In the mountains of Tahoe you have to have a back up weather plan. Here in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, it can snow on the 4th of July and I have seen 60 degrees and sunny days in February. Work with your wedding planner to create a weather plan and establish exactly how it will be communicated to your wedding party, vendors and guests. Make sure that you have allowed adequate time for reception rooms to be reset by the catering staff and for the florists to move any outdoor decor to your indoor location. Explore and plan for the worst case scenarios and hope for your ultimate Tahoe Wedding!
If you are planning to get married outside at Tahoe consider what the ground will do to your train. If you are getting married on grass, consider a shoe with a wedge heel (or cowboy boots – what can I say – they are functional) and always have a wrap or coat that compliments your dress. It gets chilly when the sun goes down! Planning on a winter Tahoe wedding? No problem! Get a luxurious faux fur wrap or velvet cape to keep you warm and glamorous.
There are 3 must haves for Tahoe Mountain outdoor ceremonies. Have bottled water available for your guests. Our climate is very arid (Tahoe is high desert) Have sunscreen available for your guests (even 30 minutes at 7,000 can do a number on you!) and consider offering the ladies parasols or wide brimmed hats that match your wedding colours. If it’s early season (June-July), have bug spray available (mosquitos can be quite persistent early season) word is that Victoria’s Secret perfume Bombshell is actually mosquito repellant.
Although you and your fiance’ may have no problem hiking above timberline or taking a chairlift – please consider your out of town guests. Many people have a difficult time with even the easiest of hikes up here. Some of our couples have the ceremony at an easy to access locale and then take their pictures at the higher up locations and vistas. If you choose to have the ceremony in a place that requires some light hiking, have alternate transportation, consider having oxygen available for older guests and encourage everyone to enjoy the mountains. At their own pace.
Should you hire local or import your vendors from your home town? Every couple has different needs. I recommend asking your venue for local vendor recommendations and planning a trip to interview a few. Plan your trip for a non-event day! Your florist will be able to spend much more time with you on a Tuesday than on a Saturday morning in August. See whose work you admire and who you feel comfortable with. Ask for references from past clients. The most important part of building your mountain wedding vendor team is that you hire people who you trust. If it is easier for you to work with someone from home – bring them with you. And you can always mix and match (some local and some imported) to create your dream team.
Pinterest is a great tool for design. It allows you to save your photos (instead of trying to remember which wedding blog your dream bouquet was in) and share inspirations with your vendors. We use Pinterest to share with our couples all of our latest weddings and wedding ideas. Seeing 20-25 inspirational photos enables your wedding vendors to see what you love. With that information – you are setting everyone up for success.
If you don’t have time to visit your destination and can’t afford to hire a planner, you can always play it safe with one of these all-inclusive packages. Keep in mind you may give up a bit of creative control and personalization with these out-of-the-box, packages, but you gain valuable peace-of-mind knowing that we can produce a beautiful, well planned and affordable wedding at a moment’s notice!
Plan to offer Out Of Town (OOT) packages. These don’t need to be expensive or time consuming:
Include a Tahoe Visitor Guide, local Tahoe map, suggested things to do and itineraries, and a couple of bottles of water will really make your guests feel considered and loved. For your VIP guests, you may want to include a local delicacy such as local wine or beer, local foods, or a handmade item such as a candle, soap, or whatever product Tahoe is famous for.