Kelly & Mike’s Chill and Laid Back South Lake Tahoe Wedding
Welcome to another week of funky wedding inspiration! Mike is a fire fighter with the South Lake Tahoe Fire Department and Kelly started nursing school just recently. Family and community are very important to them and they had a big guest list so they opted for a relaxed party atmosphere where people they loved could chill and be themselves. This is pretty obvious in the photos because as you’ll see, everyone just let loose and had fun!
We have Lauren Lindley Photography to thank for the beautiful photos and here she is to tell us more about the special day:
Kelly and Mike had arranged for an hour of time for us to go to a nearby meadow for bridal party photos after their ceremony. What they forgot to tell me was that one of Tahoe’s fire trucks would be there for us to shoot with! It was probably the best wedding day surprise for me every as a photographer! They were wed on the beach in the Tahoe Keys with 250 friends, family and fellow fire department members present. There were lawn games, an epic dance party, quite a few Smirnoff “Icing” incidents, and a melting cake. That being said, nothing can melt your heart more than Kelly and Mike and their ridiculous adorableness.
The lovely Kelly is in nursing school AND working so things are a little hectic, which is why I’m grateful to photographer Lauren for offering to fill us in on the couple’s story and their special day. Over to you, Lauren!
Kelly was born and raised a Lake Tahoe Native. She had a very active lifestyle growing up including dance, tennis, softball, karate, basketball, volleyball, kayaking, and skiing. After graduating high school she moved to San Luis Obispo, CA to attend college. She fell in love with the town and after receiving not one but TWO associates degrees, decided she wanted to stay! After working in an ER as a tech, Kelly attended the Central Coast Paramedic Program where she fulfilled her long-time dream of becoming a Paramedic. After a short time working in Fresno, she moved back to Tahoe to be closer to her friends, family, and of course Mike. She is currently working at the local hospital as an ER tech while also going back to school in hopes of becoming an ER nurse. In between her busy schedule Kelly still loves anything to do with being outside.
Mike was born and raised in a small town north of Green Bay,WI. Mike grew up in a large family including 2 step sisters, 3 half brothers, and 4 half sisters. Kelly has really been tested in learning them all! Through the years Mike played football, baseball, golf, and boxing. He also enjoys the outdoors and continues to deer hunt in Upper Michigan every November. After high school Mike attended MATC in Madison,WI and achieved an associate degree in fire science. Following this career path led to paramedic school in Green Bay. After a year and a half as a full-time paramedic in Marinette, WI and the passing of his mother Bonnie from cancer, Mike decided to make a permanent move to the west coast. Mike moved to San Francisco and lived on his good friend Alissa Jensen’s couch for a few months. Realizing the city life was not for him he found himself pursuing a job in South Lake Tahoe. Luckily a short time later Mike was hired with SLTFD. He is currently a firefighter/paramedic and has been on the job for 6 and a half years. His move to the west coast turned out to be the best decision he has ever made. This is where he met his California girl and love of his life Kelly. He is incredibly lucky to have found such a wonderful person and looks forward to spending the rest of his life with her!
Kelly & Mike first met a few years before they started dating. A friend and co-worker of Mike’s introduced them. The sparks started to fly 3 years later when Mike invited Kelly to his house warming party.
Mike proposed to Kelly on the beach at sunset in Meek’s Bay, Lake Tahoe. They were there for an annual camping trip Kelly’s family has done with 4 other families since she was little. Since Kelly has a fairly small family (compared to Mike) these 4 families are really her extended family. After “cocktail hour” at camp, Mike asked Kelly to take a walk down to the beach, not an uncommon activity at camp during sunset. Once there, he got down on one knee and asked if Kelly would spend the rest of her life with him. After Kelly finally caught her breath again after a few minutes, she of course said YES!!! Once they had settled down and the ring was on her finger, they walked back up to camp to share the exciting news. That night was an extra special dinner and camp fire for the happy couple that Kelly and Mike will remember for ever.
We are super lucky to live in the fairly small rural “city” of South Lake Tahoe, CA. The local community is amazing and if you don’t know someone personally, you know someone who knows them. Bringing the fire truck out for special occasions isn’t unusual and the marriage of one of our own firefighters is certainly a special occasion. In the winter, one of the city’s fire trucks is decorated in Christmas lights and makes the rounds through all of the neighborhoods blaring Christmas music for some extra cheer. The entire community looks forward to it. Because we live in a high risk area for forest fires, I think I can speak for all of our community that we hold our local fire fighters in the highest of esteem. They are pretty amazing! Almost the entire fire department of South Lake Tahoe stopped by in some capacity to wish the couple well.
Because the guest list was so large (around 250!) they really wanted a laid back, relaxed atmosphere. Good friends of theirs lent their hands as DJ and caterers for all those folks!
The gifts were koozies, the beer was in ice buckets around the venue and the dance party went into the dark, when the entire wedding party moved to Kelly and Mike’s favorite local wateringhole, Steamers Bar and Grill, for the after party.
Huge thanks, Lauren, for sending your gorgeous images my way, and congratulations, Kelly & Mike! Sincerely wishing you a lifetime of married bliss. 🙂
Photography: Lauren Lindley Photography
Venue: Tahoe Keys Property Owners Association
Hair and Make-Up: Acqua Hair Design
Rentals: The Entertainer
Cupcakes: Cakes by Grace
Cake: Cork and More
DJ: Friend of the bride and groom
Caterers: Friends of the bride and groom
Image submission via Two Bright Lights