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alley ey V Vows 2019

A Guide to Getting Married in the Methow

Venues • Gifts • Music • + more! FREE

A supplement to the methow VAlley news


The place to stay for your special day. fully-equipped luxury suites with gourmet kitchens, spa-style bathrooms and deep soaker tubs R ample gathering space for friends and family R pet friendly options R beer, wine, champagne and cheese plates available R gourmet breakfast included

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WEDDED TO IT

Valley Vows Don Nelson, publisher/editor Sheila Ward, advertising Tera Evans, office manager Darla Hussey, design LaShelle Easton, design A publication of the Methow Valley News P.O. Box 97, Twisp, WA 98856 509.997.7011 • 509.997.3277 fax editor@methowvalleynews.com www.methowvalleynews.com COVER PHOTO: AUTUMN PINES PHOTOGRAPHY

Those of us who live here have a meaningful long-term relationship with the Methow Valley, so we have our prejudices. We think it’s a special place to get married, not only because of the stunning natural setting but also because most of your preceremony, ceremony and post-ceremony needs can be met here: wedding venues, lodging, catering and baked goods, photography, invitations, flowers, music, outdoor tent and equipment rentals, unique gifts (including jewelry) and more. That’s why the Methow is a self-contained nuptial destination. The Valley Vows publication is intended to help acquaint you with what we have to offer. The articles will offer you some practical things to consider. Our advertisers will help you make the right personal choices. We appreciate their support, but more importantly, we think you will appreciate the wealth of helpful information they can provide. Whatever you can imagine, the Methow Valley can make it happen with distinction that you will remember for a lifetime. Don Nelson

Start here

THE METHOW OFFERS SPECIAL VENUES FOR ANY KIND OF WEDDING 4

The Methow’s alive with the sound of music

LOCAL MUSICIANS WILL ENHANCE ANY STYLE OF CEREMONY 7

Low-stress shopping

LOOKING FOR THE IDEAL WEDDING GIFT? YOU’LL LIKELY FIND IT IN THE METHOW 10

The online advantage WHAT A WEDDING WEBSITE CAN (AND CAN’T) DO FOR YOU 13

The perfect location for your wedding! Our private setting has a lush lawn nestled among towering pines for your ceremony and reception.

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www.methownet.com /brownsfarm  3 


Start here

Photo by Marcy Stamper

THE METHOW

OFFERS SPECIAL VENUES FOR ANY KIND OF WEDDING By Joa nna Basti a n

P

ICTURESQUE lodges, secluded retreats, or a public space full of character — the Methow Valley has a little something for every wedding, of every size, in every season. Exchange your vows on a mountain ridge with grandiose views, or deep in a snow-laden forest. Maybe you desire a ceremony along a lakeshore or a rushing river lined with bright aspens in fall. Maybe you choose an orchard or meadow filled with spring flowers. The Methow Valley has many unique locations that reflects your love story, and will enthrall your guests. If your personal style is elegantly simple, rustic charm, or a grand celebration, our full-service venues provide plenty of options to help you plan a memorable wedding for both you

Photo by Autumn Pines Photography

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and your guests. Use this guide as a resource to find the perfect location for your perfect day.

DISTINCTIVE LODGES Sun Mountain Lodge, www.SunMountainLodge.com Sun Mountain Lodge offers breathtaking outdoor wedding sites, such as the bluff overlooking snow-capped Mt. Gardner and the valley, or the cool and tranquil shores of Patterson Lake. Elegant indoor facilities include a main lobby with massive stone fireplaces. Make memories with the Cowboy Dinner Ride or a wine cellar dinner. The signature Four Diamond Awardwinning restaurant at Sun Mountain Lodge provides the very best in catered meals and intimate romantic dinners.

