They say distance makes the heart grow fonder, and Allie and Ben are living proof. They met young, just out of high school, and fought against the odds to have a successful long distance relationship while both attending colleges in different states. “We were so young…we grew up together,” says Allie. After nearly a decade of dating, Ben brought Allie back to the original spot at Edgewood Beach, where he initially declared his love for her, and proposed with a backdrop of snowcapped mountains and clear blue skies.

Though they originally planned a large-scale event, the couple realized an intimate affair with close relatives would be a truer reflection of their love, so they rented out a gorgeous private estate on West Shore Lake Tahoe and had everyone join them for a weekend of family, fun and wedding festivities.

Set in a winter wonderland with a charming and chic cabin vibe, the wedding colors of sage and deep plum brought richness to the estate while bits of burlap and ivory blankets created a rustic, cozy feel. “Every charming detail was designed, created and put together by our families, which made it so much more special,” explains Allie. The groom’s mother did all of the floral arrangements, while the bride’s sister and cousin handcrafted the glittered garland and organized the wedding music. The bride’s grandmother baked cookies, which were arranged in customized Mason jars and given as wedding favors.

Ben’s brother, Dustin, served as the officiant for the short and sweet ceremony held inside the love- and laughter-filled cabin.

“The best part is knowing we probably would be like that in any ceremony, and if it were a big wedding, it would have been awkward or inappropriate to those who don’t really know us that well. But, with just our families there laughing with us, or maybe at us, [the memory] makes me smile.” ―Allie

While Allie, Ben, and their family members took a plethora of pictures throughout their weekend nuptial event, they hired Jessica Roman of Jessica Roman Photography to capture the beauty of their ceremony and the surroundings. “We [come from] very goofy, playful families and I wanted to portray that more than the posed pictures,” Allie says. Roman utilized the entire property, including the 12 inches of snow that had fallen the day before, to reflect the intimacy of the event.

Looking back, Allie says she is happy they made the change from a large-scale event to an intimate gathering with close family. “By doing so we made it exactly what we wanted.”

―Abigail Blank