Lake Tahoe is a special place for Jennifer and Grant. It’s where they got engaged and where they married in front of 191 guests.
The couple met at a dive bar’s karaoke night in 2007 and later married at PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn, with the ceremony held creekside at the base of the mountain. Tahoe was also the backdrop for the weekend wedding, which included a welcome party, rehearsal dinner and golfing. “It was great because we got to relax and greet all of our guests over drinks in a more casual atmosphere before the big day,” Jennifer says.
Grant’s father officiated the ceremony, which the bride says, “was short and sweet and very funny at times.” The décor was simple since the couple didn’t want to compete with the venue’s natural beauty. The invitations, for example, featured an outline of a tree with a heart carved into the trunk and a banner that read “Celebrate Love.”
Jennifer, an analyst with the California Department of Justice and Grant, an attorney, wanted their reception to be a big party. “We had the idea early on that we wanted to have glow sticks available for people to wear on the dance floor,” she says, noting that all the guests—even grandparents—wore them. “People were wearing them on their heads, [and] around their wrists and ankles. We even made a jump rope—that was pretty interesting.”
The wedding day was emotional for Grant, who says nerves hit him right before the ceremony. “I was sincerely overjoyed and just so thankful to have my friends and family, especially Jen,” he says. “After the ‘I dos,’ when we were walking down the aisle, it was the best feeling to see all of our friends and family cheering for us,” says Jennifer, explaining her groom couldn’t stop smiling. Grant loved their entrance to the reception and all of the speeches. “So much humor, love and emotion from everyone,” he says.
Not much about their wedding was traditional. They had assorted desserts in lieu of cake, for example, and didn’t have the garter toss. The goal was to forget traditions and make the celebration their own. “We wanted to enjoy the night—it just flew by—and party with our guests,” says Grant. “That’s what we did, and we didn’t regret it one bit.”
Jen & Grant's Wedding Resources
- Bridal Bouquet – white hydrangea, blush pink dahlias, succulents, and soft greens tied with ivory satin.
- Most of the flowers were a small variation from these and also included baby’s breath, dusty miller, blush stock and wax flowers.
- The PlumpJack hotel was absolutely perfect for a whole host of reasons. First, they do a ton of weddings each year so they have it down to a science. Everything was seamless and the staff knew what they were doing. The food and drinks were top notch as well. Great and inventive chef.
- The other thing that really made our weekend special was the fact that it was the whole weekend. The wedding and reception fly by so fast that you almost can’t take it in. Our wedding was great because most of our guests arrived by Thursday or Friday so we got to spend time with everyone leading up to the big day. That’s what made it most memorable. Plus, almost everyone was on site. We booked the hotel solid for both Friday and Saturday so everyone ate, drank, partied and slept together (that came out wrong, I think). :) It was great.
- Even if you don’t hire a full service wedding planner, make sure you have someone for the day of. It was so nice because Kendra took care of all of the little details you don’t think about, but don’t want to concern yourself with either. Just as an example, at the end of the night we walked into a completely clean hotel suite with a cleanly wrapped package of a sampling of all our desserts. It was a nice touch.
- Also, in planning, just know you will get stressed and it may even cause some tension between the two of you. But at the end of the day, just remember you should be doing this for yourselves (okay, and maybe your parents) and that it can be whatever you want it to be. Oh, and you will spend more money than you planned or expected. But somehow you will make it work.