Lodge rooms and lakeside cabins accommodate overnight guests, and the on-site gear rental shop provides bike, ski and snowshoe rentals so visitors can enjoy and explore the Sun Mountain trail system in any season. Freestone Inn, www.FreeStoneInn.com The Freestone Inn has a reputation for excellence, earning the “Top 25 Lodges in America” award from Travel and Leisure magazine. Located on the historic Wilson Ranch, Freestone Inn sits along a private lake below the towering spires of the majestic North Cascades. An impressive stone fireplace greets guests underneath the timbers of the main lodge. The first-class dining room of the Sandy Butte Bistro and Bar offers views of the lake from every table. A renovated stock barn on site is another option for signature events. Lodge rooms, cabins, and lakeside lodges provide a variety of options for overnight guests. Jack’s Hut Pizza & Brews offer gear rentals for outings. Mazama Country Inn, www.MazamaCountryInn.com The Mazama Country Inn offers year-round wedding planning, gorgeous scenery, and several different indoor/outdoor options with stages. The Mazama Country Inn Restaurant caters delicious Northwest cuisine, and rooms and cabins are available for guests.

PRIVATE RETREATS Skalitude Retreat, www.Skalitude.com Skalitude Retreat strives to be in

harmony with the natural surroundings. The rolling meadows of this secluded 160-acre eco-retreat are peacefully embraced by surrounding mountaintops. Perfect for intimate or large gatherings, a 2,000-square-foot Sky Lodge seats up to 150 people and is a breezy shaded option for rain or shine. Goat Wall View, www.GoatWallView.com Goat Wall View near Mazama is located in a secluded meadow surrounded by woods and bordered by gardens that change with the seasons. On-site restrooms, a full kitchen, gas grill, covered porches and plenty of parking make this scenic location very guest friendly for an intimate weekend gathering. On-site lodging includes a roomy three-level home and separate studio apartment. Additional lodging is just minutes away. Spring Creek Ranch, www.SpringCreekWinthrop.com Spring Creek Ranch, near Winthrop, is a quiet escape from the ordinary, with multiple options for different styles. Lush meadows, a creek and a picturesque pond are surrounded by mountain views. Wintertime guests can ski out the front door onto the groomed cross country ski trails of the scenic Methow Trails system. Wedding packages include a twonight stay for up to 15 people. Seven additional lodging options are within walking distance.


PUBLIC VENUES The Winthrop Barn, www.WinthropBarn.com The Winthrop Barn is a popular wedding venue with a spacious hall, full kitchen, ample parking, and town park just outside its doors. The Barnyard Cinema, www.TheBarnyardCinema.com The Barnyard Cinema in Winthrop offers elegant theater seating, with a majestic backdrop view of the mountains via the floor-to-ceiling picture window. The theater opens up to a fullservice bar. The Winthrop Rink, www.WinthropRink.org The Winthrop Rink has a spacious and beautiful room with a view of the rink and is available year-round. Party packages for either winter ice skating or summer time roller skating are available. Bear Creek Golf Course, www.BearCreekGolfCourse.com The Eagles Nest at Bear Creek Golf Course is an indoor/outdoor facility overlooking the Sawtooth Mountains, and the scenic golf course. Methow Valley Community Center, www.MethowCommunity.org The historic Methow Valley Community Center features a large gathering hall, and smaller intimate rooms. A unique setting in the heart of Twisp. Twisp Valley Grange, www.TwispGrange.com An intimate setting with both a stage and a kitchen. The Plaza at TwispWorks, www.TwispWorks.org Located in the heart of Twisp, on the historic ranger station campus, plan your event on The Plaza at TwispWorks — where a 14,000-square-foot lawn is encircled by concrete bench seating, native plants and art. A splashpad offers fun for the kids, and artist

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Pipestone Canyon Ranch, www.PipestoneCanyonRanch.com Pipestone Canyon Ranch, located near the historic and breathtaking Pipestone Canyon, is a secluded paradise for any event. Backdrop options are varied, with wide ranging choices of rocky cliffs, lush pasture, meadows and a cottonwood-lined creek. The Pipestone Canyon ranch is a working ranch, with alfalfa meadows and a rustic barn. The modern renovated barn is a warm and welcoming event center. Event bookings include the use of the kitchen and prep area, table settings and plenty of seating options. The barn can accommodate indoor seating for up to 200 guests, and the doors open to an expansive outdoor area with incredible views of the surrounding hills and farmlands. Twisp Terrace Lodge at Rockchuck Ranch, www.TwispTerrace.com The Twisp Terrace Lodge is the “perfect marriage of Northwest charm” with timber and stone accents, grand views and distinct luxury. The 300-acre ranch offers multiple outdoor and indoor choices, all with awe-inspiring views of the North Cascade Mountain Range and the Methow Valley. The lodge offers guest rooms and suites for overnight accommodations. Your guests will be sure to enjoy the 18th Century Pub located just past the entryway. Methow Valley Inn, www.MethowValleyInn.com The Methow Valley Inn in Twisp is available as a group vacation rental. The spacious indoors open up to a beautifully landscaped courtyard and gardens. Brown’s Farm, www.MethowNet.com/BrownsFarm Brown’s Farm, on Wolf Creek Road just off of Highway 20 west of Winthrop, has individual cabins, a barn for events, and a gracious setting with compelling Methow Valley views.

