The Wallflower Photography Blog


Black and white portrait of bride and groom along a rippled metal wall in the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

We finally got to photograph a wedding in one of Tacoma’s most architecturally interesting buildings, the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center, at Marci and Matthew’s wedding last November!

Regular readers of the Wallflower Blog met Marci and Matthew some months ago, when I featured highlights from their engagement portrait session in downtown Tacoma — and at a Spanaway property with a tree growing out of a rusted old truck.

We started the day with Laura photographing Marci’s preparations with her girls in a back room at GTCTC, while I hung out with Matthew and the guys just down the road at Hotel Murano.

Then we all met up and jumped right in with bride and groom portraits, starting inside the GTCTC, which features some terrific modern architecture and unusual art installations — particularly the “Apotheosis” installation in the building’s northeast corner. Apotheosis is a Greek term meaning elevation to sacred status, fitting for this installation, which symbolically illustrates the journey of old growth timber from pastoral to industrial as they ascend to a final place of honor on Mount Rainier. Our portraits with Marci and Matthew happened to follow the same path.

We start with two photos below of our bride and groom posed on a floating walkway. Overhead are seven hand-hewn timbers salvaged from the 90-year-old warehouses formerly located at the GTCTC site. Suspended from the ceiling, the timbers ascend toward a floating staircase, with a backdrop of tree trunks and a topographic map of Mt. Rainier screened onto the face of the glass walls behind. You’ll see two very different photos of Marci and Matthew there, one (mine) of Marci and Matthew silhouetted against the bright glass walls, and the other (Laura’s) shot from a balcony above them not a minute later. Glad I didn’t have to cover all that ground myself!

You can learn more about Apotheosis and the other GTCTC art installations here.

Portrait of bride and groom posed on the railing of a floating walkway in the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Portrait of bride and groom posed in the middle of a floating walkway in the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Silhouette portrait of bride and groom on a floating staircase in the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Portrait of bride and groom on a floating staircase in the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, shot from above, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Then we headed outside, where a beautiful autumn day beckoned. Between GTCTC and Hotel Murano, Broadway is lined with trees that were still hanging onto the last of their vibrant red and orange leaves. Despite being in the heart of downtown, Broadway is a pretty quiet street, and I had enough time to lie in the middle of the road to take the big horizontal photo below. I can’t think of a wedding in which I haven’t found myself lying on the ground at some point!

Two portraits of bride and groom outside the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, under trees showing fall color, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Portrait of bride and groom posed on Broadway, outside the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, under trees showing fall color, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Back inside, we met up with the wedding party, and took them to the same floating walkway and staircase. You might enjoy comparing the black and white photo below of the wedding party on the floating staircase to the one above of Marci and Matthew at the same place to see what a difference a strong burst of flash can make. Bride and groom silhouettes can be quite artistic, but that portrait of the wedding party would have been worthless if you couldn’t see their faces!

Portrait of bride, groom and wedding party along a floating walkway in the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Portrait of bride, groom and wedding party on a floating staircase in the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Then we headed up to the far end of the top floor, where (with staff help) we were able to take Marci and Matthew onto an outdoor platform overlooking the south end of downtown Tacoma. The Museum of Glass, Union Station and the Tacoma Dome are all clearly visible. It was a bit chilly out there, so we got the job done quickly and scurried back inside, where, thanks to those glass walls, we were still able to make use of those dramatic skies while also keeping warm. No doubt the bridesmaids approved of that decision!

Portrait of bride and groom on the top of the exterior staircase at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, with downtown Tacoma behind, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Romantic portrait of bride and groom on the top of the exterior staircase at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, with downtown Tacoma behind, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Photo of bridesmaids watching and taking photos of bride and groom being photographed on the top of the exterior staircase at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

That floating walkway was great for portraits, and also makes a nice runway for wedding participants to make their grand entrance. Immediately after the ceremony started, I took my usual wide-angle shots of the ceremony right away, including one from above, which I hustled upstairs and leaned far over a railing to capture.

Photo of bride and her father walking down a floating walkway toward her wedding ceremony in the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Fisheye photo of wedding ceremony in the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, showing interesting modern architecture, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Photo of wedding ceremony in the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, taken from above, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Marci and Matthew’s wedding included a unity candle ceremony, which I wrote about a few weeks ago. You’ll find two photos of them not quite halfway down that blog post.

I love the next photo of Marci busting up. I can’t remember what was so funny, but I imagine it was probably something said by their officiant, who is a close friend.

Then we have Marci and Matthew’s triumphant exit as a married couple. They found a quiet place to catch their breaths for a minute in an open space, where you can see two versions of Flower for the Tacoma Dome on the back wall. It’s an Andy Warhol piece from the early 1980s that he submitted when the city put out a call for proposals for paint schemes for the newly built wooden dome. What a different Dome we would have had, if Warhol’s proposal had been the chosen one!

Photo of bride laughing during her wedding ceremony in the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Photo of bride and groom looking triumphant at the end of their wedding ceremony in the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Photo of bride and groom walking up the aisle after their wedding ceremony in the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Two photos of bride and groom enjoying a quiet moment just after their wedding ceremony in the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Here are two photos of wedding favors. The first is of bottles of two different wines that Marci and Matthew custom-blended. The label features a custom wedding monogram that one of their friends designed. The second photo shows boxes of M&M candies in their wedding colors. A clever choice of candy, given their initials!

Two photos of wedding favors - customized wine and M&Ms - for a wedding reception in the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

The wedding reception was conveniently held in the huge ballroom immediately adjacent to the site of the wedding ceremony. Adam’s DJ Service set up green uplights all around the perimeter of the room, laser dots on the ceiling, and a custom monogram projected onto one of the walls. After toasts and Marci and Matthew’s first dance, the room lights were dimmed, which let the DJ’s colored lights pop as open dancing got started. Good lighting can really bring a reception room to life, and Adam has the very best. In fact, he’s so serious about room lighting, he just launched a second business dedicated to them, NW Event Lighting!

Fisheye photo of wedding reception in the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Fisheye photo of wedding party at the head table during a wedding reception in the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Photo of maid of honor toasting the bride and groom during a wedding reception in the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Photo of the best man toasting the bride and groom during a wedding reception in the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Photo of bride and groom's first dance, with monogram spotlight behind, during a wedding reception in the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Two black and white photos of bride and groom's first dance during a wedding reception in the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Fisheye photo of guests dancing under colorful DJ lights during a wedding reception in the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Congrats Marci and Matthew! Congrats also to the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center, which was selected as one of Tacoma’s Top Wedding Venues in 2012!

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