SQUAW CREEK, LAKE TAHOE, NY
Francesca and Justin first met at six a.m. at an aquatic center where Justin was a Masters Swim Team coach and Francesca a new swimmer in his class. Francesca felt attracted, but was occupied with studying for her medical exams. Still, they saw each other frequently at Starbucks where she studied and he would “breeze in for tea.”
The couple began dating after a humorous incident. Francesca woke up late for swim class and raced out to her car and down the street. She was promptly pulled over for speeding, causing her to be even later! Fortunately the officer was impressed with her commitment to work out so early in the morning, and he let her go. Francesca decided to use this incident as a basis to ask Justin out for coffee and apologize for being late. But he interrupted her invitation to say, “If you want to make it up to me for being late, why don’t you take me out for coffee!”
The proposal began with a treasure hunt that included clues found under car mats, at the YMCA, at a grocery store, at Starbucks, and finally under a park bench.
At that point, Justin jumped out from behind a tree and escorted Francesca to a walkway lined with candles leading to another bench, where a catered three-course dinner awaited. Then, in the middle of the park, he got down on one knee and proposed.
The couple chose a nondenominational wedding that incorporated Francesca’s Catholic and Justin’s Protestant faiths. Symbolic touches included passing their rings to each attendant for a prayer or blessing and presenting each family with a rose as a thank-you for their nurturing. The two also wrote their own vows—“the best part of the whole ceremony,” Francesca says.
The winter wedding featured a wintery decor with glass, crystal, and hints of blue, along with white and blue floral arrangements. Francesca’s mother made a crystal tree with more than two thousand dangling crystals.
To reflect Francesca’s Italian heritage, accordion and mandolin players entertained during cocktails, and her family danced the tarantella.
To further personalize the occasion, two signature drinks, the Texas Tornado and the California Breeze, represented the couple’s states of origin. A sumptuous reception dinner was catered by Squaw Creek Resort’s culinary staff, and the wedding cake maintained the winter theme with silver nonpareils resembling tiny snowflakes.
Due to Francesca’s medical residency, the couple postponed their honeymoon, staying on in Lake Tahoe for a few more days.
Wedding Consultant: Ben English
Ceremony & Reception Site: Squaw Creek
Photographer: Arrowood Photography
Officiant: Ann Poole
Bridal Salon: Riverside Gown Shop
Hair Stylist: Diana Alouise
Makeup Artist: Carrie Canisso
Jewelry: Nicolas Alexander LTD
Bridesmaid Designer: Ann Taylor
Formalwear: Men’s Wearhouse
Caterer & Cake: Resort at Squaw Creek
Favors: Dean & Deluca
Invitations: Paper Moon
Florist: Sheila Hohenstein
Rentals: William Furs, full length white fur
Entertainment: Best Bet Entertainment
Rehearsal Dinner: Graham’s at Squaw Valley
Wedding Night Accommodations:
Resort at Squaw Creek
Gift Registry: Macy’s, Bed Bath and Beyond,
Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn