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W &C W

hidbey amano eddings 2014

A special supplement of the Whidbey News-Times, South Whidbey Record and The Whidbey Examiner


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DESTINATION WHIDBEY & CAMANO WEDDINGS

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


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W &C

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

hidbey amano

Making your dream wedding come true

Welcome to Destination Whidbey and Camano Weddings 2014, a helpful guide to planning the most important event of your life. Breathtakingly beautiful, both Whidbey and Camano islands offer the idyllic settings for your dream wedding. With Whidbey Island’s rich history and unmatched scenic vistas and Camano’s natural byways, couples have a myriad of options, from marrying inside a quaint historic barn to exchanging vows atop a bluff overlooking Admiralty Inlet. There are even working farms that can host ceremonies. The islands offer lodging at a variety of price points, as well as traditional and nontraditional catering, entertainment and much, much more. Everything that’s needed for a wedding can be found here on Whidbey and Camano islands, and this guide can help you find what you’re looking for. Inside this publication, learn what trends local caterers are seeing among their wedding clients, how traditional wedding cakes are quickly becoming a thing of the past and keys to finding the right florists and photographers. The islands offer a variety of options and services, but schedules fill fast. By letting this guide point you in the right direction, you can schedule early and start planning your destination Whidbey or Camano wedding. Megan Hansen, Whidbey & Camano Weddings editor

staff EXECUTIVE EDITOR & PUBLISHER | Keven R. Graves ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER | Kimberlly Winjum AD MANAGER | Teri Mendiola EDITOR | Megan Hansen PRODUCTION MGR. | Connie Ross COPY & PHOTOS | Justin Burnett, Celeste Erickson, Ben Watanabe, Jessie Stensland, Ron Newberry, Sara Hansen, Janis Reid, Nathan Whalen & Jim Waller MARKETING REPRESENTATIVES | Phil DuBois, Nora Durand & Gail Rognan CREATIVE | Adine Close, Rebecca Collins, Jen Miller & Michelle Wolfensparger

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DESTINATION WHIDBEY & CAMANO WEDDINGS

W &C W

hidbey amano eddings 2014

On the cover

Whidbey Island photographer Michael Stadler shot this stunning photo of a wedding held at the Greenbank Farm during 2011. mail@stadlerstudio.com www.stadlerstudio.com

For additional copies of this publication, contact: WHIDBEY NEWS-TIMES | 360-675-6611 SOUTH WHIDBEY RECORD | 877-316-7276 PO Box 1200, 107 S. Main Street, Suite E101 Coupeville, WA 98239

eddings 2014 225 Anthes Ave. #102, Langley

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

DESTINATION WHIDBEY & CAMANO WEDDINGS

Islands offer historic, unique event venues BY JESSIE STENSLAND

Whether you want to exchange vows during an intimate ceremony on a private beach or celebrate en masse at a historic building nestled in bucolic farmland, Whidbey and Camano islands can provide the perfect place for a wedding ceremony. Some of the venues are well-known, like Captain Whidbey Inn on the banks of Penn Cove or the Cama Center at Cama Beach State Park on Camano Island. Others spots are more hidden. For example, there’s a lodge and recreation center at Cornet Bay that’s part of Deception Pass State Park. The Jenne Farm is one of the original homesteads in Central Whidbey and has 140 acres with sweeping views of Ebey’s Landing and the water beyond. Plus, there’s plenty of private properties and waterfront rentals available for your dream spot, which party planners like Whidbey Party Girls! or even real estate agents can help people find. One key to a great wedding venue is character, said Paula Spina, owner of Crockett Farm in Central Whidbey. That can mean a

spectacular view or a distinctive atmosphere. “The space has to have character, has to be historic, has to have warmth,” she said. The Crockett Barn has all kinds of character. The property has a stunning view of Admiralty Inlet and the purple majesty of the Olympic Mountains beyond. The large historic barn and nearby farmhouse provide a beautiful backdrop for wedding photos and outdoor ceremonies. It is among the largest venues in the county and can accommodate up to 200 people. The inside of the barn looks, Spina said, like “an Elizabethan theater” and is the perfect place to dance the night away after tying the knot. The farmhouse has been converted into a bed and breakfast; Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner stayed there during the filming of “War of the Roses.” Spina said the bridal party usually stays at the B and B over the wedding weekend. While Spina said Whidbey is a wonderful place for a wedding, she cautions couples to plan ahead and “nail down” a venue as soon as possible. Both islands are becoming more and more popular as wedding destinations.

