This Couple Chose Their Lake Tahoe Wedding Venue Long Before They Became Engaged
When a mutual friend introduced Andrew Gabriel to Asha Lannin in 2016, he knew she was special: "For the first several months of dating, Andrew drove up to Los Angeles from Newport Beach through rush hour traffic whenever I was available for a dinner date," says Asha. A little less than two years later, while on a trip to New Zealand with friends, Andrew prepared to pop the question during a sunrise photo session atop a grassy hillside. "When he got down on one knee, I thought he had lost his balance or needed to tie his shoe at first," says Asha. "I was completely surprised. Right after I said yes, all the sheep in the background starting baa-ing super enthusiastically."
Back at home, the couple began firming up wedding plans—with the help of Elise Events—while Asha, now the CEO of Bridget, finished up her MBA degree, and Andrew continued juggling his responsibilities as a partner and owner of a Lounge restaurant group in Orange County, California. They had both imagined getting married in Lake Tahoe, which made the search for a venue easy. "As a young girl, I always envisioned a wedding among tall trees—and near water," says Asha. "During one of our trips as a couple to Tahoe before we were even engaged, we were sitting at the bar at Edgewood and Andrew looked out at the water and then at me and said, 'We should get married here.' I couldn't believe he shared my childhood vision!"
On June 8, 2019, their shared dream came true as they celebrated their marriage in front of 147 guests. A color palette of pale pink and peach complemented blue tones inspired by the lake, while custom touches that the couple chose together made the day even more memorable for guests. "Andrew was actually really excited about the wedding-planning process, which was so fun—he designs restaurants and bar concepts for a living, so he has a great eye," says Asha. "We made sure that while we planned our celebration together, we were also planning our life together and soaking in the special time of our engagement. It was easy to put things in perspective when I looked at him and realized the biggest decision was already made."
An Elegant Invitation
Asha and Andrew chose a timeless invitation suite designed by Patricia DuCharme, which included rose gold beveled edging and navy script on an ecru paper, with envelopes calligraphed by Evelyn Boss. "To give guests a sneak peek of the location and feel of our wedding, we chose a beautiful sunset and trees photo of Lake Tahoe for the envelope liner," says the couple.
A Princess Moment
The bride had two requirements for her wedding dress: "I always wanted a dress that made me feel like a princess," she says, "but was lightweight enough that I could run and spin!" The gown she chose from designer Galia Lahav included a flowing layered skirt for the regal effect and a corset top that let Asha move freely. "It was the third dress I tried on at Galia, and when I came out, my sister looked at me and was like, 'I don't know how it can get better than that,'" she says. "I felt the same way! I felt comfortable and glamorous all at once. It was perfect." She added a cathedral length veil from the designer for the ceremony, 41-carat blue topaz drop earrings from jeweler Carlo Milano, and Christian Louboutin flats. "They were so comfy all night," she says. "I'm six feet tall, so flats were great!"
Asha chose a champagne-colored chiffon fabric from Jenny Yoo and asked each of her bridesmaids to select her own dress style. "I loved how the light color looked with the ivory of my dress," she says, "and each girl looked so stunning!"
Florist Natasha Kolenko created a bridal bouquet loosely shaped like a heart, with asymmetrical foliage and blooming branches for an "earthy and romantic" look. Asha and her bridesmaids carried similar bunches—all made with garden roses, ranunculus, spray roses, and peonies—backed by leaves in varying shades of green. The arrangements also included dahlias—a sentimental callback to the flower Andrew brought Asha on their first date.
Each of the men's boutonnières were slightly different, with flowers that included blushing bride protea, spray dianthus, and blackberry vine foliage. Kolenko kept them "sweet and earthy to tie into the Tahoe scenery."
The couple asked their four-year-old niece and nephew, twins Emily and James, to serve as the flower girl and ring bearer. James's outfit—a navy blue suit and polka dot tie—complemented Emily's hand-painted chiffon Chantel Lauren dress. "They walked down the aisle holding hands, and it was just as sweet as can be!" says the couple.
Andrew's custom three-piece suit from David August tied into the water-inspired shades of the color palette. "Andrew has great personal style and I loved the idea of him in something unique on our wedding day," says Asha. "David created this gorgeous, lighter blue structured suit, and he and Andrew surprised me by printing our engagement photos in the lining and on the back of his vest!"
Their First Look
Though Asha felt "uncharacteristically zen" on the morning of the wedding, she and Andrew still treasured their private first look. "When he turned around, I was so happy to see his perfect smile," she says.
On the Waterfront
Holding the ceremony lakeside was an easy choice for the couple. "Andrew and I love the outdoors, and from the start our love has had this epic, expansive feel," says Asha. "We envisioned a wedding among the tall trees, with the blue water of Lake Tahoe and white-capped mountains in the background." The design team kept the aisle "clean and crisp," allowing two "wispy" floral arrangements on wooden risers to draw attention toward the lake as guests entered the space.
On the "A" Train
The focal point of the ceremony area was a wooden arch in an A shape, representing the couple's shared first initial. The structure mimicked the trees behind it and allowed for sweeping views of the scenery.
A Hilltop Flashback
The ceremony programs, designed by The Idea Emporium, gave guests a peek at the couple's engagement: The photo on the front cover was one they snapped during their engagement trip to New Zealand. "If you look closely," says the couple, "you can even spot an ewe or two!"
