Wedding Photography, PNW Wedding Photography

Beautiful Lake Tapps Elopement | Bonney Lake Wedding Photography | Louie and Sam

Bride turns around to show her hair during Bonney Lake Wedding Photography
Sam turns to show Louie her hair during the first look at their lake house wedding in Bonney Lake

Photography, Ben Wagner Photography  |   Venue, Private Residence |   Location, Bonney Lake, WA

A Summertime Elopement at Lake Tapps — Bonney Lake Wedding Photography

When I arrived at the bridal party’s lakeside AirBnb on the shores of Lake Tapps, it was obvious the crew had been enjoying the wedding weekend. It was only 8 AM, but there were several open bottles of Champagne already, last night’s pre-wedding bash picking right back up where it left off. The wedding dress hung in the kitchen, the bridesmaids alternating steaming the dress and wrestling for the limited mirror space.

The venue was the home of a family friend that included a small beach, docks, and access to the Lake Tapps golf course. The groom and groomsmen decided it was too beautiful a day to get dressed inside, and so a large mirror was setup on the back deck for them to fiddle with their bow ties. “We’re fishermen” Louie said, “we should be able to get these bow ties on the first try.” (They didn’t).

Mt. Rainier peaked out from behind the clouds right as the rare, summer morning ceremony began, a perfect day for Bonney Lake Wedding Photography. Sam’s Dad walked her up the aisle in full military dress as the July sun broke through. The officiant’s reading was a unique one, a large hardcover of Dr. Seuss’ Oh the Places You’ll Go.

The sun was intense. An overly hot July day for the pacific northwest — and every so often the bride and groom would get reminded of the heat and re-lathered in the sunscreen. With the sun up, as soon as the ceremony ended the dozen or so children present changed into swimsuits and dove into the lake, the reception then punctuated every so often by a mass of soaking wet kids causing a little chaos as they played. Speeches were casual, given right off the back deck of the house.

The dances were particularly emotional. Louie’s mother used a wheelchair throughout the day, but she transitioned to a walker, insisting to participate in the mother – son dance. It was one of the honors of my career to document this emotional moment, and a reminder of why I believe so much in the documentary approach. No amount of forced poses or over the top lighting rigs can match the human truth of moments like these, moments that are available at every wedding if you’re looking for them.

Groom dances with his mother during Bonney Lake Wedding Photography
Tears are shed as Louie and his mother dance

I noted early on that there were instrument cases stacked near the house. With the reception in full swing Louie’s family began to tune-up unfamiliar looking string instruments, which I learned were Tamburicas, a traditional Croatian folk instrument. They began to play a series of Croatian folk songs (some of which you can hear in the PhotoFilm below), which led to a series of line dances. I was over my time at this point but I stayed for awhile extra, basking in the music and dancing under the July sun.

Bonney Lake Wedding Photography — Select Photographs

The gallery below includes a select group of photos from Sam and Louie’s wedding day at Lake Tapps. In the following gallery you will see images in both Color and Black and White, and each couple receives all digital photographs edited in both color and black and white.

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Click any image below to view in fullscreen or slideshow mode.

Bonney Lake Wedding Photography – The PhotoFilm

All Wedding Packages include a 4K PhotoFilm — combining your wedding photographs with recorded sound to create a one of kind photographic documentary.

Digital images photographed on the Fujifilm X-T4, X-Pro3, and GFX 50R.

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