Weddings in the Vineyard

Submitted Photo

Whidbey Island offers a variety of historic and unique places to hold a wedding, including the historic Crockett Barn on Central Whidbey. She only has a couple of weekends left this a vast manicured garden area for ceremonies, and a 4,000-square-foot indoor heated year and she’s already booking for 2015. Fortunately, a new and amazing venue is hall serviced by our fully licensed commercial kitchen,” the website states. starting up on South Whidbey. The Greenbank Farm in rural Central The Wayfarer is set on a picturesque, 100-year-old farm in the Bayview area. It’s Whidbey offers wide-open spaces and gorthe kind of place that brings out the roman- geous views for larger weddings. The city of Oak Harbor and the towns of tic in anyone. Owner Kelly Russo describes the setting Coupeville and Langley have a diversity of as “rustic elegance.” It features open, roll- options for weddings, from quaint churches ing grounds, orchard, bridal cottage and to large, chain hotels. Accessible off Interstate 5, Camano Island groom’s cabin. Rosso said the farm accommodates may be easier for guests to get to, but it’s no around 100 guests. She has two barns on the less scenic or romantic. The Camano Island Inn offers one of the property. One is whitewashed and bright for an intimate ceremony or reception. The more popular venues for small weddings. other barn, boasting an exposed beam ceil- Named as one of the “best places to kiss,” ing, has an antique bar and indoor/outdoor the tranquil and beautiful spot is a great space perfect for cocktail hour and dancing. place to begin a life together. Other great venues on Camano include Other uniquely Whidbey venues include such amazing properties as Fireseed over- Shambala Farm —  for those who prefer looking the Maxwelton Valley on South a sustainable occasion — as well as Four Whidbey. The 10-acre property has “pas- Springs and Matzke Fine Art Gallery and ture lands for strolling, woods for exploring, Sculpture Park.

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DESTINATION WHIDBEY & CAMANO WEDDINGS

Island lodging available to fit every price point BY JANIS REID

Known for its breathtaking beachscapes, sunsets and tucked away coves, Whidbey Island is the ideal place for friends and family to stay during a wedding. Island-wide wedding guests can find just the right cozy spot to retire after a wonderful event. The 40-mile-long island winds itself up Puget Sound Island helping form the northern boundary line for Washington state, and offering a wide variety of public and private water views. As a result, Whidbey Island is well known for its laid-back atmosphere and romantic getaway accommodations, and because it is located in the “rain-shadow” of the Olympic Mountain range, the island receives half of the annual rainfall as Seattle, making it a very popular and attractive destination. “When you’re looking for a destination wedding, you want to look at what’s available within your budget and your overall desired aesthetic,” said Gloria Mickunas, owner of Whidbey Party Girls! “Whidbey Island has so many different housing options it really runs the gamut.” Mickunas said that while other islands are beautiful and offer great lodging, the limited range of options and logistics can make it more difficult and expensive. With a 15-minute ferry ride or bridge access on the north end, Whidbey Island has lodging that is “affordable and easy, from simple to sublime,” Mickunas said. Oak Harbor, on the north end of Whidbey Island, is a permanent United States Naval Air Station, Ault Field. As a result, Oak Harbor is the largest and most populated of the communities on Whidbey Island. Here eventgoers will find a wide variety of lodging options ranging from the affordable, like the dutch-themed Auld Holland Inn to a convenient chain hotel Best Western downtown; or The Bluff on Whidbey Bed and Breakfast, a tucked-away

retreat with mountain and Puget Sound views. Jenne Farm in Central Whidbey offers a rustic and historic view of Ebey’s Prairie and the water beyond. The four-bedroom farm house can sleep up to 10, and is perfect for housing a family wedding party. “It’s a working farm so families can help gather eggs and participate,” said Joyce Peterson, who owns the farm with Fran Einterz. On the south end of Whidbey Island, busy roads are replaced by winding country roads, expansive pasture and farm lands, numerous antique and craft shops, as well as gorgeous beaches and parks. Residents and visitors alike move at a slower pace here, enjoying the sandy beaches and beautiful views, and find relaxation and contentment. Whidbey Getaways, which offers vacation homes mainly on the south end of the island, including cozy spots like their newest addition, Seaside Serenity. This vacation home, located on Holmes Harbor in Freeland, is perfect for a relaxing getaway for up to four people. With two bedrooms and bathrooms, this is the ideal setup for two couples or a small family. Similar to many of the vacation homes offered through Whidbey Getaways, the rental offers a spacious living room with expansive views of the water, a family room with a dining area and a well-stocked kitchen. The Quintessa on Whidbey Island, located in Clinton, is perhaps one of the island’s premier vacation and event lodging spots, providing lodging for two to 32. The Quintessa’s nine-bedroom estate and separate garden cottage are just eight minutes away from the Clinton ferry. Like many of the other water-view event lodging spots on the island, the Quintessa provides breathtaking views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Nancy Ritzenthaler, owner of Whidbey Wedding Transportation

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There are lodging options all over the island, from beach-front rentals to small bed-and-breakfasts and hotels, there are options for all price points. Beach House in Greenbank, boasts the island’s only deep-water pool, which sits on a sandy beach overlooking Puget Sound. Ritzenthaler said her property offers a private house and cabin compound that sleeps up to 14 in a “beautiful natural environment.”

