Nicole + Brennan // West Shore Cafe, Lake Tahoe, CA

May 18, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

A Perfect Tahoe Weather Wedding - Holly Shankland Photography

From snow to epic sunsets, and rain to sunny skies, Nicole and Brennan experienced every type of weather Lake Tahoe has to offer - and the results made for beautiful wedding photos.


When I first talked with Nicole and Brennan about shooting their wedding, I sensed they were the type of couple who's love is always fresh, yet seasoned. Nicole's laugh is contagious, and Brennan's love is sweet and calm and makes her seem like the only person in the room. This all made sense, because they first met when they were 16 years old, but fell in love a while after. When they talked back in the day, Nicole would even give Brennan dating advice, neither knowing they'd end up dating, falling in love, and getting married on the shores of Lake Tahoe.


As high school friends turned to sweethearts, they'd already been through so much together. The storm rolling through just added to the already present beauty. They almost welcomed it - another moment to pull each other in a little closer. The storm stayed through the whole ceremony, everyone was covering their heads with jackets and umbrellas, but they were all smiling like the weather was perfect - so in a sense, it was. I don't think there was any other place in the world anyone there would have rather been.


This is something I love about Lake Tahoe weddings and the people who choose to get married there – you're never guaranteed anything specific other than beauty. You might get sun or rain or snow, but you'll get the best version of whatever the skies bring. Also, so much comes down to the couple, and my adventurous brides and grooms always choose to see the best. I guess that's a bit easier when you're with the person you love, but I also think it's a bit of what caused them to fall in love, celebrate it here, and smile bigger the harder the snow fell.


 People's personalities always come out a little more when the snow falls. There was so much joy with a bride and groom like Nicole and Brennan alongside their family and lifelong friends. You could feel the power of their love, the strength of their relationship with those in attendance - it created the most beautiful space full of joy.


 The light was so unique, everyone was happy, and Brennan was beaming as the snowflakes fell to a stop in his hair and on his suit. The wedding party was so much fun too, obsessed with their friends, and from wedding party photos in the snow to tequila shots before the ceremony all the way to the dance floor, they brought the party all day long.


Nicole's niece Emma was the perfect little flower girl, and all the details of the ceremony were so fitting for these two. Their vows were sweet, and every person in attendance was drawn in and giving so much love the entire time. The whole ceremony was very moving and set the tone for the rest of the night. Nicole's father gave a fantastic speech, and their first dance showed how close they truly are.


The weather kept changing, resulting in a beautiful Lake Tahoe sunset to end the day. A little rain had come through which made for a dreamy dock session with the string lights reflecting in the puddles. Nicole and Brennan snuck a few moments to themselves with the cotton candy sky before heading in to dance with everyone.


If you're wondering "Is this couple too good to be true?" the answer is no because they're genuinely like this inside and out, on their wedding day or not, but their love for everyone sure does seem unreal. I happened to be celebrating my 30th birthday, and they even took time from their day to sing me happy birthday on the dance floor. In no way did I expect this, but it was honestly such a wonderful way to spend my birthday doing what I loved with people I love, and feeling so loved on. There are many reasons I brag on my couples, but the fact they cared enough to make that part of their day - it means so much to me.


The whole night, from the first look with her dad to epic vows, the snow, and sunset, "donut mind if I do" deserts, and a fun night of tequila and dancing was so perfectly Brennan and Nicole. I would live that day a thousand times again if I could. The best thing is, having these two as friends gives me the feeling there are a few more fun days full of stoke in store because of them. So much love and a lifetime of light, my new friends.


Coordination: Liane McCombs Wedding & Event Planning

Venue & Catering: West Shore Cafe

Floral: Love & Lupines Floral Design

Beauty: Greco Rose Beauty

DJ & Photo Booth: Cornerstone Entertainment 

Sweets: Lake Tahoe Cakes



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