If you were lucky enough to be a guest at Rachel and Jerad’s wedding, you were treated to a weekend, yes weekend, full of excitement. The couple—who met through the Penn State Snowboard Club—went all out to make sure their guests (most of whom traveled from all over the world) enjoyed the beauty of northern California and the Sierra.
Rachel and Jerad, who spend any possible moment outdoors, chose Tahoe’s Sugar Bowl Resort as their venue and loved it so much they rented out the entire resort for the weekend. Almost every guest stayed on the property—giving the wedding weekend a “luxury summer camp feel,” according to Rachel. Friday was lake day on the resort’s private Lake Mary. Jerad’s uncle organized a “Bridal Olympics,” which was the perfect way for the guests to meet and included boats, paddleboards and canoes. The rehearsal dinner was a taco bar, which was a nod to Rachel and Jerad‘s love for “Taco Tuesdays.”
The wedding day included a first look photo opportunity at the top of the gondola, followed by the ceremony on the lawn outside the lodge with Mt. Judah in the background. The guests took the chairlift to the top of the mountain for cocktail hour, before making their way back down the hill for the reception.
With a location like Sugar Bowl, the venue was the décor. For the minimal décor they did have, they pulled from the rustic surroundings, incorporating items such as pinecones, which really brought the outdoors in and gave the entire wedding a cohesive feeling. The picturesque backdrop and too-perfect-for-words “Just Married” chairlift was meant for these snowboarders. And it doesn’t get much better than big, slobbery dog kisses all over the bride’s face.
“We wanted a day that was a true representation of us,” Rachel says. And we’d say they hit the nail on the head in every aspect of this wedding weekend.
— Kelley Saia
First Dance Song
"Crazy Love" by Van Morrison
Father/Daughter Dance Song
"Thunder Road" by Bruce Springsteen (and for Mother/Son dance)
Money Dance Song
"Wedding Dance Polka" by the Trel Tones
Cake Cutting Song
"You Are the Best Thing" by Ray Montagne
Bouquet Toss Song
"Who Runs the World" by Beyonce
Details about the cake
Simple small white cake with surprise funfetti cake in the middle.
Details about the flowers
Dahlias, eucalyptus, wax flowers. The entire outside setting at Sugar Bowl was so beautiful we were able to keep the imported flowers to a minimum!
Details about the favors
Made pinecone place cards to take home, and the Photo Booth strips.
Anything else you’d like to share about your wedding?
We didn't just have a wedding day, we had an entire weekend! We are both from the East Coast so with all of our friends and family flying in from all over the country, we really wanted to provide an amazing and unforgettable getaway weekend, and that we did!! All of our vendors were beyond amazing; I feel like I could write ten paragraphs of glowing reviews for everyone that had a hand in the wedding weekend.
Our centerpieces were beautiful wood rounds handmade by our good friend Ben Doar. He lasered our little logo and date into each wood round for every table. They made fantastic mementos for our family members!
Scott and Dana, our photographers, are the most amazing people and took the most beautiful photos that really captured our day so incredibly. It was also really nice to have them share a couple of their favorites on social media just a day after the wedding. I know of many brides who had to wait months and months before even seeing a single photo. They are so warm and personal and understood exactly what we wanted. Everyone who has seen our photos is just blown away by how amazing they turned out!
Our DJ Joe Kalamaras had incredible creative ideas that we used throughout the day - like a bridal party roast to introduce all the bridesmaids and groomsmen. Jerad and I wrote a few funny sentences about each person in the bridal party and they had no idea until we introduced them to the entire party. Most were a bit embarrassed but forgave us! He also had a great idea to do a trivia game to dismiss tables to the buffet. We had given him a list of questions and answers about us and our friends and family - it definitely made the waiting game for food go by way quicker! Somehow during the garter toss dance he got Jerad ripping his shirt off... which led to every man at the party also shirtless by the end of the night. It was a riot... and there were buttons found all over the floor the following morning.
The wedding coordinator Meghon Shrewsbury was the star of the production! From day one of looking at venues, through to the morning after the wedding she was handling everything! Every weird question I had she was so helpful and there was literally nothing left I could stress out about. I felt extremely taken care of on the wedding day... while all of the girls were getting ready in the bridal suite, I realized I did not think to have any food for the bridesmaids! I called Meghon and within fifteen minutes an entire sandwich platter with fruit was brought up to the suite. I would have been one hangry bride had Meghon not saved the day there! Sugarbowl in general was just the perfect venue. We even had the chairlift turned on and had cocktail hour at the top of the mountain! It was surreal, and could not have been done without her orchestrating everything behind the scenes.
Any tips you’d give brides and grooms planning their wedding today?
Just relax and enjoy! Everyone gets fixated on details, but at the end of the day no one is going to notice if your Pantone colors on your centerpieces match, but they will notice how much fun everyone is having. And everything won't go exactly as planned, but who cares! If anything goes wrong its something to laugh about later on. Our two dogs were our ringbearers, and it was pretty hilarious when one of their bowties fell off while walking down the aisle, and the other dog rolled around on a worm in the grass during the ceremony.
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