Romantic January Elopement On Donner Lake Truckee CA

Enchanting January Elopement on Donner Lake

May 2, 2023

Real Elopements

This one was special, my friends. These beautiful humans are some dear friends – Lance & Tara. And not only did I get to photograph them on their elopement day – but my husband Demetri got to officiate for them. What a freakin’ honor.

We had a unique arrival to this date; Lance was leaving for basic training as he was joining the National Guard – and Tara wanted a beautiful winter wonderland elopement after the new year. Well…we waited and watched and picked a day and hoped and prayed it would work out in everyone’s favor. It did; minus the fact that the high that day was 17 degrees. Yes…the high at 12pm was 17 degrees. Needless to say, we were all freezing.

The morning started off with Demetri & Lance skiing (which I was not present for, the best I got was a selfie but we’ll keep that to ourselves, ha!) and Tara got ready at their cabin at Donner Lake. It was quiet and sweet. Tara got dressed and Lance helped secure her dress, and then off we went to take a very chilly walk in the woods.

The elopement ceremony itself was on the shores of Donner Lake and was absolutely magical. We looked up at Donner Summit and Donner Peak. It was almost crystal clear in the skies and so very magical. We all may have been so cold our bodies stopped functioning, but I made sure my fingers were the last to go so I could get all the goods. Pay attention because we 100% took a mid-ceremony squat break. It was mandatory!

We ended the night with some photos on their pier adjacent to their cabin and they headed off for dinner, before all of their friends met up with them for drinks after! It was the best day with some of the best people, and I can’t tell you how much I loved getting to be a part of it. We love you guys!



Ruthanne is an Elopement Photographer & Expert based in Lake Tahoe, California. She specializes in elopements inspired by the beautify and elegance of the High Sierra mountains, but you can find her all over the west at any time. She lives in Truckee, California where she was born & raised, with her husband Demetri & Australian Shepherd, Sasha. 


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