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Whidbey Wedding Planner

An all-Whidbey wedding makes memories Planning for your most special day Flower Power Great ideas and island sources to make them happen


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Your Whidbey Island

ÂŽ Book a makeup artist and go for a trial run. 1 MONTH BEFORE

Wedding Planner


ust engaged? Wondering about all the things you’ll need to do and when? Here’s a month-by-month snapshot of all your wedding to-dos.

12+ MONTHS BEFORE Ž Envision your wedding and draw up a budget. Ž Assemble your “planning team.� Consider hiring a wedding consultant. Ž Pick a wedding date and time. Select several options, then check with your venues, officiant, important guests before finalizing. Ž Start planning the guest list. Ž Look for and book ceremony and reception sites. Ž Ask friends and relatives to be in the wedding party. Ž Optional: Have an engagement party. You may want to register beforehand for gifts. 8-10 MONTHS BEFORE Ž Bride: Think about, shop for, and order your gown. Ž Envision reception food. Ž Decide what type of entertainment you want. A pianist for the cocktail hour, strolling violinists, a DJ, or band? Ž Think about your floral decor. Ž Research and book your wedding professionals. Interview vendors: photographer, videographer, reception band or DJ, florist. Ž Research a wedding insurance policy to protect your deposits. Ž Research and reserve accommodations for out-of-town guests. Ž Register for gifts. Ž Contact rental companies if you need to rent anything for ceremony/reception, such as chairs, tables, and tent.

Ž Apply for a marriage license. Check with the local bureau in the town where you’ll wed.

ÂŽ Bride: Have final gown fitting. Bring your maid of honor

6-8 MONTHS BEFORE Ž Book ceremony musicians. Ž Order bridesmaid dresses. Ž Start planning honeymoon. Ž Send save-the-date cards. This is a particularly good idea if you’re marrying during a tourist or holiday season or having a destination wedding. 4-6 MONTHS BEFORE Ž Attend prewedding counseling, if required. Ž Shop for and order invitations and wedding rings. Ž Shop for formalwear. Ž Renew or get passports, if necessary. Ž Envision your wedding cake and research, interview, and book a cake designer. 3 MONTHS BEFORE Ž Order wedding cake. Ž Hire a calligrapher, if you want your invitations professionally addressed. Ž Attend your shower. (It may be earlier, depending on when hosts decide to have it.) Ž Groom: Rent the men’s formalwear. Ž Hire wedding-day transport: limousines, other cars. Look into transportation sooner if you’re considering renting streetcars or over-the-top travel. 2 MONTHS BEFORE Ž Mail your invitations. Ž Write your vows. Ž Purchase gifts for parents, attendants, and each other. Ž Book your stylist and try out big-day hairstyles.


along to learn how to bustle your dress. Have the dress pressed and bring it home. Ž Call all bridesmaids. Make sure they have their gowns ready for the wedding. Ž Make last-minute adjustments with vendors. Ž Create a wedding program to hand out to guests. Ž Order and plan in-room welcome baskets for out-oftown guests. 2 WEEKS BEFORE Ž Review final RSVP list and call any guests who have not yet sent a response. Ž Deliver must-have shot lists to photographer and videographer. Include who should be in formal portraits and determine when portraits will be taken. Ž Deliver final song list to your DJ or bandleader. Include special song requests and songs you don’t want played. Ž Bride: Get your last prewedding haircut and color. 1 WEEK BEFORE

ÂŽ Give reception site/caterer final guest head count. Include vendors, such as the photographer or band members, who will expect a meal. Ask how many extra plates the caterer will prepare. ÂŽ Supply location manager with a list of vendor requests such as a table for DJ or setup spaceneeded by florist. ÂŽ Plan reception seating chart. ÂŽ Print place and table cards, or finalize list with the calligrapher you have hired to do so. ÂŽ Call all wedding vendors and confirm arrangements. ÂŽ Give ceremony and reception site managers a schedule of vendor delivery and setup times, plus contact numbers. ÂŽ Groom: Get your hair trimmed. ÂŽ Attend bachelor/ette parties. CONTINUED ON A17

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Flower Power What these choices say about you {or your intended}

Calla Lily Meaning: magnificent beauty, feminine, modesty Scent: lightly fragrant Colors: ivory, yellow, orange, light pink, dark pink, red, dark burgundy In Season: summer, but often imported during other seasons Price: expensive


Meaning: admiration, fascination, strong and pure love, unfading beauty. Caution: yellow and striped have questionable meanings Scent: spicy, clovelike Colors: white, yellow, apricot, pale pink, dark pink, red, burgundy, also bicolors and flecked

