Tahoe Weddings & COVID-19

During this unprecedented time it is our greatest hope that you are staying healthy and adapting the best you can to the changes to your every day life that the Coronavirus has dictated. This last week definitely has been a whirlwind of news and information for Tahoe weddings and COVID-19.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends social distancing and restricting large gatherings (no more than 10 people). This greatly impacts so, so many Tahoe weddings that were planned to take place within the next 3 months and the growing reality is that they will need to be postponed to a later date.

My words cannot convey enough how our hearts break for you, all the couples postponing and rescheduling their dream Tahoe weddings and the couples faced with this looming decision. We completely understand the emotional roller coaster that you are on but this is the time to breathe, remain positive and stay calm (and have that extra glass of wine!).

If you are getting married in 2020, the below FAQs can help to address the next steps and questions related to the COVID-19 virus and Lake Tahoe weddings. We are here at Merrily Wed to help however we can, we know that postponing a wedding is a difficult decision with many ramifications and logistical issues. We are here to help guide you through this process, be the extra shoulder for you to lean on and provide as much assistance as we can.

TAHOE WEDDINGS – LET US HELP

If you would like to discuss your 2020 Tahoe wedding over the phone, Skype, Facetime or Zoom, please feel free to use this link to schedule a time, we would love to offer our professional advice as best we can. Or please connect with us through our Inquiry Form.

 

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FAQ

From our industry colleagues and the editors at Style Me Pretty:

SHOULD I POSTPONE MY WEDDING?

Unfortunately, any couple whose wedding was planned for sometime in the next 3 months needs to postpone and reschedule the wedding for a later date. As much as weddings matter, people matter more. And it’s our social responsibility to make sure we’re keeping not just our loved ones safe, but the community at large. Couples will still get to celebrate and that is still so important, but right now it’s more important that we think about the greater good and keeping others safe.

Any weddings planned for the next 3 months need to get postponed unless it’s a local elopement (with just the two of you). But even any weddings beyond 3 months need to start thinking about postponement. Any weddings that require people to travel (especially international destination weddings) should consider postponement or adjusting locations. Any weddings over 50 guests will want to start thinking about postponing or downsizing. But beyond the type of wedding you’re having, it’s important to also assess how you feel. Your level of comfort and fear (for yourself and your guests) will play a big factor in your decision to postpone. If you want your wedding to be 100% safe, you’re going to have to postpone until things have calmed down and you’re no longer putting people in danger.

WHERE TO BEGIN IF I HAVE TO POSTPONE MY WEDDING?

Begin the process of rescheduling as soon as possible. All of your vendors may not be available on the same future date, but choose your top 4 or 5 and see if you can get them to align. The remaining will fall into place and the community is working together to assist with referrals whenever possible. Stay positive and do your best to stay calm, this unfortunate situation is beyond your control. If you are forced to reschedule know this is for the best interest of you, your family and friends. Postpone rather than cancel, you can still have the wedding of your dreams and your vendors will make that happen. While this situation is very challenging, don’t panic. Trust your vendor team and know that we are all doing everything we can to help you reschedule and still have the amazing wedding that you’ve been dreaming of. And, stay focused on the end result.

Stay positive and do your best to stay calm, this unfortunate situation is beyond your control. If you are forced to reschedule know this is for the best interest of you, your family and friends. Postpone rather than cancel, you can still have the wedding of your dreams and your vendors will make that happen.

WHAT DATES WILL BE AVAILABLE?

The venue’s (availability) should be your first call for available dates. Then your next top 4-5 vendors. Be open to a Friday or Sunday. If a Friday or Sunday is not desirable, be open to a winter wedding or a spring/summer 2021 wedding.

HOW CAN I POLITELY INFORM MY GUESTS?

If you have a wedding website, first renew the domain (most expire in a year). Then, update the website with all information regarding a new date. Draft an e-mail / text message to your guests informing them that for their safety and yours you have decided to postpone. Let them know you’ve successfully rescheduled to a new date and that your wedding website will be updated with any further information.

