Guests at This Relaxed, Romantic Destination Wedding in Lake Tahoe Were Treated to a Weekend of Pure Fun
Four months after getting engaged in Switzerland, Clare Wylie and Nickolas Mathers decided on a wedding venue—sight unseen. "We had taken a while to determine that Lake Tahoe would be the location," says Clare. "It was a difficult decision because we knew that most people would have to travel to the wedding. To us, Tahoe is the backdrop of our favorite memories with friends and family. We were thrilled to share it with all of guests and create more memories over the wedding weekend."
After beginning their research, a good friend with great taste told them that the West Shore Cafe had some of the best food in North Lake Tahoe—and that the location and venue couldn't be beat. When they called to see what dates were still available for summer 2019, the couple discovered that there were only three Saturdays left. "After I did research on the weather patterns for the various dates and checked our family's calendars, we trusted our instincts and booked it for July 13, 2019, without seeing it," says Nick. Exactly one year out from the wedding, the pair did their first venue tour. "When we walked through the main dining room out onto the long dock over the clear blue lake with the surrounding mountains, we knew we had made the right decision," says Clare. "We knew if we were this delighted seeing it for the first time, all our guests would be, too."
Working with their wedding planner, the couple decided on a relaxed, yet romantic vision for their big day, complete with muted blues and a sunset-inspired floral design. "We wanted to have a meaningful ceremony, a relaxed atmosphere, and an event centered around the beauty of the location," says Clare. The couple also loved having an excuse to visit Lake Tahoe with their parents for hikes and skiing throughout the year. "The beauty of the venue or 'nature bath' eliminated most of the stress that can come with planning the details and the day of the event," says Clare.
Of the utmost importance to Clare and Nick was enjoying time with friends and family. From amazing welcome gift boxes to a vintage trailer photo booth, they made sure their guests' enjoyment was a priority. "Not only was the wedding picturesque and a blast, but the entire week was too much fun," says Clare. "We water skied, hiked, sipped cocktails on the lake, played golf—there was even some karaoke the night before the wedding."
A Custom Wedding Invitation Suite
Bespoke wedding stationery by Little Bird Paper Company set the tone for the event, giving guests an introduction to the venue as well as the vibe for the couple's big day. "We wanted to showcase the venue in a fun way, so we added a gorgeous line drawing to the invitation and had it letterpressed in a custom-mixed blue ink," says Jenn of Jenn Robirds Events. "We added in some modern touches like a vellum map of the lake. To tie the suite together, we used a paper with bark-embossed details and closed it with a custom wax seal. The playfulness of the paper and the palette of blues set the perfect tone for the wedding weekend."
Wedding Welcome Boxes
Clare and her bridesmaids assembled welcome boxes for guests—the bride's one DIY project. Contents included Toblerone (a reference to the couple's engagement in Switzerland), bottled water, a hangover kit, sunscreen, lip balm, and snacks.
A Delicate Lace Wedding Dress
The bride's beautiful A-line wedding dress by Carolina Herrera featured a lace overlay threaded in gold to create a honeycomb pattern. "I loved the simplicity of the cut complemented with the detail and quality of the fabric," says Clare. "It felt comfortable but special." While trying on the dress, Clare FaceTimed her grandmother in New York City. "When she saw the dress and heard who designed it, she approved," says Clare, "and my maid of honor said, 'Well that solves it—you have to have it.' We skipped the next appointment to celebrate with Champagne."
Clare's wedding-day footwear featured floral and rhinestone details.
A Lavish Bridal Bouquet
Among the many flowers in Clare's lush bouquet were white Icelandic poppies, peach-and-pink ranunculus, yellow zinnias, soft pink foxgloves, soft blue tweedia, white astilbe, lisianthus, white peonies, Koko loko roses, garden roses, and bleached ruscus for a bit of greenery. Blue and sand-toned ribbons accented the bouquet, complementing the event's color palette while contrasting each other beautifully.
