The Wallflower Photography Blog


Portrait of bride and groom kissing under LOVE sign attached to metal arbor in sunken garden at Thornewood Castle, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Day 3 of this week’s Thornewood Castle Wedding Spectacular brings us the wedding of Monica and Derek. Regular readers of the Wallflower Blog will remember Monica and Derek for their beautiful rainy-day engagement portraits in the native forest at the heart of Point Defiance Park. Their wedding day weather couldn’t have been more different, fortunately!

Normally Thornewood Castle brides and their attendants get ready in one of the castle’s upstairs suites, but in a change of pace, Monica rented one of the apartments attached to the castle for her big day. Maybe that was because she and Derek had a huge wedding party: no less than eight bridesmaids in vibrant purple, plus five little girls, were on hand! Derek and his eight groomsmen got ready in the castle’s library, as most guys do.

Photo of bride getting ready with her bridesmaids and flower girls in an apartment attached to Thornewood Castle, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Photo of bride reflected in two different mirrors as she gets ready in an apartment attached to Thornewood Castle, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Photo of flower girl getting primped by her mom before a wedding at Thornewood Castle, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Photo of groom and groomsmen getting ready in the library at Thornewood Castle, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Look at the size of that wedding party! Although posing big groups like this sometimes feels like herding cats, I love the photos I get compared to small wedding parties. In yesterday’s Thornewood Castle wedding recap, I included two bride and groom portraits, one with a standard mid-range zoom lens set to 23mm, and the other with my 15mm fisheye lens to show off the dramatic difference. Here’s another two-photo comparison, this time with a standard wide-angle lens followed by the fisheye lens, which gives us the roofline of the three-story castle without making the people in the middle appear any smaller. Well, I suppose our bridesmaids and groomsmen on the ends might take exception to that last statement, since they do get shrunk by the curving distortion inherent to fisheye lenses. I think it looks rather cool, though!

Portrait of large wedding party at the back of Thornewood Castle, taken with a standard wide-angle lens by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Portrait of large wedding party at the back of Thornewood Castle, taken with a fisheye lens by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Our portraits with Monica and Derek started at the back of the castle, and then we led them down the hill to the dock on American Lake, which is featured prominently here.

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

Semi-candid portrait of bride and groom at the back of Thornewood Castle, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Photo of bride and groom walking down the hill from the back of Thornewood Castle to its dock on American Lake, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Portrait of bride and groom sitting on a bench near the Thornewood Castle dock on American Lake, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Portrait of bride and groom smiling at each other on the Thornewood Castle dock on American Lake, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Semi-candid portrait of bride and groom on the Thornewood Castle dock on American Lake, showing off the bride's bouquet, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Fisheye portrait of bride and groom on the Thornewood Castle dock on American Lake, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Slightly antiqued portrait of bride and groom smiling at each other on the Thornewood Castle dock on American Lake, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Derek’s father, a minister, performed the wedding ceremony in the sunken garden. You’ll notice a photo showing the handcuffs that he slapped on Derek, ostensibly to keep him from making a break for it mid-ceremony! I liked the great “LOVE” sign attached to Thornewood’s white iron archway. You can see the letters even better in the portrait at the top of this post. Monica cut the letters herself out of cardboard, covered them with moss, and arranged to have a friend wire them onto the archway before the ceremony.

Photo of groom, escorted by his father and best man, walking along the path to his wedding ceremony in the Thornewood Castle sunken garden, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Two photos of the wedding ceremony processional in the Thornewood Castle sunken garden, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Photo of bride being escorted by her father to her wedding ceremony in the Thornewood Castle sunken garden, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Photo of wedding ceremony in the Thornewood Castle sunken garden, shot from over the brick perimeter wall by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Photo of bride and groom at wedding ceremony in the Thornewood Castle sunken garden, showing handcuffs, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Photo of bride and groom, with flower girls in tow, departing their wedding ceremony in the Thornewood Castle sunken garden, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

After the ceremony, we were able to get a few more portraits of Monica and Derek in the sunken garden and at the front of the castle, which we couldn’t do before the ceremony due to guests arriving early. As nice as the back of the castle and the dock are, you just can’t beat these two portrait places! The large fountain at the front of Thornewood Castle was designed and built for Rose Red, the Steven King mini-series filmed at Thornewood in 2001. This movie is rumored to be the largest budgeted mini-series yet filmed. I’m sure a chunk of that money went toward digitally transplanting this huge castle into downtown Seattle, which looked absolutely ridiculous. It was even worse than “moving” Tacoma’s famous Stadium High School to Seattle for 10 Things I Hate About You.

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

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

Portrait of bride and groom departing the sunken garden at Thornewood Castle through one of its heavy wooden gates, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Portrait of bride and groom at the large fountain at the front of Thornewood Castle, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Monica made her own bouquet, along with those of all her bridesmaids. Pretty awesome, aren’t they! And by using silk flowers, Monica’s bouquet will be a much better keepsake.

Detail photo of bride's bouquet, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Check out this wacky, Halo-and-reluctant-groom-themed groom’s cake!

Detail photo of quirky groom's cake, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Dinner was served in the Loggia (covered porch) and the reception took place on the adjacent lawn. Look at that beautiful “golden light” coming in from across the lake! The kids had a great time playing on the lawn, as parents were torn between wanting to police or photograph their roughhousing.

Wide-angle photo of wedding reception on the side lawn of Thornewood Castle, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Photo of kids roughhousing on the lawn during wedding reception at Thornewood Castle, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Monica and Derek departed the castle in a swarm of bubbles as dusk fell. This is a particularly challenging scenario for photographers, given all the action under low light levels. Safe to say we pulled it off quite well! This photo, my favorite of several, was shot with a high-speed lens at f1.4 to take in what little light remained (hence the golden glow in the doorway behind them) and a reduced-power flash to help freeze the action and light their faces just enough.

Photo of bride and groom departing their wedding reception through Thornewood Castle's front door at dusk as guests blow bubbles, by Wallflower Photography of Tacoma, Washington

Congrats Monica and Derek!

One Response to “Monica and Derek’s wedding:
Thornewood Castle, Lakewood”

  1. Monica and Derek Lind

    I fall in love with my pictures every time I see them, and our feature in this blog is no exception! Thornewood is amazingly gorgeous and I can see why you are the preferred photographer that they recommended to us! Thank you for your time and hard work taking both our engagement and wedding photos 🙂

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