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5 Reasons a South Lake Tahoe Honeymoon is the Most Romantic

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There’s just something magically romantic about a South Lake Tahoe honeymoon experience. Breathing clean mountain air, taking in the starry skies and golden sunsets, and dreaming about the future together by the firelight… what could be a better backdrop for building closeness than that?

So, it’s no surprise that South Lake has been a favorite among newlyweds for decades, and here are the top five romantic reasons why.

#1 The Lake

Newlywed couple looking at a sunset on lake tahoe
Lake Tahoe truly is one of the most romantic places on earth. Photo courtesy of Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel.

It’s the jewel of the region—a big blue beauty that draws everyone in. After all, the lake is the reason why anyone is here at all. And South Tahoe offers so many opportunities to simply sit and enjoy that beckoning beauty. For example, at Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel, honeymooning sweethearts can spend evenings enjoying panoramic views of the lake from a large deck off a private suite. Add two glasses of champagne, and the romance abounds. (more…)

5 fun ways to exit your wedding reception

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The happy couple leaving their reception at the Beach Retreat & Lodge at Tahoe! Photo: Beach Retreat & Lodge at Tahoe

The big exit from a wedding reception is a tradition that has somewhat fallen by the wayside, and it’s time to bring it back. You shouldn’t be stuck packing up excess booze and bidding farewell to distant relatives after your big day. You should go out in style! Here are five fun ways to make your exit from your wedding reception.

  1. Lovely couple celebrating at  Zephyr Cove Resort! Photo: Zephyr Cove Resort
    Lovely couple celebrating at Zephyr Cove Resort! Photo: Zephyr Cove Resort

    The dance-off. When you and your spouse are ready to pack it in, have the DJ announce that you’re on your way and you’re inviting everyone onto the dance floor. Have the DJ crank Shout! by the Isley Brothers or another upbeat tune and dance your way out the door. Bonus if you can incorporate a conga line that leads you to the exit.

  2. Send up good wishes. This one might work better for more intimate affairs. At some point in the ceremony, both you and your partner write out a wish for your marriage. Put the wishes into a balloon, blow it up with helium, and at the end of the night head outside and send those wishes skyward with your family and friends all around you.

    Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 10.33.22 AM
    Horse & Carriage in front of Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel makes the perfect romantic getaway.
  3. Bring back the horse and carriage. This is a bit old-school, but there’s nothing quite as romantic as a horse and carriage ride. Book a horse and carriage to be waiting for you, hang a classic ‘Just Married’ sign on the back of it, and wave goodbye while a hundred surprised guests put your farewell pics on Instagram.
  4. Let your friends and family light the way. If you are making your exit at night, arm your guests with either sparklers or glow-sticks and have them form a lighted tunnel for you to walk through to your mode of transportation.
  5. The goodbye group shot. Have a table prepared with pieces of poster board and black Sharpies.
    The wedding having one last group shot for the day on the pier out side the Beach Retreat & Lodge at Tahoe. Photo: Beach Retreat & Lodge at Tahoe
    The wedding having one last group shot for the day on the pier out side the Beach Retreat & Lodge at Tahoe. Photo: Beach Retreat & Lodge at Tahoe

    Give your guests 10-15 minutes’ notice before you leave and let everyone write out their goodbye or good luck messages to you, then gather for one last huge group photo with everyone holding their signs. All of your guests will feel like they had a chance to say goodbye, and you’ll have a great keepsake photo.

Whether you’re making your exit from the Beach Retreat and Lodge at Tahoe, the Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel, Edgewood Tahoe, the Ridge Tahoe, Zephyr Cove Resort, the Landing Resort and Spa or the Hard Rock Tahoe, you’ve chosen to do your wedding in style and you don’t want to neglect a single detail, including your exit.


