Snowy Lake Tahoe Elopement with a Stunning Sunset

HOLLY & DUSTIN’S INTIMATE SNOWY LAKE TAHOE ELOPEMENT IN THE SPRING | LAKE TAHOE ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER | NORTH LAKE TAHOE, CALIFORNIA

Lake Tahoe is one of those places that doesn’t really have an off season. From beach goers in the summer to skiers in the winter, Tahoe is an adventurer’s paradise. It’s likewise a place where nearly any season is absolutely perfect for the Tahoe elopement you’re dreaming up. Except, maybe…. spring. Spring a lot of other places means budding flowers and warmer temperatures.

So why is spring in Tahoe hit and miss?

The short answer is snow. The same snow that makes winters in Lake Tahoe magical is now melting. The trails are often a muddy mess. White snow is now more brown from being plowed off the roads so many times. Overall the weather is just very unpredictable and generally mucky. So when Holly and Dustin came to me with their dream of a winter wonderland elopement, we discussed a lot of options and settled on an early winter date. Think fall colors with a dusting of snow <3

But sometimes plans change, and it’s the best thing that could happen!

Remember how I said spring weather can be unpredictable? Well last year the snow kept coming and coming. In fact, two of the top 10 snowiest months on record in Tahoe happened between January-March last year (2023). And when 15+ feet of snow falls in March it’s a good guess that *spring* will be delayed. So we pivoted and moved their elopement up 7 months to capitalize on this record breaking snowfall!

The Groom turns to see his Bride for the first time.
The happy couple embrace at Lake Tahoe.

Tahoe under snow was such a joyful and nostalgic place for these two. Their snowy Lake Tahoe elopement was such a sweet celebration of what was important to them. I can’t wait to help you have the perfect winter wonderland elopement too!

So how did we spend their day and stay warm?! Well we actually got lucky and caught a break in the weather. The high altitude of Lake Tahoe can make warm sun feel balmy even in the winter! These two were prepared with multiple layers and warm boots, and we structured their day in such a way to have breaks where we could warm up in the car.

We started out with a first look in the sunny and snowy forest behind their Airbnb in North Lake Tahoe. The North Shore is actually where I suggest everyone stay when eloping at the lake – and that’s not just because I’m a local here 😉 The smaller towns on Tahoe’s North Shore have a hometown feel versus the South Shore’s Vegas vibe. North Tahoe is also typically less crowded, less expensive, and closer to many beautiful locations.

Then we threw the snowshoes in the car and drove to a nearby trail. I’d scouted many trails in the days before and actually threw out several options because of muddy conditions. Location scouting is included in all my elopement packages to make sure the areas we will be in are not only beautiful but more importantly safe! In a clearing blanketed in pristine snow and dappled in sunlight, Holly and Dustin shared their first dance to Tyler Childers’ All Your’n.

No Lake Tahoe elopement would be complete without some time on the shores of Big Blue!

When choosing a location for their ceremony, we kept coming back to the beach. It is Lake Tahoe after all! Needing a location without a large hike for their guests, nearby parking, and great views limited our options, but this quiet beach ticked all their boxes. There these two promised forever in the presence of their closest family – all while holding their toddler through the whole ceremony! We celebrated the newlyweds with a champagne toast and lots of hugs, tears, and playing in the sand for the kiddos. Not even the brisk weather could keep them out of the water!

Sunsets in Lake Tahoe are some of the best on earth.

To end their elopement day, Dustin and Holly snowshoed up a nearby trail to a lookout. The alpine glow that evening was some of the most gorgeous I’ve ever seen, followed by a truly gorgeous and surprisingly colorful winter sunset. Having this sweet time for just the two of them in nature was all part of the master plan. It gave Holly and Dustin time to soak in the emotions of the day and get “photos that captured the beautiful Lake Tahoe setting and us, so that we could have it as a piece of art not just a ‘wedding photo’.” So you know I had to bust out the drone! The photos I got to create high up on that chilly lookout that blended my love of Tahoe, landscape photography, and elopements hold such a special place in my heart.

Thank you Holly and Dustin for having me along on this perfect day!

Some last thoughts on planning your own snowy Lake Tahoe elopement…

With winter elopements anywhere it’s important to prepare for the cold – think layers, waterproof footwear, snow chains for cars, etc. Additionally, I always suggest bracketing your elopement date. What I mean by that is to give yourselves at least 1-2 days on either side of a specific date just in case of weather. Tahoe can go from winter wonderland to avalanche warnings quickly. Having the option to move your elopement up or back a day for safer weather is always a good idea! And after the sun sets, the party doesn’t have to end! Consider renting a cute Airbnb or lodge like these two and maybe hiring a private chef for dinner. Or make reservations at any of Tahoe’s great restaurants!

Lake Tahoe is truly a winter playground. Boasting ski resorts all around the lake, xc/snowshoe trails, numerous state parks, and good eats for days, all you have to do is bring your sense of adventure! Thinking of eloping in this winter wonderland too?! There’s no more perfect place. Reach out on my contact form here to get started!

Photography & Planning Guidance – Clarissa Wylde Photography

Accommodations – Airbnb

Dinner Reservations – The Soule Domain

Photo Assistant – Abby Mae Photo

  1. Kat says:

    Wow…look at that snow-filled spring day! The shots from above are so cool, and the bride simply looks delighted the entire day.

  2. Marta says:

    Lake Tahoe in the snow is so pretty! Absolutely love the photos from the shoreline and those sunset photos are gorgeous!

  3. Ann Marie says:

    Beautiful!! And the best of both worlds getting to enjoy time in the snowy and the sandy shoreline – love it! What a beautiful day with stunning photos – love this!

  4. Naomi Levit says:

    Beautiful! The snow and the shoreline are an awesome mix for their special day.

  5. Julia Maass says:

    Who would have thought spring is not the best time to elope in Tahoe! I love the photos you captured and the snow shots are stunning!

  6. So beautiful! I love snow! My favourite elopements perhaps. 🙂 And the sunset! Magical.

  7. Sydney says:

    Snowy sunsets are always my favorite. Lake Tahoe is such a magical place to elope!

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