Sunshine in the Northwest: Hannah + Jerphy

May 28, 2008 | Weddings

On Saturday morning, bright and early, I headed down to Tacoma for Hannah and Jerphy’s wedding. I arrived at the Northwest Baptist Seminary a little early but it was fun having time to explore the stunning grounds before everyone showed up at 9am to start setting up.

Hannah and her bridesmaids were almost ready when they arrived, but we took some photos of Hannah getting into her dress and jewelry before heading outside for the group photos.

We held Hannah and Jerphy’s first look in the gorgeous rose garden where the ceremony was originally going to be held – it turned out to be an amazing day, but those pesky weather forecasters had predicted showers right at the time of the ceremony. I was so bummed! Still, it did mean that we had the garden to ourselves for their first look, and it was such a great setting.

The whole venue, in fact, is just to die for. I love the stone pillars, the old red bricks, and of course the beautiful staircase …

We found a lovely shady spot for the group photos in the side garden. I love the photos of the wedding party – they were so much fun to work with and kept on smiling through my silly ideas and general goofiness!

The cake by Cake Magic was amazing. It looked like a painting and tasted heavenly. And I loved that it had its own little sun room – very fitting.

Although not quite as amazing as the rose garden, the back-up ceremony location was a surprisingly cute chapel with tons of natural light flooding in. I loved how Hannah and Jerphy incorporated music into the celebration; they had a fantastic string quartet, The Pike Quartet, and four of their friends performed a song of blessing towards the end of the ceremony.

The rest of the day was spent on the patio and lawns of the seminary, and it was such a treat not having to use flash for the entire reception! I always forget how much easier summer weddings are!

After the main reception was over, Hannah and Jerphy’s families stayed on for a traditional Chinese tea ceremony. It was my first time experiencing one, and it was fascinating. Hannah and Jerphy changed into traditional robes, and offered tea to their families. In exchange, they received gifts and jewelry. I was expecting it to be quite formal, but in fact it was a very fun, social occasion, with tons of laughter and huge hugs.

Before they left for their banquet, I took Hannah and Jerphy off around the grounds for some final photos. I love how relaxed couples are towards the end of their wedding day, and I often capture my favorite images then. Many thanks to Hannah, Jerphy and their wonderful families and friends for inviting me to be a part of their beautiful and memorable day.

© Kate McElwee Photography

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Northwest Baptist Seminary
Flowers: Denney Designs
Music: Pike Quartet
Officiant: Pastor Stephen Jung
Cake: Cake Magic
Caterer: My Chef Sara
Rings: Shane Co.
Bride’s Dress: The Elegant Bride
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Nordstrom
Guys’ Attire: Men’s Warehouse
Hair & Makeup: Megan Bingham


  1. Ok that location is to DIE for! How beautiful! Your images Kate are nothing short of spectacular for this wedding! I think my favorite is of their first look but that’s because I’m a sucker for emotion 😉 Awesome work as always Kate!!

  2. hey Kate,

    Love the pics. My favorites are the staircase (color version), the exit (very nice timing) and the tea ceremony (despite the highlight problems and that everyone else is also taking pictures!) – I think it’s more because I am a fan of the traditional outfits they have on, very cool. And the rings nestled in the flowers; I still try and fail miserably at those shots. ;p Very nice mix of wide and tele- work, and the post-processing is nice, not over the top (though I still feel that the dark-blown shadows give it a slightly cartoony look, but I’m old-fashioned).

    Miss ya, we need to catch up…


  3. wow – what an amazing location. your shots are great – what a happy family they all are.

  4. Thank you Kate for these wonderful pictures. We are excited to see many more. Our wedding day’s photography was something we didn’t have to worry about at all. We are extremely glad we found you!

  5. Thank you all! Hannah & Jerphy, it was such a beautiful wedding, thanks for providing me with such an amazing location! There are hundreds more fab photos … coming your way in a few weeks. Congratulations again!

  6. hello! i’m a fellow seattle photographer too. i just found your blog. your lighting in the shot with all the people at the tea ceremony is so even! my fav image is the jumping one with the bridal party. so cute!


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