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PROMISE A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING GOOD.

Photo by Autumn Pines Photography

studios, shops, tasting room, and a Native and Natural History museum offers on site fun for everyone. On site catering available from Kathy B’s Commercial Kitchen. Confluence Gallery, www.ConfluenceGallery.com The Confluence Gallery in Twisp offers an artful backdrop to any gathering. Rental includes tables and chairs. Additional services and features available upon request. Howards on the River, www.HowardsOnTheRiver.com Enjoy scenic views of Columbia River

along the shorelines of Pateros City Park. Howards On the River offers a private event venue for weddings and private parties. The intimate space accommodates up to 100 people, and offers special event catering from Rivers Restaurant. Every room at the inn has a sunset view of the Columbia River. These are just a few highlights of all the locations the Methow Valley has to offer. You can certain that whichever location you choose, the scenery will be just as memorable as the ceremony.

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Winthrop Barn Auditorium THE BARN, perfect for weddings big or small. Romantic outdoor ceremony site on the river. Space for dining, dancing & entertainment.

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The Methow’s alive with the sound of music

LOCAL MUSICIANS

WILL ENHANCE ANY STYLE OF CEREMONY By A shley Lodato

“IF

MUSIC be the food of love, play on,” says Duke Orsino in Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.” Indeed it is. We fall in love to music, we believe that particular lyrics speak directly to us, and we swoon over the greatest love ballads. And we select our wedding music with painstaking care, from background music while guests mingle, to the music that signifies the arrival of one or both of the betrothed, to the dance music that allows the new couple and their guests to celebrate the union into the wee hours. More than just a backdrop to a sacred ceremony, wedding music helps shape the tone of different aspects of the entire event, from the altar to the after-party. It may be small, but the Methow Valley is mighty when it comes to musical options. Not only are there a robust number of musicians and music providers per capita in this community, but most of them are superb performers, if

not outright virtuosos. So when the time comes to create your wedding music plan, look no further than the incredible local talent pool in this tiny valley.

DJS DJs are the traditional choice for wedding music, and for good reason, says Sarah Berns, co-owner of Winthrop’s Spring Creek Ranch and resident venue coordinator, who sometimes calls herself a “wedding doula.” (“It’s symbolic,” says the innkeeper, who is also a freelance writer and part-time birth doula. “I’m supporting a couple through a major life transition”). “People don’t think of this at the time, but DJs are multi-purpose,” says Berns. “They don’t just provide the music and a quality sound system; they provide microphones for the ceremony, they MC the evening, and they put on the dance party.” Berns continues, “90 percent of the weddings in the Methow Valley are outdoors. The sound is tricky. The local DJs know how to best ensure that the ceremony is being heard naturally, without inaudible or booming voices. Weddings are about two people’s love and commitment; it’s a shame if your guests can’t hear what you have to say to each other. The DJs make it so you can hear that and witness it.” Berns also notes that local DJs collaborate seamlessly with other agents of wedding management, such as wedding

