The Wallflower Photography Blog


Portrait of bride and groom near Union Station in downtown Tacoma, by Wallflower Photography

Loyal readers of the Wallflower Blog first met Brittiny and Brian in their engagement portraits, and recently spotted them in our latest Focal Point post. If you liked those photos, you definitely won’t be disappointed in this wedding recap post, which takes us on a whirlwind tour of several of Tacoma’s most photogenic spots.

We begin our journey in a room at the Hotel Murano, as Brittiny pulls on her dress. Once everyone was ready, Laura took them out to the hotel’s towering Orizon sculpture for a few quick portraits.

Photo of bride stepping into her wedding dress with help from the maid of honor, in a room at Hotel Murano, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Photo of maid of honor lacing bride's wedding dress as mother and friends watch, in a room at Hotel Murano, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Photo of mother and friends watching as bride's dress is laced up, in a room at Hotel Murano, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Portrait of bride and bridesmaids in front of Orizon sculpture at Hotel Murano, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

The girls hopped into a waiting car for the drive to the Church of St. Patrick, where I was hanging out with Brian and the guys. We took some posed photos before the girls arrived, including of Brian with his dad and brother, and with all the groomsmen, but I like the candids that I caught between “smile-for-the-camera” better.

Candid photo of groom with father and brother, laughing between portrait takes, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Candid photo of groom with groomsmen, laughing between portrait takes, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Brittiny did a lot of absent-minded playing with her long veil while waiting for the ceremony to start. I shot this one through the tall, skinny window in the door.

Photo of bride playing with her long veil, shot through window in a door at Church of St. Patrick, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington,

The ring bearer, who is Brian’s nephew, arrived asleep in his car seat. Laura and I have taken many wedding ring detail shots (like this award-winner), and we’ve seen hundreds more, but never anything like this one:

Photo of a young ring bearer asleep in his car seat, with wedding rings in his lap, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington,

Laura nailed this photo of dad giving away his daughter.

Photo of bride's father shaking hands with the groom as he gives his daughter away at the start of a wedding ceremony at Church of St. Patrick, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington,

I’ve photographed weddings in most of Tacoma’s beautiful old churches by now, after nine years of wedding photography. Many of them are within a half-mile of our house in the North Slope Historic District, and the Church of St. Patrick is the best of them all. We were there for a wedding just last November, so it was a treat to return so soon!

One of the things I like about Catholic wedding ceremonies is that they tend to be quite long. Even with the church’s handful of common-sense restrictions on photographers, there are still many angles and perspectives just begging to be photographed. It’s nice to have the extra time provided by a Catholic ceremony to cover them all!

I shot the next two photos from the balcony, with lenses that couldn’t be more dissimilar: my 15mm fisheye, followed by my 70-200mm telephoto. Then I tiptoed back down the old, dusty wooden stairs to ground level.

Fisheye photo of wedding ceremony at Church of St. Patrick, shot from the upper balcony, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Zoomed-in photo of wedding ceremony at Church of St. Patrick, shot from the upper balcony with a telephoto lens, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Wide-angle photo of wedding ceremony at Church of St. Patrick, shot from the ground floor, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

A common restriction imposed by nearly all old churches (and some newer churches as well) is no flash photography. This rule has never bothered me, because flash done poorly usually backfires on you, and done well requires too much gear and setup. I prefer to photograph these weddings with slower shutter speeds and the camera on a tripod, capturing the ceremony in the very light in which it took place in real life. The following photo, taken during the ring exchange, serves as a good example.

Photo of bride putting the groom's ring on his finger, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Photo of an emotional bride as the wedding vows are recited, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

St. Pat’s Father Seamus Laverty as is good as it gets:

Photo of Father Seamus Laverty holding up the bread during communion in a wedding ceremony at Church of St. Patrick, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Giving roses to the Virgin Mary:

Photo of bride and groom giving roses to the Virgin Mary at a wedding ceremony at Church of St. Patrick, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Another photo of bride and groom giving roses to the Virgin Mary at a wedding ceremony at Church of St. Patrick, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

The next photo has become a surprise favorite of mine from this wedding, taken at the conclusion of the ceremony. I like the green and brown tones, and all the different things to look at, and most of all, the light on Brittiny and Brian’s faces, streaming in through the open front door.

Photo of bride and groom leaving their wedding ceremony at Church of St. Patrick, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Brittiny and Brian staged a “fake departure” in a limo, which simply drove them around the block and dropped them off on the other side of the church. Doing so saved them from being mobbed by guests eager to congratulate them, which would have thrown our schedule into disarray. We rendezvoused in the church’s sunken courtyard for family and wedding party portraits. I call this pose the Flying V.

Photo of bride and groom exiting Church of St. Patrick after their wedding ceremony, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

A closer photo of bride and groom exiting Church of St. Patrick after their wedding ceremony, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Portrait of wedding party in courtyard at Church of St. Patrick, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

While the guests finished making their way downtown to Union Station, and enjoyed a cocktail hour there, we took Brittiny and Brian across the neighboring Bridge of Glass onto the outdoor pavilions of Museum of Glass for portraits. The breeze playing with Brittiny’s veil added just the right touch.

Wide-angle, panoramic photo of bride and groom near reflecting pool on the Rooftop Terrace of Museum of Glass, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Photo of bride and groom near reflecting pool on the Rooftop Terrace of Museum of Glass, with bride's veil caught in a gust of wind, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Portrait of groom kissing bride's cheek by the Hotshop Cone at Museum of Glass, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Photo of bride and groom walking off the Bridge of Glass back toward Union Station, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

While they couldn’t attend the wedding in person, Brittiny and Brian’s two dogs, Ellie and Doug, made a symbolic appearance on top of their wedding cake.

Detail photo of cute wedding cake toppers, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Four perspectives on the maid of honor’s and best man’s toasts:

Photo of maid of honor's toast at wedding reception in the Union Station Rotunda, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

A different angle on the maid of honor's toast at wedding reception in the Union Station Rotunda, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Photo looking down on best man's toast at wedding reception in the Union Station Rotunda, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Another angle on the best man's toast at wedding reception in the Union Station Rotunda, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

These first dance photos really show off Union Station’s beauty — as well as B&B’s dance moves! What a unique venue this is: a historic train depot with an architectural pedigree, carefully restored, converted into a federal courthouse (through the locked gate under the clock), and decorated by five Chihuly glass installations worth millions apiece.

Wide-angle photo of the bride and groom's first dance at their wedding reception in the Union Station Rotunda, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Antiqued photo of the bride and groom's first dance at their wedding reception in the Union Station Rotunda, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Black and white photo of the bride and groom's first dance at their wedding reception in the Union Station Rotunda, the groom spinning his bride around, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

All flowers, including Brittiny’s bouquet below, were expertly prepared by Blitz and Co. Florist, located right down the road in downtown Tacoma.

Detail photo of the bride's bouquet on the terrazzo floor of the Union Station Rotunda, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Noticing a beautiful sunset through the Monarch Window, Laura and I grabbed Brittiny and Brian off the dance floor and hurried them upstairs to capture these last two photos before the color finally faded from the sky. What a great way to end the day!

Sunset photo of the bride and groom kissing in front of the Chihuly Monarch Window in the Union Station Rotunda, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Sunset photo of the bride and groom gazing into each other's eyes in front of the Chihuly Monarch Window in the Union Station Rotunda, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Congrats Brittiny and Brian!

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