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Contents New angles in photography................4 Eloping, just for two..................................6 The Methow, a sense of place............8 Make a local gift registry.....................12 Directory of advertisers.....................15 On the cover

Bryce and Marie Niekamp enjoying a toast at the Mazama Ranch House. Photo by E.A. Weymuller

A supplement to: the Methow Valley News 101 N. Glover St., P.O. Box 97 Twisp, WA 98856 509-997-7011 Fax 509-997-3277 editor@methowvalleynews.com www.methowvalleynews.com

Don Nelson, publisher/editor Robin Doggett, advertising manager Callie Fink, advertising Marilyn Bardin, office manager Dana Sphar, ad design/production Joe Novotny, design Contributors: Joanna Bastian Ann McCreary Marcy Stamper Laurelle Walsh

Valley Vows

I

t’s hard to know what a “traditional” wedding looks like these days. As you will discover reading the stories in this special publication – our annual Valley Vows supplement – the definition is evolving to include some enduring traditional elements long with individual twists that reflect the wedding partners’ personalities. Photography no longer means just lining up in front of the altar for a series of shots. Wedding participants are expecting more candid and casual shots and a wider range of settings for their special-day pictures. Traditional settings are giving way to anything from meadows to barns to bridges. What used to be called “eloping” is now more akin to a quasi-spontaneous event that may involve very little planning or just enough to make it memorable. Wedding gift registries have moved way beyond the big department store china and silver settings. But the sentiment and commitment at the heart of the ceremony remain as powerful as ever. From that starting point, today’s couples are fashioning their own memories with creativity and a bit of fun mind. DN

Forever

As you plan for your lives together, know that we are working hard to ensure that the natural beauty, working farmlands, and clean flowing rivers that have drawn you to the Methow Valley are protected for future generations, forever. A wedding gift made in your honor to the Methow Conservancy or another local nonprofit organization is a special way to ensure that what you love about the Methow Valley endures. www.methowconservancy.org (509) 996-2870

Methow Conservancy VALLEY VOWS 3

Different angles Modern wedding photography is more free-form, but tradition still has a role By Laurelle Walsh Once upon a time, newlywed couples were photographed in a studio, dressed in their finest clothes, sternly staring at the large-format camera that burned family history onto a photographic plate. In fact, until quite recently, most wedding images were posed and predictable, the subjects in the photos always aware of the camera. But just as the whole concept of marriage and weddings has evolved over the decades, so has wedding photography. In the post-World War II era, the proliferation of portable cameras made it possible for the photographer to leave the studio and shoot on location, but the still-bulky equipment limited wedding photography to posed, arranged shots – what we would consider “traditional” wedding photos today. Lighter, more agile equipment in the

1970s gave photographers the freedom to move around and shoot unseen by their subjects, allowing photojournalistic techniques to be applied to wedding photography. The development of digital photography in the 21st century changed the industry again, giving the photographer more flexibility in terms of exposure, composition, editing and final product. And digital videography takes wedding documentation one step further, recording the look, the sound and movement of the happy day, making the bride and groom the stars of their own movie. Today’s bride and groom seem to embrace both new and old when it comes to documenting their special day, according to Teri Pieper of Reflected Light Images, based in Winthrop. “The new tradition is there’s no tradition,” Pieper says. Alongside the classic posed images, the modern couple want close shots that capture

Photo by Ken Bevis, Reflected Light Photography

Photographer Teri Pieper (foreground) says she makes a point of recording the entire wedding day.

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the intimate moments; wide-angle shots that record the scene and setting; and photojournalistic shots that catch people acting naturally, without direction or control from the photographer. When working with a couple before the wedding, Pieper asks them to make a list of all the pictures they know they want for sure. “Younger people tend to want more posed shots,” perhaps to realize the fantasy of a picture-book wedding, whereas older couples ask for more candid shots, she says.

