It's no secret we've been seriously inspired by Buzzworthy Events SF for some time now. We are a lover of the unexpected, juxtapositions, carefully curated textures and of course, off-the-beaten path gathering spaces. It's the main reason we were drawn to this utterly inspired shoot with chunky knits and midriff tops, gunmetal cafe chairs and rough hewn wood, a reasonably sunny locale shot delightfully in the rain. Mainly, it's the way Ashley Smith of Buzzworthy Events SF & Brittany Waddell of BrittRene Photo took an expected and utterly lovely space and gave it a good-old fashioned gathering twist that has captured our hearts.
A photographer and event planning team hoping for rain? YES. Foggy, rainy and stormy, in the right hands, can be romantic in the most wild, untamed & windswept of ways. Here's your insider's look into this inspired shoot, in the rain at West Shore Cafe on the banks of Lake Tahoe.
What were some of the highlights of your experience at the location?
Lake Tahoe is stunning all seasons of the year. West Shore Cafe is on the North Shore, California side (the lake is split between California and Nevada). We happened to be there on a day full of rainbows (and rain)! The rain only made the space feel even more beautiful, rustic, and vibrant.
Tell us about the venue!
The venue is a great mix of indoor and outdoor spaces. The outdoor area has a huge lawn that can hold 200 people. The deck with the outside bar that connects to the pier and can easily accommodate a group of 50 seated, or 80 standing reception. On a summer day, I can see why it's packed, it just rests on the lake front with a canopy of trees. The indoor area/restaurant is very inviting and can host events as well.
Tell us a little bit about the event you hosted?
We specifically styled an editorial shoot there during shoulder season while it was closed to the public. Just us and the models. It was awesome to have the space to ourselves.
Why did you choose this location?
Britt was moved by the space. I think for her, the space is a balance of rustic and sophistication. She is great at capturing texture and the landscapes. It offered us an opportunity to play out this nautical vision we had that was not too girly or over the top. Just the right amount of simplicity.
What made this space an ideal location for the event?
The pier! West Shore Cafe has this stunning pier that you can host a sizable dinner on. I love the water and loved that we were able to utilize it. I am also drawn towards the size, its a smaller venue that is great for about 100 guests perfectly. The warm wood inside + masculine lodge feel is very inviting and cozy.
Why did you make the design decisions you did?
For this shoot, I wanted to use mostly candles. I wanted to create something more moody and the rain really pulled through for that vibe. Katie, (Eothen Floral) is a magician when it comes to flowers. I also wanted the feel to be branchy and full without the stiffness.
I wanted an intimate table for two at the end of the pier, which we did. It was surrounded by lanterns leading up the dock (hard to see), and the table surrounded by candles illuminating and allowing the water to add to it with the reflection, which came from the puddles on the pier. The rest of the design was clean and a rustic nautical feel.
What additional types of events do you think it's ideal for?
This property is great for Rehearsal Dinners. Weddings, Brunch, Group Getaways, Showers, Dinner Parties, Retreats & Workshops. Since you can rent all of the property, it makes it easily accessible for all of the above mentioned events.
Any tips for hosting events and/or getaways here based on your experience?
Even in the rain, you can't go wrong! They are a full service venue. Lodging, Bar, and Restaurant. Grab a drink and sit by the fire in the winter, or in the summer hang on the deck.
Is there anything existing on the property or the town that you incorporated into the event?
Yes, we utilized the suite upstairs for getting ready. It has tons of natural light. We also photographed their bar, as is. It's beautiful. The whole venue has beautiful wood detailing that does not require much attention. We loved the pier, and mainly used that as the focal point of the whole concept.
Any special drinks or eats you had in the surrounding area?
Yes! We love the River Inn and walking up the main street downtown. In the summer, all of the waterfront restaurants are killer for brunch and lunch, you can pull up to places like Garwood's via boat for Bloody Mary's.
What makes both the area + the venue a good destination for a group getaway or event?
Tahoe is a huge destination in California. The fact alone that the mountains are great for winter and summer adventures is just one component. Then you have the lake, which is gorgeous. The resorts and main cities like Tahoe City, South Shore, and Truckee are dotted with casinos, hotels, and plenty of activities. You can be as active and social as you'd like, or you can tuck away and be remote.
Did you meet anyone at the venue that you connected with or made a lasting impression?
Lisa was a doll! Sadly, we shot during shoulder season, so it was closed to the public/staff on the day we were there.
Any inside tips?
Get the middle suite upstairs! It has a perfect view of the pier and lake.
Venue: West Shore Cafe | Stylist & Planner: Ashley Smith of Buzzworthy SF | Photography: Brittany Waddell of BrittRene Photo | Florals: Katie from Eothen Floral | Invitations: Rachael Schwartz, Wiley Valentine | Knitted Shawls: Platypus Perspective | Hair & Make Up Artist : Alexandria Thomson | Model: Justine Paige | Attire: Free People | Dessert: Treat Box Bakery
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