“It’s kind of a special place,” she said. n For more about Whidbey Island wedding lodging, go to www.whidbeylodging guide.com, www.whidbeygetaway.com, www.whidbeybeachhouse.com, www.whid beyretreats.com or www.thequintessa.com

Best Western Plus Harbor Plaza & Conference Center Our inviting lodge-like setting is the perfect place to host your special day. Our ballroom accommodates up to 200, and features over 2,900 square feet of space complete with catering and banquet facilities. • Located on beautiful Whidbey Island in the town of Oak Harbor, the hotel offers lovely grounds close to island recreation and is centrally located between Vancouver, British Columbia, Seattle and the Olympic Peninsula.

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DESTINATION WHIDBEY & CAMANO WEDDINGS

Authenticity, comfort crucial in catering

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BY RON NEWBERRY Scott Pendell looks out over his kitchen and stares at a spot on the floor next to a stainless steel counter. “I used to have my bike right there,” he said. It’s hard to imagine a 2004 Triumph Thruxton motorcycle in the spot where Pendell is pointing. Yet, that’s where it rested only three years ago before Pendell and his wife Stephanie had their two-car garage gutted and transformed into a commercial kitchen. That project allowed the couple from Wisconsin to operate The Midnight Kitchen catering business from the comfort of their own home in Freeland. The Pendells’ livelihood is largely tied to weddings on Whidbey Island. They are an offsite full-service food caterer, preparing dishes for birthday parties, anniversaries and company functions. However, weddings are the Pendells’ bread and butter, accounting for about 50 percent of the events which they cater. Like other caterers on Whidbey and Camano islands, the Pendells are acquainted with the unique needs of wedding parties. What they’ve learned since they started catering on Whidbey in 2007 is that most come to the island for an authentic Pacific Northwest wedding, with local table fare to match down to the last morsel. “Here, everyone wants a Northwest bend to it,” said Scott Pendell, who grew up near  Milwaukee. “Whidbey Island is a destination wedding place. Most guests are from other places, so everybody really wants to represent the Northwest.” That makes salmon the most popular main course at Whidbey weddings. And with the majority of weddings taking place during the local growing season, the wedding calendar bodes well for farmers in Island County as well. Debbie Tasoff, owner of Serendipity Catering and Events in Coupeville, said the farm-to-table food movement is well reflected in her business. She said a growing number of wedding planners request authentic Whidbey Island fare. That suits Tasoff fine because she prefers to buy from local sources, whether it be meat from 3 Sisters Beef, salmon from Seabolt’s Smokehouse, Fresh Seafood & Restaurant, mussels from Penn Cove Shellfish or produce from a variety of farmers in Coupeville. “It’s something we’ve been committed to,” said Tasoff, who’s been in business for 13 years. “I didn’t realize we were involved in a trend until about four or five years ago when local became really, really big. It’s just continued to grow and it makes sense.” Vincent Nattress, owner of Cultivar

Photo by Ron Newberry

Above: Scott and Stephanie Pendell operate Midnight Kitchen, based in Freeland. They converted their garage into a commercial kitchen. Below: A sampling of hors d’oeuvres prepared by Cama Beach Cafe and Catering on Camano Island. Catering in Langley, also depends heavily on locally produced food in his preparations. Nattress, 46, grew up in Coupeville before traveling to Europe to learn the finer points of culinary arts and ultimately owning his own fine dining restaurant in California’s Napa Valley. He returned to Whidbey Island in 2009 and saw a different landscape than the one he remembered growing up, and started a catering business. “It’s a pretty exciting time,” Nattress said. “What we’re seeing is the reinvention of agriculture on Whidbey Island with a lot of farmers under 30 who are finding a way to add value to try to making a living. They’re not trying to compete with commodity agriculture. They’re finding a way to connect with restaurants and people like me.” Nattress said that weddings make up about 40 percent of his catering business and 2014 is shaping up to be his best year. “The vast majority of what we use comes from within 100 miles of Langley,” Nattress said. “That vast majority of that comes from within 10 miles from Langley.” The catering trend for Camano Island weddings seems to be leaning toward comfort foods, said Donna King, owner of Cama Beach Cafe & Catering. “People come out here to have casual weddings that are more relaxed,” King said. “A lot of the food we do is comfort with a twist. It’s all homemade. People are getting away from the fufu little appetizers and going toward something more substantial.” Among the trends at weddings is mac

