|A rainbow greeted us as we reached the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe; the ski lift between the hotel and North Star Ski Resort is seen in the foreground.|
|Recently I was welcomed into the beauty and luxury of the brand new Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe for two incredible days and nights. Several Bay Area wedding planners were invited to experience first-hand this "Mountain Top" wedding venue so we can confidently recommend it to couples who are looking for a truly unique wedding venue. The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe has been open for little over a year, and is as yet undiscovered by many people. First time visitors arriving to attend a wedding here are immediately in awe of the massive wood and rock structure, and surprised by the personal and cozy atmosphere permeating entire Lodge like interior.|
As a part of helping us understand what a wedding ceremony and reception would be like at the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe, the event staff created a wedding rehearsal dinner, as well as an entire wedding reception for us to experience, with cocktails, 5 course dinner and a dessert bar, just as it could be for one of our clients.
First was the Fall themed Cocktail Reception, with design and decor by Sara Spurlock of Bellissima Floral Creations in the Tahoe area
Enjoying a glass of wine in the ballroom pre-function space with from left, Kelly Dolata, her assistant Tracey, Jubilee Lau, me, Michelle Barrionueva-Mazzini, Andrea Daly, Director of Catering Sales for the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe, and Janece Shellooe.
Dinner was presented in the Ballroom amidst a Winter Wonderland theme with sparkling crystal table runners, hundreds of candles, linens and florals in shades silver, light blue and ivory.
The food was all as elegantly presented and incredibly flavorful as this second course Seared Sea Scallops with fresh corn and micro greens.
The last treat of the evening was to have been presented outside, but due to the chance of rain for that evening, the dessert buffet was moved inside. We were all happy to enjoy this delicious display wherever it was; many of us took our coffee and treats out to the fire pit to relax and enjoy the full moon over the mountains...happily the rain did not materialize.
The chef created a wedding cake for the evening so we could see the intircacies of his cake design including the hand made candy flowers.
One especially welcome treat for tired wedding planners was an afternoon in the Ritz-Carlton Spa Lake Tahoe; before our treatments, the Spa Director gave us a tour of the entire facility which is one of the most extensive spa facilities in any of the Ritz-Carlton properties. This couple's massage/hot tub area was particularly inviting, reminding me of the couples I work with in planning their weddings whom I would love to have enjoy relaxing in this ideal location.
On the last day of our visit, the Ritz-Carlton Catering team provided shuttles to drive us down to Lake Tahoe to tour a very exclusive venue, Thunderbird Lodge, where many couples choose to have their wedding ceremony and cocktails, followed by their dinner/dancing reception at the Ritz-Carlton.
Thunderbird Lodge was built by George Whittell and named after his famous yacht, The Thunderbird.
Kelly, Jubilee, Andrea, myself and Elisheva Basseri enjoying the beauty of Lake Tahoe from the lawn at Thunderbird Lodge just before we left to return to our work in the Bay Area.
I hope that each of you are able to enjoy the newest treasure to be discovered in the Lake Tahoe area; for snow boarding and skiing, hiking, mountain biking and summer sports of all kinds, the location is perfect; but as far as as a wedding planner is concerned, the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe is the perfect spot for an elegant mountain wedding celebration! I hope to introduce some engaged couples to the possibility of a Mountain Top wedding in 2012 and beyond!