Have you ever seen the crystal blue waters of Lake Tahoe or breathtaking Gardnerville valley? If you are dreaming of wedding pictures with majestic mountains, lavender fields, or pine tree meadows, the Reno/Tahoe area is your destination.
The nice thing about Reno is that it has an international airport and ample lodging for your wedding party and guests. From the city’s high rise hotels and nightlife to the country’s endless landscapes of mountains, greenbelt and high-desert sunsets, this region is full of beauty.
Considered the gem of the west coast, Lake Tahoe is a crystal-clear glacier lake surrounded by snowy mountains most of the year. It’s water visibility is a deep 70 feet and cruises run daily for you to see it. When clouds allow, sunsets here can be astonishing.
Lavender Ridge is a colorful option for your destination wedding. Full of fields of purple and silver lavender that seem to go forever, this Reno venue has an outdoorsy, elegant, rustic theme.
Nestled in a huge desert valley, Sparks, Nevada is surrounded by hills and mountains and is home to memorable sunrises and sunsets. Just minutes from the Reno Tahoe International Airport, weather patterns unique to the area cause beautiful clouds to form and turn color. When the sun sets, the skies turn purple, pink, orange, yellow, silver and gold.
Although you likely won’t be able to plan your wedding around cloud patterns, having them appear on your wedding day is an added bonus. 30-40% of the skies in this area are cloudy-a wedding photographer’s dream.
If it snows on your wedding day, your photographer and makeup artist will be able to handle adjusting, especially if they are local professionals used to the weather. If you are lucky enough to get pictures with snowfall, cherish them-they can be just as beautiful as sunny shoots.
Weather in Reno and Tahoe is unpredictable. Most locals will tell you to plan for any kind of weather, as some Julys have seen snow and some Januarys have seen barbeques. Temperatures are usually chilly to warm, ranging from 30F degrees to 98F.
Indoor weddings are common in Reno as the city is one of the original mining establishments from the 1800’s silver rush. Casinos emerged as the first skyscrapers in the town and now cater to events and vacationers. An indoors city wedding will shelter you from sporadic weather and will make it easier to navigate the town during wedding week.
Because local casinos earn more revenue from conventions and special events, pricing at these hotels is attractive. A great option for smaller-budget weddings, casinos are a one-stop-shop for your venue, catering, DJ, photographer and lodging. These resorts have the capacity to cater to large weddings as well, and they remove the need for transportation since everything is handled on location.
How do you plan your Reno / Tahoe desintation wedding? Come stay for a few days and tour the different locations. Enjoy Reno’s Midtown District with it’s quirky shops and delicious modern food. Stop in for lavender-based products at Lavender Ridge. Take a beach day up at Lake Tahoe. Better yet, take the three-hour cruise and see the lake in it’s entirety.
Remember to take an afternoon to visit David Wally’s Hot Springs in Genoa for a spa day and fine dining. The place resembles the Old West and is on the Nevada prairie in Genoa. Rooms with a view overlook an immense valley that is surrounded by mountains.
The Atlantis Casino Resort Spa has one of the top 100 restaurants in America and an award-winning spa. Just a mile away, the Peppermill Spa and Resort looks like Tuscany with beautiful fountains and art. Be sure to eat at the venues while visiting-the casinos in Reno have some of the best restaurants in town.
Getting married in the woods is a favorite for couples who seek a casual setting. With pine needles and grass covering the ground, you can plan to wear boots, sandals or flats. Views are cozy with pine and aspen trees surrounding your venue. If you like the outdoors, this is an option worth looking into.
Known as The Biggest Little City in the World, Reno has its nickname for a reason. With beauty comparable to other destinations worldwide, weddings in Reno, Tahoe, Genoa, Sparks, or Gardnerville are accessible and affordable. There is room for all and ample activities for you and your wedding party to enjoy the region before and after your big day.
Rebecca Schembri is a Published Hair and Makeup Artist and Director of Breeze Salon in Reno