Photo courtesy of Ashley Lodato

coordinators, caterers and photographers. “The DJs around here do a great job of being capable and commanding but not clown-like,” she says. “They do an artful job of mic-ing the ceremony so everyone can hear. They release tables to go through the buffet line. They help with the toasts.” Berns adds, “Wedding vendors around here have worked together so much that it’s like a beautiful symphony of movement and decisions. If the caterer needs to speed up or delay the serving of dinner, they communicate with the DJ/ MC, who adjusts the pace accordingly. The food is eaten hot. The wedding guests aren’t even aware of how much ‘backstage’ communication goes on. The DJ is integral to this symphony.” DJ Noah Ashford of Boom Boom Productions highlights the need for a symphony conductor. “Whether or not you have a wedding planner,” Ashford says, “you need to have someone in charge. If you don’t use a planner,

designate someone to make decisions about the timing. We DJs can manage the timeline, but we can’t create it for you. Everything from how the newly married couple wants to be introduced to the order of the toasts can be facilitated by the DJ, but we can’t be the ones in charge of the wedding; we’re stuck behind a sound board.” Berns emphasizes how important a good sound system and a skilled person to run it are to a wedding. “You’ve chosen the others involved in your wedding — from your officiant to your photographer to your caterer — so specifically. You should use the same care when considering the sounds of your wedding.” Ashford agrees. “Use a DJ who has the equipment to accommodate all of your sound needs — you don’t want someone who is running back and forth from the ceremony area to the dinner tent hauling speakers to and fro — as well as the musical repertoire to get everyone

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out on the dance floor. You don’t start the dancing with hip-hop — save that for later. You need a DJ who starts off with music that appeals to all generations—you want to see grandma out there on the dance floor.” Local DJs include Noah Ashford of Boom Boom Productions, Jeremiah Fosness of DJ Bullfrog, and Travis Smith of Methow Valley DJ Services.

CLASSICAL For classical live music options, consider contacting Cascadia Music, cascadiamusic.org, (509) 997-0222, cascadiamv@gmail.com. Cascadia is connected to many local musicians who perform in a variety of musical styles from classical to jazz. Cascadia is affiliated with a string quartet, members of the orchestra, guitarists, a variety


“jubilant melodies” that “cascade down the aisle,” enriching a wedding atmosphere with joyful notes expertly executed. Kish’s professionalism, approachability, and stage presence make him an easy and pleasant wedding collaborator.

DANCE BANDS For straight-up post-ceremony dancing, it’s hard to beat a live band. There is something about the energy and interactivity of a live band that’s impossible to replicate in digital music files. The self-described bands in the Methow Valley listed below embody a valley-centric vibe, through their music communicating a spirit of love, harmony, and synergy — all qualities that any newlyweds should be carrying forward with them into married life. At a wedding featuring any of the local bands below, you’re quite likely to find everyone from toddlers to great-grandpa out on the dance f loor at some point. • Bitterroot Beets: rock, funk, soul. Dylan Marks, Bitterrootbeets.com, (360) 318-5804, bitterrootbeets@ gmail.com. • Danville: rowdy, rich, rural, Americana. Solomon Woras, www.Facebook.

com/Danvilleband, (509) 429-1021, sworas@hotmail.com. • Family Dog with Laura Love, Terry Hunt, (509) 997-9344. • Sky Kyss: three-piece classic rock band with a big sound and Santana aura. Buddy Thomas, buddythomas37@gmail.com for videos of performances.

DIY Finally, since the advent of iPods and playlists, anyone can be a DJ, right? Well, not quite. But certainly creating a wedding playlist is an economical and

effective option for an event that can get wildly expensive if not stringently reined in. Says Berns, “Everyone tries to save money on some aspect of a wedding. For many, the cuts come from the music budget. If you have an iPod and a friend with some speakers, you can put together a serviceable sound system and a good dance party.” The DIY option is not for everyone, but for those with good equipment connections, willing friends, and a spirit of collaboration, a DIY music wedding is yet another way to feel the love.

Photo by Megan Kathleen

of singers, jazz musicians, pianists and composers. Some of Cascadia’s founding and bestknown musicians include the following groups and soloists, all with significant performance experience: Tamarack String Quartet for chamber music, Pam Hunt, (509) 997-9344; Hunt Guitar Studio for classical and other genres, Terry Hunt, (50) 997-9344, methowcommunity.org/terry-hunt-guitar-studio); and Rebecca Gallivan for singing, rebeccalouisekinney@gmail.com. Local violinist Keeley Brooks is classically trained and thus classical music is her standard repertoire, but with enough advance warning she can accommodate requests from any genre. Don’t let Brooks’ relative youth fool you — this young musician has been a soloist with the Wenatchee Valley Symphony Orchestra and has truly mastered her craft. Brooks plays with the kind of passion that enhances any wedding ceremony with its sheer intensity. Brooks also plays with the Papillon String Quartet, which is available for weddings as well. keeley. brooks@gmail.com, (509) 449-0082, keeleybrooksviolin.weebly.com. A classical guitarist, Stephen Kish of Winthrop Guitar Studios provides