Catering your South Lake Tahoe Wedding

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Congratulations for choosing South Lake Tahoe for your destination wedding! You have already chosen one of the most beautiful destinations in the world for your wedding ceremony and reception, now what about the food? Choosing a caterer and menu for your wedding reception can be a lot of fun — and with the right professionals helping you, your wedding guests are in for a reception to remember.

Edgewood Tahoe
Edgewood Tahoe

Onsite Catering Professionals
Depending on the venue for your wedding reception in South Lake Tahoe, you may have the option of an onsite catering staff available to help you plan the perfect reception. Wedding reception menus at Edgewood Tahoe are created with the in-house master chef, who will help you prepare a customized menu or choose from a number of set menus. The professional restaurant staff can easily make accommodations for special menu requests or vegetarian options.

Zephyr Cove dining
Lake Tahoe Cruises/Zephyr Cove Resort

Holding your wedding and reception at The Ridge Tahoe? Their banquet and reception professionals offer a wide range of choices for your reception fare, from a casual buffet dinner to a more formal, plated meal. Wedding reception menus at Zephyr Cove Resort are created by their executive chef and catering staff, who have the professionalism, creativity and expertise to help you craft exactly the reception you’ve been dreaming of. Receptions at the Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel include dining options from their culinary team that cover the range from a simple buffet to elegant plated dinners. Add-on options for your South Lake Tahoe reception include a signature cocktail, a chocolate fountain or even chocolate-covered strawberries. Bring your imagination and the professionals at any of these South Lake Tahoe venues will gladly help you create the wedding reception of your dreams.


Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel

 Hiring an Outside Caterer

Some venues for your South Lake Tahoe wedding will allow you to hire an outside catering professional. Be sure to check first with the wedding coordinator at your chosen venue before contracting with an outside caterer and visit for ideas.

Whatever your choice for catering your South Lake Tahoe wedding, you can be sure your event will be a memorable — and tasty — one.

Marriage Licenses: California vs. Nevada

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Hosting your destination wedding in South Lake Tahoe may be your smartest decision since you set the date. With so many gorgeous venues for your ceremony and wedding reception, you are bound to have the wedding day of your dreams. You have the rings all picked out, the beautiful gown and ordered some of the most stunning floral arrangements you’ve ever seen — but wait! There is one small thing you need to take care of, or all of your planning and preparation will be put on hold. To get married in South Lake Tahoe you need a marriage license.

Patrick Frost photo
photo credit: Patrick Frost

California rules
Is your wedding ceremony taking place on the California side of South Lake Tahoe? Two of the most elegant venues in South Shore claim a California address. If you are getting married at Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel at Heavenly or at The Landing Lake Tahoe Resort & Spa you will need an El Dorado County, California marriage license.

El Dorado County has two locations where you can obtain a marriage license — one in Placerville and one in South Lake Tahoe. Both bride and groom must be present in order for a license to be issued. To obtain your marriage license you will need an appointment, so make sure to call ahead. Don’t have time? You can wait at the county offices for an opening, which could be up to two hours, depending on how many appointments are ahead of you. Your marriage license must be registered in El Dorado County after the ceremony, which is generally the responsibility of the person who officiates at the marriage.

Ordained for a day
El Dorado County also offers a Deputy Commissioner of Marriage program, where someone can be certified for a specific day and time to perform a marriage ceremony for friends or relatives. This is a popular choice for couples who don’t have a particular church affiliation, or who want to include someone very special in their wedding celebration.

Confidential, or Public?
A Confidential Marriage License can be issued for two people who have been living together who plan to be married by a person authorized to preside at a marriage. Good for a 90-day period, this license may only be used in El Dorado County. If you are requesting a Public Marriage License, your ceremony may be performed anywhere in California. Both Public and Confidential Marriage licenses and certificates are available at the Recorder-Clerk’s office. Both parties must be present to receive a license. You may also choose to hold your ceremony at the county offices, which requires an appointment.