In Season: year-round Price: inexpensive

Iris Meaning: eloquence, promise, compliments Scent: none to sweet depending on variety Colors: white, yellow, purple In Season: year-round, peak in spring and early summer Price: inexpensive to moderate

Orchid Meaning: luxury, nobility, lust, love, beauty Colors: white, yellow, green, apricot, orange, pale pink, dark pink, red, burgundy In Season: year-round, usually imported Price: moderate to expensive

Dahlia Meaning: gratitude, dignity, forever thine Scent: spicy Colors: white, yellow, orange, pink, red, purple In Season: summerearly fall Price: inexpensive

Daisy Meaning: innocence, simplicity, I share your sentiments. Scent: none Colors: white In Season: summerearly fall Price: inexpensive

Colors: white, green, pink, burgundy, purple, blue Season: JulyNovember Price: Moderate to expensive

Gerbera Meaning: needing protection, friendship Scent: none Colors: Nearly 350 intense shades are available, including bright orange, pink, red, yellow, and

Page A13 burgundy. In Season: year-round Price: moderate

Rose Meaning: several depending on color, general, love, beauty, grace, joy, unity Scent: none to intense, depending on variety Colors: white, cream, yellow, apricot, orange, pale pink, dark pink, red, burgundy,

lavender In Season: year-round Price: moderate to expensive (Goes up around key flowergiving holidays)

Stephanotis Meaning: marital happiness (need we say more?) Scent: slight to none Colors: white In Season: year-round Price: expensive

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Hydrangea Meaning: understanding, devotion, remembrance, boastfulness Scent: none

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Having an island wedding may sound like a dream come true --- and it was for Jill Johnson Pfeiffer and Alex Pfeiffer, who, with plenty of creativity, planning and hard work pulled off an almost entirely Whidbey Island wedding. Because so many family members and friends were flying in for the wedding, “that reminded us of how special living on Whidbey Island is. We wanted to showcase the best of what the island has,� Johnson Pfeiffer said, adding that they wanted to give everyone a “Whidbey Island experience.� “Weddings by their nature are just very consumptionbased. It was a really good chance to keep that money recycling in the community,� Johnson Pfeiffer said, adding that as director for the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce, she preaches

that all the time. “So you have to live it out when you have the chance to live it out,� she added. From Whidbey Coffee truffle balls to beer named after the Chetzemoka ferry to a wedding cake made at Treetop Baking Company, Johnson Pfeiffer said they were especially successful with local food. Their first stop in the 8-month planning period was to Beth Kuchynka at Bayleaf for help sourcing the products used in the wedding. “We really can’t say enough about how important it is to work with someone who can help navigate through the process. Until more vendors use locally sourced products, you really need a ‘Beth,’� Johnson Pfeiffer said. Kuchynka emphasized the importance of building relationships at the chamber of commerce and local shops in order to find local items for a wedding. Bayleaf, with shops located in Oak Harbor and

Coupeville, works with farms and businesses on Whidbey Island, including Treetop Baking, to source local foods from quality, reliable purveyors. “We’re really open about sharing what items are available here on the island,� Kuchynka said. The festivities opened with a bridesmaid lunch at Christopher’s, a restaurant in Coupeville. “We chose that because they have a local menu there also,� Johnson Pfeiffer said. The couple held their rehearsal dinner, a Paella Party catered by Bayleaf, at the Oak Harbor Yacht Club. The paella featured Penn Cove mussels and clams from Penn Cove Shellfish, plus Bayleaf brought a cheese platter by Washington artisans. Bread came from Screaming Banshee Bakery in Greenbank. The couple chose beer SEE PFEIFFER, A5


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r Special Day! u o Y r o F

Jill Johnson Pfeiffer, director for the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce, and Alex Pfeiffer, architect for Batt + Lear, a green architecture business in Seattle, pulled off an almost entirely local wedding.


Staff reporter




360.221.8061 cedarbreeze@whidbey.com

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One of Jill Johnson Pfeiffer’s favorite parts of her wedding was this cake made by Treetop Baking on South Whidbey. This white cake with raspberry filling is one reason Treetop Baking is on the top of Johnson Pfeiffer’s list of favorite local vendors.

named after the Chetzemoka ferry from Port Townsend Brewery. The dinner also had crackers from Treetop Baking, Johnson Pfeiffer’s favorite local vendor. Treetop Baking participated in every stage of the wedding with desserts, snacks and the wedding cake, a white cake with raspberry filling. A dessert reception after the wedding, which was held at the First Reformed Church in Oak Harbor, featured Whidbey Coffee truffles, almond cookies and single-origin Whidbey coffee, as well as desserts made by friends and family, including bonket, which is a Dutch almond pastry, cheesecake made with local raspberries from a farmers market and more. An after party at the Whidbey Golf and Country Club in Oak Harbor featured fall squash and apple soup by Treetop Baking, coffee from Honeymoon Bay Coffee, salmon, vegetable medley from local farmers markets and locally grown farro, prepared by Dan McDonough, the chef at the

