Good afternoon, everyone. It’s Wednesday — you know what that means. Happy Real Weddings Wednesday! Today, we’re celebrating Marla and Tom’s beautiful outdoor ceremony set at the beautiful Lake Tahoe. We’re talking gorgeous flower arrangements, jaw-dropping beach photos, and a larger-than-life surprise, (keep scrolling to find out what it is)! Happy Wednesday, and happy reading!

Photo of the signage and invitations to the Marla and Tom wedding.

Bride and her bridal party smiling before they get ready.

Bridal party surrounding the bride now that she is ready.

Groom getting ready and fixing his tie.

Tell us a little about you and your beloved.

Tom and I met 10 years ago through my brother-in-law. We were friends for years before we started dating. We now have the best situation because my sister and I married into the same friend group! Tom proposed while we were on a weekend getaway to a lake house in Canada. He proposed while we were having a drink around the campfire and he asked if I wanted to go on another adventure with him. Our wedding planning was a bit of a roller coaster, (we were a COVID wedding couple). Our original wedding date was in August 2020, which was cancelled and rescheduled for 2021. In the long run, everything worked out exactly how it was supposed to! We are now living back in our hometown of Buffalo, NY but we did live on the West Coast in Portland, Oregon for a year. We love exploring and seeing new places. We also love our bulldog Leroy, our baby girl, Andi, and nerdy things like Game of Thrones and Harry Potter. Our wedding was such a special day for us. We got married in Lake Tahoe with 30 of our closest family and friends. We had our ceremony and reception at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe on their cottage green, overlooking the lake. It was quiet and simple and exactly how we wanted to spend the day with our family and friends!

Groom waiting for his bride to show him her dress.

Bride and groom posing for a photo with all of their guests.

Bride posing on her own for the camera in the woods.

What was the best part of your wedding day?

The most amazing part of our day was getting to spend quality time with each other and our close family and friends. Our wedding was very small, which was exactly what we wanted for our day. It felt like we were truly able to connect and spend quality time together. Another very special part of the day was knowing that our baby girl was with us — I was four months pregnant!

Photo of the venue with all the guests sitting.

Bride and groom holding hands outside at the altar.

Bride and groom kissing after saying "I do".

Photo of the reception venue with tables and chairs.

Vintage photo of the bride and groom's chairs for the reception.

Guests cheersing to the bride and groom after the wedding ceremony.

Bride and groom sitting on a couch outside and posing for photos.

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

My advice would be to plan quiet moments during your day that you can take everything in. You put so much work into planning, actually being able to see and experience your wedding is such a surreal moment.

Bride and groom walking into the sunset on the beach.

Bride reaching for her husband's hand on the beach.

Bride and groom walking on the beach with their backs to the camera.

Bride and groom having their first dance.

Bride dancing with her father.

Groom dancing with his mom.

Anything you would have done differently?

If I could do anything differently, it would be to focus a little less on all of the style details during the planning process and more on the experience for our guests. I focused so much on making sure that everything looked pretty rather than the experience of the day.

Bride and groom kissing as they reveal their sonogram.

Close up photo of the bride and groom's sonogram.

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

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