Happy Real Weddings Wednesday everyone! Today we’re celebrating the joy, laughter, and love at Mallory + Susan’s jawdropping Lake Tahoe wedding. With rustic finishes, champagne, pride flags, and a couple of pine cones here and there, this wedding is sure to make you feel the love!

Tell us a little about you and your beloved.

We have officially been together for five years and we met at work. Susan had started her first travel nurse assignment where Mallory worked, and we hit it off immediately. After being friends and casually dating for about a year, we both started our travel nurse journey, our true love story, and have been exploring the country ever since. [For the proposal], we had planned an epic trip to Iceland for Susan’s 30th birthday, but Susan had proposal plans in mind as well. Susan secretly called Mallory’s parents and told them that she wanted to propose under the northern lights. She told them, “The northern lights are considered a phenomenon and to me, Mallory is my phenomenon.” Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the northern lights, but the proposal was perfect and simple, on the side of an empty road surrounded by mountains, peace and just the two of us.

Two brides holding hands against a huge pine tree.

The bride-to-be's walking through the forest together. Bride smiling with a bouquet of flowers The bride-to-be's walking together through the forest.

What was the best part of your wedding day?

Mallory: I remember feeling so overwhelmed with excitement and anticipation to see Susan in her wedding dress. We had just been waiting for this moment for so long, and I couldn’t wait to see her. We planned on doing a “first look” and pictures before the ceremony and I was just so excited, I put my dress on immediately and was trying to calm my nerves until she was ready. The rain had cleared, the sun was peeking through the clouds and we both walked into the trees, holding hands around a giant tree and laughing at the pine cones stuck in the lace of our wedding gowns. The moment we both saw each other, pure joy and happiness flowed through my entire body and I felt a sense of calm. I knew, with Susan by my side, we could do anything. We chose Mallory’s aunt to officiate our wedding. We wanted a strong female who we look up to, to represent our love story and join us in our union. We both walked down the aisle with our fathers to a guitar version of “I Choose You” by Sara Bareilles. After the official ceremony, we walked excitedly down the aisle, hand in hand, to a back corner of the venue and cried a lot of happy tears together. WE DID IT! IT’S DONE! All the stress and waiting was gone. It was now time to celebrate our love with all the people who support us and show up for us everyday

Bride kissing her bride by a huge fireplace.

Newlweds walking down the aisle and celebrating.

Newlyweds taking celebratory photos with the bridal party outside. Bride surrounded by bridal party

Bride smiling and laughing with her bridal party.

What else would you like to share about your big day?

Planning through a pandemic, we had to postpone, reschedule and change a lot of our initial plans. We had to decide to decrease our guest list and have a small intimate wedding ceremony. It was difficult at first, but only having less than 50 people made the day more intimate and fun. We couldn’t have gotten through all the change without our vendors support, especially our photographer Emma and her husband Peter who was our videographer. They really showed up for us and made us feel like queens all day!

The newlywed brides walking into the reception.

The newlyweds cheering for a speech.

The brides and their guests smiling up at a camera.

What advice would you give to our readers who are planning their weddings right now?

Let your vendors know the vision you have in your head [and] communicate with them! They are professionals and can adjust certain things to make your vision a reality. For photos, have some poses or shots in mind, have a list of everyone who you would like to have photos with and tell your photographer. Don’t rush yourself to stay on schedule. Every moment is important and you deserve to take it all in. Even if it means running 10 minutes behind.

Newlyweds walking on the beach near the water. Newlyweds walking on the beach near the water. Newlyweds walking on the beach near the water and cheering.

The newlyweds holding a pride flag near the lake

The newlyweds sitting on a dock with their backs to the camera.

Anything that you would have done differently if you were given the chance?

Honestly, it was perfect. If I could repeat the day, I would.

The newlyweds kissing on the dance floor

Photos courtesy of and copyright Emma Paul Photography used with permission.

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