Kelsey Bennett & Anthony Annand
July 29, 2017. Graeagle, California
Location: Chalet View Lodge Graeagle, CA;
“I was bartending at a country club when I saw Kelsey for the first time,” Anthony Annand recalls. “In an empty restaurant, waiting for something to do, I found the courage to ask her if she was a coffee drinker. She was, thankfully, so I built the best vanilla latte ever, even putting a ‘K’ in the foam. She was very gracious and took a few sips, saying it was great. Here, eight years later, I have made her lattes every weekend.”
Fast forward to 2016, and the couple were staying at Anthony’s family’s place in Lake Tahoe where he’d been going to since he was young. “I woke up early to stash the ring in the boat,” he says. “Later on, after some convincing, we cruised for about 20 minutes and then stopped to float. It was all I could do to get on a knee with trembling hands, praying she would say yes. The best part was she did! When we cruised back to the beach, I had both our families waiting to surprise her. With cocktails in hand and coolers of seafood, they were there to celebrate the engagement with us.”
Kelsey and Anthony decided to host their wedding at the Chalet View Lodge, only an hour and a half away from their home. Having envisioned a fairytale mountain wedding, it was the perfect location and venue to bring their ideas to life. “Our wedding planning process was unique since we, combined, have spent 30 years in the food and beverage industry and knew the direction we wanted to go in for our special day,” Anthony explains. “We were fortunate to connect with a great designer and master florist to guide us.”
When their wedding day arrived, the bride and groom were both in awe of the ceremony and reception spaces. At the entrance of the ceremony aisle, their florist built custom doors draped in flowers that hung down to wine barrels donned with candles and lanterns. Prior to the wedding, the couple also collected hundreds of high-end liquor bottles that were artistically incorporated into the décor.
“We didn’t have a sweetheart table, as we wanted to be a part of our wedding party,” says the groom. “So, our designers framed us in a beautiful floral arrangement to set us apart. To top it all off, they built a chandelier out of liquor bottles to hang out in the trees over the bar. Our caterers were also great at accommodating our ideas for food. Everything was very fresh, made from scratch, and presentation was beautiful.”
As the evening progressed, the newlyweds reveled in each and every moment, taking in the ambiance and savoring the best weekend they had ever shared with each other. Surrounded by loved ones, they celebrated into the wee hours of the morning and extended their stay at Chalet View Lodge for some post-wedding rest and relaxation.
>Written by: Lauren Malamala