The groom and bride look at one another during their small wedding ceremony. Lake Tahoe is in the background. The rain clouds are moving closer and the light on the lake is becoming more dramatic.
Shirin and Daniel wanted a simple wedding in a beautiful location. Because they both love the outdoors, and had enjoyed visits to Lake Tahoe together, they decided Sand Harbor would be the right place to exchange vows. Some couples frown upon wedding day rain for its potential to upset plans, timeline, and other details. But Shirin and Daniel love a bit of adventure and they didn't mind it one bit.
Daniel is a biochemist from Germany, and his family flew to California for this special day. Shirin's family is from Iran, and English is not a first language for either of their parents. This was one of my favorite aspects of their small wedding at Sand Harbor. With a very small language barrier, I believe we communicate in simpler ways. Expressions of joy and pride between both families, regardless of the language differences was a beautiful thing to see.
The bride gets out of the car and is nervous that her groom might see her before the ceremony. She wasn't sure if she should crouch down and hide behind the car so that he wouldn't see her. I love how her body language shows her excitement and anticipation.
The bride and her father share a moment before walking down the trail to the ceremony site. The father of the bride was a man of few words on the wedding day, but his expressions revealed his joy and pride.
The groom placed white rose petals on the path leading to the small wedding ceremony site. That sweet gesture shows the extra care and attention on the part of the groom and shows that any venue can be special for an elopement or small wedding ceremony.
The bride smiles as she reads her vows. There is no maid of honor or wedding party, so she holds her small bouquet as well as the paper with her written vows. Small weddings and elopements often feel more intimate because the couple feels fewer eyes on them. They can sometimes be more free to express their emotions.
First kiss as husband and wife on the shores of Lake Tahoe. Close family members look on and the bride's nephew lifts his arms in celebration.
The groom receives a hugs from his father, and the bride hugs her mother at the end of the ceremony.
The groom and his brother prepared a small table of hors d'oeuvres and champagne toast to enjoy after the ceremony. Here, the bride and groom each open a bottle of champagne to share with their family. You can see the excitement on the groom's face!
Not long after the ceremony was over, it began to rain and everyone headed for shelter under the small gazebo. Although everyone was wet from the rain and their champagne toast was relocated to the picnic area under the gazebo, the bride and groom were overjoyed to be married.
Portrait of the bride and groom in the forests surrounding Lake Tahoe.