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Golf and Country Club. But the local touches went much farther than food, with oak branch placecard holders from fallen oak branches in Oak Harbor, trees rented from Mailliard’s Landing in Oak Harbor in lieu of flowers at the wedding and a sunset cruise of Deception Pass as entertainment for out-oftown family and friends by Deception Pass Tours. “I think that that was the advantage of a hometown wedding, that you have layer upon layer of these personal touches,� Johnson Pfeiffer said. Family and friends stayed at the Captain Whidbey Inn. The restaurant at the inn is where the couple had their first date and later were engaged. The couple hired Whidbey SeaTac Shuttle to take out-oftown guests to dinners, the hotel and airport, which was a relief for Johnson Pfeiffer because she knew everyone was safe. They registered at Ace Hardware, Bayleaf and “out of laziness� at Macy’s, telling people “to get a sense of what we like and go down to Eileen’s Kitchen,� Johnson Pfeiffer said. Even Johnson Pfeiffer’s

ABOVE: Alex Pfeiffer spent the summer growing hops to include in Jill Johnson Pfeiffer’s bouquet. Friends and family made many of the desserts. BELOW: Jill Johnson Pfeiffer bought this wedding ring pillow from Etsy.com, a website that allows people to sell their crafts.

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These placecards were made from an oak tree that fell down the street from Jill Johnson Pfeiffer’s home. She chose oaks as a theme because they are strong trees that grow out of small acorns, symbolic of strong love, Johnson Pfeiffer said.

Beautiful Wedding and Reception Bouquets

ring, a unique vintage find, was bought locally, from Jewelry Gallery in downtown Oak Harbor. “There’s so many beautiful things that already exist; you don’t have to go out and get new things,� Johnson Pfeiffer said. Instead of asking her friends to be bridesmaids, Johnson Pfeiffer asked their children, who are ages 9 to 16. “My definite tip for preserving future relationships: putting your friends in matching dresses never ends well,� Johnson Pfeiffer said with a laugh. But despite much hard work, the entire wedding couldn’t be accomplished on the island. “You can’t do everything from the island. We spent a lot of time trying. The majority of our problems had to do with the size of our wedding,� Johnson Pfeiffer said, add-

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Instead of a traditional guest book, Jill Johnson Pfeiffer and Alex Pfeiffer chose to use a piece of plywood with circles to sign in. It now hangs in their home as art. “We didn’t want anything that would just be put into a box. Pretty much if we couldn’t reuse it, we couldn’t have it,� Johnson Pfeiffer said.


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Whimsical Memorable Celebrated

“One of the things we didn’t anticipate was how meaningful that Whidbey Island experience was for our guests because we live here and we take it for granted. The little touches we had --- local coffee, local seafoods, regional beer --- those are easy and the guests loved them,� Johnson Pfeiffer said. Not to mention the millions of treasured memories Johnson Pfeiffer took away from the experience. Her favorite part was, “by far, it’s having all of your people in one place. And the cake,� she added, laughing. While doing nearly everything local took a lot of work, Johnson Pfeiffer said that as more brides decide to focus on the local experience, it will become easier. “The more of a priority it becomes for people, the more common it’ll be,� Johnson Pfeiffer said.

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ing that some local vendors offered what she needed but not the quantity she needed for her 285 guests. Johnson Pfeiffer did have to go to Edmonds for her wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses. She chose Cynderellie’s Closet because it’s a locally owned shop. She also shopped at Etsy, an online site that allows people to buy and sell arts and crafts, “just to try to keep that crafty feel to things,� Johnson Pfeiffer said. “Getting married on the island isn’t as easy as going to a ballroom in Seattle and writing one check and everything shows up. You have a lot more moving pieces. But that process allows you to put your personal stamp on your wedding,� Johnson Pfeiffer said. Despite going over budget, Johnson Pfeiffer said every penny was worth it.