Wanting it all

The reality is that most people want it all: the exchange of rings, the first kiss, the wedding party all lined up in a row, as well as candid shots of the bride getting ready, post-ceremony celebrations, and the table decorations. “People put a lot of thought into the decor, the flowers, the food and the table settings. I try to record the whole day,” Pieper says. Methow Valley videographer Nadine Van Hees looks for the same things a photographer would, with the addition of sound and movement, she says. “Everyone wants everything recorded, Photo by Emily Wall whether they ever look at it or not,” she says, Mazama Country Inn was the setting for this exuberso Van Hees provides the newlyweds with ant couple’s wedding.

about two hours of edited video: “straight” footage from the ceremony, scenes from the reception, and three- to seven-minute montages to share with friends and family. During the ceremony, Van Hees, with the help of several assistants with cameras, shoots digital video from three or four angles. “We try to find one spot where we can view everything by zooming and panning, and stay there with the cameras on tripods. We try to be as unobtrusive as possible,” she says. High-quality microphones allow her to capture the sounds, words and music of the wedding, which she later syncs to the images during the editing process. The final product is an intimate, romantic and at times humorous wedding video that captures the flow of the celebration as well as the very personal moments of the day, Van Hees says. “My favorite shots happen in the magic light of sunset,” says Van Hees. “The sun is going down, the light is gold and some bugs are flying around. Dust is in the air. The light on people’s faces is ethereal. My favorite shot is probably of children swinging in that perfect magic light during the reception.”

Photography continued on p. 14

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VALLEY VOWS 5

A wedding for two Eloping isn’t what it used to be By Marcy Stamper Once upon a time, eloping had a whiff of the illicit, or at least the hasty and clandestine. Elopements were a way to deal with disapproving families or to satisfy social conventions, or to acquire officially married status – fast. So while people still slip away to Las Vegas, today many elopements are the result of very intentional, careful planning. With traditional weddings growing increasingly elaborate, more couples are seeking to rein in the event (whether financially, logistically or emotionally) and turning to what has been called “the new elopement” or, simply, “a wedding for two.” These ceremonies take many forms. Some are still perfunctory and unsentimental, conducted in a courthouse or town hall, but the fundamental characteristic of the modern elopement is that the ceremony consists of just the couple and an officiant, most often without friends

or family. “The upside for us was that we were able to get married just as we wanted to, in a ceremony that felt intimate and fun – without the stress – and then share that later with everyone,” said one man, who “eloped” with his partner in front of a few close friends, and then held a big party for 160 several months later. The couple did include many ritual elements – they had a cake and flowers and exchanged rings, and they hired a photographer to capture the event. They created a photogenic tableau using antique silver and linens, and toasted the occasion with sparkling wine. But their ceremony was also somewhat nontraditional. They wrote their own vows and dispensed with fancy attire and, after the cake cutting, donned snowshoes for a short walk to share some private time. Photo by Teri Pieper

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is becoming a significant trend, there are signs that more couples are attracted to the idea. Local photographer Teri Pieper has photographed three elopements just this year. All three events were different, but each included special mementos or symbols, said Pieper. “There was a lot of thought put into it, in terms of planning and flowers,” she said. “They were similar to any other wedding, except that they were really small – it was pretty touching.” The couples Pieper photographed all wanted to hold their ceremony in a special setting, and the flexible, low-key nature of an elopement allowed them to choose an attractive, evocative location without worrying about accommodating a large group of people, said Pieper. Pieper scouted several spots with one couple, ultimately choosing the pedestrian bridge in Winthrop as a dramatic backdrop. Another pair were staying at Sun Mountain Lodge and selected a

secluded spot on the grounds for their ceremony. Mary Ann Ottinger, a retired judge who has officiated at numerous elopements (in addition to more traditional weddings) said that because elopements tend to be less formal and more intimate, they lend themselves to distinctive locations that are meaningful to a couple, rather than larger, more traditional venues. “I have performed such ceremonies up at the Washington Pass Overlook, in the backyard of the Chewuch Inn, down by the river, and in a variety of other locations,” said Ottinger. Elopements seem to appeal to couples of all ages, and to those getting married for the first time as well as those who have been married before. “I have found that the most common reasons couples choose to ‘run away and get married in the Methow’ is to avoid the complications involved with a more traditional wedding,” said Ottinger. “Sometimes it is a second marriage where there are children

and other family members in other places that would have to be brought together at some expense, sometimes it is simply to avoid the big expense of a formal wedding, and sometimes it is just that the couple is very clear that the wedding is for them, not for anyone else, and they want it to be simple and private,” said Ottinger.