and cheese, King said, adding that boneless short ribs and mashed potatoes are also among the comfort food requests. “Carb heavy, really,” she said. King said there is still a large segment of health-conscious clients. For one wedding in June, she will be preparing a Northweststyle salad bar with skewered meat. She said she’s faced with a unique request for another wedding this summer: a tater tot bar. “It’s cups of tater tots with all the toppings,” she said. That, she said, is a first.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

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DESTINATION WHIDBEY & CAMANO WEDDINGS

Trends moving away from traditional cake BY JIM WALLER

One of the iconic elements of a wedding, the multi-tiered white cake, is melting into the past. A variety of desserts is the latest trend. “People are leaning toward cupcakes and pies with a lot of flavors and varieties,” said Jess Dowdell, of the Roaming Radish in Freeland. “This is happening more and more. I see way more pies and dessert bites — little cakes, little cheesecakes.” Debbie Tasoff of Serendipity Catering in Coupeville echoed Dowdell: “Dessert buffets and pies seem to be very popular in lieu of a traditional wedding cake. However, with a dessert buffet, brides usually include a token small wedding cake for pictures and cutting.” Of the 28 weddings Dowdell catered in 2013, only two included the traditional cake. Karen Hossfeld of Kakies Donuts and Bakery in Oak Harbor had the same experience. “In the last year we have done only two actual wedding cakes, and these were not the larger traditional kind, but more contemporary,” Hossfeld said. Tasoff said only a third of her 25 weddings requested a cake, and Scott Pendell of the Midnight Kitchen in Freeland estimated only half of his past 20-to-25 weddings incorporated one. Hossfeld said, “Most all of the wedding orders we take are for a six-inch cut cake accompanied by several hundred cupcakes. This is the most popular as it is also the most economical.” The cost of a traditional cake can reach $1,000, according to Hossfeld, and “most couples do not want to put that kind of money into a cake.” Pies with ice cream are a popular substitute, Pendell said, because “they fit the area” and are filled with seasonal, local fruit. “We use a ton of local produce,” Pendell said.

Photo by Jim Waller

Cupcakes and other desserts are starting to surpass the traditional wedding cake. “We do customize for the client; however, we specialize in fresh, local food which we purchase from island vendors, Tasoof said. An added bonus, Dowdell and Tasoff said, is that local produce not only tastes better but is good for the economy. Hossfeld said their products are made from scratch with only natural or organic products. The variety of desserts at modern island weddings goes beyond pies and cupcakes. Pendell said that he and his wife Stephanie like to provide a “mixture of textures and tastes, something creamy and crunchy.” Pecan diamonds (condensed pecan pies), chocolate eclairs, Hungarian shortbread, chocolate espresso sandwich cookies, creme brûlée and pot de creme (chocolate custard) are some of the popular choices. A cookie and milk bar is another trend, according to Pendell. At one wedding, Dowdell said, there was a “dessert dash.” Each table of guests submitted a sealed bid. The highest bidder had first choice of a variety of desserts but had to hurry to make

their selection because the second highest bidder was announced just seconds later. The money raised from the auction was donated to the couple’s favorite charity. While pies, cookies and eclairs are invading weddings, they are not entirely replacing cakes. The traditional white cake, however, is “just non-existent these days,” according to Hossfeld. When cakes are requested, she said, they are more contemporary with “smooth edges and lots of color.” Modern cakes are decorated with flowers, candy, lace, ribbons or edible gold leaf to provide a spark of color. Some cakes are even “naked” (no frosting). The splash of color goes beyond the surface. Some cakes have multicolored layers with distinct, eye-catching patterns when sliced. The shape of cakes is also changing. Triangular or octagon tiers are new, common choices. Though cakes are disappearing, the tradition of the couple feeding each other a bite of dessert isn’t. Now instead of a new groom’s face being adorned with white frosting from his bride’s handiwork, he will often be wearing a blackberry pie mustache.