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Whidbey Island Wedding Planner 2-3 DAYS BEFORE Ž Bride: If you need to, have your gown pressed or steamed. Ž Groom: Go for final fitting and pick up your formalwear. Ž Groom: Ask the best man to make sure all groomsmen attend fittings and pick up their outfits. Ž Hand off place cards, table cards, menus, disposable cameras, favors, and any other items for setting the tables to the caterer and/or reception site manager. Ž Reconfirm final details with all vendors. Discuss any necessary last-minute substitutions. Ž Call the limousine- or car-rental company for pickup times and locations. Ž Arrange for guests without cars to be picked up from the airport or train station. Ask friends, attendants, or relatives to help. Ž Deliver welcome baskets to the hotel concierge; make sure to include names and delivery instructions. DAY BEFORE Ž Provide all wedding professionals with an emergency phone number to call on the day of the wedding. Ž Write checks and/or talk to wedding hosts (usually your parents, if not you) about any final balances to be paid at the end of the reception. NIGHT BEFORE Ž Rehearse ceremony. Meet with wedding party, ceremony readers, immediate family, and your officiant at the ceremony site to rehearse and iron out details. Determine wedding-party positions during ceremony and the order of the party in the processional and recessional. Ž Bring unity candle, aisle runner, yarmulkes, or other ceremony accessories to the site. Ž Give your marriage license to your officiant. Ž Attend rehearsal dinner. Ž Present attendants with gifts at the rehearsal dinner. You’ll want to do this especially if the gifts are accessories to be worn during the wedding.

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Ž Present parents and each other with gifts. Ž Give wedding bands to the best man and the maid of honor to hold during the ceremony. Ž Give best man the officiant’s fee envelope, to be handed off after the ceremony. Ž Introduce your reception site manager to your consultant or maid of honor for questions or problems during the reception. Ž Assign a family member or attendant to be the photographer’s contact so he knows who is who. POSTWEDDING Ž Prearrange for someone to return any rentals. Ž Preplan for attendants to take the bride’s gown for cleaning and return the groom’s tux to the rental shop. Ž Write and send thank-you notes to gift-bearing guests and vendors who were especially helpful. JUST HOW MUCH WILL THIS DAY COST? When it comes to financing a wedding, you should figure out how much you need to spend to get what you want. Here is a basic breakdown of what you can expect to pay*: Reception: 48%-50% Ceremony: 2%-3% Attire: 8%-10% Flowers: 8%-10% Entertainment/Music: 8%-10% Photography/Videography: 10%-12% Stationery: 2%-3% Wedding Rings: 2%-3% Parking/Transportation: 2%-3% Gifts: 2%-3% Miscellaneous: 8% * To avoid stress, allot about 5% of your budget for a “just-in-case� fund. * If you’re paying for your honeymoon yourselves, remember to budget for that as well.

THE 4C’S OF DIAMOND SHOPPING: COLOR: The closer a diamond is to being colorless, the more brilliant it becomes and it has a greater value. “Always go for color over clarity every time,� says Gloria Carothers of The Jewelry Gallery in Oak Harbor. CLARITY: Grades are determined by the size and number of inclusions — another mineral, a fracture or a void — inside of it. Inclusions are considered anything that would interfere with the free passage of light. CUT: The number one factor when it comes to cut is the brilliance. The facets of the gem act as mirrors to reflect the light entering the stone back toward the observer. The round diamond tends to be the most brilliant. CARAT: This is the size of the diamond. While a half to one full carat is a sought after standard for many brides, many styles such as micro pave afford the look of a larger carat without the large rock.


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WEDDING TRENDS When it comes to planning a wedding and reception it’s always encouraged to head in a new, distinct direction. But, there are some trends out there that are just too tasty not to try... See for yourself why these trends are worthy of making your own. TREND: SIGNATURE DRINKS Go beyond serving the standard champagne, wine and beer by dazzling your guests with your hostess savvy via signature cocktails. Play off your wedding colors, last names and even wedding themes. Pink martinis become “blushing brides� and some drinks are just “mint to be.� Customize your bar menu and even drink flags. Or Set up a few bottles of bubbly and set mixers of Chombard, Midori, cranberry juice, pineapple juice and fresh fruit nearby. Idea is easily be adapted for kids using sparkling cider, fruit syrups and fresh fruit. Everyone will have fun making their own signature drink.

TREND: CAKE ALTERNATIVES You can serve smaller single-layer cakes in various flavors at reception table stations– this has become a big trend in recent years. Having a small cake on each table allows guests to serve themselves. These cakes can double as centerpieces when accompanied by flowers or items reflecting the couple’s interests. Decorative tiered platters with cupcakes of assorted flavors can also be placed in the center of each guest table. To give your wedding guests alternative choices, consider serving your dessert buffet style. Set up a coffee and dessert bar with various sweets from cheeesecake to pastries to puddings. This will satisfy a large number of sweet tooths and give guests opportunities to mingle. There is so much you could serve in addition to or in lieu of wedding cake. Check out some bridal blogs and magazines for other unique ideas.

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Profile for Sound Publishing

Whidbey Wedding Planner - 2012 Edition  


Whidbey Wedding Planner - 2012 Edition