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Wedding Proposal Planning: Five Helpful Tips

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Capture your wedding proposal by hiring a photographer. Photo Credit: Fifth & Chestnut
Capture your wedding proposal by hiring a photographer. Photo Credit: Fifth & Chestnut

It all starts with a ring. But planning a heartfelt and memorable wedding proposal is the best way to offer it to the love of your life. Photographer Jentry Dryden of Fifth & Chestnut Photo Co. has been a part of many proposal photo sessions and comes to us with 5 helpful tips for planning a wedding proposal:

The breathtaking view at 6600 feet overlooking Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay is a majestic setting for a wedding proposal. Photo Credit: Fifth & Chestnut
A majestic setting for a wedding proposal is the breathtaking view at 6600 feet overlooking Lake Tahoe’s Emerald Bay. Photo Credit: Fifth & Chestnut

When I first started shooting weddings, proposal photography wasn’t even on my radar. In the last couple of years, though, things have been changing…from something I see once in a while, to a true trend. And I’m actually really excited to see that people are asking photographers to capture that special moment more often.

Proposals happen so fast, and it’s often such a shock to the person being proposed to. Having a photographer on site to document those amazing moments will give you and your spouse-to-be a way to remember each other’s emotions and reactions for all time. (I mean, how cool is that?)

Tahoe wedding proposal overlooking Emerald Bay. Photo Credit: Fifth & Chestnut
Tahoe wedding proposal overlooking Emerald Bay. Photo Credit: Fifth & Chestnut

Wedding Proposal Tip #1: Go somewhere special

Maybe it’s the place where you first met. Or perhaps where you had your favorite vacation together. But choose a location that is special to you and your main squeeze. For instance, a weekend in Lake Tahoe makes for the perfect getaway — and perfect proposal setting. If you’re thinking about actually getting married in Tahoe South, it’s an even better idea. Not only will your wedding be in one of the most beautiful places in the U.S., you’ll also have fond memories of your engagement here, too. (If we’ve piqued your interest, here’s our top five places to propose in Tahoe.)

Wedding Proposal Tip #2: Consider your future spouse’s personality

Some people love attention and would be thrilled if you proposed at a huge dinner party in front of all of their friends. Some people, on the other hand, would die of embarrassment in such a center-of-attention situation. Think deeply about your future spouse’s personality. Would he/she prefer a public or private proposal? Then plan your wedding proposal accordingly.

An intimate Tahoe wedding proposal surrounded by tall pines. Photo Credit: Fifth & Chestnut
An intimate Tahoe wedding proposal surrounded by tall pines. Photo Credit: Fifth & Chestnut

Wedding Proposal Tip #3: Pick an activity that you both enjoy

If beer tasting and boat rides are your idea of a fun afternoon, by all means, plan something that fits with your interests! Maybe you like cozying up to the fire with some tasty cocktails. In our  neck of the woods, driving around Lake Tahoe to soak in the scenery is a popular activity. Or go on a hike or hit the slopes during the winter. Tahoe South has options for pretty much anything, at any time of year.

One of my proposal couples, Trevor and Jordan, started with a drive around the lake, and then stopped at Eagle Falls in Emerald Bay to check out the view. After walking down to the edge of the mountain to see Fannette Island in the middle of Emerald Bay, Trevor got down on one knee and surprised Jordon with the question of a lifetime.

If you like the great outdoors, Tahoe is a beautiful setting for a wedding proposal. Photo Credit: Fifth & Chestnut
If you like the great outdoors, Tahoe is a beautiful setting for a wedding proposal. Photo Credit: Fifth & Chestnut

Wedding Proposal Tip #4: Choose the moment carefully

Timing is everything. Try to relax. Select a moment where things are more quiet, and you’re more able to tell your future spouse your feelings freely and without interruption. Suppose you want to take a hike and pop the question when you see the view to end all views. Don’t get too nervous and ask before you two even get started up the trail! Think of your proposal like a movie: Start the day out slowly, build up to the proposal and then ask for your partner’s hand in marriage at the climax. Then wind down, basking in the afterglow of the excitement!

I think she said yes. Photo Credit: Fifth & Chestnut
I think she said yes. Photo Credit: Fifth & Chestnut

Wedding Proposal Tip #5: Definitely hire a photographer!

As I discussed at the forefront of this post, proposal photography is becoming a MUST. Wouldn’t you LOVE to capture the look on your future spouse’s face the moment you proposed? This is surely a moment to be documented.