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

DESTINATION WHIDBEY & CAMANO WEDDINGS

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Add ‘wow factor’ with right bouquet BY SARA HANSEN Some brides have been dreaming about the perfect floral arrangements for years, but for those who haven’t, there’s help. “Flowers convey an elegant, beautiful message,” said Audrey Butler, Greenhouse Florist and Nursery co-owner. “I always think of the overall picture, the wow factor — all of that is wrapped right around flowers.” Tobey Nelson, owner of Vases Wild in Clinton, offered a few tips for those picking out flowers. Nelson’s background is in landscape and horticulture. Her floral business focuses on sourcing locally grown, sustainable products whenever possible. She works with local growers and forages as needed for arrangements. “That’s what makes it unique — having something you can’t find in the marketplace,” Nelson said. Nelson likes adding garden flower touches to her arrangements. Artichokes have a bold, fun texture, while seed heads and pods, as well as other foliage can add accents to the arrangements. For example, Nelson likes to loop the foliage, which she does by taking a long blade a grass and folding it into a circle or a teardrop shape for the arrangement. Sometimes she takes other grasses and weaves them together for bouquet handles. “It’s fun to use materials in different ways than expected,” Nelson said. Nelson likes to complement the bouquet with the wedding dress. “The bridal bouquet is the ultimate accessory,” Nelson said. “If I can help her with that, I like to.” Butler agreed about the importance of the bouquet. “Her bouquet is what we base the whole wedding off of,” Butler said. Last year simple, country styles were in, such as using burlap and having hand-tied arrangements with the stems showing, said Tracy Schultz, owner of Flowers by the Bay in Freeland. A few trends are sprouting for the coming wedding season. Right now air plants, such as tillandsia, are popular. The plants have a cool effect when they are sticking out of arrangements. Other hot trends include peonies, the color purple and gold metallic. “The palatte is starting to warm up,” Nelson said. “We’ve done quite a few with sedum, natural plants, greenery and grasses,” Butler said. “Sunflowers have been popular.” The vintage look is also becoming more chic, Nelson said, such as switching from burlap to taffeta. Some of the styles requested are similar to that of the 60s, using some of the bolder larger flowers like bigger mums and carnations, Butler said. “They’re adding in some of the more traditional looks of weddings of the past,” Butler said. “Modern with a traditional flare.”

Photo provided

Flowers convey a message, according to Whidbey florist Audrey Butler, and help create the overall picture of a wedding. “People are embracing organic and aren’t looking for those little buns (of flowers) anymore,” Nelson said. “They’re looking for more action in the bouquet.” Another trend is last-minute weddings. In Oak Harbor with the military, a lot of people get married “on the fly.” For the past six or seven years, Butler said walk-in weddings have increased, and she is more than happy to accommodate their last-minute floral needs. In the past, brides have used scrapbooks made from wedding magazines, but now with all the image sharing on the Internet, bringing in photos of ideas is much easier. “It’s very much an online scene,” Schultz said. “The Internet has populated the options for brides.” The website Pinterest — a content sharing site that allows members to “pin” images, videos and other objects to their online pin board — is another tool that can be used when picking out the perfect flowers. “Pinterest has blown wedding flowers wide open,” Nelson said. Nelson uses the site to correspond with brides and figure out what they’re looking for. When deciding on the floral arrangements, it’s important to know what your budget is and not get carried away. The most important thing when picking out flowers is making sure the florist is a good match too, Nelson said. “My job is to make my style fit my bride,” Nelson said. “It’s my hand, so it’s going to have my touch. Find whose style is right for you.”

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DESTINATION WHIDBEY & CAMANO WEDDINGS

Take care when selecting a wedding photographer BY JUSTIN BURNETT

You’ve proposed, your significant other has said “Yes,” and you’ve both selected Whidbey Island as the place where you’ll tie the knot. Now it’s time to decide how you want to document what will surely be one of the most special and memorable days of your life — with excellent, mediocre or bad photos. For most it’s an easy question to answer, but with so many choices to choose from it’s not necessarily the easiest decision to make. Fortunately, Whidbey Island is home to some of the best in the business and they have a few tips for deciding on the right person for the job. For starters, Erik and Ali Vail of Vail Studios in Oak Harbor say 23 years in the business has taught them that getting along with your photographer is key because you’ll be spending a lot of time with them. “We’re at a wedding for 10 to 12 hours,” Eric Vail said. “We’re basically spending the day with them.” Michael Stadler of Stadler Studio Photography, who’s been in business on South Whidbey for 13 years, said he agrees. You can’t underestimate the importance of hiring someone you like and get along with because they will essentially be a part of your experience, he said. “They’re like your junior bridesmaids,” said Stadler, adding that the job of a wedding photographer is not just standing around and pushing a button. “I’m running around like a ninja.” So take the time to pick someone you like and are compatible with. Equally important, of course, is a photographer’s portfolio. In today’s digital world, there are a lot of “weekend warriors” out there who may flash a few nice pictures, but the best have a resume that speaks for itself. Many professionals have dedicated websites with comprehensive galleries of a

