Nature’s Finest On Display In This Mammoth Lake Stunner of A Wedding
Love is a stunning backdrop as it is, toss in the absolutely jaw dropping Mammoth Lake and you have the makings of the most picture perfect wedding. Erin King & Todd Gelatka tied the knot in a place that had very special meaning to them from the start. Opting to play up to & enhance the already natural beauty of their surroundings, utilizing choice florals, little birdies, chalkboards & so much more. Guest were treated to an outdoor ceremony seated on half cut logs, while a special surprise guest popped in for a visit. If that surroundings weren’t enough of a treat already, as the sun set, a bonfire was light & S’mores where broken out!
Todd, 30, was drafted out of high school and was a professional baseball player for many years. He is not currently playing, but is an entrepreneur running his own company. Erin, 30, graduated from Chapman University and is a music teacher — teaching private voice and piano lessons, group music and voice classes and is the musical director at The Music Room School of Performing Arts. In her spare time, she loves to perform on stage in musicals and sings with an all female group “The LA-LAs.
“Since my parents have owned a vacation home in Mammoth Lakes, CA since 1969, I’ve felt like Mammoth is my second home. We would go up as often as we could growing up — and still do. Getting married in Mammoth Lakes was very special for us. Not only was that the spot of our first trip together as a couple, but Todd proposed there as well….he proposed on top of Twin Falls that spill into Twin Lakes and overlooks our ceremony site. Over the years, Mammoth has become our favorite get away — the pictures should say it all! We wanted to have a full weekend were we could truly enjoy our family and friends from across the country — not just a few hours at the reception. We decided that having a destination wedding was the best solution — we could share our love of the mountains (comfortably!) and include our guests in every aspect of the weekend. Many extended their stay after the wedding so we could relax and spend time with them even more.”
“My cousin Whitney Osterhout helped to make the ceremony programs (simple white accordion style programs that we purchased from Staples and printed and decorated on our own) as well as served as emcee at our reception. The management of our condo complex in Mammoth (where my parents have owned since 1969) gave us the gift of our cocktail hour music — Elliot Thompson is in a jazz band and also the manager. And not to mention my mother was integral in the planning and executing of so many details — whenever I needed help, she was there.”
“So many wonderful family members and friends helped in many different areas of our wedding. As we neared the wedding, a dear family friend Debbie Morrison helped tremendously tying up loose ends, and helped to coordinate at the reception site. My best friend/Maid of Honor, Carly Hancock, did my hair and generally helped out in any way she could — from late night calls, to hole punching our “guestbook birdies” and tying ribbons onto them. Both Carly and her husband Keith — close college friends from Chapman University School of Music — provided the ceremony music. Keith played the guitar & ukulele and sang, and Carly joined him on two songs. Carly’s father, Bob Frenzel was our officiant and married us in a beautiful, heartfelt and personalized service. It was so special to have someone that has known me for such a long time perform the ceremony.”
“Our overall theme was to simply compliment our gorgeous natural mountain surroundings — focusing on the pine trees and little love birds. Our ceremony site was a lakeside outdoor chapel where the alter was made out of logs and the pews were logs that had been sawed in half. We wanted to just enhance the beautiful woods around us with only white flowers and greenery (from the rose petal lined aisle, garland above the alter, floral arrangements on the alter, a large gladiolus bouquet that was in honor of Todd’s late mom, to all of the wedding party flowers). Small splashes of fuchsia/hot pink – Erin’s favorite color — were found only on a flower hair clip on the jr. bridesmaid (Erin’s niece Chelsea) , a head band on the flower girl (Todd’s niece Ashely), bride’s bouquet and shoes, the father of the bride’s tie and pocket square and Todd’s boutonniere. The rest of the wedding colors were turquoise and silver/grey.”
*Note from SBW: I would just like to point out the huge amount of ‘Try’ thats going on here! How friggin adorable is this lil tongue biting man!
