The Wallflower Photography Blog


Portrait of bride and groom on the couch by the big Christmas tree at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

We’ve photographed well over a dozen summer weddings at Thornewood Castle over the past few years, but Shirley and Nick’s wedding, taking place within two weeks of Christmas, gave us a look at the place in a different season.

Owner Deanna Robinson takes her Christmas decorating responsibilities seriously; for such a grand wedding venue as Thornewood, the effort required to meet those high standards must be massive! The Christmas tree by the front door, which you can see towering over our newlyweds in the photo above, must be 12 feet tall and was loaded with decorations.

Rewinding about five hours from when we shot that late-night photo, we start our recap of Shirley and Nick’s wedding with a pair of photos of our bride and her bridesmaids applying the final touches in the bridal suite.

Candid black and white photo of bridesmaid fixing the bride's veil, in a room at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Candid black and white photo of bride watching her bridesmaids get ready for the wedding, in a room at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

I love this photo of Nick exiting the library right as Shirley approaches from the end of the adjacent hallway, just before their first look at each other in wedding attire.

Candid black and white photo of bride and groom exiting separate rooms at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Heading down Thornewood’s magnificent grand staircase, built in England 500 years ago, and rebuilt in Lakewood a century ago.

Photo of brides and bridesmaid walking down the grand staircase at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

The weather was cold but dry enough to allow us to take photos in the sunken garden. In fact, the brown blossoms of the garden’s hydrangeas coordinated beautifully with those bridesmaid dresses.

Candid black and white photo of bridesmaids holding the bride's veil as they walk to the sunken garden at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Portrait of bride and bridesmaids in a wintertime sunken garden at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Portrait of bride and groom in the sunken garden at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Portrait of bride and groom on the sunken garden lawn with Thornewood Castle behind, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Portrait of bride and groom under a brick arch in the sunken garden at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Candid black and white photo of bride and groom laughing in the sunken garden at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

The giant chessboard, flanked by boars, is always good for a few quirky bride and groom portraits.

Creative portrait of bride and groom on the giant chess board at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Then we headed to the front of the castle for a last few wedding party portraits.

Candid photo of wedding party walking on a path by a giant candy cane at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Portrait of groom and best man at the front entrance of Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Portrait of bride, groom and wedding party at the front entrance of Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Wedding ceremonies inside the Great Hall’s ornate surroundings are a feast for the eyes.

The bride descends the grand staircase to meet her groom at the start of a wedding ceremony at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Fisheye photo of Christmastime wedding ceremony at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Shirley and Nick exchanged glass roses as part of their wedding ceremony.

Bride's mother holding glass rose to be used in wedding ceremony at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Bride and groom exchange glass roses during their wedding ceremony at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

A creative shot of the wedding ceremony reflected in an ornate mirror on the far wall. The reflection was too dark to photograph well, so I pivoted my flash to fire behind me, vividly illuminating the reflected scene without ruining the warm glowy tones of the mirror wall.

A wedding ceremony at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood is reflected in a mirror on the far wall, photographed by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

The front entrance of Thornewood Castle was all atwinkle at dusk, and wintry white decor beautified the dining room, including this cool table arrangement and white-on-white wedding cake.

Thornewood Castle at night in December, decorated in Christmas lights, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Detail photo of table arrangements for wedding reception at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Two detail photos of wedding cake at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

After dinner, Shirley and Nick kicked off the dancing back in the Great Hall, and it wasn’t long before their friends hit the floor and broke out some pretty sweet dance moves.

Wide angle photo of bride and groom's first dance during wedding reception at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Another photo of bride and groom's first dance during wedding reception at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Black and white candid photo of wedding guests dancing during a wedding reception at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Another black and white candid photo of wedding guests dancing during a wedding reception at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

A third black and white candid photo of wedding guests dancing during a wedding reception at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Black and white candid photo of grandmothers laughing during wedding reception at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

It’s like this angel was entrusted with Shirley’s veil and hairpiece, and rewarded with a slice of cake for the trouble.

Detail photo of slice of wedding cake and bride's veil held by angel statue during wedding reception at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

As the party wound down, Shirley and Nick snuck away with me for a final few portraits, including the one at the top of this post and the one below, shot in a section of Thornewood’s front yard that never looked like much during the day, but was beautiful with its Christmas lights at night.

Black and white portrait of bride and groom by a brick wall with Christmas lights at Thornewood Castle at night, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Congrats Shirley and Nick!

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