A Wedding Planner's Stunning Wedding at Martis Camp Near Lake Tahoe, California

Planned by Elise Events

couple

Photo by Joel Serrato 

How does a wedding planner say “I do?” Just ask Danielle Tolleson of Elise Events. For her wedding to Blake Williams, she went to her fiance’s favorite place, hired her favorite vendors to work with, and said "yes" to a stunning lace jumpsuit. Of course, she collaborated with her own team to ultimately host a guest-focused celebration at Martis Camp in Truckee, California, She and Blake invited 65 of their closest friends and family for the day, which included three wedding cakes, a band, and a DJ, and a giant welcome basket filled with their favorite treats. It all took place near Lake Tahoe, a special place for Blake, who grew up going to the lake most weekends from his hometown in Reno, Nevada.

“When searching for a venue, we wanted to make sure we had the elegant vibe of Tahoe while still incorporating relaxed and organic components for us and our guests,” Blake says. “Having dinner and dancing surrounded by beautifully lighted trees was more than spectacular.”

One of the many special touches is that the couple’s vendors were all wedding industry professionals who loved working with Danielle on past events. “It was more like having additional friends at our wedding than hired professionals, “ the groom adds. “Watching it all come to fruition and seeing Danielle’s design come to life was incredible.”

Read on for all the details of the couple’s northern California wedding, planned by Elise Events and photographed by Joel Serrato.

invitation suite
Photo by Joel Serrato
invitation suite
Photo by Joel Serrato
invitation
Photo by Joel Serrato

Danielle says that she really enjoyed working with The Idea Emporium to create custom paper goods, including the invitations, and event branding. “Carey helped us set the first tone of our wedding to really nod to Tahoe and us,” she says of the company’s Carey Lowe. The invitation suite featured a five-layer, topographical map of Lake Tahoe with hand-dyed and laser-cut pieces.

welcome box
Photo by Joel Serrato

Upon arrival, guests received a ceramic box filled with the couple’s go-to snacks like Mast chocolate bars, RX bars, Boxed Water, and Dardiman’s dry fruits.

letters
Photo by Joel Serrato
letters and flower petals
Photo by Joel Serrato

Each guest also received a personalized note and a small bag of flower petals to toss at the ceremony.

bride getting ready
Photo by Joel Serrato
bride holding mother's hand
Photo by Joel Serrato

Danielle got ready with her mother and sister-in-law. She describes the wedding party as “small but mighty” since it featured only three people: her brother, sister-in-law, and Blake’s cousin.

bride
Photo by Joel Serrato
bride
Photo by Joel Serrato

Danielle opted for a classic and timeless wedding gown from designer Tara LaTour, which she wore with a pair of Oscar de la Renta pearl hairpins, her grandmother’s diamond ring, and a romantic bouquet of garden roses, smoke bush, and miniature plums.

flowers
Photo by Joel Serrato
boutonierres
Photo by Joel Serrato

Danielle included her favorite flowers, hellebores, along with foraged foliage in the boutonnieres.

groom opening gift
Photo by Joel Serrato
typewriter
Photo by Joel Serrato

Blake opened a groom’s gift—a vintage typewriter—before the ceremony. “Blake has a strong love for all things antique and he loves metal material,” Danielle says of the inspiration behind the present. “My hope was that we would have an item to journal our adventures and milestones for years to come.”

groom
Photo by Joel Serrato
groom's accessories
Photo by Joel Serrato
groom and groomsmen
Photo by Joel Serrato

Blake wore a textured green wool jacket and brown pants as his wedding suit, a custom creation he designed with Tailors' Keep in San Francisco. He added a brown Ermenegildo Zegna tie and his father’s gold Gucci watch for the complete look.

table
Photo by Joel Serrato
bar
Photo by Joel Serrato

Guests were greeted with refreshments before the ceremony, which took place on the lawn overlooking the rolling foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

outdoor ceremony
Photo by Joel Serrato
wedding arch
Photo by Joel Serrato

Danielle and Blake count autumn as their favorite season, so they wanted rich fall colors incorporated into a light and romantic vibe for the June event. The chuppah was covered in a dreamy, dark smoke bush that was offset by the evergreen tones of the landscape in the backdrop, and guests sat at dusty rose-hued modern chairs.

chairs
Photo by Joel Serrato
chairs
Photo by Joel Serrato

On each seat was a small bag of flower petals to toss during the recessional.

chuppah
Photo by Joel Serrato
floral chuppah
Photo by Joel Serrato
drinks
Photo by Joel Serrato
chuppah
Photo by Joel Serrato

Danielle wanted to include nods to family during the ceremony, and one way was to use her grandfather’s tallit on the chuppah. They also both entered alongside their parents.

wedding ceremony
Photo by Joel Serrato

We wanted the day to feel intimate, surrounded by our family and dearest friends.

wedding ceremony
Photo by Joel Serrato 
bridal party
Photo by Joel Serrato

“From the moment we started the planning process, Blake and I both knew what we wanted our day to look and feel like,” Danielle says. “We wanted the day to feel intimate, surrounded by our family and dearest friends.”

wedding ceremony
Photo by Joel Serrato
jewish wedding ceremony tradition
Photo by Joel Serrato

Danielle’s uncle served as the officiant for the ceremony filled with Jewish traditions, and the couple’s three wedding party members looked on from beside the chuppah.

wedding ceremony
Photo by Joel Serrato
wedding ceremony
Photo by Joel Serrato

Adding specific anecdotes let our family and guests into our lives just a little bit more. Being able to make Danielle laugh and cry was such a beautiful memory that I will cherish forever.

groom stomping the glass at wedding
Photo by Joel Serrato
wedding ceremony
Photo by Joel Serrato

