The Wallflower Photography Blog


Close bride and groom portrait in front of Orizon sculpture at Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington

Living in a 110-year-old Victorian, we have a thing for old buildings. Tacoma has a terrific collection of historic buildings, and when it comes to wedding venues, many of them are churches. In our eight years of weddings, we’ve seen quite a few of Tacoma’s best churches, and now we can add one more to the list: Bethesda Baptist in south Tacoma. Karena and Steve chose Bethesda Baptist for a very special reason: It’s the church where Karena’s grandparents and parents both got married! How special is that?! They had a framed photo from each wedding on display by the programs.

Photo of framed photos of bride's parents' and grandparents' weddings at Bethesda Baptist Church in Tacoma, Washington

Karena and Steve chose to not see each other before the ceremony, so the following photos are of their true first glimpses of each other in wedding dress and suit.

Photo of ring bearers and flower girls entering wedding ceremony at Bethesda Baptist Church in Tacoma, Washington

Photo of bride smiling at father as they enter wedding ceremony at Bethesda Baptist Church in Tacoma, Washington

Photo of groom smiling at bride as she enters wedding ceremony with her father at Bethesda Baptist Church in Tacoma, Washington

Bethesda Baptist has a bit of a southwestern look to it, both inside and out. The landscape mural that served as a backdrop to the ceremony was a unique feature that provided a nice alternative to the ornate altarpieces that most other historic churches have.

Fisheye photo of wedding ceremony showing architecture of Bethesda Baptist Church in Tacoma, Washington

Black and white photo during wedding ceremony at Bethesda Baptist Church in Tacoma, Washington

Photo of unity candle ceremony during wedding at Bethesda Baptist Church in Tacoma, Washington

Candid photo of bride smiling at Bethesda Baptist Church in Tacoma, Washington

After the ceremony, a receiving line formed so that Karena and Steve could greet and thank their guests as they headed to their cars. We love receiving lines because they give us an opportunity to get candids of just about everyone! Not only that, but people are nearly always smiling as they get their brief time with the newlyweds. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel — we just set up shop and wait for the next set of smiles.

Composite of receiving line photos after wedding ceremony at Bethesda Baptist Church in Tacoma, Washington

We took all the family and wedding party portraits at the church, including this rather humorous photo of kids being kids, and a creative use of pews. We didn’t linger long with Karena and Steve at the church, though, because we wanted to maximize the time left in our tight schedule to play around with Orizon, the mammoth glass-and-metal sculpture attached to our reception venue, the Hotel Murano.

Portrait of kids making funny faces at Bethesda Baptist Church wedding in Tacoma, Washington

Wedding party portrait on the pews at Bethesda Baptist Church in Tacoma, Washington

Bride and groom portrait in front of the altar at Bethesda Baptist Church in Tacoma, Washington

Bride and groom portrait at the front doors of Bethesda Baptist Church in Tacoma, Washington

Candid photo of smiling bride wearing vintage veil, with old film effect

Traditional bride and groom portrait in front of Orizon sculpture at Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington

Bride and groom laughing in front of Orizon sculpture at Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington

Creative bride and groom portrait in front of Orizon sculpture at Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington

Hotel Murano was just voted the eighth best hotel in the United States by readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine, making the top 10 for the second year running! Even though this particular evening was one of the busiest ever at this still-newish hotel, with Lady Gaga in town for a Tacoma Dome concert, the U.S. Amateur about to start at Chambers Bay, and a military ball in another ballroom, Murano staff put on an amazing performance, and the food was excellent. And, as far as hotel ballrooms go, Hotel Murano’s may be the most attractive we’ve seen, especially when up-lights add a little extra color.

Photo of Venice Ballroom wedding reception at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington

Photo of table arrangement at a wedding reception at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington

Photo of Celebrity Cake Studio wedding cake at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington

We were glad to find that the reception proceedings would be emceed by David Leu of LeuJam, who is as good as they come. We enjoyed several good toasts (including a sweet one from Steve’s teenage son, Steven), followed by the cutting of a sparkling, sugar crystal-coated cake by Celebrity Cake Studio (complete with a little smash).

Photo of bride's father's toast at a wedding reception at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington

Photo of groom's son's toast at a wedding reception at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington

Photo of maid of honor's toast at a wedding reception at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington

Photo of bride and groom cutting cake at a wedding reception at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington

Photo of bride smashing cake in groom's face at a wedding reception at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington

The following two photos of the bouquet toss are an excellent illustration of how Wallflower’s signature two-photographer approach can simultaneously capture two very different angles of a very fleeting moment. Of course, there are many other advantages to having two award-winning photographers doing their thing at a wedding, as well!

Photo of bride's bouquet toss at a wedding reception at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington

Photo of bride's bouquet toss at a wedding reception at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington

The first dance was a sweet, intimate affair where it seemed like Karena and Steve were the only people in the room. Soon after, guests piled onto the dance floor, and the party was just getting started when we said our goodbyes.

Photo of bride and groom's first dance at a wedding reception at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington

Photo of bride and groom's first dance at a wedding reception at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington

Photo of a bride and groom's first dance at a wedding reception at the Hotel Murano, shooting through a heart-shaped floral arrangement

Photo of bride and groom's first dance at a wedding reception at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington

Photo of group dancing at a wedding reception at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington

Congrats Karena and Steve (and Steven)!

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