Guests are expecting to hear — they WANT to know, and they will be understanding. Use an email as the main platform and perhaps an Instagram post as a follow up.Telephone calls are best for the elderly – it’s best if they hear it directly from the bride and groom.

An email could be along these lines:

To our Dearest Loved Ones,
We have made the difficult decision to move our wedding to a later date, due to the current health threats. We love you all dearly and our collective safety is our highest priority. We look forward to celebrating our wedding when all of our guests are able to attend and enjoy the experience to the fullest. We will be in touch as soon as we have more information about when that will be.

Thank you so much for all of your support, love and understanding.

 

WHAT ORGANIZATIONAL STRATEGIES SHOULD I BE DOING IN ORDER TO CONTINUE MY WEDDING PLANNING PROCESS? EVEN IF I’M NOT GETTING MARRIED IN THE NEXT 3 MONTHS?

Start by re-reading your contracts and understand what you originally agreed to. And then talk to your vendors and find out what happens if you postpone/cancel. Keep a list of the information for each vendor so you can easily reference it as needed. This sheet will also help if/when you start discussing new dates so you can keep track of who is available on which dates. Once you have a new date or you cancel with a vendor, make sure you get a new proposal and contract amendment with that information. For those not postponing or cancelling at this time but have a wedding this year, it’s important to start thinking about a Plan B.

Start thinking about postponement or cancellation in case you need to make that decision so you know what you want to do. Get that same information from your vendors, so that you’re ready if/when the time comes. And for any vendors you haven’t contracted but are talking to, make sure you have a discussion about their policies and you feel comfortable with them before you sign. Given the state of things and the uncertainty, you need to be make sure you’re covered and you understand what could happen if postponement or a cancellation has to happen.

There is going to be an influx of weddings for Fall / Winter 2020 due to the amount of reschedules, so current clients who are booked and actively planning at this time should continue to secure vendors.

 

AVAILABLE DATES

Please inquire with us regarding our available dates for Tahoe weddings in the late summer, fall and early winter. These dates are constantly changing (change is our new constant!) so I am not posting any dates here.

 

With Love, Light and Hope,

Merrily

 

Wedding Favors & Gift Ideas for the Guys | Merrily Wed Lake Tahoe Weddings

Male-Friendly Wedding Favors and Gift Ideas

As you know or you may be finding out, it takes a lot to prepare for a wedding. It equally takes a lot of time and money for friends and family to come celebrate with you. This is why wedding favors are a nice expression that you truly appreciate and love having them there with you on your wedding day.

A key thing to note is that not everyone will love the same gift. To be precise, the guys might want something a bit different from what the girls might fancy.

So what do you get them? A truck-load full of beer? Well, not really…

There are a lot of ideas you can select from, even customize. If you’re looking for guy-friendly wedding favors and gift ideas read on for 8 fun suggestions that the men will actually use!

Personalized Drink Stirrer

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ETSY.COM: While a truck-load full of beer will be overkill, a personalized drink stirrer sporting each guy’s name will be a gift that will last beyond the weekend. You can have this set at each guy’s place setting, with the gold finish complimenting your wedding style.

You can have party-inspired words form the writing or be a bit more personal and have each guy’s name engraved on it.

 

Ginger Ray Kraft Matchbox

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AMAZON.COM: If you are having a rustic themed wedding, then this matchbox will be a great idea for a wedding favor to give your male guests. They are also budget friendly – but be sure to check with your venue regarding their policy on open flames.

The box comes with a nice thank-you note written on top, so the gentlemen will always feel appreciated anytime they pull out this beautiful matchbox.

 

Magnet Letters

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NOTONTHEHIGHSTREET.COM: There are a lot of ideas and areas where these magnet letters will stick! A great start would be at your reception on a favor table or incorporated into the place setting. These magnet letters are very versatile wedding favors, thanks to their ability to stick on important surfaces where they are a friendly reminder.

Stick them on filing cabinets, fridge doors or anywhere a magnet calls home.

And since they’re designed to spell out words or names, you can get highly specific with this one for a more special touch.

 

Red Hot Chili Seeds

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Since I grew up in the Land of Enchantment (aka New Mexico), this next suggestion is close to my heart and taste buds!

