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Our Wedding by Jose Villa

May-26-11  |  Weddings, Personal
It has been almost a year since Chad and I tied the knot at our intimate wedding in Northern Nevada and I am thrilled to finally be able to share the images! Our wedding is featured in the June issue of BRIDES magazine which hit stands this week, YAY! On top of that it is also being featured today on Style Me Pretty and the blog of Jose Villa, our talented photographer and friend.  
There is so much for me to share about our wedding it is hard to even know where to start! As you may have guessed we had several priorities while planning our wedding and photography was at the very top of the list. Not only was finding the perfect photographer key, but creating the kind of wedding that I would want to photograph and that I knew would shoot beautifully was equally important. Thinking about things like light, ambiance, and location were all crucial and came into play for every decision.  
Since most of our guests traveled long distances for our wedding we wanted to make sure it was a wedding weekend rather than a single day. The events kicked off with a bridal shower at Harrah's Lake Tahoe where the ladies gathered for wine, appetizers and gifts. I had previously taken my mother's wedding gown and had it altered to a cocktail dress that I wore for the occasion. The next day guests headed down the mountain for a golf scramble on the golf course where my father lives. Later that night, guests dressed up and boarded the Tahoe Queen for a welcome cruise hosted by Chad's parents. They enjoyed the scenic cruise on Lake Tahoe to Emerald Bay while enjoying dinner, toasts and live music. 
We had a large military presence at our wedding with my dad being a decorated Naval Captain. He wore his traditional dress whites (sword and all) to escort me down the aisle. Our ceremony site, overlooking Lake Tahoe, was decorated by a symbolic circle of white rose petals with guest chairs in two semicircles surrounding. The ceremony was given by a close friend of my fathers known as 'Badger' who is revered as the best fighter pilot living today. He closed our ceremony with 'by the power vested in me as fighter pilot...'. I also attached my Dad's bronze star he was awarded from his service in Iraq to the base of my bouquet. 
From the ceremony, our guests were shuttled down the mountain to the valley where I grew up. In the foothills lies a 500 acre ranch owned my one of my dearest friends and bridesmaid. The ranch has a small farm house with a fenced yard where we served cocktails before the reception. Guests enjoyed two signature drinks, "Charlie's Old Fashioned" and "Kate's Cosmo" and enjoyed passed hors d'oeuvres. Later, guests were seated at long wooden king's tables for an outdoor reception in front of a 100+ year old barn decorated with chandeliers and a moss set of letters making a C K. Chad and I made our entrance in my father's 1950 Chevrolet Pickup Truck and kicked the party off with our first dance.  
Being a wedding photographer myself I know how crucial lighting is to create the right ambiance and set the mood for an event. While I loved the natural light our location gave us, once the sun went down we had to create our own light. We did this by stringing cafe lights from the front of the barn in a spoke pattern. The lights were tied to steel poles that we lined with potted aspens. This created a canopy of romantic light over the entire event. We hung chandeliers in the barn doors, uplit the inside of the barn and put a pin spot on the dance floor the helped create gorgeous dancing photos throughout the evening. All the tables were full of clear votive candles as well as mercury glass candles that shimmered throughout the night.  
The wedding was more incredible and beautiful than we could have ever imagined. I am so thankful for all of our family and friends who lent their time and talents to create so many of the handmade touches (signs, chandeliers, runners, vintage plates, calligraphy and more). I am also so grateful to have the honor of Jose Villa capturing our day. He is one of my biggest inspirations and has also become a friend. I am excited to share an interview with him next week, so stay tuned! Please feel free to leave a comment below, I'd love to hear from you!  

One of my favorites.

This is one of the images that I am most thankful for. My grandmother, a former dancer, danced the night away during our wedding and couldn't have been happier. Sadly, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor six months after our wedding, which took her life only a month later. She will always live on in our hearts and this image.

Though I completely trusted Jose and had such a great time being a bride, I really missed having a camera in my hands. So, during the cocktail hour I couldn't help myself and had to capture a few images. I loved capturing this image of Jose shooting and the one on the right was his shot of me, too fun!

Here are some images I shot that day (yes, in my wedding dress)....

My mother created the chalkboard frames for this sign and the menu, and I made the rose ice on the right a few days before the event.

My dad is a wine collector and we opened many great bottles throughout the night. One was this bottle of Cristal that my bridesmaid Paola opened with my Dad's military sword. Apparently it is something she had learned in culinary school! 

Thank you so much to all of our talented vendors who made our day remarkable: 
Ceremony Venue: Regan Beach, South Lake Tahoe, California 
Reception Venue: Willow Stay Ranch, Private Ranch, Gardnerville, Nevada 
My Dress: Vera Wang, Ever After 
Shoes: Christian Louboutin 
Jewelry: Maria Elena, Ever After 
Bridal Kimono: Custom by plumprettysugar, Etsy 
Garter: Custom by florriemitton, Etsy 
Bridesmaid Dresses: Vera Wang, Boca Raton Bridal 
Groom's Suit: Ermenegildo Zegna 
Catering: Bella Vita Catering, Minden NV 775-783-9475 
Cake: Cork & More, Lake Tahoe 
Cupcakes: Russells Mercantile. Minden NV 
Wine: Ironstone Vineyards, Murphy's California 
Rentals: Classic Party Rentals Sacramento, The Entertainer (775) 783-9300, Genoa Tree Farm 775-782-5605  
Flowers: Art in Bloom 
Ceremony Music: Avalanche Music, Lake Tahoe 
Reception Music: Jeff Campbell Music, San Francisco, 415-505-9430 
Linens: Custom by Sewin Oats 
Invitations: Kari Dyas, 323-957-1137 
Calligraphy for invitations: Hllary Williams 
Calligraphy for seating chart windows: Sally Joseph, 
Hair: Acqua Hair Design, Lake Tahoe 
Welcome Bags: Proforma Albrecht Co., Ohio 
Welcome Cruise: Tahoe Queen

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