WE HAVE A DATE!!! AND A VENUE!!!!!!
WE’RE GETTING MARRIED IN LAKE TAHOE!!!!!!!!!!!!
Some higher power was looking out for me (Snowman, specifically, if you read our proposal story), and my wedding dreams are coming true. We’re getting married in Lake Tahoe next summer, August 1, 2015, at my parents’ best friends gorgeous home on the lawn overlooking the water AND I AM THRILLED.
This is the house where I spent summers growing up, and where Tony proposed. In my angsty teen years, I used to listen to the Now and Then soundtrack on my Discman, obsess over boys, and dream of having my wedding there (I was a long way off from those dreams coming true, as I didn’t even have a boyfriend for a variety of reasons that ranged from me stuttering out 2 solid minutes of gibberish when Philippe the Water Polo Player with the locker next to mine finally talked to me, and also because I put self-tanner on my legs, but not the rest of my body.)
This place in Tahoe is incredible. As we affectionately call it, The Big House was built in the early 1900’s, has bears who regularly break into the kitchen, and is home to a ghost. It’s just down the lake from the estate where The Godfather II was shot, and you can see the dock where that scene with Fredo took place. It’s next to a state park, and is walking distance to the fire department, which was big for my formative years, since every July 5, they host a fundraiser in which the hot fireman cook breakfast for tourists, locals, and awkward teen girls like myself.
Bear, on the driveway of the Big House last summer.
When I was a kid, several families would make the trip with us every year. The kids would sleep in one wing, and the parents in the other. They taught us what to do if a bear approaches you (stand tall, act big, yell in the manliest voice you can muster and DON’T RUN), and beyond that, we were left to our own devices. The table in the kitchen was converted into the Snack Table, where we would have all-day access to everything wonderful that causes diabetes, and the counters would be converted to the Alcohol Table for the adults. We’d play day-long rounds of capture the flag on their giant lawn that ended with the fire hose coming out (you always wanted to be on Snowman’s daughters’ team, so you weren’t on the receiving end of the hose), go kayaking, jump on the water trampoline Snowman secured in the lake, or go jet skiing. Snowman taught me to jet ski, and wasn’t even mad when I sucked the tow-rope into the engine and broke it. (He’s like a second dad to me, luckily. Sorry again, Snowman!)
Tony, playing with one of the Tahoe toys.
Aside from how special this place is to me, there also couldn’t be a more perfect location to host a wedding. The Big House has enough bedrooms for the bridal party to stay with us the weekend of the wedding like we’re all at an adult wedding-themed summer camp. The expansive lawn can fit all the guests we need (including the list of my mom’s non-negotiable 125 “best friends” she gave me the day after we got engaged, but I’ll save that story for another blog). The house is on the lake, with the most beautiful view — heck, there’s already even an altar where the lawn ends and the dock begins! And there’s a gorgeous outdoor patio with glass doors perfect for a grand entrance and dramatic sparkler exit (pending permit review), and a giant outdoor fireplace (where my dad and Snowman almost burned the house down while Tony was proposing.)
This is the “backyard” of The Big House.
If you’ve been following this blog, you know what an emotionally charged issue the date has been. So you can imagine how much I cried when Snowman (who, at this point in our journey, is not only like a second dad, but also my fairy godfather), called to say that the house will be available next summer. (With the caveat that uncontrollable variables do not thwart us, such as nuclear war, forest fires, insomnia and an attack by zombies. I let him know that one of Tony’s best friends is on The Walking Dead, so we should be cool if zombies attempt to ruin our Big Day.) WE’RE GETTING MARRIED IN TAHOE! AT THE BIG HOUSE! IT’S REALLY HAPPENING! And it’s even better than I initially dreamed, because the groom isn’t Zac Hanson, it’s the funniest, kindest man I’ve ever met who also happens to look like an ’80’s bad guy and can do a toe-touch.
Once I came down from that high, it was time to get down to business: The Date. I initially wanted July 4, because it’s the most fun weekend of the year in Tahoe, and the 4th falls on a Saturday. Plus, you know, free fireworks. But, I started calling around to vendors and discovered everyone who works weddings in Tahoe apparently does not work that weekend. The florist I spoke to said it would cost double for that date. The baker I spoke to first asked “Have you ever been to Tahoe for the 4th? Are you crazy?” I explained I had, and am not certifiably although my fiance sometimes thinks I am. So, she thought for a minute, then replied: “Um. I don’t think so. There’s a lot of traffic that day. A lot. Ummm. No. No, I don’t want to,” and hung up. A potential rehearsal dinner venue flat-out refused. The nail in the coffin was when my mom decided to stalk strangers’ wedding plans and googled July 4 2014 Tahoe wedding, then went onto these random couples’ wedding websites — and all of them said “All the hotels are booked for this summer, sorry!” Months in advance, there were no rooms left for guests to book. This was not going to work.
So, we started brainstorming other weekends. Holiday weekends were out, for the above mentioned reasons. Snowman suggested June 21, 2015, as it’s the Summer Solstice; you get one of the longest days of sunlight, and a wedding date rooted in ancient mysticism and nature.
I let Snowman know I appreciated the thought, but feared with this theme, our bridal party would look like extras on Game of Thrones, and also as a true bridezilla at heart, I don’t want anyone else wearing white. Plus, June is traditionally a rainy month in Tahoe (in fact, it rained at Snowman’s June wedding at the Big House!), and still gets pretty cold at night. We decided to look toward the end of the summer.
At the end of summer, you don’t need a wet suit to swim in the lake and can take selfies like this!
Snowman pointed out that the last two weeks in July are the nicest in Tahoe; the lake is at its warmest, and there’s no holiday weekend craziness. Plus, it’s a good time to travel, as work is generally less hectic that time of year, and kids aren’t back in school yet. My mom did more googling, and discovered there will be a blue moon Friday July 31, 2015. A Blue Moon wedding! Once in a blue moon do you meet someone you want to spend your life with. Anemones are my favorite flower, and look like tiny blue moons. Lake Tahoe is blue, and blue was my grandmother’s favorite color. We could serve Blue Moon beer! The possibilities are endless… Look, I know having a “theme” is a little cheesy. (Snowman himself thought “I GOT TONY TO MARRY ME!” should be enough of a theme, and would work on any weekend. Touche, Snowman, touche.) But, when you think about it, most aspects of a wedding are kind of cheesy. You’re spending a ridiculous amount of money to put on a grand scale display of PDA. So if you’re gonna go for it, why not go for it?
I know at the end of the day, it’s just a party. And I would happily marry Tony at the courthouse if it comes down to that (in fact, once we fall further down the rabbit hole of Wedding Planning, that may become my new dream). But I’m just so excited that all of our favorite people will get to go on a vacation to my favorite place in the world and see why I love The Big House so much, and in the middle of it all, I’ll get to marry my favorite person. I can’t wait for August 1, 2015!
THANK YOU, SNOWMAN!!!!!
Favorite person, favorite place. New favorite day: August 1.