Father and Daughter
Asha and Andrew opted for a string quartet during the ceremony, but traded classical music for string versions of their favorite tunes—including "Black" by Deirks Bentley, their "first official song together"—which played as Asha and her father walked down the aisle. "My best friend, who had recently been married and is similarly very close with her father, told me slow down as much as possible and take in every moment of the walk," says Asha. "I can't describe how immensely happy and grateful I felt, walking with my hero toward Andrew. Everything else disappeared."
A Promise to Love
The bride's father also performed the ceremony, which was the couple's second: They held a Catholic ceremony for their immediate family a few days before their larger wedding. "The outdoor ceremony was sentimental, surrounded by our extended family and best friends," says Asha. "Our handwritten vows were the centerpiece of the day. Andrew is a man of few words, so when he poured his heart out with the most poetic and thoughtful vows, jaws were on the floor. I felt like time stood still and nothing existed outside the space between us, standing there with my daddy."
A few weeks later, Asha and Andrew honored her heritage with a traditional Indian wedding ceremony. "I am half Indian and it was so wonderful to bring Andrew into our family heritage through that experience, too," she says.
The New Mr. and Mrs.
As the couple recessed as husband and wife, their emotions overwhelmed them. "After we made our way down the aisle, we had this incredible moment where I think we both realized the gravity of what we had just done," says Asha. "We were both cry-laughing and I remember my heart beating with butterflies. I think that kiss at the end of the aisle was even better that the official 'kiss' moment because it was unplanned and so emotional!"
So Happy Together
While guests took in the water views and sipped the couple's signature cocktails, Asha and Andrew snuck away for portraits at the Edgewood dock. "We ran over to take the classic Tahoe wood boat, Wild Goose II, out for photos," says the duo. "We loved this moment so much, especially because the first bar that Andrew opened was The Wild Goose in Costa Mesa."
To the Groom
The men of the bridal party, in classic navy suits from Suit Supply, also toasted the groom on the iconic wooden boat.
Ice, Ice, Baby
Since Andrew works in the restaurant industry, the couple's cocktail hour included several personal touches: a fully stocked bar, three signature cocktails (a Kentucky mule, greyhound, and old-fashioned) and custom initial ice cubes—"a nod," says Asha, "to the Gabriel family generational history in the ice business."
Room with a View
Long wooden tables positioned under a white tent called back to the rustic mountain setting, while the clear sides offered views of the lake. Garlands of flowers were strung between the tent poles, and larger arrangements hung from a vintage ladder suspended over the tables.
At the Table
White-and-pale-blue plates, accented by gold flatware and blue votive candleholders, created a lake-inspired background for frost blue menus and pressed forget-me-nots from The Idea Emporium. Small flower arrangements lined the tables, putting their oversized blooms on full display.
An Emotional Accent
Pressed flowers on custom paper from The Idea Emporium became table numbers, while laser-cut butterflies added to the flora-and-fauna feel—and reminded the couple of one of their greatest challenges. "Right after we were engaged, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer," says Asha. As she received the news over the phone from her doctor, a butterfly flew into her yard—and returned often while she went through treatment. Though she is now cancer-free, the butterfly remains a special symbol. "Throughout my cancer journey, Andrew was the most wonderful support system I could have imagined," she says. "It made me even more sure he was the love of my life."
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
During a farm-to-table meal from the Edgewood kitchen that included port wine-poached pear and endive salad, pan-seared filet of beef, Peruvian cauliflower steak, and herb-marinated sea bass, the couple opened the floor to guests. "The speeches and and toasts kept us laughing and crying at the same time!" they say. After dinner, a chocolate and vanilla cake from Cakes by Grace, alongside a selection of chocolate chip cookies and mini cupcakes, kept celebrants energized on the dance floor.
Their First Dance
Asha chose the Father of the Bride classic "The Way You Look Tonight" for her dance with her father, while Andrew and his mother opted for Tim McGraw's "Humble and Kind." For their first spin as husband and wife, the newlyweds decided on Brett Eldredge's "Mean to Me." "It is such a beautiful and simple song about a guy trying to put to words what the woman he loves means to him," says the couple. "It just felt right."
Light the Night
As a final surprise for their guests, the couple had fireworks set off during the party."The fireworks show over the lake so perfectly embodied how big the emotions of the day felt!" says the duo. "After the show, everyone grabbed glow sticks and danced the night away to our awesome DJ band, SoulCirque. People danced until Edgewood shut us down!"
Photography, Ryan Ray
Venue and Catering, Edgewood Lake Tahoe
Event Planning, Elise Events
Flowers, Natasha Kolenko Design
Videography, White in Revery
Stationery, Patricia DuCharme
Calligraphy, Evelyn Boss
Cake, Tahoe Cakes by Grace
Music, Elan Artists
Rentals, Celebrations Party Rentals; La Tavola Fine Linen Rental; Theoni Collection
Bride's Gown and Veil, Galia Lahav
Bride's Accessories, Carlo Milano earrings; Christian Louboutin shoes
Bridesmaids' Dresses, Jenny Yoo
Flower Girl Dress, Chantel Lauren
Groom's Attire, David August
Menswear, Suit Supply; David August ties
Groom's Shoes, Christian Louboutin
Paper Goods, The Idea Emporium
Rings, Mimi et Cie Jewels