WEDDINGINATEACUP.CO.UK: You can spice up your men’s kitchen by giving them this special bag of chili seeds that they can plant later. The seeds in the bag are for Jalapeno chili, one of the easiest chilies to grow.

The best part is that you can customize the bag with your names and the date/location of your wedding reminding them of the incredible time at your wedding.

 

Silver Effect Photo Frame

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WILKO.COM: This is a beautiful and useful idea! Where will the guys keep the gorgeous photo of himself and his date at your wedding? In this silver photo frame. The frame measures 6 inches by 4 inches and is designed to not only hold photos but you can also make these work double time as place cards at each guests’ place setting or a table number.

Thanks to the simplistic design, it will work well within many home decor styles and give their walls a personalized touch.

 

Hot Tabasco Sauce

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TABASCO.COM: Before the jalapeno chili seeds grow, the boys will surely need something to keep their taste buds spiced up. A good helper for that would be hot sauce from Tabasco.

But isn’t this product already branded?

Well, technically not. Tabasco allows you to add your custom name, brand, and logo to their 1/8oz mini-bottles. This makes their hot sauce a perfect choice for spicy wedding favor and gift!

 

Flask and Pocket Knife Gift Set

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GROOMSMENGIFTSOURCE.COM: Some outdoorsy men would love a wedding favor that they can use while camping or hiking. If that describes a lot of guys on your guest list, then this item is a natural choice!

This gift set comes with a pocket knife and flask, both of which have been made out of high-quality stainless steel. You can have these items personalized with initials or names of the recipient.

 

Mini Glass Bottle with Cork Stopper

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CONFETTI.CO.UK: This is a great destination wedding favor! If your male guests have limited space but you still want them to depart with a gift, then this guy-friendly small glass bottle with a cork stopper might be the ticket. Yes, it can’t hold that much liquor or sand, but it can hold a lot more memories.

Customization Tip – tie a nice token at the neck of the bottle such as a mini rum drum just to spice things up. Even better, you can personalize this item to have your names, date or wedding location written on it.

 

Tahoe Signature of Style,

 

 

 

 

Smitten by a S’Mores Cake | Merrily Wed Lake Tahoe Weddings

Yummm – everyone loves a warm, just-off-the-fire s’more! And the nostalgic, comfort feeling they instill…  Nothing goes hand-in-hand better than Lake Tahoe, the mountains and s’mores but sometimes incorporating these into your Tahoe wedding might be difficult with open fire rules, the thought of dripping marshmallow on fine silk or maybe it just doesn’t go with your wedding style/look for the big day. The rehearsal dinner can be a good option OR how about a s’mores cake!?!

 

S'Mores Cake, Courtesy of Sweetapolita.com, Merrily Wed, Lake Tahoe Weddings

From the glorious kitchen of Canadian baker and blogger Sweetapolita, this sinful 6-layer rich chocolate malted and toasted marshmallow cake will be a crowd pleaser and have your guests coming back for more. The marshmallow filling is full of marshmallows actually toasted in the oven – these little details are what really makes (and takes!) the cake.

S'Mores Cake, Courtesy of Sweetapolita.com, Merrily Wed, Lake Tahoe Weddings

6 layers of dark, moist chocolate cake sandwiching alternating rich and fluffy frosting: satiny Belgian chocolate malted frosting and creamy toasted-marshmallow vanilla frosting with bits of actual crispy marshmallow in every bite. Strangely, the finished cake is not really super sweet–it’s more rich, light, and creamy sweet…

S'Mores Cake, Courtesy of Sweetapolita.com, Merrily Wed, Lake Tahoe Weddings
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Okay, mouth-watering yet? No more teasing, here is the recipe for an 8″ round 6-layer cake courtesy of Sweetapolita:

Rich Chocolate Cake

This is for three 8″ pans, but the layers will be a bit more shallow if you use the recipe as it is written. If you double the recipe, you will be able to fill the pans 2/3 full, resulting in thicker layers. You will have some remaining batter, with which you can make cupcakes, etc. You can also increase by 50%.

