Washington Center for the Performing Arts
McMenamins Olympic Club

Tacoma Catholic wedding with waterfront reception

On a sunny fall day, Sept. 21, 2013, Erin and Joseph said their vows at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Tacoma.

After the ceremony, they rode in a 1937 Packard to the Tacoma waterfront to catch another ride to the reception. A vintage tugboat carried the couple to Foss Waterway Seaport, where 150 guests greeted them on the dock.

“One of the things we love about our wedding day is how we traveled from the wedding to the reception,” says Erin. “Having some quiet time on the water as we slowly made our way to the seaport was a special experience,” says Erin. Along the way, the couple was saluted by horns from other vessels docked or sailing in the bay. “As we approached the dock, we could hear the faint sounds of bagpipes and see a line of family and friends waiting along the boardwalk. It was a grand entrance that we felt was one of a kind and truly encompassed the spirit of our relationship,” says Erin.

Having a Catholic wedding that incorporated family members into special roles in the ceremony was important to the couple. “We wanted people to say ‘I can see Erin and Joseph in this.’”

The couple, who met through Match.com, was engaged for nine months before the wedding. The engagement and wedding bands were made by a jeweler who is a friend. Erin and Joseph worked with him to create a design that included Celtic trinity knots on each side of the diamond. “Our wedding bands were both made from the same piece of gold,” says Erin. “It’s nice to know our wedding bands were connected at one time.”

At the reception, the couple incorporated fall colors, including burgundy, into the décor. Burgundy tablecloths were accented with burlap runners and silk leaves. Centerpieces of mason jars decorated with ribbons and filled with dahlias completed the look. The tables also had an assortment of fall Hershey’s Kisses, personalized by stickers with couple’s names.

Handmade favors were given to the guests. Erin and her mom made about 170 jars of jam and decorated the tops of the jars with fall-themed fabrics. Erin’s sister, Heather, made biscotti in four flavors and put them into bags. There were also fall-themed bags filled with snacks that people could enjoy at the reception or take home.

To out-of-state guests and family members, the couple gave Washington goodies in hand-decorated canvas bags. They also put in snacks, water and maps of Tacoma.

“Our families really contributed a lot to making our wedding special,” says Erin. “Everyone took part in helping get ready at home and in decorating our reception site. It was just wonderful to be surrounded by such love and support.”

She adds, “At the reception, Joseph’s brother, John, gave the most amazing speech, and we were even serenaded by friends playing guitar and singing at the end of the night.”

Erin is a community outreach specialist, and Joseph is a museum curator. They make their home in Olympia.


PHOTOGRAPHY: Wallflower Photography
CEREMONY: Holy Rosary Catholic Church
RECEPTION: Foss Waterway Seaport
CATERER: Scooter’s Custom Catering
FLORIST: Floral Ingenuity

Click on a photo to enlarge.

Published on April 22, 2016.

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