One of the couple’s best memories of the day was reciting their own personal vows. “Adding specific anecdotes let our family and guests into our lives just a little bit more,” Blake says of the vows. “Being able to make Danielle laugh and cry was such a beautiful memory that I will cherish forever.”

bride and groom kissing
Photo by Joel Serrato
bride and groom kissing
Photo by Joel Serrato
newlyweds hugging
Photo by Joel Serrato
bride and groom holding hands
Photo by Joel Serrato

“Blake absolutely blew me away with his vows,” Danielle adds. “They were romantic, funny, beautiful and silly all wrapped into one.”

wedding recessional
Photo by Joel Serrato
wedding recessional
Photo by Joel Serrato
bride and groom kissing
Photo by Joel Serrato
bride and groom walking
Photo by Joel Serrato

“After the breaking of the glass and kiss, guests tossed florals at us as we came back down the aisle as husband and wife,” Danielle says of walking up the aisle amid a shower of blooms.

bride and groom kissing
Photo by Joel Serrato

I gained a whole new level of respect and love for her throughout the planning process.

bride and groom
Photo by Joel Serrato

“I gained a whole new level of respect and love for her throughout the planning process,” Blake says of seeing his new wife’s professional skills up close while organizing the wedding.

lounge area
Photo by Joel Serrato
lounge area
Photo by Joel Serrato

Various lounge areas were set up around the camp for guests during cocktail hour.

signature cocktails
Photo by Joel Serrato
signature cocktail and custom napkin
Photo by Joel Serrato

The signature drinks included custom ice cubes that featured the couple’s wedding logo as well as linen napkins embroidered with the logo.

escort cards
Photo by Joel Serrato
escort card candles
Photo by Joel Serrato
escort card candles
Photo by Joel Serrato

The escort cards were attached to lavender-scented votive candles and displayed alongside custom matchbooks with lyrics from the first dance song. “Candles are a favorite in our household, and we couldn’t think of anything more fitting than to send our favorite people home with one,” Danielle says.

reception tables
Photo by Joel Serrato
reception tables
Photo by Joel Serrato

To echo autumn in the reception décor, Danielle used rich colors like mauve, dusty rose, and rust on the wood tabletops alongside earth-toned flowers and textured taper candles.

reception tables
Photo by Joel Serrato
table and bar
Photo by Joel Serrato

To lighten up the look, guests sat in white wishbone chairs and white porcelain ceramics dotted the tablescape.                                       

centerpiece
Photo by Joel Serrato
centerpiece
Photo by Joel Serrato
centerpiece
Photo by Joel Serrato

Centerpieces, made by Natasha Kolenko Design, included ceramic vases filled with garden roses, textured taper candles—another nod to the couple’s love of candles—and bowls of fresh fruit.

place setting
Photo by Joel Serrato

Danielle absolutely loved the place settings designed by The Idea Emporium. Each featured a letterpress menu and a custom napkin printed with each guest’s name.

child playing at wedding
Photo by Joel Serrato
matching game
Photo by Joel Serrato

Since the “littlest guests were just as important,” Danielle and Carey Lowe of The Idea Emporium came up with a handmade wooden matching game to include with the children’s place settings. They featured engraved drawings of Lake Tahoe-inspired elements and the couple’s wedding logo.

wedding meal
Photo by Joel Serrato
wedding meal
Photo by Joel Serrato
bride and groom
Photo by Joel Serrato

The dinner menu was especially meaningful to Danielle and Blake. They worked closely with the Martis Camp culinary team to design dishes that represented their relationship, including recreating their favorite arugula and fennel citrus salad.

groom hugging friend
Photo by Joel Serrato
bride and groom
Photo by Joel Serrato
bride and groom giving a toast
Photo by Joel Serrato

“Don’t lose sight of the most important thing: each other,” Danielle says. “Enjoy every minute.”

bride and groom
Photo by Joel Serrato
bride and groom
Photo by Joel Serrato

After dinner, Danielle changed into a second look, a lace-and-silk jumpsuit by Rime Arodaky. “I have followed Rime for a while and love how modern and edgy her pieces are,” Danielle says. “It was fun, playful, and sexy—the perfect thing to wear to the party portion of the day.”

dessert display
Photo by Joel Serrato
wedding cake
Photo by Joel Serrato
wedding cake
Photo by Joel Serrato

Blake, admittedly, has a sweet tooth, so desserts were a big deal. Instead of one wedding cake, the couple had three.

cookies
Photo by Joel Serrato
French macarons
Photo by Joel Serrato

There were cookies and French macarons, too, all displayed on modern glass shelves next to the dance floor.

hora
Photo by Joel Serrato
bride and groom kissing
Photo by Joel Serrato

Danielle’s favorite DJ from Truckee kept guests on the dance floor, including for the hora. After the wedding, the couple set off on a honeymoon to London to explore a place neither of them had ever been. “We fell in love with the British lifestyle—the palaces, the Tube, the theater—and cherished every day,” Danielle says.

Wedding Team

Venue Martis Camp

Planner Elise Events

Bridal Gown Tara LaTour, from Swoon Bridal Salon

Reception Dress Rime Arodaky

Shoes Christian Louboutin; Jimmy Choo

Hair & Makeup Seven 31

Bridesmaids' Dresses IRO

Mother of the Bride's Dress St. John

Groom’s Attire Tailor’s Keep; Ermenegildo Zegna; Santoni

Groomsmen's Attire Tailor’s Keep

Children Attendants' Attire Go Gently Nation

Floral Design Natasha Kolenko Design

Stationery The Idea Emporium

Music Brian Hess Music

Catering Martis Camp

Cake Paper Heart Patisserie

Rentals Found Rentals; La Tavola Fine Linen; Theoni Collection

Favors The Idea Emporium

Videography Johnny B Films

Photography Joel Serrato

Related Stories