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup Cacao Barry Extra Brute Cocoa Powder (or similar premium brand)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup strong black coffee
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespooon pure vanilla extract

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare 3 x 8″ cake pans with butter and flour or parchment paper. In bowl of electric mixer, sift all dry ingredients. Add all remaning ingredients to bowl with the dry ingredients and with paddle attachment on mixer, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed (you may need the plastic splashguard that comes with mixer) and pour into prepared pans. Batter will be liquidy.

Bake for 20 minutes and rotate pans in oven. Cakes are done when toothpick or skewer comes clean–approximately 35 minutes. Try not to overbake. Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes then gently invert onto racks until completely cool.

Malted Belgian Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients:

1 lb butter (4 sticks or 2 cups) at room temperature
4 cups icing sugar (confectioners’ or powdered)
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup Ovaltine Classic (brown in colour)
8 oz Pure Bittersweet chocolate, premium brand – chopped and melted
1/2 cup whipping (35% fat) cream

Method:

In a bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine the icing sugar and butter and beat on low speed for about 1 minute. Add vanilla and malt powder, and beat on low until well combined. Add the melted chocolate and beat on medium speed until smooth (about 2 minutes). Add whipping cream and beat on med-high speed for another minute. Best used right away.

*Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Chocolate Frosting recipe

Toasted-Marshmallow Frosting

Ingredients:
16 large white marshmallows
1 cup icing sugar (confectioners’ or powdered)
1/2 lb butter (2 sticks, or 1 cup) at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 oz of Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Cream (or Marshmallow Fluff)

Method:

Place marshmallows on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Place on lower rack of oven, and broil marshmallows until nice and brown on top, between 30-60 seconds. Remove pan from oven and gently turn the marshmallows over, and broil until they are golden brown. Be sure to keep an eye on them–they burn very, very quickly. Combine butter and icing sugar in electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, on low until blended (about 1 minute). Add vanilla and mix on high for about 3 minutes. Add marshmallow cream and toasted marshmallows, and mix on lowest setting for about 1 minute.

S'Mores Cake, Courtesy of Sweetapolita.com, Merrily Wed, Lake Tahoe Weddings

This is a fresh, stylish way to introduce s’mores into your wedding reception with possibly a groom’s cake or cupcakes or even the showcase wedding cake!

Tahoe Signature of Style,

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Merrily Rocco Dishes the Inside Scoop to Catering Magazine | Merrily Wed® Lake Tahoe Weddings

I recently had the honor to dish the inside scoop to Catering Magazine on how to properly navigate ‘The Seating Game’ at an event or wedding. With many options today, which is the best for your next occasion?
In their Insider’s Insight feature, my discussion pulls from over a decade of experience in planning and designing Lake Tahoe weddings. From the formal evening dinner to the laid-back luncheon, the below article will be sure to give you many creative and effective ideas when the ‘dinner bell’ is rung!

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Catering Magazine, Merrily Wed, Merrily Rocco, Lake Tahoe Weddings, Wedding Reception

Catering Magazine, Merrily Wed, Merrily Rocco, Lake Tahoe Weddings, Wedding Reception

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A GoPro Wedding Proposal | Merrily Wed® Lake Tahoe Weddings

When Scott literally dropped on one knee to propose to Maureen, she had no idea what was happening nor that everyone would be able to watch it unfold later! We give complete props to Scott for pulling off this secret proposal and it brings tears to our eyes every time we watch it!

HowHeAsked.com absolutely loved this stealth proposal too and posted their GoPro wedding proposal for all to see! HowHeAsked.com is a beautiful collection of real life wedding proposals ranging from the traditional to the unusual. If looking for wedding proposal inspiration (whether you are a boy or a girl), this is the site for you!

In Scott’s eloquent words:
How we met: Maureen and I met just before Christmas in 2008 at a piano bar where she was out celebrating her friend’s graduation from college that fall and I was out celebrating a buddy’s birthday. She proceeded to “accidentally” knock my elbow off the bar and introduced herself. Upon hearing her name I “smoothly” replied that I loved her name, as it’s my grandmother’s name. We quickly found out that sharing my grandmother’s name would not be the only odd coincidence we would have, from us growing up within blocks of each other and attending the same church, but different masses, to her mom rescuing and returning my dog many years prior. One week after meeting we had our first date and have been together ever since.

