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Bride and groom come down the aisle at the conclusion of their wedding ceremony as the bride punches the air in celebration

Seattle wedding photographer – Lacey Community Center Wedding

Michelle & Zach get married at the Lacey Community Center

Two weeks ago I was the photographer at the wedding of Michelle Jensen and Zach Dodge, held at the Lacey Community Center, located just north of Olympia.  I first met Michelle and Zach a couple of months ago when I took their engagement photos at Gas Works Park.  At the time they were both students at Western Washington University, and were getting very excited about the upcoming wedding but also clearly feeling quite stressed by the combination of the end of their time at college, with finals, papers, etc. to deal with, and the work of putting together a wedding to take place right after graduation.

The day of the wedding the weather can be described with one word – HOT!  It was forecasted to be the hottest day so far this year, and for once the weather people got it right.  When I arrived at the wedding location the temperature was already almost 95F, and was supposed to get hotter later in the day.  Fortunately the Community Center was nicely air conditioned, so the heat would not be an issue.

Pre-ceremony preparations

I arrived as the wedding party and minister were going through a quick rehearsal of the ceremony.  Once that was wrapped up the wedding party moved to their respective dressing rooms to get ready for the actual ceremony.  I got a few photos of the guys as they were getting dressed, then moved on to get some pics of Michelle and the bridesmaids as they finished their preparations.

Once Michelle was ready we set up a “first look” for her and Zach on the deck of the center, with a beautiful backdrop of a large pond.  Did I mention that it was seriously hot?  LOL!   Michelle and Zach had fun with the first look, and we then grabbed the wedding party and headed for a nearby spot that offered some shade to get photos with the wedding party and family.

Wedding party and Family Photos

Because it was so hot I wanted to keep everyone out of the sun as much as possible, especially Michelle, who is very fair skinned.  Getting a sunburn on her wedding day did not sound like a good plan!  Fortunately there was a spot a short walk from the Center that offered a small grove of trees, providing some protection from both the heat and sunlight.  We got a bunch of photos with the wedding party and then were joined by the families.  Even though we were (mostly) in the shade it was still very hot, and suits and tuxes are not the most comfortable clothing with temps in the mid-nineties.  So I wanted to at least get the family photos finished quickly so most of the group could get back inside and into the AC.  Because the wedding party were all in their early 20’s I was not so concerned about them, so once the families moved back indoors we got a few more photos before heading back ourselves, so Michelle could get out of sight as the guests were arriving.

The Wedding Ceremony

The ceremony was held in the main room of the Community Center.  I had mixed feelings about this, since it would have been fantastic to have had it outdoors on the lawn with the pond as the backdrop, but the temperature made that option pretty much a non-starter.  As the guests arrived, everyone was seated and almost exactly on schedule the ceremony began.  First the minister (Tung Le) and the groom and groomsmen (Aaron Krueger, Reed Salisbury, Ben Beamish, Carter Beamish) took their places in the altar area, and then the bridesmaids (Kirsten Noble, Julia Jensen, Rachel Simmons, Alexis Jensen) began their processional, followed by the ringbearer, flower girl and finally Michelle, who was escorted by her father Greg.

The ceremony proceeded without incident, and a short time later we had a brand-new husband and wife!

The Wedding Reception

Once the ceremony was completed everyone moved to the back portion of the room to begin the reception, while the chairs used for the ceremony were cleared to make room for dancing.  Zach and Michelle took a short break, and then were announced to the crowd as the new Mr. and Mrs. Dodge.  It was a very laid back party, with everyone just enjoying talking with friends, both new and old.  There were toasts made and cake cut, and then the DJ opened the floor for Michelle and Zach’s first dance as husband and wife.

The Send-off

Finally the party had to come to an end.  The newlyweds did a quick clothes change while I organized all of the guests outside the Center so they could give Zach and Michelle a send-off with bubbles.

Below you will see a pretty decent representation of the day in photos.  I would have added more but I have discovered that the load time gets rather ridiculous.

Oh, and as I left the reception to make the drive home, the thermometer in my car read 98F, and it hit 100F shortly after I passed Tacoma.  Not what we are used to in the Seattle area, that’s for sure!

Groom getting ready in the dressing room before the wedding ceremony
Groomsmen getting ready in the dressing room before the wedding ceremony
Bride getting ready in the dressing room before the wedding ceremony, as bridesmaid helps her with her garter
Bride getting ready in the dressing room before the wedding ceremony, as bridesmaids help
Bride getting ready in the dressing room before the wedding ceremony, bridesmaid helps with her necklace
Close up shot of bride with dramatic window light
Groom smiles at the camera as his bride sneaks up from behind
Bride taps groom on the shoulder from behind as they start their first look
Bride and groom walk arm in arm down path to a pond

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