Sonja + Phil had absolutely perfect fall weather for their wedding on Saturday, only after a huge storm moved through dumping lots of rain on Friday and leaving us with clouds on Saturday morning. But the umbrellas stayed in my car and we had a beautiful day! This was the last wedding of the year for me – unless someone calls about an elopement, and you know you want to do that! – and as always, it’s bittersweet. Another year in the books, and now tons of editing and meeting with 2019 wedding couples!!
Sonja + Phil, thank you for having me at your wedding, I can’t wait to share the rest of the photos with you!
It’s taken me forever (really, forever) to get this wedding up on the blog!! And so I’m going to gush about Malain and Lucas a little. :) They are the sweetest couple, and so so kind. These two were surrounded by their families and friends on their wedding day, and you could just feel how much love there was for them! They had a ton of friends and family in their wedding party, and this crew of ladies and gentlemen had me laughing and smiling all evening long. Malain and Lucas met in high school, and gosh, I just love high school love stories!!
Plus, this wedding was full to the brim with sweet little details, from the matching robes that Malain’s bridesmaids wore to the tiny little details, everything was so coordinated!! Arbor Crest Winery was the perfect backdrop for their wedding, it was romantic and elegant and whimsical.
Oh! I would be remiss if I didn’t miss my favorite detail: the motorcycle! When we met up a few weeks before the wedding, Malain mentioned that a family member would be bring a vintage motorcycle, and that she really wanted to do photos with it. It was so fun! I love those photos, and I love that they’re so unique for Malain and Lucas.
Malain and Lucas, thank you for including me in your wedding day! It was wonderful to meet you both, to get to snuggle your pup at your engagement session (and a little bit at the wedding) and to see you two get married. I’m sorry it took me so long to blog these!!!
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.
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!
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.
Gonzaga University – St. 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.
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.
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!
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.
Last year, I got an email from Leslie along the lines of this: We’re flying up to the Gorge for the Dave Matthew’s concert, and we want to elope. We live in Florida, and we don’t know much about the area, but we want beautiful photos.
You know how much I love the Gorge, and I was thrilled to photograph Leslie & Drew’s elopement at Cave B Winery and Inn. They camped at the concert, and walked over to the winery to elope. We spent an hour taking photos all over the grounds, drinking a couple glasses of wine (them, not me. I’m going to have to stop by there for a glass now that I’m not pregnant!) and admiring the views. As the sun started to set, they got married under the grapes at the Piazza, and we took a few more golden hour photos before they went back to the Gorge for a concert.
Boom. Elopements are the best, I want more of them in my life.
Special shout out to Esther at Special Touch Florist, here in Spokane. She and Leslie coordinated on the flowers, and then I brought them with me to the elopement! :)
I’m a sucker for a good college sweetheart story, and that might be part of the reason I loved Sarah & Ethan’s wedding so much. Since H and I met in college, I love hearing that other couples met that way too. Sarah & Ethan were the most relaxed couple, they really wanted the wedding to be about their friends and family coming to Spokane to celebrate with them, and that showed! They had the most chill wedding party I’ve had the chance to work with yet. Sarah & Ethan told me to just do my thing, and never laughed at me when I told them to go stand in front of a shed or a random plant. Although they did laugh – a lot! There were also some beautiful tears during the ceremony and toasts, but the wedding ended with the most epic dance party. In fact, they were still moving and grooving when I left.The cherry on top of any wedding day? The weather was absolutely perfect. So, I guess, if you’re worried about having a July outdoor wedding in Spokane, don’t worry so much!
Thank you again, Sarah & Ethan, for trusting me to photograph your wedding. I had such a fun time reliving your day while choosing the images for this post…which is probably why it’s so long! :)