Real Weddings: Kristen Gates & Cole Breidenbach

A Tahoe Wedding

Resort at Squaw Creek, Olympic Valley

Kristen Gates and Cole Breidenbach moved to San Francisco within two weeks of each other—but when they met, the Walnut Creek natives were dating other people.

Luckily, fate intervened. Soon they were single, and free to date each other.

“We were instantly best friends. Everything just worked,” says Kristen.

A few years later, the two planned an evening stroll through the city. The fog rolled in, but despite the weather, Cole convinced Kristen to go for that walk.

“What I didn’t know is that [Cole] was trying to silently coordinate with his friend, who was dressed as a tourist and hiding with a camera to capture the [proposal],” says Kristen.  

The two set a summer date and chose the natural elegance of Tahoe’s Squaw Valley as their backdrop. White, green, and gray elements complemented the outdoor setting, and Kristen incorporated her love of Christmas into her big day.

“It seemed appropriate that, since we were in the mountains, I should have a Christmas tree at the wedding,” she says. “I had wooden ornaments made . . . and asked guests to write us a message for our first Christmas [as newlyweds].”

After a romantic escape to Tahiti, the couple moved to the East Bay. “We plan to buy a home [near] Lafayette. If Cole has his way, we will have a Bernese mountain [dog] the day after we move into our new home,” says Kristen.

Stacey Pentland Photography

Stacey Pentland Photography

Stacey Pentland Photography

Stacey Pentland Photography

Stacey Pentland Photography

Bridal Gown: Lovely, San Francisco  |  Groom’s Suit: Bar III at Macy’s  |  Invitations: Minted  |  Flowers: Stems by Diana, Truckee  |  Catering: Resort at Squaw Creek, Olympic Valley  |  Dessert: Cookies from Wild Cherries Coffee House, Truckee  |  Entertainment: Epik Entertainment, Reno/Tahoe area  |  Rentals: Celebrations! Party Rentals and Tents, Roseville  |  Hair: JD Davidson at Status Salon, Pleasanton  |  Makeup: Kathryn Horen of Bay Area Beautiful, Livermore  |  Photographer: Stacey Pentland Photography, Walnut Creek  |  Planner: Summit Soiree, Truckee