Different reasons So while elopements were once a way to short-circuit family conflicts, today they can actually be a way to be sensitive to families and friends, whether to relieve them of the expense of travel or the awkwardness of combining family members from previous relationships. Elopements do require a small amount of planning, since the couple must still obtain a marriage license at least three days in advance. And while many couples ask friends to be present as witnesses, some are content to recruit strangers, said Ottinger. Not all elopements are nec-

essarily the product of frugality. Many couples combine the ceremony with an extended visit to a favorite spot, and some even plan a “destination” elopement, getting married in an exotic locale and staying on for the honeymoon. For one couple, having a small, discreet elopement was a way of dividing the wedding into manageable parts. Back home after the ceremony, several months later, they held a reception with lots of food and a dance band. Others prefer to keep the whole thing more private. And while eloping is attractive to people who want to keep an intimate moment truly intimate, it does not mean that they don’t have carefully considered philosophies about how to launch their shared future. “The bottom line is that we wanted to do this our way, and above all make it meaningful. It worked out very well for us and I hope others will see there are many ways to celebrate a wedding,” said one member of a couple who eloped to the Methow.

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VALLEY VOWS 7

Methow Valley offers a variety of spectacular settings for weddings

Nature’s altar

By Ann McCreary

Photo by E.A. Weymuller

Marie Kochert and Bryce Niekamp opted for an outdoor ceremony on an ideal day.

Breathtaking backdrops, spectacular settings and four dramatic seasons provide a magical combination for wedding celebrations in the Methow Valley. Asked why they choose the Methow Valley for their wedding, most couples have a simple answer: location. This small valley offers an array of unique wedding settings from flowery meadows to snowy woods. “Most of the weddings in the Methow are outside, in a beautiful, glorious setting,” said Teri Pieper, who has photographed weddings in the valley for the past four years.

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Taking advantage of the valley’s beauty means most weddings here aren’t your garden-variety church wedding. Instead, they are held in the garden, or on top of a mountain, or on a bridge, or in a hot-air balloon or …. well, you get the idea. Settings for outdoor weddings in the Methow Valley are limited only by imagination – and sometimes by Mother Nature. Chris Clark and Katharine Bill scheduled their wedding for the Winter Solstice and planned to lead their wedding party on skis to a lovely spot in the woods Photo by Ryan Flynn near Mazama. “We woke up that morn- Looking for a dramatic vista? The ing and it was 17 degrees Methow Valley has them in abundance. below zero,” Clark recalled. That wasn’t going to go over planner at Sun Mountain Lodge, well with some of the older wed- said she enjoyed helping a couple ding guests, so plans were hastily realize their vision of holding a rearranged and the ceremony was winter ceremony on a hilltop near moved into the rustic Mazama the lodge with a panoramic view of surrounding snow-covered Community Center. Mary Campbell, wedding Continued next page

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Skalitude south of Twisp is a welcoming spot for weddings in wide-open spaces.

Photo by Teri Pieper

mountains. The wedding party was carried to the hilltop by horse-drawn sleigh and kept warm sipping on hot chocolate and cider while they waited for the bride and her father to arrive in another sleigh. The bride and bridesmaids wore snow boots under their dresses. Another non-traditional mode of transportation to the ceremony was chosen by a groom who paraglided into a meadow in Mazama where his bride and the wedding party waited. Outdoor weddings can, of course, produce unexpected drama. Bob Spiwak of Mazama recalls a wedding he photographed at the Slate Peak lookout near Harts Pass one July. Temperatures on the valley floor were in the 80s, but up at the lookout, elevation 7,000-plus feet, clouds rolled in as the wedding party arrived. It began to rain and then snow, and chilly wedding guests dressed in summer attire huddled under makeshift protection of newspapers and blankets to witness the

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ceremony. They then headed down the mountain to warmer temperatures and the reception.

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Spontaneity is OK

With stunning views at every turn, the Methow Valley is a wonderful place for a spontaneous wedding. Many weddings take place on private property – in backyards, front yards or in the back forty. “People utilize their property in different ways. They might get married down by the river, and come to the house for the reception,” said local caterer Stewart Dietz. “And there are a lot of people who turn their barns into a wedding venue.” Several lodges in the valley are favorite wedding venues. “One of my favorites is Skalitude. It’s a stunning backdrop,” Pieper said. She photographed a wedding ceremony performed in a flag circle set in a meadow at Skalitude, which is located outside Carlton. “The people were really outdoorsy people and a lot of them camped in the meadow,” she said.