single event. “That will show their true range of skill,” Stadler said. Wedding photographers also tend to develop styles that are their own, and that portfolio will tell volumes about their skill, individuality and what you can expect if you hire them for your own wedding. “What you see is what you’ll get,” Erik Vail said. Finally, cost is a big factor and like most things in life, you get what you pay for, Erik Vail said. Weddings can range in price from $500 to more than $10,000. The lower end is what you can expect from the most inexperienced while the top end might be photographers who have achieved world recognition. For a good photographer, expect to pay at least $3,000, said Vail, though he added that the majority of his clients spend about $4,500. The price tag can be flexible, however, and isn’t solely dependent on experience. Your bill will also be a reflection of the services you order. A simple DVD of photos, for example, will lower your tab while prints and specialized hard copy and online albums, which are accessible to family and friends, will come at a premium. There are a lot of cool options out there, making the sky — and your pocketbook — the limit. Location is also up to you. A photographer’s experience at specific venues may be useful, but the best can and will produce great images anywhere. “That’s part of being a wedding photographer,” Erik Vail said. “You should be able to work in any environment.” Finally, there are a few other resources to tap when selecting the right photographer for you, starting with other professionals in the wedding business. Caterers, planners, venue owners — many are familiar with

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Erik Vail, an Oak Harbor-based photographer, says to anticipate spending at least $3,000 for a good photographer. people in the industry and can may have recommendations based on experience. A new online resource, www.weddingson

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

DESTINATION WHIDBEY & CAMANO WEDDINGS

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We offer Gift Certificates which the newlyweds can combine to purchase a substantial work of art!

www.brackenwoodgallery.com

brackenwoodgallery@whidbey.com 302 First Street • Langley • 360-221-2978

After months of planning and anticipation, the days leading up to a wedding are about getting down to the final touches. Salons on Whidbey can help every member of the wedding party look their best from their hair to the nails on their toes.

For the face

For makeup artist Cheryl Jason, owner of CherWear Professional Makeup Artistry, makeup is not something to skip out on. From looking back to the photos to the first smile a bride’s fiancé sees, hiring a makeup artist is a worthy investment, she said. “It’s one of the least expensive things on a wedding day,” she said. “And one of the first things your fiancé is going to see. The little extra is worth it.” Jason is based out of Oak Harbor and provides a mobile beauty service for small and large wedding parties from Whidbey Island to Bellingham. She suggests to book an appointment a few months in advance. Jason prides herself on the detail she provides during her consultation — and they get lengthy, with some lasting more than two hours. To prepare for each bride’s style, Jason suggests creating a Pinterest account. For many of her clients, she follows their boards on Pinterest to see what styles they are interested in. “I want to make sure I’m thorough. On the day of wedding I want to be the least stressful part of her day,” Jason said. But that doesn’t mean the day isn’t stressful for Jason. She worked every weekend during last season doing what she loves. One day last year, she doubled up driving from the Hotel Bellwether in Bellingham to Freeland Hall for two different weddings. “It’s exhausting but I’ve loved every second of it. I really know my brides,” she said. “It’s all about them.”

Hair and skin regime

Aaron Wiley, founder of the Seaside Spa and Salon in Coupeville, provides an all-inclusive spa experience where bridal parties can get everything done from massages and scrubs to hair and makeup. “We try to make it really relaxing,” Wiley said. “So if the bride is under pressure or stressed out that day, they don’t have to be (stressed) here.” For Wiley’s clients, braids and updos have stayed on trend along with the more classical, soft romantic looks. “Girls have come up with cool new things in braids,” she said. For hair, Wiley suggests booking a practice run-through six weeks in advance. Most brides already have hairstyles in mind, but

Whidbey Inspiration

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Photo by Celeste Erickson

Nail salons can help provide one of those finishing touches. if it’s not what they want this is the opportunity to start over, she said. “You don’t know how it’s going to look until you try it on. Like a wedding dress, your hair is the same way,” she said. Brides have also been doing a lot of skin preparation before the wedding such as spa peels that give a healthy glow. Wiley advises with any new skin care treatment, brides should have them done at least four-to-six months before the wedding to avoid any bad outcomes. “The one thing that can really flare up is acne with the stress. Every girl dreams of her wedding day to be fun. The reality is it’s stressful planning an event,” Wiley said. “With a facial ahead of time, it can be under control.” “I think skincare is the most important part — truly,” Wiley said.