*OH! Why Hello there!
*Psssst! Is there room for me on this pew?
” loved every aspect of our wedding, but probably the most memorable was the ceremony — especially while my grandmother was reading a poem “Advice from a Tree” and Todd & I were planting our own seedling. After we were done and were still listening to my grandmother under the towering pine trees, I was holding Todd’s arm looking around at all of the faces and smiles. Feeling all of that love and support and just knowing they all made the trip up to the mountains for us was truly meaningful.”
“Our food was amazing — classy ranch style food (BBQ tri tip, pulled pork, bbq chicken, corn souffle, baked beans, Todd’s mom’s mac-n-cheese, and a sierra ranch salad). We had only a small cake to cut into, but it had a really cute topper — handmade clay birds in a nest purchased from DancesWithClay, but we also had individual pies for each guest in either berry medley or apple, in lieu of wedding cake”
“Throughout the reception site, there were chalkboards that we both painted — for landmarks, a large menu board, a bar menu, a sign signifying Todd’s ʺSalt Barʺ (instead of a candy bar, Todd is obsessed with anything salty, and to tip the hat to his baseball days. There were little brown bags stamped with a small turquoise bird that read ʺThank Youʺ and guests could fill them with large dill pickles, sourdough pretzels, shelled peanuts, sun flower seeds, saltwater taffy), and Coffee & Hot Chocolate Bar.”
“After talking through the night at a friend’s house almost six years ago (followed by Todd’s favorite meal – breakfast) we realized that we shared many common values and goals. This was in addition to great chemistry and a strong interest in each other! Over the next ten days, we spent all of our free time together until I left for Australia to sing there with the Chapman University Choir. Upon returning, we simply picked up where we left off.”
“At the reception, the floral arrangements played off of the wild flowers in the surrounding meadows — placed on cross sections of logs with little bird and nest candelabras. Todd chopped down a large branch in his backyard, cut it into smaller pieces and made table markers that held post cards of popular Mammoth Mountain landmarks.”
*At their favorite spot in Mammoth:
Todd knelt down in front of me (on a precarious rock), pulled the perfect ring out of his pocket and asked, “Will you make me the happiest forever?” Apparently, this was followed by much more, but I could not think straight, much less absorb what he was saying. All I could say was, “REALLY?!?! You mean it? Really?” Finally, Todd said, “Could you please answer the question – my knee is really hurting on these rocks.” I took his face in my hands, wiped away a tear on his cheek, and I said, “Of course – yes!”
“The local Mammoth Brewing Company provided microbrews and homemade root beer. On each child’s place setting, Erin placed activity bags that included a woodland themed wipe-off game board and small wooden toys. At the end of the evening, we had a ʺcampfireʺ complete with s’more bar.”
Erin & Todd have now been together for 8 years, and are very excited to be welcoming their first child in November!
Ceremony Venue: The Forest Chapel at Twin Lakes, Mammoth Lakes, CA
Reception Venue: Sierra Meadows Ranch, Mammoth Lakes, CA
Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero
Bridesmaid Dress Designer: Mori Lee; Flower Girl & Jr Bridesmaid – Watters
Shoe: Designer Me Too
Hair Stylist: Maid of Honor – Carly Hancock
Makeup Artist: Bride & Mother of the Bride – Jo Ann King, Mary Kay Sales Director
Music, Ceremony: Husband of the Maid of Honor & Friend of the Bride – Keith Hancock Music, Reception Cocktail Hour: Elliot Thompson & Bill Schuck Jazz Ensemble
Music, Reception DJ: Provided by Sierra Meadows Ranch
Florist: Michael MacArthur
Caterer: Classy Cowgirl Caterers – Doniece Cassel
Baker: Classy Cowgirl Caterers – Doniece Cassel
Wedding/Event Planner: Bride and onsite help- Debbie Morrison
Photographer: David Champagne Photography