Intimate Wedding at Tahoe Blue Estate | Emma + Connor

May 13, 2024

Couple standing on boulder at tahoe blue estate


This intimate April wedding at Tahoe Blue Estate wanted to give us a second winter.  Blusteringly frigid winds did not steal any joy from this intimate wedding at Tahoe Blue Estate. This sweet elopement was my 1st wedding of the year and started it on such a positive note.  This family exudes kindness and hospitality.  I was welcomed with open arms the moment I walked through the door.  Thank you so much Connor and Emma!

couple at tahoe blue estate up high on a boulder overlooking tahoe

What advice would you like to share with future couples getting married?

“Surround yourself with family and friends that care about you, support you and often times they will want to help – let them! Enjoy the process and don’t overthink all the things that need doing. BUT don’t compromise on your photographer and find one that you vibe with – be picky, it pays off!”

Is there anything you would have done differently?

We both would have loved to bring our dogs to Lake Tahoe. We have a german shepherd named Kai and a jack russell named Louis. Also may not have chosen sunflowers for the bouquet if I knew there would be snow on the ground haha! Probably could have asked for a last minute change a few weeks before but was trying to be low maintenance.

If you could sum up your wedding day in 5 words what would they be?

“Intimate, romantic, idyllic, authentic, raw (which is probably an odd word but I was just able to be completely myself with it being so small)”

I love that their families gathered in the windows to catch a peak of their first look! So sweet!

What is your most treasured memory or moment from your wedding?

“The whole day was just perfect. I made the decision to let go of all the little things that didn’t get done and then it was just about Connor and I. My best friend and I hiked that morning. Stunning views and weather. My sister and I put together the small flower vases and I love playing florist. I also felt very loved by my sister who braved the cold to help with the photos lol. Connor sent me a note while getting ready (cried) and my girlfriends all getting ready together made me so grateful to have them in my life. Saying our vows to one another in front of that view was surreal and something so magical. Before God and His awe inspiring creation placed there to remind us of His goodness. I remember every bit of it and was able to spend it with the most important people. And Connor and I stayed close to enjoy it *together* which was very important to me.”

What are you looking forward to next?

“After dating long distance for 3 years, we are excited to move to Amarillo and carve out our new lives together. We are moving there so that Emma can attend Texas Tech’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Connor will continue to pursue the his career in the natural gas industry. We cannot wait to join a church and build strong community that refines us as we grow. Veterinary school and equine medicine has been a life long dream of mine, so beginning that dream with my best friend and taking on this new adventure couldn’t be more exciting!!”

Anything else you’d like to share?

“You made everything so easy and comfortable with pictures and you lit up every room! Thank you so much!”

Vendor Team

Venue | Tahoe Blue Estate

Photography | Kirsten Zarek

Florist | Enchanted Florist 

Catering | Blend Catering

Hair + Makeup | Me Beauty

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I’m Kirsten—a wedding photographer here to guide you through this wildly exciting time…and toward the best lighting.

Ever since my days in the highschool darkroom, I’ve been enamored with the power images have to tell a compelling story. I went on to study photography and fashion at Savannah College of Art & Design and worked as an editor for a studio before founding Kirsten Marie Photography in 2012. Every day since, and I’ve fallen deeper in love with the art of wedding photography—there’s just nothing quite as fascinating and fulfilling as documenting the tenderness weddings bring out in people.

As someone who’s fairly spotlight-shy, I know how awkward being photographed can feel—which is why I work to bring an atmosphere of ease (and a wicked sharp sense of humor) to our time together. I pour my whole heart into hyping you up, getting you the material you deserve, and making sure you feel comfortable and cared for.

Beyond the lens, I’m a mom to two feisty girls. Translation: there’s no group I can’t wrangle, no mountain I can’t summit, and no trail I can’t traverse. While you’re soaking in sunsets and sipping champagne—you can find me crawling through bushes and traipsing through snowpack to get the best angle…and loving every single second of it. 

Bay Area & Lake Tahoe wedding photography

For the adventurous & open-minded