The Wallflower Photography Blog


Portrait of bride and groom holding hands, standing in forest next to a creek with sun flares coming through the trees, before a wedding at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Here’s one of my favorite photos from 2012 — Javila and Stevo standing side by side, hand in hand, as sunlight flares through the treetops in a little piece of wooded bliss just outside Mt. Rainier National Park.

This is Copper Creek Inn in Ashford, and for anyone who wants to get married in a quintessential Washington forest, this is the place for you. My first wedding at Copper Creek Inn was on a cool, drizzly autumn day. But, for Javila and Stevo, there were no concerns about rainy weather on this sunny summer day!

First, a little bit of advice to anyone getting married somewhere down a long country road: Clearly visible signage is key. This large sign, hanging off Stevo’s pickup parked at the turnoff to Copper Creek Inn, was just right.

Photo of handmade sign directing arriving wedding guests to turn into parking lot for a wedding at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Javila and her rather large posse of bridesmaids got ready in the Copper Creekside cabin, where I found some lovely dresses hanging in the window. Javila’s dress is from Belltown Bride — she says Melissa there is fabulous, and I thought the dress was, too.

Photo of wedding dress and colorful bridesmaids dresses hanging in a window of a cabin at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Photo of bride's wedding dress hanging in an open doorway of a cabin at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, and a detail photo of silk flowers on the dress, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Photo of bride working on her hair in a cabin at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford shortly before her wedding, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Photo of a makeup artist working on a bride's face in a cabin at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford shortly before her wedding, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

At most weddings, the color of the bridesmaids’ dresses is synchronized, even if the cut of the dresses isn’t. Not at this wedding! The color of these bridesmaids’ dresses is coordinated in a very different way, and that rainbow of colors sure looked great against a lush forest backdrop. The groomsmen looked sharp, too — fortunately their attire didn’t also form a rainbow.

Portrait of bride and bridesmaids dressed in a rainbow of colors in front of forest before a wedding at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Portrait of groom, groomsmen and ring dog in front of a rustic cabin before a wedding at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

As is often the case, preparations in the girls’ room had run a bit late, cutting into our pre-ceremony portrait time and placing many areas of the grounds off-limits, as wedding guests were already arriving. Fortunately, our cabin backed up into lush green wilderness, with Copper Creek babbling underneath the forest canopy.

I love the photographic opportunities that large wedding parties offer, and wedding parties don’t get much larger than Javila and Stevo’s twenty (counting them and Gibson the ring dog, of course). Here, we have three different poses and three different settings — men and women separate with cabin behind, men and women alternating with forest behind, and everyone scattered on the creek bed. Pretty nice variety for being stuck behind a cabin!

Portrait of very large wedding party, women and men separate, in front of a rustic cabin before a wedding at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Portrait of very large wedding party, men and women mixed, in front of forest before a wedding at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Portrait of very large wedding party, with men and women in small groups, next to a forest creek before a wedding at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

We did have a few minutes to spare for some portraits of just Javila and Stevo. My favorite is the one at the top of this blog post, but several others were also pretty darn nice, including the two below.

Black and white portrait of bride and groom in front of a rustic cabin before a wedding at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Portrait of bride and groom next to a forested creek before a wedding at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Copper Creek Inn’s grounds include a nice section of forest land, with paths leading to a clearing. Rustic wood benches create a natural amphitheater perfect for wedding ceremonies.

Two photos, one of the maid of honor and ring dog, and the other of the bride and her father, just about to enter a forest wedding at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Black and white candid of bride hugging her father at the start of a wedding at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Overview of a wedding in a forest clearing at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Side view of a wedding in a forest clearing at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Photo of a wedding in a forest clearing at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, with strong sun flares coming over the treetops, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Weddings are boring for dogs.

Photo of the ring dog laying on the ground during a wedding in a forest clearing at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Ceremony music was provided by Javila’s cousins.

Photo of musicians playing during a wedding in a forest clearing at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Javila and Stevo’s wedding was officiated by family friend Catharine Walkinshaw. She’s a Reiki practitioner, and the wedding included a Reiki bead ceremony, which was a first for me. Reiki, or “spiritually guided life force energy,” is a Japanese technique in which energy is channeled from one person to another to promote healing and reduce stress.

Each wedding guest was given a bead, and on cue, everyone infused the beads with positive intentions for the marriage. The beads were then collected, a process that you can see in the following photo. After the wedding, Javila and Stevo strung the beads on a cord that now hangs in their home.

If you like the idea of incorporating Reiki elements into your wedding, check out Creating a Reiki Ceremony.

Photo of bridesmaids wishing on stones and placing them in a bag during a wedding in a forest clearing at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Photo of groom reading his vows during a wedding in a forest clearing at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Black and white photo of bride, groom and officiant laughing during a wedding in a forest clearing at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Gibson was crashed out during the whole wedding ceremony, but his head popped right up as soon as Javila and Stevo walked back up the aisle at its conclusion!

Photo of bride and groom walking up the aisle after their wedding in a forest clearing at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

After some meet-and-greet time, we took care of family portraits back at the ceremony site, and found a few more minutes for bride and groom portraits before heading back to the reception site. Javila’s awesome bouquet, which incorporated all sorts of cool stuff including a large piece of tree fungi, was created by Stevo’s sister.

Portrait of bride and groom in a sun-kissed patch of forest, and detail photo of bride's bouquet, at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Two photos of bride and groom walking away from the camera on a forest path at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Overview photo of wedding reception at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Detail photo of spiked punch with bowls of fruit at wedding reception at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Toasts offer all sorts of opportunities not only to get good photos of the people giving the toasts, who are generally close friends and relatives, but to capture some great reactions from everyone watching.

Photo of maid of honor smiling during her toast to the bride and groom during a wedding reception at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Photo of table of wedding guests laughing during toasts at a wedding reception at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Another photo of table of wedding guests laughing during toasts at a wedding reception at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Still another photo of table of wedding guests laughing during toasts at a wedding reception at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Photo of bride and groom during toasts at their wedding reception at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Starting with Javila and Stevo’s first dance, entertainment was provided by Davidson Hart Kingsbery, a hard-rocking country band out of Seattle. They kept the dance floor pretty popular!

Photo of Seattle band Davidson Hart Kingsbery playing at a wedding reception at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Photo of bride and groom's first dance, to music played by Seattle band Davidson Hart Kingsbery at a wedding reception at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Photo of bride and groom's first dance at a wedding reception at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Black and white photo of bride and groom's first dance at a wedding reception at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Photo of people dancing to music by Seattle band Davidson Hart Kingsbery during a wedding reception at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

As dusk fell and the mountain chill started to set in, my time was up. I wasn’t surprised to hear that the dancing and partying went late into the night, though.

Photo of wedding guests gathered around a campfire at dusk during a wedding reception at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Overview photo of wedding reception at Copper Creek Inn at Ashford at dusk falls, by Tacoma wedding photographer Wallflower Photography

Congrats Javila and Stevo!

3 Responses to “Javila and Stevo’s wedding: Copper Creek Inn, Ashford”

  1. Steve Ditto

    Pictures do say a thousand words

  2. Pat Kennedy

    Amazing photographic portrayal of an amazing day on the mountain.May your lives together be a golden road.
    -Patty the Daddy

  3. Catharine Walkinshaw

    Great day; great pictures. Full of light, love, and life! Wishing you both a lifetime filled with the same!

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