The Wallflower Photography Blog


While their ceremony was beautiful, and their reception fun and eventful, the highlight of our experience photographing Sara and Mitch’s wedding at Sanders Estate in Auburn was their paddle around Mill Pond in a small rowboat. This is an adventure that the venue offers to all their brides, and one that’s well worth doing for the photos alone!

The dock is down a short, steep ramp conveniently located right next to Sanders Mansion. The ramp looked a little treacherous, but Sara took her time, got a little help from owner Robert Miller, and made it down without incident.

Photo of bride and groom walking down ramp to dock at Sanders Estate in Auburn, Washington, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

The rowboat is just a little tipsy, and after Sara and Mitch pushed off from the dock, it took a few anxious seconds to stabilize the rocking. I know I was a bit anxious, and it sure looks like I wasn’t the only one!

Photo of bride looking anxious as she and groom push off from dock in a rowboat at Sanders Estate in Auburn, Washington, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Photo of groom smiling as he paddles a rowboat with his bride at Sanders Estate in Auburn, Washington, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Once they found equilibrium, Sara and Mitch took what appeared to be a nice little post-nuptials cruise. Despite being in full view of their guests, who obviously enjoyed watching, they got to enjoy a few private moments to catch their breath.

Laura and I headed opposite directions along the pond’s shore to catch a variety of photos of their ten-minute loop. Mill Pond is surrounded by lush vegetation that reflects off the pond’s surface from every direction, making for a vibrant green setting. I was happy to find a patch of wild buttercups to incorporate into what must be my favorite photo from the wedding.

Photo of wedding guests watching bride and groom in rowboat at Sanders Estate in Auburn, Washington, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Water-level photo of bride and groom in rowboat at Sanders Estate in Auburn, Washington, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Photo looking through opening in trees at bride and groom in rowboat at Sanders Estate in Auburn, Washington, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Photo of bride and groom in rowboat at Sanders Estate in Auburn, Washington, with buttercups in the foreground, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Black and white photo of bride and groom in rowboat at Sanders Estate in Auburn, Washington, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Watching Sara disembark got me a little nervous again, but one last lunge into Mitch’s waiting arms and everyone was back on terra firma, safe and dry.

Photo of bride and groom's rowboat returning to dock at Sanders Estate in Auburn, Washington, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Photo of bride tossing rope to dock while in rowboat with groom at Sanders Estate in Auburn, Washington, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Photo of bride stepping out of rowboat with groom's help at Sanders Estate in Auburn, Washington, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Photo of bride falling into groom's arms at Sanders Estate in Auburn, Washington, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

I’m sure this self-guided rowboat ride isn’t every bride and groom’s cup of tea, but I know I’ll be encouraging my future Sanders Estate brides to brave the boat!

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