The groom's boutonnière was composed of playful bunny tails, variegated boxwood, and florals tied together with silk ribbon. "We left the stems exposed for a more modern feel," says Clare.
Mismatched Bridesmaid Dresses
Clare knew she wanted the nine attendants in her bridal party to wear different dresses. "I didn't want it to feel like a wall of one color, but rather a variety that all complemented each other," she says. "I was struck by the beautiful O'hana print from Jenny Yoo and built the other colors around it."
The bride and groom exchanged vows beneath a verdant floral arbor by Organic Flora with the lake as a backdrop. The ceremony was officiated by one of Nick's uncles, who worked with the couple on selecting readings and curating the service. "He crafted a unique ceremony that included both messages of togetherness and independence, plus included a few surprises that made it very memorable and special," says the groom.
An Emotional Processional
Clare was escorted down the aisle by both her mother and father.
A Meaningful Ceremony
At one moment during the ceremony, Nick's Uncle James asked the couple to face the crowd, composed of their closest family and friends. "It was incredibly powerful to see all the smiling faces from all the different parts of lives in one place knowing the distance they had traveled to be there for us," says the groom.
Unique Table Maps
Guests found their table assignments etched on glass bottles; on-palette floral arrangements and taper candles filled in the table's negative space.
During the cocktail hour, guests sipped on the newlyweds' signature cocktails, which included mini peach bourbon iced teas and mojitos, served from a bar framed by boats. The crowd were also treated to a few passed apps like crab cakes, sliders, chicken Banh-mi, and caprese screws.
Exceptional Reception Tables
For the reception, held lakeside, handsome wooden farm tables were swathed with gauzy table runners and surrounded by matching chairs with white cushions.
Charming Place Settings
Pale blue china with detailed rims were arranged at each setting; white napkins marked each spot. Tumbled glass from Canada was sourced for the place cards; the understated detail played to the bride's love of sea glass.
Calligraphed asymmetrical table numbers referenced the glass-inspired place cards.
Fluid Floral Arrangements
"Low arrangements in alternating sizes were placed down the linear tablescapes to create movement," says the couple's planner, Jenn.
Elegant Candle Tableaux
White candles in terra-cotta holders surrounded by glass hurricanes were grouped together on the tabletops and accented with ranunculus blossoms.
Dinner on the Marina
As day gave way to evening, strung lights cast a warm glow on the celebrants below. Throughout dinner, guests enjoyed magnificent views of the lake—and all of its handsome boats.
A Unique Photo Booth
A retro airstream trailer served as a unique photo booth; guests posed for images during the cocktail hour and reception.
Illustrations from the couple's wedding invitation suite were also used on custom matchbooks that served as favors. "They had our names on one side, and an illustration of the boat and mountains on the other," says Clare.
The couple took their first married spin to "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay" by Otis Redding—a fitting choice for the Lake Tahoe wedding, where guests were seated on the dock (the song was also a nod to the bride and groom's home on the San Francisco Bay).
A Quaint Wedding Cake
Their two-tiered wedding cake was red velvet iced in buttercream and accented with fresh flowers. Additional sweet treats, like cookies and cupcakes, were offered alongside the main event.
Photography, Janine Licare Photography
Venue, West Shore Cafe
Planner, Jenn Robirds Events
Videographer, McDuff Productions
Flowers, Organic Flora
Invitations and stationery, Little Bird Paper Company
Bridal gown, Carolina Herrera
Bride's earrings, Majorica Pearls
Bride's hair clip, Luna & Stone
Bride's belt, BHLDN
Bride's shoes, Badgley Mischka
Bride's hair and makeup, Love Is In the Hair
Bridesmaid dresses, Jenny Yoo
Engagement ring and wedding bands, Robert C. Wesley Jewelers
Music, MR DJ Event Services
Catering, West Shore Cafe
Cake, West Shore Cafe
Favors, For Your Party
Photo booth, The Candid Ham