An Auburn native, Carin enjoyed showing Albert—who is from Tucson, Arizona—what she considered her childhood “backyard”: Lake Tahoe; it was on a vacation there, five months into their relationship, when they “hardcore fell in love.” “That next summer we took his two kids—who are 14 and 11—[to Tahoe] and they just loved it, so we [knew we had] to get married there,” she adds. “It’s the most incredible place…we love it.”
With six months to plan and a firm budget, the first thing Carin and Albert did was sit down and each write what the most important thing was when it came to their wedding. “His number one was venue and my number one was photographer,” Carin recalls. “Those were the two things we wanted to allocate our budget to the most. Everything else we figured out how to make it work for cheaper, but still be exactly what we wanted.”
The couple decided to tie the knot at Slice of Heaven Estate on Lake Tahoe. Carin says the spacious lawn that opened up to the lake was the casual, family reunion type of feel they wanted for their wedding. “We wanted it to be a party for everyone, and we wanted everyone to make a vacation out of it,” she says.
To play up the beauty of the locale, the couple decided to hold a noon wedding, followed by cocktails and a late lunch. “I wanted everybody to be able to see Lake Tahoe in the sunlight—it was just the perfect time of day to showcase the lake,” Carin adds.
Being the couple had decided to splurge on venue and photographer, they made the rest of the wedding a family affair by seeing what family members’ talents they could employ to help keep costs down. Two of the bride’s aunts did all of the flowers, while her father decorated the property with flowers in planters and painted nautical signs to use as decorations. Her mother baked the couple’s two favorite cookies for favors, and her grandmother sewed a special nautical flag for the day, which the couple raised on a flagpole to symbolize their union. “It made it so special to have those memories with our family members—like my cousin sitting there doing my makeup with me,” Carin explains. “It was neat to be able to share those really precious moments with people who are already so special to us.”
Keeping with the family theme, Carin also arranged a special moment during the ceremony involving Albert’s two children that would now be becoming her stepchildren. “I wrote something for the officiant to read about how we weren’t only becoming husband and wife, but were becoming a family,” she says. “He called up the kids and we all held hands as the officiant read what I had written. I’ll never forget it—it was hands-down the best moment, I think, for every person at that wedding. It was incredibly beautiful.”
“Even though we didn’t go ‘all out’ on every detail, it still was our dream wedding because we got what was most important to us.”
For those planning their wedding, Carin advises doing exactly what she and Albert did: sit down and prioritize. “Pick what’s important to [each of] you and what you want to allocate not just your money, but your time [to]. What are the sentimental things you want?” she says.
Carin & Albert's Wedding Resources
What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
Single Ladies by Beyonce
American Woman by Lenny Kravitz
Three kinds: White chocolate raspberry, triple chocolate, and carrot cake; all with buttercream frosting.
Roses & daisies
Homemade peanut butter & chocolate chip cookies made by the mother of the Bride.
• Our wedding was everything we ever dreamed of. We became a family of four that day, and got to share the most special place to us (Lake Tahoe) with the ones we love.
• We are also excited for our upcoming one-year wedding anniversary. We are expecting a baby girl just a few days before the big one-year! Certainly the best gift we could give each other.
• Ben Sheriff Photography: When we began to look for a photographer I knew I wanted someone who not only could photograph weddings well, but Lake Tahoe as well. I also wanted someone fun, who could fit in with our awesome friends and family. Ben fit the part perfectly. I had so many people comment on how friendly, professional and fun he was. He brought so much energy & enthusiasm to our day. Not only is he a wonderful guy to be around, but he is so incredibly gifted at what he does. He knows Tahoe so well and knew just how to get the perfect shots that showcased the beautiful lake. He didn’t miss a shot! He gave us memories that will last forever, and we are forever grateful!
• Real Foods: Laura, the owner of Real Foods was incredible! We switched to her last minute and couldn’t have been happier. We really wanted an Italian pasta lunch and she exceeded our expectations. The food was fresh, healthy and amazing. Everyone raved about it! She and her staff were so professional and helpful, even assisting with cake cutting, serving people and the champagne toast. I would recommend her to anyone looking for the freshest most delicious food!
• Maggie Magnusen at Modella Salon: I don’t know if there was anything that I was more concerned about for the wedding than my hair. I have never had anyone do anything I liked with it because it is so curly & thick. I didn’t want to have my natural curls, but also didn’t want it to look unlike me. I must have sent her 20 photos, and asked her a million questions about what she thought would work leading up to the big day. She was so calm and reassured me that it would be perfect. I don’t think I really believed her until I saw myself in the mirror the morning of the wedding. She did an incredible job on the bridesmaids’ hair and mine. She was also so much fun to be around!
• Right after we got engaged my now husband and I both sat down and wrote down our top two very most important things for our wedding. That way, we made sure we both got what we wanted and allocated our budget to things that were really important to us. He chose location as his number one, and I chose a great photographer. By making these two things a priority, we both got our dream wedding.”
• For the things that weren’t at the top of our list we made sure to look for ways we could save money. I chose to do most of the decorations, place cards, favors, welcome packets, and bridal party gifts myself. We also opted for seven smaller cakes that weren’t deemed “wedding cakes” from a local bakery. We saved a great deal on food by choosing to have lunch rather than dinner, and serving just beer, wine & Champagne. I didn’t even feel like I settled on this, because I wanted a Tahoe wedding during the day when everyone could see the beauty of the lake. Even though we didn’t go “all out” on every detail, it still was our dream wedding because we got what was most important to us.