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Low-stress shopping LOOKING FOR THE IDEAL WEDDING GIFT? YOU’LL LIKELY FIND IT IN THE METHOW By A shley Lodato

H

ISTORICALLY, wedding gifts served the purpose of helping a new couple set up housekeeping together, providing them with linens, appliances, china and flatware. These days, however, many couples enter a marriage with one — if not two — households worth of stuff, and the need for basic housewares is less acute. This makes wedding gift shopping far more fun, but far more difficult as well, as the options seem limitless. For the betrothed and wedding guests alike, the job will become more enjoyable — and quite possibly more meaningful — if gift sourcing is done Photo by Laurelle Walsh

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in the Methow Valley. If the couple has chosen to hold their special event in the Methow Valley, it’s only fitting that the wedding gifts reflect their connection to this special place. As a shopper, Methow Made (www. MethowMade.com) is a great place to begin. An information source for locally crafted goods, Methow Made features some of the valley’s finest artisans, growers, and producers. Ranging from pottery to botanicals to fruit to hot sauce, the products of Methow Made reflect the wide and varied talents of Methow producers. Look for the Methow Made magazine at locations around the valley. If you can take the time, stroll through the towns of Mazama, Winthrop and Twisp and see what catches your eye. And as you shop, consider the different ways the newlyweds can carry the Methow Valley with them as they embark on their journey into married life.

VALLEY FLAVORS From Blue Star and Lariat coffee roasters, to Sixknot and Methow Valley Ciderhouse hard ciders, to Lost River wines, to Old Schoolhouse Brewery beers, to Bluebird Grain Farms’ artisan grains, to numerous honey producers, to custom meats, to a chocolatier, the Methow Valley is filled with local treats to sample and savor. A gift basket filled with drinks, condiments and organic grains will tickle the taste buds of the newlyweds and remind them of their Methow Valley wedding with every bite. The happy couple could also experience the valley’s flavors at their finest courtesy of your gift certificate to one of the upscale local dining establishments, such as The Freestone or Mazama Country Inn in Mazama, Arrowleaf Bistro in Winthrop, Sun Mountain Lodge, or Tappi in Twisp. Other eateries where the newlyweds could sample local flavors include the

valley’s three bakeries (Mazama Store, Rocking Horse Bakery, and Cinnamon Twisp), East 20 Pizza, and Old Schoolhouse Brewery.

NATURE’S BALMS The smells of the Methow Valley come to life through many of the herbal and botanical products made here. Handmade soaps by Molly’s Soaps carry delicate hints of lavender and chamomile, Bee Happy Candle Co. products smell sweetly of honey, and Gardner Gardens beeswax skin cream sooths chapped hands with rich natural moisturizer and subtle scents. METHOW SOUNDS When birds occupy your artisan bird box made by Nice Nests, their songs will keep you company. Nice Nests are functional, species-specific birdhouses created from salvaged wood and funky hardware and they create a home for cavity nesting species on your property. What better way to celebrate the union of two people than through the symbolism of creating a home — a cozy nest. Another way to allow the newlyweds to celebrate the sounds of the Methow Valley is by giving them coveted tickets to the Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival. Held each summer on a hilltop overlooking the valley, the Chamber Music Festival is host to renowned musicians and captivates audiences night after summer night.

