The Wallflower Photography Blog


Portrait of bride and groom in the sunken garden at Thornewood Castle, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Welcome to Day 2 of this week’s Thornewood Castle Wedding Spectacular! I’d like to start off this recap of Sheivon and Garret’s July wedding at Thornewood Castle with a type of photo that I hardly ever include in my wedding recaps: family portraits.

Family portraits are an important part of my services as a professional wedding photographer, but they aren’t the most exciting, interesting or creative photos, which is why they rarely land on this blog. The family portrait session certainly isn’t the most fun part of a bride and groom’s wedding day, either. While nearly everyone wants them (or their parents insist they need them), family portraits can feel like a bit of a chore. My approach is to conduct them as efficiently and painlessly as possible so that we can all get to what we’d rather be doing. That isn’t to say that I’m willing to accept inferior quality, however!

At Thornewood Castle, I often like to take my family portraits at the back of the castle. It’s beautiful back there, and it’s hidden away from all but the nosiest early-arriving wedding guests, most of which head straight to the ceremony site. Below are 15 photos from a total of 54 taken during Sheivon and Garret’s family portrait session, shortly before their ceremony started. From start to end, this portrait session took only SEVENTEEN MINUTES. Now that’s efficient productivity, right? Sheivon and Garret gave me a very minimal, simple list of family portraits, which helped greatly in keeping the time investment to a minimum. In addition to a few small family groups, the photos below include Sheivon with her two adorable kids, Sheivon with her bridesmaids, Garret with his groomsmen, and Sheivon and Garret together. Take note that even during this time of posed photos, I often get some good candids!

Family portrait at the back of Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, Washington, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Portrait of bride and father at the back of Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, Washington, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Portrait of groom with parents at the back of Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, Washington, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Candid photo of groom with parents during portrait session at the back of Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, Washington, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Portrait of bride and groom with her two children at the back of Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, Washington, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Portrait of bride with her two children at the back of Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, Washington, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Photo of bride's two children kissing her on the cheeks at the back of Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, Washington, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Wide-angle, full-length portrait of bride with her two bridesmaids at the back of Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, Washington, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Portrait of bride with her two bridesmaids at the back of Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, Washington, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Candid black and white photo of bride laughing with her two bridesmaids during portrait session at the back of Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, Washington, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Portrait of groom smiling with his two groomsmen at the back of Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, Washington, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Black and white portrait of groom looking serious with his two groomsmen at the back of Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, Washington, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

These next two photos are portraits of the bride and groom, who are in the same location and pose for both photos, yet they are wildly different due to the lens used. The first photo is my all-purpose mid-range lens set to 70mm, which is just a little more zoomed-in than the human eye normally sees. The second is with a 15mm fisheye lens, which provides both an extreme wide angle and a distinctive curving of the photo at the edges. The center of the photo, however, has no discernible distortion, so that’s where I’ve placed Sheivon and Garret’s faces.

Portrait of bride and groom smiling at the back of Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, Washington, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

Fisheye portrait of bride and groom smiling at the back of Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, Washington, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma

The wedding ceremony took place in the sunken garden, which was designed over 100 years ago by the Olmsted Brothers, who are best known for designing New York’s Central Park. I love this photo of Sheivon and her bridesmaids, one of which is her sister, peeking through one of the heavy wooden gates in the brick wall surrounding the garden. Looking at this second photo, I think you’ll agree there are few sights in the wedding more breathtaking than looking back toward Thornewood from the sunken garden to watch a father escort his daughter across the grass to her waiting groom.

Photo of bride and her bridesmaids peeking through a heavy wooden gate in the brick wall surrounding the sunken garden at Thornewood Castle, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Photo of bride and her father meeting in the sunken garden at Thornewood Castle, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Photo of father walking the bride across the sunken garden at Thornewood Castle to her wedding ceremony, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

After the ceremony ended, Sheivon and Garret headed back to Thornewood’s Great Hall for their first dance. This certainly doesn’t fit the standard wedding timeline, in which the first dance is scheduled for after dinner, toasts and cake cutting, but I thought it flowed really well. After a few dances, they cut their wedding cake, then left their guests to cocktails and socializing while we popped back to the sunken garden for a few last photos with the wedding party. Knowing that Sheivon and Garret really wanted photos there, but that our tight pre-ceremony schedule wouldn’t allow for it, we had planned this quick trip in advance, and the photos we got made it all worthwhile. The photo at the top of this post was also taken during this time.

Fisheye photo of bride and groom's first dance in the Great Hall at Thornewood Castle, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Photo of bride and groom's first dance in the Great Hall at Thornewood Castle, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Photo of multiple couples dancing during a wedding reception in the Great Hall at Thornewood Castle, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Photo of bride and groom about to feed each other wedding cake in the dining room at Thornewood Castle, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Photo of bride and groom feeding each other wedding cake in the dining room at Thornewood Castle, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Photo of bride smearing icing from wedding cake on groom's nose in the dining room at Thornewood Castle, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Black and white portrait of bride and groom sitting in large chairs in the dining room at Thornewood Castle, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Portrait of bride, groom and wedding party in the sunken garden at Thornewood Castle, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Twin portraits of the bride's daughter and son in the sunken garden at Thornewood Castle, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Congrats Sheivon and Garret!

One Response to “Sheivon and Garret’s wedding:
Thornewood Castle, Lakewood”

  1. Yadhira Rocha ~ Rocha Floral Design

    Hello! I love the pictures! Thornewood Castle is one of my favorite venues too. I was excited to find these photos, as I did the floral arrangements for this wedding! I think your work is beautiful and I was excited when Sheivon told me you would be the photographer for the wedding. Thanks for sharing!

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