Olga and Michael’s love story began overseas when they first laid eyes on each other during their junior year of high school. Olga had just moved with her friend and her family to one of the smallest U.S. bases in England, while Michael himself had lived in the area for most of his life. And at sixteen, shortly after Olga’s compliment on Michael’s Pink Floyd hoodie and Michael’s perfectly cheesy, sweet line asking Olga to be his girlfriend, the two began dating: “Never did I imagine wearing an oversized, classic rock hoodie would get me a girl, and to this day I’m still not sure how that worked out so well,” says Michael.
In fact, it worked out so well that when the pair took a trip to Carmel Valley Ranch for New Year’s Day 2017, Michael surprised Olga with a ring he presented on one knee while overlooking the valley. Of course, she said “Yes!”
The couple had a year and a half engagement, which allowed them enough time to stay organized and make the thoughtful decisions without feeling rushed throughout the planning, “We really wanted our wedding to be relaxed and fun and I think we pulled that off. During the reception guests would come up and tell us all the little details they enjoyed and how they thought it was so well planned—which to me was the highest compliment because that meant all the long hours making favors and dreaming up designs were totally worth it,” remembers Olga.
The couple decided to have their intimate wedding for 50 guests at the Hellman-Ehrman Mansion at Sugar Pine Point State Park in Lake Tahoe, and it wasn’t until the time of the wedding that they hit a bump in the road. “The summer of 2018 had some really terrible fires, and Lake Tahoe ended up being kind of right in the middle of two bigger ones which created this funnel of smoke and ash at the basin of the lake, and we were worried how that might affect the wedding,” the bride remembers. “I was trying to stay positive and not really think about how that might impact the day, but obviously we were nervous that our outdoor wedding was going to be cut short due to smoke, and also, we didn’t want to jeopardize our guests’ health.” However, after crossing their fingers and pushing forward with their plans, everything managed to fall into place, “By about 4 o’clock that afternoon, the smoke had completely cleared, and we had the most beautiful ceremony and reception with views of the mountains and the lake, and the most gorgeous sunset. We really got so lucky.”
The long-awaited day started with Olga walking down the aisle, transitioned into the reception featuring delicious food from Blend Catering along with donuts from Doughboys Donuts and was topped off with “3005” by Childish Gambino. “It was one of my most played songs from college. When it came on everyone was so excited and started dancing and singing along, and it just really was exactly what I wanted the night to be,” remembers Olga.
Their dreamy, unforgettable wedding that they happily shared with their family and friends is a memory they will both love and cherish for years to come. The bride remembers, “It wasn’t that long ago, but I can still picture the whole scene so vividly, and I hope that never changes.”
— Isabella De Garza
Olga & Michael's Wedding Resources
Emma Katzka Bridal (hair accessory & earrings)
Made by Mary (necklaces)
Davie & Chiyo (hair pins)
Bar III (tie)
The Tie Bar (tie clip)
Bar III (tie)
The Tie Bar (tie clip)
Band handmade in Poland
Artwork by Mallory McCamy
Designed by Bride & Groom
The Brides Made Shop (ribbon wands for ceremony)
The Roomba (cake toppers)
The Ritz-Carlton Bacara in Santa Barbara, CA
Love (piano cover by The Theorist) by Kendrick Lamar
We decided to go for donuts – we personally love them and found that they were a huge hit with our guests too!
Our florist was a DIY company called Bloominous – they have collections of flowers that they ship to you to arrange yourself for the wedding. We picked a collection that went with our color scheme and aesthetic and then worked with them to customize it exactly as we wanted.
Our favors doubled as our place cards they were party poppers filled with a crown, bubbles, a mint, a fortune fish and a lottery scratch card – made by the Bride.
Something that we will always remember is the handfasting performed during our wedding ceremony. We mailed satin ribbons to our closest family and friends that they wrote well wishes on and then brought to the wedding. Our officiant tied the the ribbons around our hands and after we read our vows to one another. It was such a special moment feeling bonded not only by our love for one another, but also by the love that our friends and family had for us.
Our top tips for wedding planning would be to start early and research your vendors so you get your dream team for your big day (bonus points if they have worked together before or been to your venue!), keep all your expenses organized in a spreadsheet (we used Google sheets so both of us could have access), hire someone to be at least a day of coordinator (Lindsey from L’Relyea was like a ninja on our wedding day, if anything went wrong I still don’t know about it!) and try to find any opportunity to have fun with your partner while doing it (dance lessons, design projects, wine tasting)!
Everything was perfect, we only wished we asked someone to save us a plate of appetizers while we were taking our photos!