prior to the shoot, I was able to find the scout the best location for portraits. If I hadn’t done the initial walkthrough, I would not have been able to capture this venue as well.
- Venue: Squaw Creek Valley Resort
- Rehearsal Venue: Tahoe Gal
- Hair + Makeup: Eden Carpenter Makeup Artistry
- Shoes: Badgley Mischka
- Bridesmaid Dresses: Brideside
- Groom: Generation Tux
- Band: JumpStart
- Flowers: A Floral Affair
- Wedding Coordinator: Jessica Vetorino
If you have a destination wedding coming up, I would love to be there for you! Click here to get in touch.