Nevada rules
Getting hitched on the Nevada side of South Shore? Venues on the Nevada side include both the stunning views at The Ridge Tahoe and the beautiful grounds at Edgewood Tahoe, the elegance of Monte Bleu Resort Casino & Spa and the fun and vibrant vibe at the Hard Rock Cafe. Douglas County, Nevada will be the office to issue your marriage license.

Licenses are issued six days a week at the Douglas County Clerk’s office. Both parties need to be present, and there is no blood test requirement or waiting period. Appointments are not necessary. Douglas County marriage licenses are good for one year from date of issue. Your license must be returned to the Recorder’s Office within 10 days after your ceremony to be officially recorded. Usually the person who performs the ceremony is responsible for returning the completed license to the clerk’s office. The Douglas County Clerk’s office does not perform wedding ceremonies on site.

Your South Lake Tahoe wedding will be a day to remember — no matter which side of the state line you are on.

Contact Information:

California Recorder-Clerk
3368 Lake Tahoe Blvd. #108, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Phone: (530) 573-3409, Fax: (530) 544-6463

County Administration Building – South Lake Tahoe, Nevada
175 Highway 50 – 2nd Floor, South Lake Tahoe, NV 89449
(775) 586-7270


Weddings on the Water

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Planning your destination wedding in beautiful South Lake Tahoe? With the beauty of the Sierra Nevada mountains surrounding the incredible blue waters of Lake Tahoe, you couldn’t have picked a better wedding location. With one of the most stunning lakes in the world right here, why not plan your South Lake Tahoe wedding on the water?

Take it to the lake
With so many wedding venues available in the South Lake Tahoe area, you may not have considered the lake itself as the site for your vows. The crystal-clear beauty of Lake Tahoe provides a stunning backdrop for both your wedding ceremony and reception. Your guests will love the unique perspective of the entire Lake Tahoe area that you can only get from cruising. Lake Tahoe Cruises has a variety of options  for couples who want to celebrate their wedding on the water. Their staff handles all the details for the ship, the food and beverages, and are also happy to help you with cakes, entertainment and more. A favorite memento of many Lake Tahoe wedding couples is the custom-made ring buoy, with room for guests to sign their best wishes!

Old-time tradition
Why not charter an old-fashioned paddle wheeler for your wedding ceremony? The original paddle wheeler M.S. Dixie arrived in Lake Tahoe in 1949, and was replaced by the state-of-the-art M.S. Dixie II in 1993. Certified by the U.S. Coast Guard to hold up to 570 passengers, your wedding on the M.S. Dixie II will be an event to remember. You can download a wedding planner to help you with all the details you need to personalize your Lake Tahoe Cruises wedding and make it your special day. From the food to the flowers, your celebration will be perfect from the moment you leave the dock.

The Tahoe Queen has been a fixture on Lake Tahoe since 1983, when it was built on the Mississippi River, then reassembled in Lake Tahoe. Certified to carry up to 500 passengers, this vessel is perfect for any size wedding. Major renovations to the Tahoe Queen were recently completed, bringing a bit of the old-time charm and class of the early 1900s, when ships of this magnitude carried the wealthy and elite. The Lake Tahoe Cruises staff will work with you to ensure that your wedding aboard the Tahoe Queen will be perfect down to the last detail. Sit back and let the staff serve you and your wedding guests, so you can enjoy every moment of your special day.

Modern class
Looking for a more modern twist on a Lake Tahoe wedding cruise? The Tahoe Paradise is an elegant eighty-two foot luxury yacht, with two stories that can accommodate up to 90 guests. Perfect for a more intimate gathering, the Tahoe Paradise has a sleek, modern look both inside and out. A uniformed captain will perform your ceremony on the water, giving a true nautical feel to your special day. The Lake Tahoe Cruises staff will work with you to help you plan exactly the wedding on the water you have dreamed of.

Make your destination wedding an event to remember, with a wedding and reception on the beautiful waters of Lake Tahoe.


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