June — Behind the Scenes Recap // Personal Post

June — Behind the Scenes Recap // Personal Post

I’m having a moment where I can’t believe that it’s July, that this week marks four years since we moved back to Spokane, and that June is long gone.

We took it pretty easy in June, and did a lot of hanging out around the house, soaking up the nice weather, and going for walks. I’ve been trying to use my phone less, so I don’t have as many photos, but I did find a few for our recap.

1. I was scrolling through my phone early in the month, and saw the photo I’d taken with N when she was just three weeks old, so I decided to replicate it. I’m even wearing a similar outfit (an Everlane tee and black running pants. Basically, my work from home uniform).
2. We started practicing our back carry in June, and are now regularly back carrying. On Sunday, we went up to Eleven Acres farm on Greenbluff, and picked raspberries, while baby wearing. I seriously don’t know how we would have done it otherwise!

Personal Post - June Recap // Emily Wenzel Photography

3. Continuing our theme of recreating photos from December: on the day that N was born, I spent the morning at the car dealership. I took a photo in the full length mirror in their bathroom. So, when I got my oil changed the day before N’s half birthday, we recreated the photo.
4. Cloth diapers make for fun little bums under summer dresses!

Personal Post - June Recap // Emily Wenzel Photography

5. Lola has been getting a bit tired of having her tail snagged by tiny little baby hands. [N loves our pets. She squeals with joy when she sees them.] so she took to hiding on some of the blankets I had tucked on the bottom shelf of the bookcase. Poor kitty.
6. Shadow, on the other hand, thinks that this whole food thing is the greatest. He’s more than happy to help clean the floor up after dinner. Lately though, N has gotten better about not throwing all her food on the floor, which has made him a bit sad.

Personal Post - June Recap // Emily Wenzel Photography

7. We’ve been hitting up Manito on the regular lately with some friends for stroller walks, and the fresh air has been good for both of us. N naps most of the time, and I get to chat with friends. Win!
8. I’m ever so thankful for venue owners who let me show up early and give me a quiet space to pump. Not every part of motherhood has been fabulous, but I’m so grateful my body has been able to nourish this tiny human for so long!

Personal Post - June Recap // Emily Wenzel Photography

And just like that, it’s July!

My Favorite Downtown Spokane Wedding Venues // Spokane Wedding Photography

My Favorite Downtown Spokane Wedding Venues // Spokane Wedding Photography

I’m going to confess that I took the easy* way out when we got married, and we decided to host our wedding at a family member’s house. It was lovely, and everything I’ve ever dreamed of, but after four years back in Eastern Washington (no, I can’t believe it), I wonder what it would have been like to get married at one of my favorite area venues. Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of photographing weddings all over the Pacific Northwest. When I jotted down this list, I knew I’d have to split them up into multiple posts.

First up! My favorite Spokane wedding venues that are within 15 minutes of downtown.

The Davenport Hotels
Let’s get the most obvious location out of the way first. The Davenport Hotels are a Spokane classic, and even though I’ve only photographed weddings at the Historic Davenport, the newer Grand Hotel is stunning too. What I love about the Davenport is that it’s a beautiful blank slate, and it’s perfect if you’re planning your wedding from out of town, and they can handle any size wedding at almost any time of the day. Brunch wedding with a morning ceremony? No problem! Huge Bollywood style, Hindu-Christian wedding that doesn’t end for day? No problem! [For reference, the second photo is the Isabella Ballroom. It’s amazing what you can do with this space!] Not into getting married at the Historic Davenport Hotel or the Grand Hotel? Stay there with your wedding party! It is a wonderful place to get ready, and if the weather isn’t great, you’ve got a beautiful space to do your getting ready photos and first look.

Historic Davenport Hotel Wedding // Emily Wenzel PhotographyHindu Christian Indian Wedding Spokane // Emily Wenzel Photography

Manito Park
On the complete other end of the spectrum, there is Manito Park. You’ll still need to find a reception space, sure, but for small weddings, nothing really beats getting married at one of Spokane’s parks. It’s perfect for small weddings, like Delta & Ricky’s Duncan Gardens not-quite-elopement wedding. One of the things I love most about a park wedding is that you’ll be able to come back whenever you want to your ceremony site. Imagine having a picnic at the spot where you got married on your anniversary? How fun!

Duncan Gardens Manito Park Wedding // Emily Wenzel PhotographyManito Park Spokane Wedding // Emily Wenzel Photography

Barrister Winery
This may be my new favorite Spokane wedding venue, especially after Misha & Tony’s beautiful Barrister Winery wedding last summer! What I love most about this space is that it’s got everything you want in a winery wedding venue, but it’s downtown! You’ve got a gorgeous outdoor space for the ceremony, and a perfect inside space for the reception (and the ceremony, if the weather is bad). The food – from Beacon Hill Events – is amazing, and the wine barrel room is a beautiful spot to take photos. Plus, it goes without saying that their wine is pretty amazing too. :) And, should that not be enough to sway you towards having your wedding at Barrister, there are tons of fun little photo spots nearby too.