I shoot proposals in one of two ways. One way is incognito. I hang back with a 70-200mm lens, blending into crowds or the scenery and wait for the moment to happen. The other way is a planned portrait session. You tell your fiancé-to-be that you want to do a portrait session together (maybe to commemorate your dating anniversary, the celebration of buying your first house or moving in together, etc.) and you and I will plan ahead of time a particular setting or moment for you to pop the question. The second way is easy in Lake Tahoe — just tell your partner you might as well get your portraits taken with such a beautiful place as your backdrop!

When having your wedding proposal photographed, the best time of day is approximately 1.5 hours before sunset. Spend 20 minutes getting into place, pop the question and rejoice with one another for about 15-20 minutes, and then we take portraits for 20 minutes or so. Afterward, you and your fiancé watch the sun set (behind the mountains if you’re in Lake Tahoe) and start daydreaming about the wedding!

(And because we all know you can’t wait to change your relationship status, here’s a list of five unique ways to announce your engagement!)

Solid as a rock. Emerald Bay is the perfect place for a wedding proposal. Photo Credit: Fifth & Chestnut
Solid as a rock. Emerald Bay is the perfect place for a wedding proposal. Photo Credit: Fifth & Chestnut

Top 5 Places to Propose in Tahoe

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A surprise sunset proposal in Tahoe. Photo Credit: Blue Lotus Photography
A surprise sunset proposal in Tahoe. Photo Credit: Blue Lotus Photography

Everyone has a different vision of what makes the perfect marriage proposal. For some couples, it may be a grand gesture in front of a crowd at a ball game, while others may prefer something a little more personal and intimate. Whatever your style, it’s important to make it about you and your partner — and to make it memorable. We’re here to help with the top 5 spots to propose in Tahoe South.

Propose in Tahoe on a Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride

So, you feel like a princess, your love is your prince charming, and together you’re seeking your happily ever after? Why not propose in Tahoe while taking a horse-drawn carriage ride at sunset to complete your fairytale romance? Just outside Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel at the CA/NV state line, you’ll find a couple of gorgeous Belgian Draft Horses just waiting to guide you around town. (Bonus: You can also ride into the sunset in the carriage after you say your I Dos.)

Propose in Tahoe while on a horse-drawn carriage ride. It's classic and romantic. Photo credit: Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel
Propose in Tahoe while on a horse-drawn carriage ride. It’s classic and romantic. Photo credit: Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel

A Water’s Edge Wedding Proposal

Tahoe South affords numerous beaches and shoreline spots perfect for proposing. Start with a romantic beach picnic, or have a lovely waterfront dinner at The Boathouse followed by a stroll on the 1,000-foot wooden pier at Beach Retreat & Lodge at Tahoe. Tahoe South is known for its breathtaking and brilliant sunsets and the pier is an ideal place to take in the vibrant colors.

Beach-Retreat-At-Tahoe-Boathouse_Beach
Shoreline sunset and 1,000-foot pier at Beach Retreat & Lodge at Tahoe.

Propose on Lake Tahoe

If you’re looking to propose in Tahoe in a more unique and elegant vintage way, we recommend taking your partner on a Lake Tahoe sunset dinner cruise by way of historic Mississippi paddle wheeler. The authentic Lake Tahoe Cruises vessel sets sail from Zephyr Cove and meanders into picturesque Emerald Bay.

Paddle wheeler in Emerald Bay at sunset.
Paddle wheeler in Emerald Bay at sunset. Photo Credit: Lake Tahoe Cruises

Propose in Tahoe at 6600 Feet

Speaking of Emerald Bay, a beautiful place to propose in Tahoe South is at the Vikingsholm scenic overlook, high above Lake Tahoe or alongside the impressive 140-foot Lower Eagle Falls, adjacent to the overlook. But if you’re the hiking type, grab your special someone and head up to Upper Eagle Falls or even up to Eagle Lake for unparalleled views.

Sunrise overlooking Emerald Bay.
Sunrise overlooking Emerald Bay. Photo Credit: VisitCalifornia.com

A Heavenly Wedding Proposal

If heights are your thing, may we suggest taking your sweetie on a Heavenly Scenic Gondola Ride? It’s a 2.4-mile ride with panoramic views of Lake Tahoe, Carson Valley and Desolation Wilderness. The Observation Deck located at 9,123 feet just might be the peak opportunity to pop the question.

