Updated: Oct 29, 2018
If you were to get married when and where would you have it? This year, I have been to so many beautiful venues from Reno, Nevada to California in Napa and even on a cruise ship in San Francisco. While I enjoy traveling for weddings, I just LOVE serving beautiful couples in my home base of Reno, Nevada. We have a lot of breathtaking scenery around us like Truckee and Lake Tahoe that are both just a hop, jump, and skip away. But what I absolutely love is that there are also some lovely wedding venues that is closer than you think!
When my daughter falls asleep in the car during a drive, I typically just wait it out and drive around town until she wakes up. This is how I found the beautiful Lake Mansion on the corner of Arlington Avenue and Court Street in the heart of Reno. I had no idea this beautiful historic mansion even existed before this. I am a huge fan of wrap around porches and Victorianesque architecture which this structure had both. So I immediately became intrigued.
When I looked it up on Google, I found out that the Lake Mansion is a historic building. It was owned by Myron Lake who is considered the founder of Reno. The mansion was built in 1877 and Lake purchased the home two years later. The mansion has been moved twice to save it from demolition. It originally stood on the northwest corner of California and Virginia Streets. The lot that it stands on now was donated by the City of Reno and is now owned and maintained by Arts of All Nevada (AFAN), a non-profit organization.
The Lake Mansion is open for guided tours and private events. They also offer year-round art activities for all ages! I encourage you to take a tour of the mansion. You will be in awe at the long history it holds and the formal front and back parlors feature ornate antique furnishings. Not only is the mansion a beautiful venue for something like a romantic wedding ceremony but there is also the Garden Pavilion and courtyard which depending on the weather can accommodate up to 100 people. Just the perfect place to have an all-day celebration!
Since that day of driving past the mansion with my daughter asleep in her carseat, I have been dreaming up of a beautiful bridal photoshoot there. I originally had the shoot scheduled in August of this year but plans fell through. I was bummed it didn't happen then but I am also a great believer of fate; that things will happen when it should. So I reached back out to AFAN to inquire if the venue was still available for a photoshoot. I received a quick response from Laura Colten, she is the Marketing Manager at the mansion. Days later, I met with her at the mansion where she gave me and my daughter a private tour. It was a great experience! My daughter loved the grand piano in the front parlor and I was inspired by all the elegant antique furnishings. It is such an impressive venue and is just perfect for my vision!
The next day was the day of the photoshoot. I had an amazing team of local businesses who came together to make this styled shoot happen:
Rosa Mercedes, she is a talented hair and makeup artist with over one decade of professional beauty experience. She is born and raised in Reno but began her beauty career in the East Coast where she became one of the hairstylists for the NYC Bridal Fashion Week for top couture fashion designer Pnina Tornai and Mark Zunino of Say Yes to the Dress. She has found her way back home and is offering studio as well as on-site services for your special occasion. A mom of three; she is fun, personable and very easy-going! You'll not only feel beautiful after she's done her magic on you but you will also have made a new friend! You can join her beauty adventures on Instagram! Follow her at: @rosamercedesartist
I wanted to incorporate florals and a flower crown both with a soft color palette and I had the honor of working with Kelly Jo Smith of A Floral Affair. She is a wedding florist based out of Gardnerville but she does a lot of traveling as she also accommodates brides throughout the Reno/Tahoe area. With a background in Art and Interior Design, her artistic vision is original and stunning. Her flowers add that extra oomph in beautiful colorful detail for your wedding day! Check out her intricate creations on Instagram! Follow her at: @afloral_kjs
What is a bridal photoshoot without a bride? Rosa introduced me to this beautiful young lady, Jean Sue Murry. She is a UNR student studying to be a PA and is due to graduate in May! Even with her busy schedule, she is still able to fit in professional modeling jobs. She is such a sweetheart. Not only is she gorgeous outside but her kindness emanates and is gorgeous also in the inside! She did such a wonderful job in the gorgeous wedding gown by the glamorous fashion designer Zac Posen. She looked like a princess! Make another friend today and connect with her on Instagram at: @jeansuey
With everyone coming together and sharing our talents at the gorgeous venue that Lake Mansion is, we had a successful photoshoot. If you would like to visit Lake Mansion, you can visit their website and schedule a tour at www.artsforallnevada.org and they are also on Instagram. Follow them today! @lake_mansion
Laura, Rosa, Kelly Jo, and Jean Sue: Thank you so much for sharing your amazing skills and talents for this photoshoot. All of you ladies are truly incredible and I couldn't have made this vision come to life without any of you!
I am having a blast editing the photos from our styled shoot that I couldn't wait to share some of my favorites! If you have a chance to view these sneak peeks on your computer, I encourage you to do so. Enjoy!