Let’s be honest, a South Lake Tahoe Summer wedding can be a bit unpredictable! Especially if it’s in August! You may start with a bright sunshiny day to a rainstorm in a blink of an eye. But, there is one thing you can always count on…


From my first zoom call with these two lovebirds, Bryanna and James, I knew they were my people… AND I WASN’T WRONG. Their wedding day was so sweet and so special to say “I do” in a place that means so much to them. 

South Lake Tahoe Summer Wedding | Photographed by Dani Rawson Photography, a Lake Tahoe Based Wedding Photographer

Meet the Couple: Bryanna + James

Bryanna and James met in 2019, like a modern fairytale, on Hinge!

They had their first date at a quaint Italian restaurant in New York’s Little Italy that lasted 6 hours. Bryanna and James quickly bonded over their love for the outdoors, beach days, cooking, and getting cozy on the couch to binge nature documentaries or infamous baking competition shows. 

IYKYK, ya know what I mean?

They may live in New York City, but Bryanna is a Cali girl at heart! She would come down to Lake Tahoe every single summer with her family. When Bryanna first brought James out West, they went to the lake and instantly knew they’d get married here.

I think it’s so special when couples make a trip to a location that means so much to them.

Planning Their South Lake Tahoe Summer Wedding

The wedding colors were classic maroon and navy. Their florist, Selina Fowler, styled the ceiling of their tent with cool greenery which was so unique compared to traditional drapery. It was so Bryanna and James’s vibe.

Bryanna and James held their wedding at the Tahoe Beach Retreat, which is a great venue if you are looking for a location where you can get ready on-site, hold your ceremony, and celebrate your reception in one place! Although it has it all, I don’t tend to shoot at this venue UNLESS the bride hires a planner (more on that in a sec)!

They went with one of my favorite wedding planners in the area, Christine Chavez at With All My Love Events. I absolutely LOVE this amazing human being who brings so much value to the table! She serves each couple so well and is always helpful with other vendors to make sure everything is on time. AND Christine also makes sure I get all the photos that I need when I need them.

That alone should say it all!  

The Value of a Wedding Planner 

Based on my personal experiences, 9 times out of 10 the venue-provided coordinators are there to only serve the venue and not the interest of the couple.

When you bring in your own wedding planner/coordinator, you not only get someone to help with all the wedding details like a table set up or timeline creation, but you get someone who is unbiased to fight for you and make sure you’re getting exactly what you want on your big day. 

You get someone who is in your corner from the start to finish. It might not seem like a big deal now, but I promise that it can make or break your wedding on the day of.

OH, and one last thing…

Although your family and friends might be your number ones and your ride or dies, it takes the pressure off them worrying about when a florist is going to show up or where to place the fancy quiche. By bringing your own wedding planner, you allow your loved ones a chance to celebrate the day with you!

Summer Wedding Day at South Lake Tahoe: Lights! Camera! Action!

Bryanna and James got ready in separate rooms at the Tahoe Beach Resort. Bryanna’s sisters and mom joined in the getting ready process which was so sweet. From the minute Bryanna put on her wedding dress it fit like a glove. It was *chef’s kiss*!

It was my favorite time, the first look! 

The second James got a look at his bride…there wasn’t a single dry eye in the building. Everyone was crying! James spun Bryanna for a 360 of her dress, and I loved every bit of it. 

When it came time for the ceremony, the backdrop over the lake was a clear blue sky, and gorgeous calm waters, and it was just lovely (except for the one dark storm cloud heading our way).

Once they said “I do”, it started pouring rain for 10 minutes.

What did I tell ya?
Classic Lake Tahoe.

Luckily the venue has space as a “PLAN B” just in case of rain. Here, everyone was able to gather to cool and dry off. I personally find rain on the wedding day a sign of good luck! 

At golden hour, we buzzed off to shoot some cute pics of Bryanna and James from the beach. I would recommend checking the time the dock closes. It was closed by the time we went and since it’s not owned by the resort, they aren’t able to re-open it. It was a bummer, but we made the most of it.

While cutting the cake, Bryanna and James had a memorable moment I had to capture on camera. They shoved cake in each other’s faces! I love capturing this moment for my couples because the photos come out so EPIC. 

The Special Moment After the Wedding

Bryanna and James had a grand exit with LED lights and a rental car for those cool getaway car vibes. They drove down into South Lake Tahoe to gamble at the casino, grab a drink at the bar, and just spend time by themselves.

Just to have that alone time on your wedding day is so important not to forget. You spend most of the day with friends and family, it’s great to just have a moment with your partner on your wedding day. 

What They Are Saying

It may sound biased, but I get to work with some of the most amazing couples out there! Here’s what James and Bryanna were kind enough to say about me and our time together!

“When we came across your work it was a no-brainer! Your photography captures the essence of each couple and is truly artistic, once we met you via zoom we knew for sure that you were our gal.”

“Dani’s work is easily identifiable as beautiful, unique, and genuine and when we had our phone consultation I found out why–because she is all those things as well!”

Remember how I say I instantly knew these were my people? That’s why I never underestimate the power of an initial video call. 

“She is truly all about knowing you and your partner for who you are and helping make your wedding, not just your photos, absolutely magical and worry-free.–BOOK HER!”

South Lake Tahoe Summer Wedding Dream Team:

Venue | Tahoe Beach Retreat 

Photobooth | The Wander Booth 

Florals | Fowler’s Flowers 

HMUA | Makeup Mama – Jenna

DJ | Lake DJ – Derek Tarpay 

Cake | Lake Tahoe Cakes

Coordinator | With All My Love Events – Christine Chavez

Photographer | Dani Rawson Photography – Dani Rawson

Getaway Car | Reno Tahoe Rental Car

Dress | A Little Something White

Bridesmaids Dresses | David’s Bridal

Suit | Alan David Custom Suits

Rings | Brilliant Earth



February 10, 2023

South Lake Tahoe Summer Wedding