This Couple's Intimate Fall Wedding Took Place Overlooking Lake Tahoe
On the day that Alexandra Luizzi and David Sanford got engaged—the moment happened during a concert at the Hollywood Bowl—Alex woke up with a feeling. "Women's intuition, I guess—but I thought it was going to be during the opening band Lanco's set because they have a pretty specific proposal-esque song," explains the bride. "It didn't happen and I remember thinking I was being crazy for assuming he was proposing today and texted my friends saying, 'It's not happening. I don't know what I was thinking.'" To her surprise, David proposed during a song that resonated for him about the couple's relationship; it was called "I Don't Remember Me (Before You)" by Brothers Osborne. "Apparently when we got there and I left to grab something to drink, he got everyone around us in on his plan because a few minutes into the song everyone around us had their phone flashlights out," Alex shares. "He pulled the chair out and got down on one knee, and I remember thinking, 'I KNEW IT!'" Everyone around them began cheering and passing them Champagne, and one random gentleman gave the pair $500 cash, along with his congratulations. "It was such a fun night!"
The bride envisioned an autumn celebration with just the couple's closest friends and family gathered. "It's my all-time favorite season, and I wanted a wedding that incorporated all the warm, beautiful feelings of fall," she says. "Our whole goal all along was no stress and no DIY—we wanted to just show up and have a great time." To do so, they enlisted the help of Ashley Creative Weddings & Events; the team helped Alex execute a color palette that referenced the fall leaves and mountain vibes of Lake Tahoe, where they ultimately decided to host the intimate affair. "Keeping the base neutral, we really added color into the floral accents including shades of rust, cappuccino, peach, bronze, and true greens," she says.
Choosing a site for the wedding was relatively easy. "We actually picked West Shore Café sight unseen," says the bride. "We saw photos online and thought it was a great venue for a small group. It was beautiful, right on the water, with the forest-y lodge feel we wanted." The rustic elegance of the venue paired with the couple's exquisite taste in décor created an unforgettable setting.
"I think our wedding was a full reflection of who we are as a couple," says Alex. "It was intimate with a main focus on quality over quantity in all aspects. It was filled with the gorgeous feeling of fall without being over the top."
The Toast with the Most
Alex, her bridesmaids, and her mom celebrated with Champagne while getting ready for the big day.
The couple's Minted paper suite was designed on ivory cardstock with copper foil-printed details—these two colors were incorporated throughout the big day's décor. "We decided to stay pretty minimal on the invitation suite so that we could maximize the stationery budget on the day-of details," Alex clarifies.
A Lace Wedding Dress
Alex's wedding dress by Martina Liana was a beautiful lace design with delicate beaded details. "It was actually the second dress I tried on and I didn't think I needed to look any further!" says the bride. "When I put it on, it felt very Tahoe and very 'me.' I loved the off-the-shoulder detail and ended up lining the bodice for a more classic and timeless look."
The bride slipped on a pair of Badgley Mischka wedges with crystal details for the big day.
An Exquisite Bouquet
Alex carried a loose, natural bouquet filled with garden roses, dahlias, amaranth, ranunculus, cosmos, and nigella within a rich color palette of rust, ivory, cappuccino, neutral blush, peach, bronze, and green. A hand-dyed silk ribbon tied the beautiful arrangement together.
Alex instructed each of her bridesmaids to wear the long black gown of her choice, resulting in a coordinated mix of individually flattering styles.
A Father-Daughter First Look
"I had a first look with my dad before the ceremony, and I can say it was one of the most special moments I've ever had in my entire life," says Alex. "We were both trying not to cry because he didn't want to mess up my makeup, which made it even harder not to tear up!"
A Lakeside Ceremony
The bride's lone request when it came to design was that a gorgeous floral arch be present for the ceremony; Natasha Kolenko Designs created a gorgeous composition with pops of orange, rust, and yellow that stood out beautifully against Lake Tahoe. The aisle was lined with lush floral arrangements for a cohesive look.
A Special Processional
When Alex walked down the aisle with her father, she surprised David: Two of their friends played and sang a version of The Lumineers song, "Flowers in Your Hair." "I had been secretly planning it with them for months and it couldn't have gone any better!" she says. "David thought it was a recording at first until he saw them tucked away to the side."
"Having two of my good buddies sing while my wife walked down the aisle was such a special moment for me," David confirms. "I thought to myself, 'This song sounds really good, but it's not the Lumineers…' and then I turned to my left and saw them there playing and was blown away."
Sealed with a Kiss
The bride and groom shared a sweet kiss after their non-religious ceremony, during which they exchanged vows they wrote themselves.
Custom Cocktail Accessories
The pair's signature cocktails—a "Mountain Mule" and a jalapeño margarita—each featured a monogrammed wooden stir stick created by SipHipHooray for a personal touch. "We also had these adorable cocktail napkins created by The Emerald Hound that included a hand-drawn photo in gold foil of our fur baby, Apollo!" says the bride.
A Lovely Bar Arrangement
A gold-lettered bar menu showcased the drinks that were on offer.
Celebrating with Bubbly
Alex and David toasted their new status as husband and wife with flutes of Champagne.
Elegant Escort Cards
Each of the escort cards by EG Lettering was pressed with a wispy dried flower.
A Beautifully Neutral Reception Space
Lake Tahoe's cool October temperatures brought the reception into the venue's cabin-like dining room. The space was filled with extra-long tables with neutral velvet linens and small pops of yellow, rust, and orange florals.
Perfect Place Settings
Gorgeous heath plates by Theoni Collection were accented with gold flatware and crystal glassware for a touch of Old-World charm. EG Lettering hand-calligraphed menus and place cards on hand-torn paper for each setting.
A Classic Cake
Fresh floral accents decorated two stacked tiers of Champagne and strawberry cake; cookies-n-cream crumb rounded out the bottom layer.
Photography, Jacqui Cole Photography
Venue, West Shore Café
Event Planning and Design, Ashley Creative Weddings & Events
Videography, Viby Creative
Flowers, Natasha Kolenko Designs
Paper Products, EG Lettering
Stir Sticks, SipHip Hooray
Cocktail Napkins, The Emerald Hound
Officiant, Matthew Sanford
Bride's Gown, Martina Liana
Shoes, Badgely Mischka
Hair and Makeup, Jolie Bridal Beauty
Groom's Attire, Balani
Cuff Links, Tiffany & Co.
Music, Raymond Chapman
Catering, West Shore Café
Cake, Lake Tahoe Cakes
Rentals, La Tavola Linen; Theoni Collection
Audio/Visual, Crux Events