Methow Valley News

Photo by Sol Gutierrez

Even on the wedding day there is the opportunity for solitude in an upper Methow Valley meadow. Brown’s Farm and the Mazama Ranch House both provide backdrops of rustic buildings and dramatic hillsides, Pieper said. Next summer, Dietz is providing catering for a wedding with a

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Nature’s altar continued on p. 14

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Making a list Create a unique local gift registry to help wedding well-wishers By Joanna Bastian Wedding gifts are probably the most difficult items to shop for. Friends and family are looking for something useful and lasting for this new stage of your life, and it has to work for your partner too. It’s double the gift-hunting challenge! You can make life a little easier on your guests and yourself by creating a gift registry. Friends and relatives will be searching for the perfect wedding gift as soon as they hear the good news. So start registering for gifts soon after getting engaged and before sending out the announcements. There are many online national chains that offer gift registries, wrapping and shipping options. But you have decided to say your vows in the Methow Valley, a conscious decision to celebrate your relationship off the beaten track.

Forget the impersonal big box stores. Create a local gift registry that celebrates your ties to the Methow. Local merchants and artists will work with you to create a gift list that is easy for friends and family to access and shop from.

Create options

You’ll want to provide a wide selection of gifts for guests to choose. Some people will prefer to gift something practical, while others will enjoy shopping for home and garden décor, specialty food items and art. Do not limit yourself to traditional items like china and flatware. Select items that will make your life more enjoyable, be it barbecue supplies, camping equipment, or even photography lessons. You could even request gift cards for staples that will ease your finances the first year, such as gift cards to grocery and hardware stores.

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Photo by E.A. Weymuller

Pottery by Emily Post, shown here at the Mazama Store, is just one of the many local options newlyweds can specify in personalized gift registries. Most stores in the Methow Valley do not have gift registries per se, but a small sampling of store owners revealed that it is possible to work with the owner to create a list that they will keep on hand and update as items are bought. Local businesses and artists

can easily be contacted by out-oftown well-wishers if you provide a list of merchants and contact information. To create a local gift registry, visit your favorite shops and make a list of items that you would enjoy as gifts. The shopkeeper will make a copy and keep one at the store. You can then either email or post the list for friends and family. Guests can place their orders in person, over the phone or by email. Hank’s Harvest Foods and Glover Street Market in Twisp both offer gift cards and would be an excellent choice for making that first year a little easier financially. Both offer groceries and specialty food items, along with household basics. For coffee lovers, Lariat Coffee Roasters has an online store at www. lariatcoffee.com. Blue Star Coffee Roasters also has an online store and offers coffee subscriptions,

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brewing equipment and accessories. Check out www.bluestarcoffeeroasters.com for more gift ideas. There are several different sporting good stores in the valley to round out all your supplies, from camping and backpacking to bicycling, running and skiing. Methow Cycle & Sport, Winthrop Mountain Sports and Goat’s Beard Mountain Supplies will help you compile a wish list of gear and keep the list at the store so friends and family will know exactly what you need, and what has already been taken.

Art and more The Winthrop Gallery, www. winthropgallery.com, is a fine art co-op gallery representing several local artists. Couples may tour the gallery and make a gift list that will be kept at the gallery and updated as gifts are selected. And check out Twisp’s artists’ gift shop at Confluence Gallery & Art Center, www. confluencegallery.com. Local glass artist Samantha Carlin produces beautiful blown glass in her Methow Valley studio.

