When Maria and Sean invited us to be their wedding photographers at Heavenly Mountain Resort in South Lake Tahoe, we were SO excited! We shot their engagement photos in RMNP (check it out, here) and had the best of time becoming fast friends. We knew their wedding atop a mountain at Heavenly Mountain Resort would be nothing short of extraordinary.
Heavenly Mountain Resort: A Breathtaking Backdrop
Heavenly Mountain Resort offers an unparalleled setting when it comes to South Lake Tahoe wedding venues. You take an aerial tram up to the top of the mountain where you’re greeted with sweeping views of the mountains and turquoise lake below. Plus the sunsets up there? STUNNING. 100% recommend this mountain view venue.
A Day Centered on Love and Laughter
Our assumptions about Maria and Sean’s wedding proved true; the entire day radiated with contagious laughter and fully present joy. Everything was planned with intention and a laid back, go with the flow attitude. We started our morning at the super vibey Coachman Hotel where everyone was staying and got ready. If you’re visiting South Lake Tahoe, we absolutely recommend staying here! The location is great – but the complimentary s’mores kits, fabulous coffee shop, and extensive local beer selection are even better.
While the gals spent the morning giggling, sipping champagne, and getting their hair and makeup done, the guys spent the morning joking around, dancing, and drinking celebratory whiskey. Once everyone was all dolled up, we headed to the venue to get dressed and soak up the last few minutes of this chapter in their lives.
Sean and Maria’s “embrace whatever comes your way” attitude set the tone for the day. There was no strict timeline. There were no events scheduled just for the sake of a photo (besides portraits of course). The focus was entirely on being present and enjoying the moment. So, when it was time for Maria to get in her dress, we all laughed as she put a bag over her head to protect her makeup and dove in with her arms above her head. It was fun, and it was real, and while it may not have been the conventional dress shot – it was certainly perfect.
The Perfect Mountaintop Ceremony
We’d be lying if we said we didn’t shed a few (okay a lot) of tears during the ceremony, both from laughter and sentiment. They were married by their old roommate, close friends served as their flower girl and ring bearer, Maria walked down the aisle to “Tiny Dancer”, and they did a shot ski with whiskey that Sean and Maria’s dad had camped out in the freezing weather to get. Vows filled with jokes and promises of forever were followed by excited “I can’t believe we are married” smiles. It was so uniquely “them”.
Portraits and Private Moments
Post ceremony, we moved into family and wedding party photos. They had 15 incredible people in their wedding party, and surprise, the laughter was nonstop.
We then slipped away to the aerial tram for a few couples photos and to give Maria and Sean some time focused on just the two of them. We love when couples want to do portraits immediately following their ceremony because we are able to step back and give them the space to connect and take a minute to really soak it in without all the added distractions. Even if you don’t want to do portraits, we always recommend stepping away just the two of you for at least a few minutes at some point during your day.
A Reception to Remember
The reception kicked off with a bang when the wedding party entered to the song “Thunder” finishing their drinks right on que. After everyone got their meal (which was phenomenal and catered by the venue), the speeches and toasts began. These were no ordinary speeches and the furthest thing from boring. It’s clear everyone in this group loves each other so well. Our favorite moments are a tie between the way Maria’s dad looked at them while talking about how proud he is or Maria holding the microphone for the best man while he put his pants back on. Curious why his pants were off to begin with? Leave us a comment and we’ll fill you in! After several toasts, Maria and Sean cut their cake on the balcony, gave one heck of a thank you speech, and kicked off the dancing.
Magical Heavenly Mountain Resort Sunset
One thing Maria and Sean really wanted was sunset photos; so after their dances, we whisked them away and took a few more photos of just the two of them in the forest with gorgeous lake views. The sunset SHOWED OFF before fading into the calmest of blue hours.
Party Under the Stars
Maria had changed into her custom Nike Air Force 1s, so it was time to PARTY! The party kicked off with a dance for all the married couples out there to see who had been married the longest. It slowly dwindled down to Maria’s sweet grandparents, and as they spun around to the same song they danced to at their own wedding, we couldn’t help but think how that kind of love is the whole reason we are so passionate about preserving memories. The rest of the night was spent partying hard under the stars and twinkle lights and ended sing-screaming “Dear Maria, Count Me In” at the top of our lungs.
The Dream Heavenly Mountain Resort Wedding Vendor Team
This was definitely one for the books, and we couldn’t recommend this wonderful vendor team enough if you are having a South Lake Tahoe wedding.
- Venue & Catering: Heavenly Lakeview Lodge
- Dress & Veil: Grace Loves Lace
- Shoes: Gucci, Nike, Sophia Webster
- Suits: State and Liberty
- Hair and makeup: Lisa Pietrzak
- Florals & Design: Flourish Floral Design
- Coordination: MiraWED
- Rings: Trice Jewelers
- DJ: McClain’s Mobile DJ
- Transportation: Discover Lake Tahoe Tours
- Stationary: Minted
Want to see the full gallery?
Believe it or not, these are just a few of the photos from this full gallery! We had the hardest time picking out just a handful of photos to include here and left out so many favorites. Check out the full gallery, here, and let us know what you think!