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Costumed theme wedding ceremony at Thornewood Castle by Tom Ellis Photography

Thornewood Castle Wedding, Seattle Wedding Photographer

Tori and Andrew get married at Thornewood Castle

On May 21 I had the great good fortune to be the photographer at the wedding of Tori and Andrew.  This was no typical wedding.  First off, it took place at Thornewood Castle, an honest to God English castle that was transported to the US in the early 1900s and rebuilt brick by brick.  Second, it was a costume theme wedding, with the wedding party and family as well as some of the guests in costume.  The theme was based on the Dresden Files (which just happens to be one of my all-time favorite series of books), and for those reading this who are not familiar with Harry Dresden and his world, you need to check it out!  OK, I will admit to being a bit of a geek, but you still should read the books.  😉

In Dresden’s world magic and magical creatures exist, and we had a great representation at the wedding.  Faerie queens, wizards, vampires and more were all in attendance.  Tori had an amazing costume as a faerie princess, while Andrew was a White Court vampire.  Both of them (and a number of others) were well armed with real swords, daggers or both.  The combination of the castle and the costumes was perfect and worked together perfectly.

The pre-wedding activities and first look

When I arrived at Thornewood Tori was just starting to get into her costume, and I got to watch the process as she was transformed.  I’m not going to try to explain it all, you’ll see a lot of the process in the photos below.  As I moved around the castle grounds while Tori and Andrew were getting dressed I ran into their mothers, who were dressed as the faerie queens of the Summer and Winter courts.

Once both Andrew and Tori were ready to go, we set up a first look for the couple so they could see each other in their special wedding attire.  What a kick!  I discovered very quickly that Tori is a natural actress, and she fell completely into her role and helped to create some fantastic photos.

The wedding ceremony

After taking photos of the family and wedding party, it was time for the ceremony.   We lucked out for the wedding and had sunny skies and very pleasant temperatures, which meant that the ceremony could be held in the formal garden at Thornewood, a beautiful sunken garden surrounded by brick walls, and more than a half acre in size.  The ceremony was conducted by a wizard, and the wedding party (Erica, Tyler, Kathy and Cyrus) were all in costume.  Again, you’ll get more from the photos than from my descriptions.  I wish I had been able to pay more attention to the words spoken during the ceremony, but I spent the entire time moving from place to place trying to capture the best angles for all of the amazing elements of the ceremony.

The reception in the castle

At the conclusion of the ceremony everyone headed back to the castle for the reception.  I kept Tori and Andrew and the wedding party back so we could get more photos in the garden before joining the family and guests at the reception.  Thornewood has a huge formal dining area that is more than large enough to hold a large number of guests, and that is where the majority of the reception took place.  The main course was wood-fired pizza, which was wonderful and obviously a big hit with all of the guests.  Many of the desserts were prepared by Tori’s father, and I can testify that they were fantastic!

Below you will find a selection of photos from the day.  I have also embedded a video slideshow that I created, using the music from Tori and Andrew’s first dance as the soundtrack.  Whichever you choose to look at, I hope you enjoy the photos!




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