Gondola ride at Heavenly Mountain Resort
Gondola ride high above the trees with breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe. Photo Credit: SkiHeavenly.com

The setting at Tahoe South is so incredibly picturesque, its natural beauty lends the perfect romantic setting to drop down on one knee in practically any place that suits you.

Five Unique Ways To Announce Your Engagement

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Couple Engagement
Photo Credit: www.jewelrywise.com

The moment your partner pops the question (or you pop it yourself and get the answer you were hoping for) you’ll experience so many overwhelming emotions you’ll probably want to run up the nearest hill and scream your exciting news from the top of it, then proceed to tell anyone and everyone you run into.

Tough as it may seem, you need to fight that impulse. Why? Because there are so many cute and fun ways you can announce your engagement, and you don’t want to steal your own thunder with a blurted-out announcement or a dashed-off Facebook status change. Here are five unique ways to announce your engagement that you can consider instead.

  1. The photo announcement. There are a million photo engagement announcement ideas, and for
    Photo Credit: http://taupymas.eu/
    Photo Credit: http://taupymas.eu/

    good reason: a photo announcement makes it easy to send a physical copy to your less tech-savvy relatives, and also allows you to blast the news out fast on social media. So whether you go to an apple orchard with an ‘I picked him’ sign, tie up a big knot and each hold one end of it, or flash your ring while petting your pooch who’s wearing the word ‘furever’ around his neck, it’s easy to customize this idea for your interests and sense of humor.

  2. Go old-school. It used to be that an engagement announcement in the local newspaper was customary. These days, it’s decidedly old-school and decidedly unique. Sit for a classic engagement photo, type up a hilariously formal announcement, then sit back and wait for the news to start making its way around. (You can also cheat and scan it for Insta and Facebook, of course.)
  3. Make a calendar. If you’re the creative type, pick out 12 of your favorite snapshots from your relationship. They can be pictures of the two of you, pictures of places you’ve been, anything. Then gather them up in a calendar template and get copies printed off at your local print shop. Your last step before mailing these calendars out to your loved ones is to grab a red Sharpie and draw a big heart around the date you’re asking folks to save for your wedding. This makes for an adorable surprise.
  4. Photo Credit: www.Etsy.com
    Photo Credit: www.Etsy.com

    Throw yourself a party. This is an idea for the social butterflies out there. Tell your friends, family and anyone you love that it’s been far too long since you’ve all gotten together and come up with a plan for gathering at your house or a restaurant. At some point in the evening, get up on a chair to make a long toast about how much everyone in the room means to you, and then slip in your engagement news to raucous applause. If you can keep it a surprise, your guests won’t feel obligated to bring a present.

  5. Send a note from the future. This works for the more traditional bride who will be taking her husband’s last name. Get little greeting cards printed up that say ‘A note from the future’ on the front, then write your message and sign it with your new name (and your wedding date, if you know it).

Once you’ve gotten your announcement out there, you can focus on planning your big day at one of our beautiful resorts: Edgewood Tahoe,  Hard Rock Café Lake Tahoe,  Zephyr Cove Resort,  Beach Retreat and Lodge at Tahoe, The Landing Resort and Spa, Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel, or The Ridge Tahoe.

How do you plan to announce your engagement? Do you have any great ideas we haven’t thought of? Let us know in the comments!

Spotlight: Lake Tahoe Cruises and Zephyr Cove Resort

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South Lake Tahoe is one of the most gorgeous settings you can choose for your destination wedding. What better way to take in the beauty of Lake Tahoe than on the beach — or on the water? Lake Tahoe Cruises and Zephyr Cove Resort offer some of the most scenic and fun options for your South Lake Tahoe wedding.

Lake Tahoe wedding on the water

Take it to the water

One of the most incredible ways to experience Lake Tahoe is from out on the lake itself. Hosting your wedding ceremony or reception on a boat is a great way to share the beauty of the surrounding area with your wedding guests. Lake Tahoe Cruises operates the MS Dixie II, the Tahoe Queen and Tahoe Paradise year-round for your destination wedding on the water. There is just something so peaceful and romantic about exchanging your wedding vows out on the water. From an intimate gathering with friends to a larger celebration, the staff at Lake Tahoe Cruises offers lots of options to make your wedding on the water unique.

Zephyr Cove Resort

Newly-remodeled restaurant

Zephyr Cove Resort has recently finished a renovation of their restaurant, giving it a great modern-meets-rustic appeal that is so popular right now — and great during any season. The restaurant can accommodate smaller, more intimate wedding receptions for 75 guests or fewer. During the winter season, wedding ceremonies could also be held indoors in the restaurant. Zephyr Cove restaurant is also the perfect place for a rehearsal dinner or a wedding day breakfast or brunch. With its large stone fireplace and rows of windows that frame the view, the restaurant is the perfect place for special gatherings.

