Megan and Steve | — Vesta Irene —

Megan and Steve


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Megan and Steve got married up at Lake Tahoe at Sonny’s BBQ and Grill, which used to be a very nice place to have your ceremony. The gazebo, where the ceremony takes place at Sonny’s is perfect and it makes the wedding couple feel and look special.

And it’s a wonderful, or at least it used to be, place for a reception. The staff changes out the chairs the guests used to observe the ceremony for the tables and chairs needed for the reception. And the food at Sonny’s is second to none.


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So why do I hint that it used to be a nice place for a wedding, implying that it might not be anymore.

Well, when Megan and Steve signed up for the venue the owner was a cordial guy who the immediately liked. However, he applied shortly after to this TV program that does restaurant makeovers and he was accepted.


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It seems that someone who wanted a successful restaurant in the Tahoe area was watching the TV program and decided that Sonny’s was the restaurant for her. So she bought the restaurant and in doing so, agreed to honor Megan and Steve’s wedding. But she did it with half a heart.


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They weren’t happy with the wedding party hanging around all day getting ready while they were doing business, so Megan moved herself and her bridesmaids to a hotel, which was good actually, from a photographer’s stand point, because the changing room they had at the restaurant was dark, dank and much too small.


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Still, even with their half half hearted support, they served up some of the best grub we’ve ever eaten, and the staff who waited the tables were superb and very friendly.


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The DJ was great, the area for the bride and grooms first dance was, unlike in a lot of places, very photographer friendly. The lights around the gazebo made for great photos after dark and the fenced area between the parking lot and the main dining area is only about three feet high, so the smokers outside could easily see what was going on inside, which was kind’ve cool.


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And I think the new restaurant owner might have been wrong about thinking a wedding on a Saturday night might have been bad for their bottom line, because I saw quite a few of Megan and Steve’s guests belly up to the bar. And everybody loved the food. And if you get off on a restaurant’s food, you’ll come back. You can’t have better advertising than word of mouth and I know that I’ve told lots of people how their food is.


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So, I guess what I’m saying here, if you want a good place to eat up at Tahoe on the California side, give Sonny’s a chance, you won’t be disappointed. But I don’t think they’re doing weekend weddings anymore. But if they are, check to see how enthusiastic they are about having you. They may have changed their minds about weddings. I hope they have.


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We did Megan and Steve’s engagement photos and we did a family photo session with them before the wedding, so we got to know them pretty well before the big day. That’s one of the advantages of engagement photography, it gives a wedding photographer a chance to work with and get to know the couple, so they’re comfortable with their photographers.

A bride has a lot on her plate on her wedding day and with that comes a lot of worries. We try to ensure that she doesn’t have to worry about her photographers.


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There were a few nervous moments with the venue, but they somehow got sorted out and by the time Megan’s brother walked her down the aisle, everyone present knew it was going to be a perfect wedding. And it was.


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It’s hard sometimes for photographers to pull their cameras away from a beautiful bride, no matter how handsome her groom. And make no mistake, Steve is a handsome man, and their son Kaleb, also in dress blues this day, also shines in front of the lens, but Megan, she’s a photographer’s dream. The camera just loves her.


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Sometimes, it takes us a bit longer than a week, but we strive to never take longer than three. In fact, we met a man at the wedding who told us he’d just gotten his daughter’s wedding photos back after eight months. Eight months! I cringed. We do a wedding a weekend during wedding season, sometimes two, and we spend the five days between working in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop without letup, till we finish.


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A bride doesn’t want to wait months or even weeks to see her wedding photos. Whoops, I’m getting off track, this is supposed to be a few words about Megan and Steve’s wedding. So, I’m going to jump back on the rails, like I’m supposed to do.


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Some grooms stand at the alter with a somber look on their faces, like they’re entering into some kind of alien territory, where they’re going to be trapped forever. Then there are some like Steve, who are as happy as a kid at play on a sunny day. Just look at the smile on his face. Have you ever seen a happier look on anyone anywhere?


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A beautiful bride, wearing a wedding dress to die for, a killer groom in dress blues and a handsome young son, wearing dress blues like his dad, it doesn’t get better than this for a wedding photographer.


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When we showed up at Sonny’s Barbecue to photograph Megan and Steve’s wedding, we were surprised to see that our friend Sarah was the maid of honor. We don’t ask the bride a whole lot of questions before her wedding, because nobody likes the third degree.

We generally like to know where the wedding’s going to be held, how many bridesmaids and groomsmen there are going to be, what their colors are. Where the ceremony’s going to be held, what kind of pictures the bride wants, the usual sort of questions a wedding photographer needs to know.


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But we’ve never even thought about asking the names of the people in her wedding party, so it really was a pleasant surprise to find Sarah as the maid of honor. She’d moved from Reno to Hawaii, then to Bakersfield, so we hadn’t seen her in quite awhile.


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Megan had planned on doing her hair and makeup at Sonny’s and they had a small changing room upstairs, where she could get into her dress. But she figured out pretty quick that she and us and her wedding party were getting in the way of Sonny’s restaurant trade, so she decided to get ready in her mother’s hotel room, which worked out very well.


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Vesta took those shots and Ken photographed Steve and his groomsmen getting ready in their room, which was about five miles away, right smack across the border. So Steve got ready in Nevada as Megan did the same in California. We thought that was kind of romantic and when you think about it, it was.


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The wedding took place right around sundown and if you don’t know, we’ll tell you here, that is absolutely the best time of day for wedding photos, or photos of any kind. Photographers call this the golden hour, because the light is perfect for portraits and wedding photographers really like that time, because that light combined with the beauty of a girl in white makes for wonderful bridal photos.


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The reception was held at Sonny’s and they had a good bar, so it got started seconds after the ceremony was finished. As Megan and Steve’s guests were congratulating them and while we were taking the formal wedding photos, Sonny’s staff were quickly, and I mean very quickly, setting up the tables for the reception. Before you could say, “Jumping Jack Flash,” the chairs the guests had been sitting in to view the ceremony were replaced with tables and chairs and the party was ready to begin.

And begin it did.


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There is nothing like a wedding reception. Everybody’s happy, especially the stars of the show, the bride and groom. There are family members who are glad to be seeing brothers, aunts and cousins they haven’t seen in years. There are members of two families, now joined, getting to know each other. There are old best friends meeting new best friends. The mood is always gay. And the stars shown brightly over this this reception, because as wedding receptions go, this one was one of the best. It was perfect.


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Vesta Irene Wedding and Portrait Photography, 1250 Ralston Street, Reno, NV 89503 
Phone: 775 393-9529