Her whimsical tumblers and vases would make a make a fine addition to brighten any home. Carlin’s collection can be viewed at www. lucidglassworks.com. She suggested the possibility of a separate page on her website for specific couples with just the items that they picked out so that friends and family can shop online. Almquists’ Old Time Pottery is another “must have” local artist. Their fired clay pots in natural colors and motifs are the perfect touch for bringing the Methow home. Plates, soup bowls, honey pots, water jugs, coffee mugs and serving platters are emblazoned in different colors and patterns reminiscent of Methow wildflowers, birds and trees. Everything is dishwasher safe. Visit their facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/pages/ Almquist-Pottery/159764217392847 to view images of pottery and call (509) 996-2629 to put in orders and discuss a gift registry. For booklovers, perhaps building up a home library is a desired gift. Trail’s End Bookstore, the

Methow Valley’s only independent bookstore, offers gift cards and a gift list. Just visit the shop to make a list and the bookstore baristas will keep it on hand to update as your books are selected by well-wishers. To dress up the outside of the newlywed home, check out Inside Out Home and Garden, www. insideoutwinthrop.com. The shop would be happy to maintain a gift list for friends and family. Step in and check out the assortment of hanging hammocks, metalwork, hummingbird feeders and teak furniture. Aspen Grove in Winthrop, www.aspengrovehome.com, has a wide assortment of kitchen gadgets, place settings and all those items that you do not realize you need until the moment you are missing them. For a guide to locally made products, pick up a copy of the Made in the Methow publication, or check out the digital version at www.methowvalleynews.com.

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Say ‘thank you’

While compiling your list with merchants, inquire about exchange and return policies. This information may better help you plan your gift registry. Include items in a wide range of price points: under $50, under $100, and over $100, so guests have a selection of gifts they can choose from that are also within their budget. It is perfectly OK to ask for gift cards. Gift cards take the hassle of gift lists while you are trying to plan a wedding. Let’s face it – making decisions is not something everyone enjoys. Gift cards allow you to buy the things you need and want as you need them, at a later date. Finally, don’t forget the thank you notes! Send them off within a month after your wedding and definitely mention the specific gift and how you are using it. If it is a gift card that you plan on using later, mention your specific plans for the gift card. Your guests will enjoy hearing how their gift is being used in your new life together as a couple.

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VALLEY VOWS 13

Photography

Nature’s Altar

continued from page 5 Scouting the scene

continued from page 11

Winthrop-based photographer E.A. Weymuller always scouts the location before the big day. “Knowing when and where the light will be at a given time of day is very important to be able to plan specific shots, but some of my favorite shots have been ones that are off-the-cuff images that express the moment and mood just right,” he says. Weymuller acknowledges that the photojournalistic style “isn’t for everyone,” and he makes sure prospective clients understand his method of capturing the “experiential and trueto-life moments that make up the day.” The “standard” bridal party and family photos are always part of a Weymuller photo shoot, but clients have told him the images they value most are the ones that weren’t overly posed, he says. “When people are free to be themselves and I have the latitude to get creative, my clients are pleased with the results,” he says. Pieper’s favorite shots often come from learning something about the couple’s interests before the big day. One couple was in the valley snowmobiling the week before their winter wedding, so Pieper photographed them in gown and tuxedo on a snowmobile. “I like to juxtapose wedding finery against a natural setting,” Pieper says. Despite being immersed in other people’s weddings, these photographers are still moved by the romance, optimism and beauty of the day. “I don’t know how a cynical person could do wedding photography,” says Pieper. “I like capturing all of the feelings of someone’s big day.”

Photo by E.A. Weymuller

Katharine Bill and Chris Clark traveled to their wedding on skis, to a wintry spot near Mazama.

ceremony to be held at Gardner Hut, one of the network of Rendezvous huts in the hills above Winthrop. He will provide appetizers and beverages at the hut, and the wedding party will then come down from the hills for the reception. “A lot of receptions I do are fairly rustic. Logistically, it’s just whatever people are willing to do,” Dietz said. Not every wedding in the valley has to be rustic or outdoorsy. People who want an ambiance that is more elegant than rustic may gravitate to Sun Mountain Lodge, a four-star resort with spectacular views. The lodge offers complete wedding planning packages and indoor spaces that can accommodate large parties. Another scenic option is Freestone Inn near Mazama, with a lovely lake near the lodge and Goat Peak towering overhead – plus lodging options for guests. Whether a couple is seeking a wedding full of adventure, an intimate escape, or an elegant ceremony with lots of guests, the Methow Valley can provide a setting to realize the dream.

