Because Haley and Josh are actually really close friends of mine, I was so stoked when they asked me to photograph their desert wedding near Pyramid Lake! Can I just say, friends who pay your full prices and support your business are the absolute best.

Another reason why this wedding is so dear to my heart is that one of my best friends (Cece) in the whole wide world was Josh’s best man! They were roommates once upon a time and it was so fun to see everything come full circle.

Pyramid Lake Wedding Day Deets

Like most Lake Tahoe weddings in August of 2021, Haley and Josh’s initial wedding plans were changed due to the Caldor Fire. They were originally supposed to get married at Tahoe Paradise Park and have their reception at Riva Grill. Unfortunately, the park was burned down.

Instead, they ended up getting married out on her sister’s land near Pyramid Lake. I mean, talk about about an absolute 180• from the forests of Lake Tahoe to the dusty desert! After their ceremony, they had their reception in town at Sparks Water Bar.

Fun Fact: Sparks Water Bar is one of my favorite spots! Their flagship cocktail is called a Wet Woody and it is so freaking delicious.

Getting Ready Near Pyramid Lake

Because they opted for a morning ceremony, we had an early wake-up call to get there on time. They had a v small guest list that included immediate family (parents, sibs, grandparents, aunts/uncles), Cece, and me! I mean, technically I was working…sooooo yeah!

We got there and Haley was getting her make-up done and was looking so pretty!! Mimosas were flowing, and it was honestly just super chill!

We did some getting-ready photos, and we also took a quick moment to do a couple of bridal boudoir photos before she got in her dress. We surprised Josh with a couple of SPICY polaroids and his reaction was everything!

This is something we can totally work into your timeline if you want to have some sexiness for your partner. I also offer boudie sessions outside of your wedding day, and they are all-inclusive packages that include an album and polaroids as well as space rental at The Jesse Hotel!

I-Do’s with a Side of Steak, PLEASE

Josh’s uncle officiated their ceremony. They shared personal vows which had us all crying and it was so special! Afterward, they had a quick toast with everyone before we went off for a few couple’s photos in the desert. 

When we made the trek back into town to Sparks Water Bar for their late-lunch reception. They had the upstairs private room all to themselves, and it was the perfect space for a wedding of their size. It was beautiful. There were views of the marina with Mount Rose and the Sierra Mountains in the back.

They served filet mignon, and it was so yummmmmm.

Cece gave a heartfelt speech that started with an inside joke about what time it is (game time is the answer haha). Then we did their first dance and parent dances. They also did a cake cutting which resulted in some serious shoving cake into face action. Honestly, these ended up being some of my fave photos from the day tbh! 

As their micro reception came to an end we took some photos alongside the marina and up on the balcony and it was the perfect end to their wedding day!


Photographer: Dani Rawson Photo

HAMU: Alisha Garcia

Dress: Lulus 

Venue: Sparks Water Bar


December 6, 2021

Beautifully Dusty Desert Wedding Near Pyramid Lake