THE METHOW EXPERIENCE What outdoor equipment might lack in elegance is more than compensated for by the use your outdoorsy wedding couple will get out of it. If the betrothed are the active type, you’ll be able to find any number of useful gifts at Winthrop and Mazama’s outdoor stores: Winthrop Mountain Sports, Cascades Outdoor Store, Methow Cycle & Sport, and Goat’s Beard Mountain Supplies. From climbing gear to ski equipment to bikes to camping gear, these outdoor stores carry all the latest — and lightest — in backcountry equipment. You might consider a lightweight cook kit, or a new stove, or a bike repair kit; or put together an outdoor gift basket of matching wool socks, a solar lantern, and new headlamps. If the newlyweds are outdoor dabblers looking to ramp up their adventure resume, consider gifting them a rock climbing or mountaineering workshop in the North Cascades. The local guide shop, North Cascades Mountain Guides, offers many options for alpine adventures, led by guides who are intimately familiar with both the area and the sports. A “bouquet” of Green Trails maps covering local terrain would be a welcome gift for a couple that loves to hike. Accompany the selection of Green Trails maps with a list of your own favorite hikes. Throw in a Forest Pass for parking at trailheads, and the


the communal celebration of the art form, but because of the questions the films elicit and the conversations they inspire. Give the newlyweds a gift card for a movie, popcorn and a beverage and let them savor the movie theater experience. A quintessential Methow winter evening is one spent around the warmth of an outdoor fire, and a Hot Spot Fire Pit is a beautiful way to feature the blaze. These durable, locally made fire pits are as attractive as they are functional. Complete the gift with a basket of s’mores fixings and a bottle of nice whiskey.

Photo by Steve Mitchell

“hit-the-trail” package is complete. The Methow Valley’s latest entertainment hub, Barnyard Cinema, offers an unparalleled movie-watching experience. Once you’ve settled into an oversize recliner with a local beer or wine and a bag of the valley’s best popcorn, you’ll realize what a unique place this cinema really is. The silver screen is indeed magical, not just for Photo by Don Nelson

NATIVE PLANTS If the newlyweds are gardeners (or aspiring green thumbs), fun garden gifts and yard art can be found at Inside Out, Wild Hearts Nursery, or Yard Food. Sure, the wedding gifts will get scratched and dirty, but just think of the fun the recipients will have breaking them in. Methow Natives offers native plants, seeds, and restoration consultation. Should the new couple be settling (or already settled) in the Methow Valley, a consultation or plant package from Methow Natives would prove an enduring and meaningful gift. THE GIFT OF ART(ISAN) If it’s the gift of art you seek, any one of the valley’s galleries and studios (Confluence, Winthrop Gallery, D*Sign Studios, TwispWorks) can answer your need. From paintings to sculpture to photography to fibers, Methow Valley artists create art both beautiful and functional. If the season is right, you can catch the Sunday market in the Winthrop Park and select something from one of the many artists showing at the venue. Or give the couple a gift certificate so they can choose their own art that will conjure up Methow Valley memories for them. Or give the gift of artisan pottery or glassware, from which the couple will later eat and drink and savor flavors. Emily Post, Tamera Abate and Jim Neupert, as well as John and Agnes Almquist, make beautiful, functional, dishwasher-safe

P

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Forever As you plan for your lives together, know that we are protecting the natural beauty, working farmlands, and clean flowing rivers that have drawn you here. 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

Methow Conservancy

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pottery. And using glassware created by Sam Carlin of Lucid Glassworks or Garth Mudge of Winthrop Glassworks is simply a delight.

READY MONEY If you’re inclined to give cash as a wedding gift, include a personal note about how you hope the cash will enable the newlyweds to treat themselves to something special. Whether your cash gets applied to a mortgage payment, wedding bills, or a dinner out at a fancy restaurant, you know it will be appreciated. CURRENT EVENTS Whether the newlyweds are valley long-timers or just visitors hosting their wedding in one of the most spectacular places on earth, they’ll have forged some connection to the Methow Valley. A subscription to the Methow Valley News will help them keep current on local topics and foster a deeper understanding of the issues that shape local and regional people, places, and policies. METHOW CAUSES For the couple that already has

everything, make a donation in their name to a local nonprofit. If the newlyweds are interested in land use and conservation, give to the Methow Conservancy or the Methow Valley Citizens Council. If they’re interested in social services, give to Room One or The Cove. Are they patrons of the arts? Give to Methow Arts Alliance or the Merc Playhouse. Gifts to the Public School Funding Alliance, Little Star Montessori, and the Methow Valley Education Fund will support education efforts in the valley. Recreationalists might appreciate gifts in their name given to Methow Trails or Methow Valley Riding Unlimited.