Zephyr Cove wedding on beach

Ceremonies on the sand

During the late spring, summer and early fall months, Zephyr Cove Resort offers wedding facilities right on their beach, with lakeside accommodations for both your ceremony and reception. With breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and the clear, vibrant blue waters of Lake Tahoe right in front of you, who could imagine a more beautiful venue for your wedding? Hosting your ceremony and reception outdoors lets you share your love for each other — and your love for the outdoors — with your wedding guests and family. Imagine an intimate, relaxed gathering with all the special touches you expect for your wedding day. Zephyr Cove Resort staff is available to help you with hiring a photographer, ordering flowers, selecting your wedding cake and any other details. With a variety of ceremony and reception packages, your wedding at Zephyr Cove Resort will be exactly how you imagined.

Zephyr Cove wedding

Turn your wedding into a weekend

One of the best things about planning your destination wedding with Lake Tahoe Cruises and Zephyr Cove Resort is that not only do they offer a great venue for your ceremony and reception, but you and your guests can stay right on site, making Zephyr Cove Resort truly a full-service resort. From the days leading up to your wedding to the days after, you and your guests can turn your wedding day into a whole weekend of fun! From the rehearsal dinner the night before to a post-wedding brunch the following morning, the possibilities for your wedding weekend fun are endless. Let the staff at Zephyr Cove Resort help you figure out the perfect accommodations for your wedding party and guests, from the cozy, private cabins to the rooms in the historic Zephyr Cove Lodge. No detail will be overlooked.

Ready to book your destination wedding with Lake Tahoe Cruises and Zephyr Cove Resort? You’ll be glad you did.

Perfect Engagement Picture Spots in South Lake Tahoe

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Congratulations on your engagement! Many couples celebrate their engagement with a photo shoot to capture their lives before they become husband and wife. Whether the theme for your engagement photos is casual or elegant, take time to consider the location for the photo shoot.

Location, location, location

Your engagement photos will become a life-long keepsake of this special time in your lives. So when you choose the location for your engagement photo shoot keep in mind the backdrop that suits you best as a couple. Natural settings — whether on the beach or in a wooded area — make for some of the most beautiful engagement photos. No matter what time of year you schedule your engagement photo shoot, there are many beautiful outdoor settings that will help make your photos spectacular. What better place to have your engagement photo shoot than in South Lake Tahoe?

Edgewood Tahoe beach
photo courtesy of Edgewood Tahoe

What about the water?

Did you meet on a boating trip, or maybe at the beach? Engagement photos taken near the water — or even on a boat — will have that extra-special meaning to both of you. The Beach Retreat & Lodge at Tahoe sits at the edge of Lake Tahoe, and has a lovely stretch of sand that would provide a stunning setting for your engagement photos. Or go big for your engagement photo shoot and take it out on the lake, with a trip on the Tahoe Queen from Lake Tahoe Cruises in South Lake Tahoe.

zephyr cove wedding pictures
photo courtesy of Zephyr Cove Resort

The gorgeous beach at Zephyr Cove Resort is a great spot for engagement photos, with the stunning lake to one side, and the beautiful surrounding mountains to the other. Beach photos are beautiful any time of the year — even in the winter. The white snow across the sand provides a stunning contrast to the crystal blue waters of Lake Tahoe. The beach at Edgewood Tahoe is another spot for getting the perfect shot, with the mountains as a backdrop behind the lake.

Trees, please

Maybe you’ve imagined your engagement photos in a more woodsy setting? Keep in mind what time of day your pictures will have the best lighting, which also depends on the season. You might even consider taking pictures at sunset, for stunning lighting and romantic effects.

Edgewood Tahoe golf course
photo courtesy of Edgewood Tahoe

Edgewood Tahoe is located in one of the most picturesque areas of South Lake Tahoe, with a beautifully manicured golf course set between the lake and the trees that would make an amazing backdrop for your photo shoot. The Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority has lots of helpful information on their site about parks, hiking trails and other beautiful areas in South Shore that would be the perfect setting for your engagement photos, as well as a listing of local photographers.

Ready to schedule your engagement photo shoot? Choose your photographer and enjoy creating those life-long memories that engagement photos can capture.

 

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