Down to the nails

At Island Girl Nails in Clinton, owner Vicki Thompson has more than 300 nail polish colors to choose from for the wedding day. Brides are choosing a variety of colors for both the wedding party and throughout the season, she said. Brides often go for a French polish and let their bridesmaids pick their own color, she said. When it comes to a pedicure, things get a little wilder. Brides ask for brighter colors and more sparkles. One bride even had her grooms initials painted on her big toes, Thompson said. For the best polish, Thompson suggests brides avoid cutting nails and moisturize using lotions and cuticle oils before coming into the appointment. “It gives us more nail to work with,” she said. “If you know a mani and pedi has been scheduled, don’t cut your nails, let us do it. We can give a more even and consistent shape.”

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DESTINATION WHIDBEY & CAMANO WEDDINGS

Entertainment adds ambience to special day BY BEN WATANABE

Just like a movie scene, the right music can perfectly accent a wedding. On Whidbey, the options are abundant from live musicians to lively DJs. Which one is a matter of the couple’s preference and the vibe they are after, and given the island’s natural setting of sea and mountain ranges to the west and east, outdoor nuptials are common. “Whidbey Island offers the best backdrop of any area around Puget Sound,” said Quinn Fitzpatrick, a Whidbey Island guitarist who regularly performs at weddings. For the Whidbey-based musicians of Trio Nouveau, weddings are an opportunity for their talents to add to an already magical evening’s majesty. “We set an ambience,” said Kristi O’Donnell, the band’s bassist. “We’re at the right volume. We’re very sensitive to the moment.” Specializing in swing music from the 1920 and 1930s, Trio Nouveau is part of a movement to bring a simple elegance to outdoor weddings, once considered a more informal affair. Imagine a Whidbey sunset setting, having the three-part band — expandable

to a sextet, if requested — strum and pluck while guests filter in, enjoy a cocktail hour or dine, essentially background music. “This is heartfelt playing,” O’Donnell said. “We practice it and we feel it.” “We send out love beams.” One of the innovations offered by Trio Nouveau is a speaker system that is iPod compatible. If a wedding party is ready to transition into top-40 dance grooves, plug it in and play the hits. “We’re versatile,” O’Donnell. Of course, if that’s the angle the betrothed couple wants the entire time, the services of a DJ who has amassed a library of music and brings a speaker system can suffice. Moose Moran, a Central Whidbey-based entertainment expert, is one such DJ. Moran has the right tunes for the entire wedding, from ceremony to reception to dance. Fitzpatrick, an instrumentalist with plenty of musical friends to call upon if a couple wants a vocalist or violinist, has compiled a long list of popular wedding songs — classical and modern — he has arranged for a solo guitar. It reduces the cost associated with hiring a band or DJ and provides a mellow aesthetic.

Photo provided

Whidbey Island-based Trio Nouveau are ready to perform at weddings at various venues throughout the picturesque island. “Instead of having to hire a duet of a guitarist and vocalist, I can play everything on the guitar,” Fitzpatrick said.

A common practice for the musicians is to request favorite songs from the couple, which they can work into their performances.

Finding a wedding officiant With government officials, religious leaders and even family members available, couples have a multitude of choices of who can officiate their wedding ceremony. “There’s so many ways to go out and make ceremonies more meaningful,” said Gloria Mickunas, owner of Whidbey Party Girls!, which coordinates and organizes weddings on Whidbey Island. If a couple wants to have a family member officiate a wedding, then that person can get ordained at places such as as the Universal Life Church, which is recognized by Washington state. She also noted judges, attorneys and elected officials such as mayors are also able to serve in that role. For more information, go to www.whidbeypartygirls.com

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DESTINATION WHIDBEY & CAMANO WEDDINGS

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DESTINATION WHIDBEY & CAMANO WEDDINGS

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Wedding Planner J

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

6-8 MONTHS BEFORE

 Book ceremony musicians.  Order bridesmaid dresses.  Start planning honeymoon.  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  Attend pre-wedding counseling, if required.  Shop for and order invitations and wedding rings.  Shop for formalwear.  Renew or get passports, if necessary.  Envision your wedding cake and research, interview, and book a cake designer. 3 MONTHS BEFORE  Order wedding cake.  Hire a calligrapher, if you want your invitations professionally addressed.  Attend your shower. (It may be earlier, depending on when hosts decide to have it.)  Groom: Rent the men’s formalwear.  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  Mail your invitations.  Write your vows.  Purchase gifts for parents, attendants, and each other.  Book your stylist and try out bigday hairstyles.  Book makeup artist for a trial run. 1 MONTH BEFORE  Apply for a marriage license.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

