Victorian wedding in Tacoma

Rodney, from Anacortes, had met Linda, who was living in Des Moines, Iowa, on eHarmony in September 2013. Their first phone conversation lasted seven hours. They first met in person in December, and on Dec. 24, Rodney proposed to Linda.

Linda and Rodney both appreciate and enjoy the style, social aspects and graces of the Victorian era. To set their Victorian-themed wedding, they selected Thornewood Castle as a venue that matched their vision. Thornewood is a century-old castle on American Lake, but some of its parts are about 500 years old, as they were taken from an Elizabethan manor in England.

Collaborative wedding planning, in record time

Because Linda and Rodney lived in different states and needed to plan their Pacific Northwest wedding while together, they spent 12 days quickly planning. Together they selected the theme and venue, met with wedding professionals, ordered their wedding apparel and finalized all the details. They used South Sound Wedding & Event magazine as a resource to find many of their wedding professionals. The bride’s bouquet, created by Blitz & Co. Florist, was patterned after the bouquet on the Spring/Summer 2014 cover of this magazine.

As a surprise for Linda, Rodney asked the floral designer to add a Victorian rose-shaped brooch to her bouquet, as was commonly done in the Victorian era.

Victorian tones contrasted with colorful florals

Black, white and silver were the colors for the wedding invitations and wedding party attire. The couple’s other colors, light blue and lavender, were carried throughout the day in the flowers, ribbons and other details. “We added abundant florals everywhere around the garden statuary, castle entry, banisters and mantelpieces to add ambience and color,” says Linda. The colors were selected to complement the hydrangeas and other flowering plants in the sunken garden at the castle.

Victorian wedding elegance, in detail

Many Victorian details were featured in the wedding. Rodney wore a Victorian morning suit with a gray top hat made by Christys’, the same company that makes hats for England’s royal family. “Following proper Victorian etiquette, a morning suit is appropriately worn at an event that starts before 5 p.m.,” says Linda. He carried a black-and-silver walking stick and gray gloves, and he wore a monogrammed pocket watch with a chain on his waistcoat.

Linda wore a satin gown with lacy embroidery, sequins and beads. She wore a pearl choker necklace with a cameo in the center front, along with Victorian earrings and bracelets. After the ceremony, she carried a Battenberg-lace parasol and fan, embellished with sequins, pearls and beads. She wore Victorian boots with Victorian crystal shoe clips on the bottom of the laces. On her boot, she wore a shoe clip made from an authentic English sixpence for good luck. It was a gift that Rodney had ordered custom-made for her from England. “What made this so special to me is that he ordered the sixpence to be from my birth year, 1951,” says Linda.

“I am an award-winning seamstress and needleworker, with my specialty being heirloom sewing, silk ribbon embroidery and English smocking,” says Linda. Because of her work and volunteer schedule, however, she didn’t have time to make her own gown.

String quartets and a horse-drawn carriage

Live music was plentiful throughout the couple’s special day. The Seattle String Quartet performed during the ceremony and continued while guests sampled hors d’oeuvres. After the ceremony, as the couple boarded a horse-drawn carriage, Neil Hubbard, a bagpiper, and his three drummers performed and called guests from the sunken garden for refreshments.

“The carriage ride was particularly memorable, as it allowed for our first quiet moments together as husband and wife,” said Linda. “The carriage was so breathtakingly decorated — with ribbons, flowers and feathered plumes adorning the horses’ heads — and along with the clip-clop of the horses’ hooves, we could hear the distant echoes of the bagpiper and drummers playing,” said Linda. Later the carriage drivers offered rides to guests.

The monogram from the wedding invitations was reproduced in a spotlight on the dance floor. Additionally, at the reception in the great hall, there was uplighting in lavender and blue.

The couple had invited guests to wear Victorian-era clothing. “We were pleased with the number of guests who embraced our vision by arriving in vintage clothing,” said Linda.

Linda is a pharmacy technician and bookseller. Rodney is a retired sheriff’s sergeant and a retired master gunnery sergeant from the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. They make their home in Anacortes.

Featured in South Sound Wedding & Event magazine 2015.

Photographs by Wallflower Photography

VENUE: Thornewood Castle
CATERER: Snuffin’s Catering
CAKE: Celebrity Cake Studio
FLORIST: Blitz & Co. Florist
CARRIAGE: Country Wagon Carriage Service
MUSIC: Neil Hubbard, bagpiper, and drummers; Seattle String Quartet



Click on a photo to enlarge.

Published on April 27, 2016.

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