A Donner Lake Vow Renewal

Awhile back a good friend of mine and floral wizard, Stacey from Aster and Ash Florals were chatting and we decided to do another collaborative shoot together. Stylized/collaborative shoots are great for everyone as it gives all the vendors participating access to images they can use, plus they are a great way to network and are a ton of fun dreaming up! 

I was excited at the prospect of dreaming up another shoot but I wasn't excited about the prospect of using models. There isn't anything wrong with using models in any way shape or form -- it just felt a tad hypocritical for me to marketing myself as a genuine moments wedding photographer .... who uses un-genuine moments and models for her marketing.

Thus the idea was born to find a couple who had been married for 5 years or more and do an vow renewal instead of using models. This way the couple was real, the love was real, and the moments would indeed be very real. 

We had colors, a theme and a dream.

Some great friends of ours agreed to officiate and come along for the ride and it seemed as though everything was going to fall into place perfectly. 

We patted ourselves on the back saying how fun it was all going to be. 


Venues and vendors backed in and out and in again, dates were wrong, dates were changed, flowers she had planned to use didn't arrive on time, the location for the MUAH was too far to fit in the timeline of the day it seemed like any time we made a plan it crumbled moments later. All of the furniture we tried to get for the shoot had issues or we were literally seconds too late to claim. To top it off the Saturday before the shoot I ate something that had some sort of nasty germ in it and I hadn't been able to eat or drink almost anything in 3.5 days. 

I text Stacey so many times saying WHY IN THE WORLD IS THIS SO HARD TO PLAN!? 

It was also a really fantastic reminder to myself that I have no desire ever to be a wedding planner. 

It was also a great picture of love, of marriage. After the wedding bells are done and over the happily ever after begins, except it isn't always happy. There are road bumps, hiccups, unforeseen circumstances and trials along the journey. 

But love. 

Love that is rooted in something deeper, love that is committed to weather the storm. There is something so incredibly beautiful about a love that continues day in and day out. A love that says, I'm here -- no matter what. I won't leave you. 

Congratulations, Kyle and Candice, on 7 years of marriage! May you have 77 more. 

I can't believe this is my job. I'm so incredibly lucky to be able to capture love. 

In the end everything came together beautifully. There was laughter and whiskey. Gregg gave a beautiful ceremony and Kyle and Candice renewed their vows on a peaceful pier at Donner Lake. My husband was able to come (I love when he comes to shoots with me!) my dear friend Gina brought sparklers (FANTASTIC IDEA, Gina) and for a few hours despite all the chaos everyone just had a great time. 

I'm so thankful to everyone who made this happen, my husband for his never ending support as I chase my dreams, Stacey for her patience, her creative mind and kind soul, Tahoeentertainer.com for their beautiful table, chairs and decor (they really pulled it together!) Gina for always being up for an adventure and to lend a helping hand, Gregg for officiating and sharing beautiful words, and of course the lovely couple Kyle and Candice for their time and efforts into arranging the vow renewal. 

Here's a few of my favorite images from the day -- and also a behind the scenes pic of me shooting IN Donner Lake. BRRRR. Whatever it takes to get the shot -- am I right, photogs? 


Check out this crew on Instagram /// 

Me @imashleighmarie

Florals @asterandash

Table and Decor @theentertainer