Proposal-Picture

How he asked: I will start by explaining that we are not the type of couple that celebrates dating anniversaries, but as the 5 year mark began to roll around I knew I could get away with doing something for it without Maureen knowing what was coming. I decided that I was going to send her on a scavenger hunt ending in a dinner and fly my buddy in from Los Angeles, who is a cinematographer, to film the whole thing. The date was set and the flight for my buddy was bought… everything was ready to go. And then I received a phone call from Maureen who is a consultant and travels Monday through Thursday every week. She explained to me that things had gotten pretty crazy on the project and that they were going to have to work through the weekend… plan blown. At this point I had to improvise, so my buddy the cinematographer, who had flown in, helped me pick out a GoPro and set up a shot at the restaurant to capture the proposal. I continued on with the same plan, but moved it to the next weekend. Fortunately for me the next weekend was also technically the night of our first date 5 years later, so I could still operate under the auspice of celebrating an anniversary and Maureen would be none the wiser. The day began with Maureen having brunch with friends, and upon returning from brunch she came home to flowers and a scavenger hunt that was guided by me via video messages that I sent her throughout her day. The scavenger hunt ended with a car picking her up and taking her to the restaurant where we had our first date. Once she arrived I acted like dinner was the end of our 5 year anniversary celebration and continued to have a normal dinner, giving her no real indication of what was to come. On our first date at this restaurant 5 years ago one of the things we discussed was the most important qualities that we look for in people and mine was “loyalty” and hers was “honesty”. So the video picks up at the end of our dinner where I explain to her that I have “broken the honesty piece” from our first date.

We have been having a wonderful time planning with Maureen and Scott and we are so looking forward to their Lake Tahoe wedding later this year!

Tahoe Signature of Style,

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Plan Your Own Wedding | Merrily Wed® Lake Tahoe Wedding Planning

Plan Your Own Wedding, DIY Wedding Planning, Merrily Wed Academy, Wedding Planning CoachOnce the novelty of being engaged subsides (or even if doesn’t!), you can’t ignore the growing reality that you need to begin to plan your wedding. If your life is already scheduled to the max, how do you make the time for this?

How to plan your own wedding, much less where to begin, can seem very daunting. From glossy wedding magazines to e-newsletters, from blog-sites to wedding website collectives, from social media to bridal fairs….

You get the idea, the amount of available information is staggering. Besides not knowing exactly where to start, how do you know which available information is actually useful rather than a gimmick?

Most couples begin planning their wedding with little or no experience, yet have the pressure to get it ‘right’ from the first to last important decisions. Not much else in life comes with these expectations! When planning your own wedding, you cannot afford to waste time, money or your peace of mind.

So, if you are a newly engaged bride and wondering how to plan your own wedding, your options might look something like this:

1) Depend on your best friend, second cousin or a friend of a friend from work who was just married for her experience or advice that she received from the catering manager at the hotel where she was married. Maybe the printed info is still legible since she can’t seem to find the originals on her computer. Let’s hope your plans for the weddings are identical!

2) Quit your job so you will have time to surf through the millions of posts on wedding advice online and determine which posts are the best and most useful (hopefully). Load the advice to your phone, tablet and whatever else you may have so you can have it whenever you need it (if you remember). But which blog advice post do you start with? Then don’t forget the time to interview and hire the vendors for your wedding and, finally, decide upon all the fun details of the wedding! But who has the energy or time now for these?!? Whew!

3) Or you can enroll in the Merrily Wed® Academy and be coached on how to plan your wedding! This one-of-a-kind wedding planning coaching program takes a modern approach to DIY wedding planning consisting of daily lessons, a wedding coach and useful wedding tools and strategies.

Whichever option is ultimately best for you, make sure it is one that sets you up for success from the start, is convenient for your schedule, taps into professional planning experience and can deliver the results you desire!

Happy Wedding Planning!

Tahoe Signature of Style,

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