IN THE BAG One final thought: give the wedding couple a few sturdy tote bags in which to haul all their loot home from the wedding. The attractive and indestructible bags from eqpd, located on the TwispWorks campus, will not only help them gather up their new possessions, but they will become a staple of grocery shopping and road trip packing. The new couple’s eqpd bags — like their marriage — are intended to last a lifetime.

Absorb the joyful, jubilant melodies of Classical Guitar, cascading down the aisle, guiding you to the ethereal precipice of dreams come true.

Stephen Kish Seating

Ceremony

Cocktail Hour

www.winthropguitar.com 214-215-7952 509-996-2526  12 

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Available for Weddings & Parties

Beautiful Dance Floor Full Kitchen/Dining Area WiFi & PA System Very Affordable Rates For info and reservations call: Kim 509-997-8050 or Judy 509-997-0775

article explains reasons to use a personal website (or “wed-site”), what to include, and how to choose a website builder.

WHY CREATE A WEDDING WEBSITE? Wedding websites simplify information management. They let you share details with everyone who needs them — friends and family, members of the wedding party, your wedding planner. They let you track incoming information. And they help you handle the endless lists that keep your plans moving. A website helped Chris Blue of Sun Mountain Lodge Wedding Services prepare for a recent wedding at the resort: “All of that information was there at the fingertips for all of us — that means the world. And the information was accurate: who’s coming, what they’re eating, how many entrees of each type. Compared with the bride having to track all of it—the stress level

Photo by Steve Mitchell

just dropped 15 percent.” A wedding website also lets people get to know each other — and get to know you as a couple. Even close friends and family may not have met your intended—or they may not know your story, and what you find special about each other. A brief description of how you met and what makes the two of you tick can give your guests a glimpse of who you are, as can a few judiciously chosen photos. Just be wary of oversharing. The World Wide Web is a big place, accessible to everyone—employers, coworkers, neighbors, strangers. Though

Wed-site builder reviews • www.blueprintregistry.com/guides/wedding/wedding-planning/ best-wedding-website-builders • www.onefabday.com/14-best-wedding-website-builders • www.theknot.com/content/best-wedding-websites • www.websitebuilderexpert.com/website-builders/best/wedding • www.womangettingmarried.com/best-wedding-websites

your love may feel limitless, this is a good place to draw some boundaries.

WHAT TO INCLUDE Just about every Methow wed-site we’ve seen includes lodging information, and most give travel advice as well. Some site builders make it easy to find and link to local accommodations, including those that offer discounts on blocks of rooms. Dress codes are few on Methow wedding sites, but some pragmatic tips can help your guests enjoy the day in comfort: Wear practical shoes. Bring something warm. And if your wedding includes skiing, by all means use your site to let out-of-town guests know where they can rent gear. Most Methow wed-sites do include RSVP tools. Whether to use one may depend on how much you think you can rely on your guests to use the tool. Navigating an online RSVP system can be challenging for less tech-savvy

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guests — which may include those of your grandparents’ and great-grandparents’ generations. Friends may forget to respond. One approach is to send printed RSVP cards with a line letting people know they can reply on your site. For friends and family who are strangers to the Methow, information about this place will be helpful. And a schedule of events will help everyone make plans. Mary Milka, assistant manager at the Mazama Country Inn, says many couples include that kind of guidance: “Where their venue is, what there is to do — we’re going to go hiking — be sure to bring this, that, or the other.” Etiquette experts agree that a wedding website is the one place it’s OK for couples to publicize gift-registry information. A registry page can be very convenient for gift givers, who can see items and prices and even make purchases directly from your site. And weddingspecific site builders generally include tracking tools so you know what’s been given by whom — and can stay up-todate on your thank-you notes.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A WEBSITE BUILDER You can hire a designer to create a custom site, but using a website builder is likely to be less costly. Wedding website builders abound; several reviews that can help you choose are listed in the sidebar accompanying this article. The reviewers explain why they favor the platforms they do, but ultimately what matters is what’s important to you. Cost, ease of use, features, and aesthetics may affect your choice. Plenty of wed-site builders are free; most offer extra features (such as a custom domain name) for a price. Some will charge a monthly fee; others charge a flat rate to keep your site active for a certain period — say, six months or a year. Your technical abilities and the amount of time you want to invest in

