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Sam & Derek | A Gatekeeper’s Museum Wedding at Lake Tahoe

Gate Keepers Museum Wedding

August 4, 2019

I’m Kristen.
A mom, wife, and creator of pretty pictures and a stress-free photography experience. Use this blog to see more real families, couples, wedding days, and get all my favorite planning tips!
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Gimme that

When Sam & Derek reached out for their wedding photography, I always ask how they met. Instead of just a small backstory, Sam sent me the link to their wedding site, where they each had their own version of how they met! While Sam’s version was very sweet, Derek’s was told from a fairytale perspective, which was hilarious, but also fit perfectly with the whimsical feel of their wedding day.

Sunday morning started out with a little adventure! I had planned to get there a bit early so that we would have plenty of time to check in and get to know Kelsey, Claire, & AnnaMaria. Well, thanks to a little GPS mishap, we ended up at the WRONG suite! How does this even happen?!? Yes, I’m talking to you Apple Maps! Anyway, I was so thankful for the moment Brandi (my second photographer and partner in crime for the day) figured out what went wrong and got us back on track! Whew!! When we finally arrived to the suite (still early, mind you, just not quite as early as I had intended) where Sam was getting ready. And let me just say that Sam was probably one of the most relaxed brides I’ve worked with! Even when things were running a bit behind, she was just so calm, which in turn lessened the mental stress on myself for trying to keep us on schedule! However, we managed to get everything back on track just after the first look!

When we arrived to the ceremony & reception site, Derek was waiting for us down by the lake. Sometimes grooms are nervous and shaking just before the first look, but he was absolutely full of excitement! Watching the two of them interact during this time was just so sweet and Derek actually started crying a bit! It was seriously one of the sweetest moments I’ve been fortunate enough to witness! At one point, I heard him tell her that he’s waited over 5 years for this day to come. Talk about a tear jerking moment, which was only made sweeter by the scrapbook that Sam had spent countless hours making for him. Y’all, I am serious, this is one of the sweetest couples and the love they share is so evident. When I finally let you get to the point of seeing their images, you’ll be able to see just how much Derek and Sam adore each other!

There is just so much to tell about their wedding day as there were a couple of surprises in store. Not only did they have an amazing first dance choreographed that ended in them quite literally pulling their guests onto the dance floor, but they also shared that are BOTH changing their last names! They decided to blend both of their last names to create a NEW last name. Everyone, it’s finally time to meet the new Mr. & Mrs. Mearadas!!

Sam & Derek, Thank you both so much for allowing Brandi & I to be there with you to celebrate! I hope you enjoy your Honeymoon in New Zealand!


Venue: Gatekeepers Museum

Planner: AR Weddings & Events

Hair & Makeup: A Mermaid Perry

DJ: My Reno Events

Cake & Desserts: Lake Tahoe Cakes

Second Photographer: Brandi Kaysen Photography

Groom’s Wedding Attire: Men’s Warehouse & David’s Bridal

Bride & Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal

Photography: CK Photography

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