The Wallflower Photography Blog


Candid black and white portrait of bride and groom in the Cirrus Ballroom at the Seattle Sheraton, with downtown Seattle at night visible through the windows, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

November 11, 2011.
11-11-11.

Possibly the coolest-looking wedding date ever. I couldn’t believe it when I flipped the calendar to November last year and I had no wedding to photograph on Friday the 11th! Then, with eight days to go, I got a call from a nice guy with a thick European accent. By the next day, the contract was signed, and a mere week later I was in the Seattle Sheraton, meeting Ayelet and Frode a few hours before their wedding!

Since this was my first time at the Sheraton, I arrived plenty early to search for potential photo ops in the lobby. Then I headed to the Cirrus Ballroom on the 35th floor, where I found an amazing sunset outside its wall of windows. Reflections of the ballroom’s lights — those huge crystal chandeliers being the most prominent — add an unusual element to the views. The third photo is my favorite, where, under purple clouds, a ferry cruises across Elliot Bay, cutting through fog set afire by the setting sun.

Photo of downtown Seattle at sunset, from the Cirrus Ballroom in the Seattle Sheraton, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Photo of downtown Seattle buildings at sunset, from the Cirrus Ballroom in the Seattle Sheraton, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Photo of Elliot Bay at sunset, from the Cirrus Ballroom in the Seattle Sheraton, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

I rendezvoused with Ayelet and Frode in the Cirrus Ballroom a few hours before the ceremony for portraits. I love how Frode’s parents double-teamed him to get his collar and tie just right, just before we got started. As you’ll see soon, that’s a Tetris-themed tie around his neck! A game-themed tie was a sign of things to come …

Candid photo of groom's mother and father fixing his collar and tie before his wedding in the Cirrus Ballroom at the Seattle Sheraton, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Shooting against a glass backdrop is very tricky work, requiring either a complex lighting setup or none at all. I took the latter approach, using only the room’s lights and slow shutter speeds to capture the next two photos of Ayelet and Frode, plus the one at the top, in front of the Seattle cityscape at night.

Black and white portrait of bride and groom in the Cirrus Ballroom at the Seattle Sheraton, with downtown Seattle at night visible through the windows, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Color portrait of bride and groom in the Cirrus Ballroom at the Seattle Sheraton, with downtown Seattle at night visible through the windows, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Then we headed down to the lobby, where I executed the ambitious plans I had sketched out earlier. The Seattle Sheraton’s expansive lobby has all sorts of interesting art and architecture to play with, inside and out!

Vertical portrait of bride and groom in the lobby lounge at the Seattle Sheraton, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Detail-enhanced portrait of bride and groom in the lobby at the Seattle Sheraton, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Portrait of bride and groom in front of a door near the lobby at the Seattle Sheraton, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Fisheye portrait of bride and groom in front of art by the lobby bathrooms at the Seattle Sheraton, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Portrait of bride and groom with narrow depth of field near art by the lobby bathrooms at the Seattle Sheraton, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Candid photo of bride and groom at the main entrance of the Seattle Sheraton, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Portrait of bride and groom outside the main entrance of the Seattle Sheraton at night, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

This wedding represented the blending of Frode’s Norwegian heritage with Ayelet’s Israeli ancestry, which was recognized with the breaking of a glass. I learned later from Melissa Fant, the Sheraton’s terrific wedding coordinator, that Ayelet and Frode had planned on keeping the ceremony largely culture-neutral … but at the last minute they asked her for a glass so they could include this age-old Jewish wedding tradition.

Candid photo of bride being escorted by her mother and father into her wedding ceremony in the Cirrus Ballroom at the Seattle Sheraton, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Fisheye overview photo of wedding ceremony in the Cirrus Ballroom at the Seattle Sheraton, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Black and white photo of bride putting on the groom's ring during a wedding ceremony in the Cirrus Ballroom at the Seattle Sheraton, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Black and white photo of groom stepping on a glass (a Jewish tradition) during a wedding ceremony in the Cirrus Ballroom at the Seattle Sheraton, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

After everyone sat down to eat, I made use of that bird’s-eye view of downtown Seattle at night for a unique backdrop to a detail photo of Ayelet’s bouquet.

Fisheye photo of wedding reception in the Cirrus Ballroom at the Seattle Sheraton, with wedding cake at the forefront, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Detail photo of bride's bouquet in front of windows in the Cirrus Ballroom at the Seattle Sheraton, with wedding cake at the forefront, with a view of downtown Seattle at night behind, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Then, in lieu of the traditional wedding reception events, Ayelet and Frode brought out games! The girls’ team destroyed the guys’ team in Cranium (as always, right?), while Jenga was the game of choice at a different table.

Overview photo of wedding guests playing Cranium during wedding reception in the Cirrus Ballroom at the Seattle Sheraton, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Black and white photo of several wedding guests playing Cranium during wedding reception in the Cirrus Ballroom at the Seattle Sheraton, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Black and white photo of several different wedding guests playing Cranium during wedding reception in the Cirrus Ballroom at the Seattle Sheraton, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Candid photo of two family members of groom playing Jenga during wedding reception in the Cirrus Ballroom at the Seattle Sheraton, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Another candid photo of two family members of groom playing Jenga during wedding reception in the Cirrus Ballroom at the Seattle Sheraton, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Candid photo of groom playing Jenga with two family members during wedding reception in the Cirrus Ballroom at the Seattle Sheraton, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Then came the game I had been looking forward to photographing most: Rock Band! Friends and family got the instruments warmed up, then Ayelet and Frode took to the stage.

Candid photo of wedding guests playing Rock Band video game during wedding reception in the Cirrus Ballroom at the Seattle Sheraton, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Candid photo of bride and groom playing Rock Band video game with friends during wedding reception in the Cirrus Ballroom at the Seattle Sheraton, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Candid photo of bride and groom playing Rock Band video game during wedding reception in the Cirrus Ballroom at the Seattle Sheraton, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Congrats Ayelet and Frode!

Detail photo of six candles shaped like the number one, signifying the wedding date of 11-11-11, at a wedding reception in the Seattle Sheraton, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

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