creating a site will help narrow the field. Some sites can take hours to set up. Other things to consider: how easy will it be to upload photos? Will guests have to download an app in order to use your site? How well will the site integrate with your other planning tools? Also check features — will the site let you do what you want to? If you’d like to track RSVPs and gifts, find blocks of hotel rooms, choose who sees what event info, let your mother and your wedding planner edit your site, send digital save-the-date cards and reminder emails, and manage all the lists that planning a wedding requires … can the site do that? Decide what’s truly important to you and choose a website builder that will make it easy. Your site should lighten your load, not add to it! Last but not least — will the finished site meet your aesthetic expectations? Are there plenty of templates to choose from, and do both of you like them? Setting up a site that expresses who you are as a couple will help friends and relatives get to know you. Beyond that, a wedding website builder may let you choose matching wedding stationery and help you find coordinating décor.

A WEBSITE’S NOT EVERYTHING A wedding website’s not for everyone — like so many other facets of tying the knot, it’s a very personal decision. Have a site if you think it will help; skip it if it will add to your stress load. And remember that web sites can’t do everything. Chris Blue at Sun Mountain says, “The other piece that I think is incredibly important: who do you have as your team on the Day Of, carrying all these things out for you? [Having a website to manage the details] doesn’t matter if you don’t have a good team to make sure those details get carried out.” In the end, your wedding is all about people and relationships. Kind of like marriage itself.

Northern Farms event planning & floral design northernfarmsllc@gmail.com Autumn Jateff — Twisp

Fresh. Local. Flavor. Offering unique menus with seasonal ingredients.

Kathy Borgersen & Callie lovette

509.341.4311 • sunflowercateringinfo@gmail.com Locally, family owned.

We look forward to hearing from you! Please contact us for your customized quote.

Making your day special, beautiful, and simple as possible.

Paul & Mandy Schmekel (509) 341-4257

methowmoments@gmail.com www.methowmoments.com

Tents • Tables • Farm Tables • Chairs Wooden Chairs • Custom Lighting • Dance Floors

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RENTAL EQUIPMENT Action Rentals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Event Sound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 J.A. Wright Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Main Event Rentals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Methow Moments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Pipestone Canyon Ranch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

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SPA SERVICES Sun Mountain Lodge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

WEDDING C AK ES & CONFEC TIONS Cinnamon Twisp Bakery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Mazama Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

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DO YOURSELF A

FAVOR! Your taste-full event needs custom balloon candy favors

Washington’s Premier Destination Resort Sun Mountain Lodge offers spectacular outdoor wedding sites, elegant indoor facilities, distinctive cuisine and unparalleled wedding services. To learn more, call Cyndi Thomson at 509.996.4767.

FACE PAINT BALLOONS GLITTER TATTOOS

604 Patterson Lake Road, Winthrop WA 98862 | sunmountainlodge.com

ABRACADOODLES.COM darla.hussey@gmail.com

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CENTRAL RESERVATIONS invites you and your wedding party to stay and play in the Methow Valley. We offer accommodations to suit your taste in a setting everyone will enjoy. Affirm your love by making plans to hold your wedding here, renew your wedding vows or celebrate a wedding anniversary milestone. The Central Reservations Gang knows your special event is, “1000 events all in one day�. We are located in downtown Winthrop and we will help you choose from inns, bed & breakfasts, cabins, historic homes, mountain chalets, farm houses and condos for that special once in a lifetime event. Winth boardwalk in the Purple Sage Gallery. Stop by and say hello to the Central Reservations Gang, on the Winthrop

Give our team a call at 1-509-996-2148 or send an e-mail to info@centralreservations.net

W W W. C E N T R A L R E S E R VAT I O N S . N E T

Profile for Methow Valley News

Valley Vows 2019 - published by the Methow Valley News  

The Methow Valley couldn't be a more romantic destination to tie the knot.

Valley Vows 2019 - published by the Methow Valley News  

The Methow Valley couldn't be a more romantic destination to tie the knot.