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Directory of Advertisers Artists, Artisans Peligro Jewelry Studio...................... 10 Barbers and Beauty Salons AJ Hair Design..................................... 9 Hair By Julianna ................................. 4 Sun Mountain Lodge.......................... 4 Banquet/Reception Facilities Brown’s Farm...................................... 5 Gardner View Ranch........................ 15 Mazama Country Inn ........................ 5 Methow Valley Community Center........................ 6 North Cascades Basecamp .............. 12 Pipestone Canyon Ranch..................11 Spring Creek Ranch............................ 2 Sun Mountain Lodge.......................... 4 Twisp River Pub ................................. 8 Twisp Valley Grange ........................ 13 Winthrop Barn Auditorium............... 8 Cafes/Dining/Espresso Arrowleaf Bistro.................................. 2 Cinnamon Twisp Bakery.................. 10 Mazama Country Inn......................... 5 Mazama Store...................................... 9 Rocking Horse Bakery...................... 13 Sun Mountain Lodge.......................... 4 Twisp River Pub.................................. 8 Catering Arrowleaf Bistro.................................. 2

Catering, cont. Rocking Horse Bakery...................... 13 Stewart Dietz Catering ...................... 9 Winthrop Tipi Dinners, Suekii Cornwall ............................. 7 Contractors JA Wright Construction ................... 15 Entertainment/Musicians DJ Noah................................................ 6 Event Planners & Consultants Fawn Meadow Design ..................... 10 Stewart Dietz Catering ...................... 9 Sun Mountain Lodge.......................... 4 Flowers & Floral Designers Brightwood Gardens.......................... 7 Fawn Meadow Design ..................... 10 Gifts & Party Supplies Methow Conservancy ........................ 3 Jewelry & Jewelers Peligro Jewelry Studio ..................... 10 Local Goods Cinnamon Twisp Bakery.................. 10 Rocking Horse Bakery...................... 13 Mazama Store...................................... 9 Twisp River Pub.................................. 8

Lodging Brown’s Farm....................................... 5 Central Reservations......................... 16 Mazama Country Inn......................... 5 North Cascades Basecamp............... 12 North Cascades Mountain Hostel ....... 3 Spring Creek Ranch ........................... 2 Sun Mountain Lodge ......................... 4 Twisp River Suites .............................. 2 Non-Profit Organizations Methow Conservancy ........................ 3 Photographers & Videographers Celebrations Videography................11 Reflected Light Photography............ 6 Weymuller Photography ................... 7

Rental Equipment Action Rentals...................................... 9 All Season’s Events........................... 14 J.A. Wright Construction ................. 15 Methow Valley Community Center........................ 6 Pipestone Canyon Ranch..................11 Special Occasion Tent Rentals, Velma Bradshaw........................... 12 Twisp River Pub ................................. 8 Spa Services Sun Mountain Lodge ......................... 4 Wedding Cakes & Confections Mazama Store...................................... 9 Rocking Horse Bakery...................... 13

Recreation Bear Creek Golf Course ................... 13

Wedding Planning Your Lake Chelan Wedding............. 14

Rehearsal Dinner Facilities Arrowleaf Bistro.................................. 2 Mazama Country Inn ........................ 5 Methow Valley Community Center ....................... 6 Spring Creek Ranch ........................... 2 Sun Mountain Lodge ......................... 4 Twisp River Pub ................................. 8 Twisp River Suites .............................. 2 Twisp Valley Grange ........................ 13

Wedding Venues Brown’s Farm ...................................... 5 Gardner View Ranch........................ 15 Mazama Country Inn......................... 5 North Cascades Basecamp .............. 12 Pipestone Canyon Ranch..................11 Spring Creek Ranch ........................... 2 Skalitude Retreat............................... 13 Sun Mountain Lodge ......................... 4 Twisp River Suites............................... 2 Winthrop Barn Auditorium............... 8

Unique, Memorable, Inspiring...

Gardner View Ranch Spectacular barn wedding venue Barn, pasture or riverside options Year-round and close to Winthrop

Rick Fulcher 425.281.6420 gardnerviewranch.com

Old-time Portraits

for your: Wedding

Party Announcement or Engagement

Fun & Unique! \

Downtown Winthrop Next to the White Buck

996-9912

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Portable Restrooms ~ Handicap Units Wash Stations For Weddings, Parties, BBQs, Holidays, Special Events www.jawrightconst.com • admin@jawrightconst.com Call: 509.996.3249 • Toll Free: 877.842.3428 VALLEY VOWS 15


Methow Valley Vows 2014