DESTINATION WHIDBEY & CAMANO WEDDINGS

Check with the local bureau in the town where you’ll wed.  Bride: Have final gown fitting. Bring your maid of honor along to learn how to bustle your dress. Have the dress pressed and bring it home.  Call all bridesmaids. Make sure they have their gowns ready for the wedding.  Make last-minute adjustments with vendors.  Create a wedding program to hand out to guests.  Order and plan in-room welcome baskets for out-of-town guests. 2 WEEKS BEFORE  Review final RSVP list and call any guests who have not yet sent a response.  Deliver must-have shot lists to photographer and videographer. Include who should be in formal portraits and determine when portraits will be taken.  Deliver final song list to your DJ or bandleader. Include special song requests and songs you don’t want played.  Bride: Get your last prewedding haircut and color. 1 WEEK BEFORE  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.  Supply location manager with a list of vendor requests such as a table for DJ or setup spaceneeded by florist.  Plan reception seating chart.  Print place and table cards, or finalize list with the calligrapher you have hired to do so.  Call all wedding vendors and confirm arrangements.  Give ceremony and reception site managers a schedule of vendor delivery and setup times, plus contact numbers.

 Groom: Get your hair trimmed.  Attend bachelor/ette parties.

 Attend rehearsal dinner.  Present attendants with gifts at

2-3 DAYS BEFORE  Bride: If you need to, have your gown pressed or steamed.  Groom: Go for final fitting and pick up your formalwear.  Groom: Ask the best man to make sure all groomsmen attend fittings and pick up their outfits.  Determine wedding-party positions during ceremony and the order of the party in the processional and recessional.  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.  Reconfirm final details with all vendors. Discuss any necessary lastminute substitutions.  Call the limousine- or car-rental company for pickup times and locations.  Arrange for guests without cars to be picked up from the airport or train station. Ask friends, attendants, or relatives to help.  Deliver welcome baskets to the hotel concierge; make sure to include names and delivery instructions. DAY BEFORE  Provide all wedding professionals with an emergency phone number to call on the day of the wedding.  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  Rehearse ceremony. Meet with wedding party, ceremony readers, immediate family, and your officiant at the ceremony site to rehearse and iron out details.  Bring all special ceremony accessories to the site.  Give your marriage license to your officiant.

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%

the rehearsal dinner. You’ll want to do this especially if the gifts are accessories to be worn during the wedding. DAY OF  Present parents and each other with gifts.  Give wedding bands to the best man and the maid of honor to hold during the ceremony.  Give best man the officiant’s fee envelope, to be handed off after the ceremony.  Introduce your reception site manager to your consultant or maid of honor for questions or problems during the reception.  Assign a family member or attendant to be the photographer’s contact so he knows who is who. POSTWEDDING  Prearrange for someone to return any rentals.  Preplan for attendants to take the bride’s gown for cleaning and return the groom’s tux to the rental shop.  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’ll need to spend to get what you want. Here is a basic breakdown of what you can expect to pay:

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

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DESTINATION WHIDBEY & CAMANO WEDDINGS

The Shortest Distance to Far Away ÂŽ Visitor Information Centers: For in-person help and detailed information, call or stop by one of the many visitor centers located throughout the islands.

Greater Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce 32630 SR 20, Oak Harbor, WA 98277 OakHarborChamber.com (360) 675-3535 Coupeville Chamber of Commerce 905 NW Alexander Street Coupeville, WA 98239 CentralWhidbeyChamber.com (360) 678-5434

Congratulations to Jen and Scott, married on July 27, 2013 at the Inn at Langley on Whidbey Island. Photo by Jason Koenig with JKOE Photo.

The Shortest Distance to Happily Ever After

Cross over by bridge or ferry and find yourself in a different world. This is the ideal place for your perfect day. Life is less complicated here. You’ll find everything you need for your gathering or group getaway.

Greater Freeland Chamber of Commerce 5575 Harbor Avenue, #101 Freeland, WA 98249 Freeland-WA.org (360) 331-1980 Langley Chamber of Commerce 208 Anthes Avenue, Langley, WA 98260 VisitLangley.com (360) 221-6765 Clinton Chamber of Commerce, c/o Dalton Realty 9546 Hwy 525, Clinton, WA 98236 DiscoverClintonWa.com (360) 341-3929 Camano Island Chamber of Commerce 848 N. Sunrise Blvd, #4 Camano Island, WA 98282 CamanoIsland.org (360) 629-7136

Free maps and guides plus lodging and event info at

WhidbeyCamanoIslands.com


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Weddings - Whidbey and Camano Island Weddings 2014