Barrister Winery Wedding // Emily Wenzel PhotographyBarrister Winery Wedding // Emily Wenzel Photography

Gonzaga UniversitySt. Aloysius, the Hemmingson Center
I would be a terrible Gonzaga alum if I didn’t have Gonzaga University’s new Hemmingson Center, and the two beautiful chapels – St. Aloysius, and the Student Chapel. I haven’t had a chance to photograph a wedding at the Hemmingson Center yet, but I did photograph an event there last fall and it was stunning. If you’re looking to have a Catholic wedding ceremony in Spokane, it’s hard to find a more beautiful spot. What I love about Gonzaga…well, I love a lot of things about Gonzaga…is that you’ve got everything close by, the parking situation is easy (not something that is simple in or near downtown Spokane), and it’s gorgeous. There are tons of little spots around campus for photos, and even though I went to Gonzaga for four years, I’m still finding new little nooks and crannies when I visit. Not to mention, the catering at Gonzaga is top notch.

Gonzaga University St Aloysius Spokane Wedding // Emily Wenzel PhotographyGonzaga University Hemmingson Center Spokane Wedding // Emily Wenzel Photography

Nectar Catering & Events
Nectar has had a bit of a remodel since I photographed Dan & Danielle’s intimate wine bar wedding a couple years ago, and I need to go back and see what they’ve done. No matter what, it’s a great space for a small wedding, and has such beautiful details, like these gorgeous brick walls and wine barrels. Josh is amazing, and I really loved working with all the staff at Nectar. Stop by for wine tasting or lunch. In fact, now that I know they do lunch…I might have to stop by and grab lunch with a friend this summer.

Nectar Catering Wedding // Emily Wenzel PhotographyNectar Catering Wedding // Emily Wenzel Photography

Riverside Place
A few years ago, I went to a grand reopening at Riverside Place, and then didn’t make it over there again until last summer, when I had the chance to second shoot a wedding for April Egly. I had forgotten what a beautiful (and huge!) space it is. The views from the Falls Suite are top notch, especially because there is a great balcony, so you don’t have to peek at them through a window, you can stand out there and see them! Plus, they have such fun rooms all throughout the building. It’s a total maze, and I would have gotten lost more than once, if it wasn’t for the amazing staff there who directed me to all the fun little spots like marble hallways and old theaters. I’d move into this space if they would let me!

Riverside Place Wedding Spokane // Emily Wenzel PhotographyRiverside Place Wedding Spokane // Emily Wenzel Photography

Other Downtown Venues I Love:
I haven’t had a chance to shoot at every downtown Spokane venue, so I wanted to toss out some more places that might be a good fit (hey, hire me to photograph your wedding at them, okay?) for you.
— The Spokane Club
— Fox Theater
— Glover Mansion
— The Convention Center

*not easy. In fact, there were many times that we regretted it, because it is so stressful to host your own wedding. If you do a backyard wedding in the Spokane area, I highly recommend hiring a planner.

Misha & Tony — Barrister Winery Wedding // Spokane Wedding Photography

Misha & Tony — Barrister Winery Wedding // Spokane Wedding Photography

From the moment I got Misha’s first email, I knew I was going to like this sweet couple! When we started chatting even more, and I learned that they used to live down the street, but now live out of state. You may remember that we did their South Perry engagement session, just days after the Windstorm hit. It was fun for them to see how much the neighborhood had changed since they moved a few years ago. It was also the first time we got to meet in person, but after countless emails and a few phone calls, I knew we were going to get along fantastically.

Planning a June wedding in Spokane is usually pretty easy, but the weather this year was unpredictable. Two weeks before, I was a second shooter for a wedding and it was in the 90s, but the weekend of Misha & Tony’s downtown Spokane wedding was filled with storm clouds and a more than a little bit chillier. Misha and Tony got ready at the The Historic Davenport Hotel, where we did their first look, and we wandered around downtown Spokane a bit for some wedding party portraits, before heading over to Barrister Winery. Luckily, the rain stopped in time for their outdoor ceremony, which was absolutely perfect. The sun came out briefly during their reception, and we snuck out for a few minutes to grab some portraits outside after dinner, and then they partied the night away on the dance floor.

Misha & Tony, thank you so much for trusting me with your wedding photos! I feel so lucky to have met you and your beautiful family and friends!!

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