Rugged Meets Refined Lake Tahoe Wedding Inspiration

flag stone chargers

I know you want fresh ideas.

And guess what. Mountain vendors who have some of the freshest ideas, but they don’t always get to try them out on someone else’s wedding.

So I have a treat for you. I’m bringing you some fresh ideas on a rugged meets refined theme. But instead of scratching your head and wondering how to replicate the look across twelve tables, I’m going to give you practical tips and creative tips for getting the look.

rustic and refined table scape

flower centerpieces in up cycled tin cans

The Inspiration

From Stephanie of One Fine Day Events in Lake Tahoe:

We wanted to create a table inspiration where the rugged elements of nature meshed seamlessly with more refined pieces to create a blend of contrasts. Barbed wire was wrapped around large glass jars and filled with ivory candles to provide light for bouquets of soft garden roses mixed with pea pods and dried cotton. We also incorporated everyday materials, such as tin cans & lace. We sprayed cans with rich metallic tones and filled them with feathers, dried branches, and anemones to create a juxtaposition of textures. We wrapped lace around votives to spruce up the vessels and add a touch of softness. We finished the table set-up with a bright pop of fresh turquoise wrapped around a plate that rested on a rough slab of slate.

The Manzanita Restaurant at the Ritz Carlton, Lake Tahoe was the perfect locale for our shoot, especially because it has a large leather accent wall that provided the perfect backdrop for our rugged meets refined shoot!

Get the Look

Practical Tip for Using Flagstones:

Use large flagstones instead of river rock in unexpected ways. Here flagstones are used as chargers, but you can use them as centerpiece stands or incorporate them into your dessert bar or appetizer stations.

Flag stone chargers

Practical Tip for Gorgeous Flowers at a Reasonable Price:

Mix luxurious and simple flowers. Pair anemones with dried plants twigs and feathers for an elevated rustic look fit for a wedding.

painted tin can vases

Practical Tips for Rocking Your Napkins:

Ditch the swan napkin fold and go for something simple but unexpected. Here turquoise napkins are wrapped around a plate and serve as a colorful backdrop for natural colored menu cards.

turquoise napkins

Practical Tips for Adding Depth and Interest to Your Tables:

Fabric table runners can go a long way toward dressing up your tables, and rental companies like Creative Coverings offer practically endless options for every style. Here, a cow hide runner, coupled with the lace-wrapped votives gives a fun, western vibe to the table.

cow fabric runners

Practical Tips for Getting Creative With Your Theme:

Found objects can be a big part of mountain culture, both in terms of rich history and making due with what’s around.  Don’t worry if you can’t find 120 of them! Part of the charm of found objects are they are unique and singular. Scatter them around the room, mixing and matching at each table. You may even find they do double duty as conversation starters as guests mingle! Don;t have a massive collection of bric-a-brack? No problem, ask your planner for recommendations for a rental company that specializes in vintage or unique objects. Your florist or stylist may also be able to offer direction and suggestions.

found objects for centerpieces

Practical Tips for Elevating Everyday Items:

Up-cycled tin cans and lace-wrapped plain glass votive are an easy to hold centerpieces and add interest to a table. You can paint them white, ivory, peach, robins egg blue, or leave them metallic. Both color and metallic look great at a rustic or shabby chic wedding. If you want to DIY this, start early. Like way early!  It may be simple to create one of these, but wrapping several hundred votives in lace or fabric is another story. However, this is another place you may be able to rent something similar, or hire someone to do it for you; just ask your planner or florist.

lace wrapped votives

Practical Tips for Rocking a Twig Chandelier

You don’t have to hang a rustic twig chandelier over every table. Venue space and financial constraints (including the cost of  labor for hanging them all!) may prevent it. However, you can use this as single a focal point elsewhere: maybe it’s your ceremony arch, or floats above your dessert table, or perhaps it sets off the head table.

rugged meets refined tablescape

Practical Tips For Adding Interest with Color:

Add a bright pop of color to a neutral color palette to ground, balance, and add interest to your table scape. This is easily done with colored napkins, but you can also add color with menu cards, chargers, place mats, your runner, or even a few brightly colored flowers interspersed with your neutrals.

pop of modern turquoise color on a rustic palette

Style Shoot Video


Look at this styled shoot. What do you see that can be practically applied to a real wedding?

Lake Tahoe Wedding Inspiration Vendors:

Styling and design: One Fine Day Events | Floral design: Stems by Diana | Venue: Manzanita Restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe | Photographer: Johnstone Studios | Linens: Creative Coverings | Cinematographer: Doxa Studios 

Mountainside Guide

Mountainside Bride Preferred vendors One Fine day Events is a distinguished members of the Mountainside Guide, an exclusive vendor directory featuring the best and most reliable mountain wedding vendors in North America. Mountainside Guide members are screened and vetted for quality of work, reliability, and professionalism, both among their peers and on review web sites.

See One Fine Day Events portfolio HERE