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Bride and groom raise their hands over their heads in triumph as they recess down the aisle at the conclusion of their wedding ceremony at Ray's in Seattle

Ray’s Boathouse Wedding, Seattle Wedding Photographer

Erin and Steve get married at Ray’s Boathouse

Getting ready in Fremont

On July 8 I had the good fortune to be the photographer at the wedding of two amazing people, Erin Schindler and Steve Saarinen.  The day began at their home in Fremont, where I met up with Erin and her attendants; Maid of Honor Kandis Clesson, and bridesmaids Lauren Beedle, TJ Saarinen and Sammy Saarinen.  I love having a chance to shoot photos as the bride and bridesmaids are going through the “getting ready” process, especially in a location like this where we had some great window lighting to help create really cool photos of the ladies as they worked on their hair and makeup.

Once Erin was dressed we had a first look session for Erin and her father Rick on the roof of the house, which is a huge deck.  What a fantastic view!  We took a few photos of Erin and the bridesmaids, as well as some family photos with Erin and her father Rick, mother Janice and brother Collin (who was also one of the groomsmen).  Talk about a great spot for photos, the view looking south to Seattle with Mt. Rainier in the background was wonderful, and the perfect blue sky and sunshine made for some great shots.

Photos at Chittenden Locks Park

Next it was off to the park at the Chittenden Locks, where we would meet up with Steve, his family and the groomsmen.  This proved to be a bit more challenging than we would have liked.  the weather was so nice that the park was very busy, which meant that parking was very difficult to find.  Erin and her family and the bridesmaids ended up having to make a pretty long walk back to the park after finally finding a place to park.  I was a little luckier, but still ended up several hundred yards from the park entrance.

Once we all managed to locate each other we set up a first look session for Steve and Erin, who snuck up on him as he waited in a fairly quiet spot in a garden area.  After a few minutes for the soon-to-be newlyweds to greet each other we moved on to a nearby hill for photos with Best Man Nick Moeur and groomsmen Robbie Saarinen and Collin Schindler, as well as with the entire wedding party, finishing with various combinations of family photos.  Steve’s parents arrived during this session, and we then got the entire group together and moved to another area for photos, a rose garden located very close to the the actual locks.  This garden is always one of my favorite spots at the Locks for photos during the summer, with some nice color not only from the flowers in the rose garden but also lots of other flowers in the immediate area.

By this time TJ and Sammy were starting to get a little burned out on photos, but we moved on to one last spot for some more photos of Erin, Steve and the wedding party.  That is the problem with a place like the Locks, there are so many good possibilities for photos that it is really hard to get to all of them, and really hard to purposely skip a place that I know would give even more great shots.  But time was starting to get a little tight so we decided it was time to move on to the venue for the ceremony and reception, Ray’s Boathouse.

Wedding Ceremony at Ray’s Boathouse

The wedding venue, Ray’s Boathouse (or just Ray’s) is located very near the Locks, so it was just a short drive to get there – after a LONG walk back to our cars!  Once at Ray’s Erin and the ladies moved into the bride’s area of the Ray’s Northwest Room, a separate building the sits right next to Ray’s main restaurant.  The chairs had already been set up for the ceremony, in the area that had once been used to store the fishing boats that gave Ray’s its name.  No boats are stored there any longer, but the huge wood planked area gives an idea of just how many boats were once kept there.  The old boat hoist is still in place, though it is likely no longer functional.  But the iconic neon “Rays” sign still sits on top of the old hoist and is in working order.

While the wedding party hung out in the cool of the Northwest Room, the guests began arriving and were directed to the ceremony area, which was located right next to the old boat lift and Ray’s sign.  Once all of the guests had arrived and were seated the ceremony began.  The officiant was Troy Meachum, who Steve had met playing Call of Duty some years before; after they met in person they became good friends.

The ceremony went perfectly, and we soon had a brand-new married couple!

The Reception

Everyone now moved back to the Northwest Room for the reception.  With the perfect weather conditions almost everyone was out on the deck, munching on appetizers and enjoying a drink while Erin and Steve took care of signing the legal documents.  They then joined the crowd and greeted their friends until it was time to move inside for a fantastic dinner.

As the dinner was wrapping up, toasts were made by several members of the wedding party and family.  It was just about time for sunset, and I managed to grab Steve and Erin long enough to make a short walk to a nearby beach for a few photos just after the sun had dropped below the horizon.  Then it was back to the NW Room for cake cutting and dancing.

Enough of my yacking!  Now you can look at some photos from the day.  I tried to put up enough to give a good feel for the day, I hope that you think I did a good job!


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