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Publication of the Journal, Sounder & Weekly In partnership with the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau


s a destination wedding location, the San Juan Islands are among the top places to say “I do.” With incredible surroundings, both unique and traditional venues, activities for guests and farm to table cuisine, a wedding in the San Juans leaves lasting memories. No matter when your wedding will take place, the islands can accommodate you. While most the outdoor weddings occur in the summer months, there are indoor opportunities for spring, fall and winter weddings, as well. From flowers to cakes to officiating services and lodging, there are businesses here to meet every need. Within these pages you will find a sampling of what San Juan, Orcas and Lopez islands have to offer. For additional information, visit any of the following websites: • www.visitsanjuans.com • www.myorcasislandwedding.com • www.sanjuanisland.org • www.lopezisland.com Contributed photo / Steve Horn


Group Publisher: Colleen Smith Armstrong Writers: Colleen Smith Armstrong, Cali Bagby, Emily Greenberg, Scott Rasmussen Advertising Sales: Colleen Smith Armstrong, Cali Bagby, Cherie Sarrett, Howard Schonberger Graphic Artists: Scott Herning, Kathryn Sherman Cover Photo: File photo

Publication Information

The Journal of the San Juans 640 Mullis St., Friday Harbor, WA 98250. P: (360) 378‑5696, F: (888) 562-8818 - www.sanjuanjournal.com The Islands’ Sounder 217 Main St., Eastsound, WA 98245. P: (360) 376‑4500, F: (888) 562-8818 - www.islandssounder.com The Islands’ Weekly 217 Main St., Eastsound, WA 98245. P: (360) 376‑4500, F: (888) 562-8818 - www.islandsweekly.com San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau 640 Mullis St., Friday Harbor, WA 98250. P: (888) 468-3701 - info@visitsanjuans.com


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 and 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 See PLANNER, Page 4

Welcome to… Friday Harbor Suites Friday Harbor Suites Hotel With Island Charm Escape to the natural beauty, tranquility and warm hospitality of San Juan Island at the Friday Harbor Suites. Located a halfmile from the ferry dock and downtown Friday Harbor, our intimate all-suites hotel is a relaxing retreat. There are no traffic lights, parking meters, shopping malls or fast food restaurants on San Juan Island. Discover an idyllic island landscape that captivates your spirit. Complimentary Hot Breakfast & Airport ShuttleOnly at Friday Harbor Suites Friday Harbor Suites

680 Spring Street, Friday Harbor, WA 98250 Phone: 360-378-3031 | Fax: 360-378-4228 Email: info@fridayharborsuites.com www.fridayharborsuites.com

Planner: Cont. from pg. 3 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 formal wear.  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 formal wear.  Hire wedding-day transport: limousines, other cars. Look into transportation sooner if you’re considering renting streetcars or overthe-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. 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

Contributed photo / Robert Harrison

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 pre-wedding 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 space needed 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. 2-3 DAYS BEFORE  Bride: If you need to, have your gown pressed or steamed.  Groom: Go for final fitting and pick up your formal wear.  Groom: Ask the best man to make sure all groomsmen attend fittings and pick up their outfits.  Determine wedding-party positions See PLANNER, Page 6

Weddings in the San Juan Islands 2015


Northwest Weddings set sail at the...

Waterfront — overlooking the Port of Friday Harbor. Within walking distance to ferry. Large reception room. Full kitchen and bar area. All serviceware and glassware included. Can accomodate 200 guests. Contact Gayle Rollins for more information. 273 Front Street Friday Harbor, WA 98250 360~378~3434 sjiyc@rockisland.com www.sjiyc.com

P.O. Box 2496 Friday Harbor, WA 98250 weddingarch@hotmail.com


Planner: Cont. from pg. 3 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.  Attend rehearsal dinner.  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. 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: • Reception: 48-50 percent • Ceremony: 2-3 percent • Attire: 8-10 percent • Flowers: 8-10 percent • Entertainment/Music: 8-10 percent • Photography/Videography: 1012 percent • Stationery: 2-3 percent • Wedding Rings: 2-3 percent • Parking/Transportation: 2-3 percent • Gifts: 2-3 percent • Miscellaneous: 8 percent * 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 those expenses as well.

Contributed photo / Steve Horn

Rebecca Anne Photography and Jenny Ostensen Photography 速

San Juan Island – Rugged beauty, island of romance

Contributed photo / Kevin Meyers

By Scott Rasmussen Journal editor


any a couple have been smitten by the scenery of San Juan Island. That’s only natural. So, when courtship blossoms into plans for a lifetime of commitment, it’s not surprising that thoughts of an island wedding are soon to follow. A most excellent idea. The scenic splendor of San Juan Island not only makes such a choice an exceptionally romantic one, but soon-to-be newlyweds quickly find out that all the pieces are in place to ensure the many practical matters which go hand-in-hand with such a singular event are accounted for and attended to with the utmost of care.

That’s because San Juan is home to a host of well-seasoned professionals and planners that pride themselves on making each and every wedding as unique as it is memorable. From florists to photographers, caterers to taxi cabs and limousines, from musicians to DJs, to myriadquality restaurants, hotels, offthe-beaten path B & Bs, evening entertainment and just about everything in between, the island is well-equipped to make any wedding a most momentous occasion. There’s no shortage of venues to choose from either. San Juan County Park, situated smack dab on the shoreline of the island’s west side, has long been a favorite for newlyweds with a desire to exchange vows in the

great outdoors and have the mystique of the moment framed by the scenic splendor that is Haro Strait. The historic, charming Valley Church, built in 1892, has proven to be a popular choice, as are the island’s lavender farm, sculpture park, winery and vineyard, golf and country club, to mention just a few. And there’s Roche Harbor Resort, of course, where the combination of floral gardens, charming chapel, historic hotel, bustling marina and picturesque harbor and famed sunsets make the seaside village a perennial favorite for brides and grooms from across the nation, and around the globe. A self-contained wedding venue unto itself, Roche Harbor Resort is Seattle Bride Magazine’s “Best NW Destination” three years and counting, a finalist for five other recognitions in outdoor and waterfront venues and selected all-around “best See ROMANCE, Page 11



Contributed photo / Robert Harrison

By Emily Greenberg Journal reporter


onths, maybe years of planning have led to this day. The dresses are pressed, the bow-ties are tied, the table is set. With the culmination of emotions on your wedding day, combined with the unavoidable exhaustion, it’s easy to forget the less obvious things needed for the day to go off without a hitch.  1. Brunch You’re nervous, excited and the champagne has already started flowing. Make sure to eat a hearty breakfast, lunch or both. It could be hours before dinner is served. After the ceremony, while the reception guests are munching on hors d’oeurves, you’ll be off taking pictures and toasting your new life together with your partner. Stock up on nutrients before the long day of activities gets under way. Your wedding party will appreciate some munchies, too, as you all get ready together. 2. Tools for wardrobe, hair and makeup malfunctions Safety pins could be key if all that dancing leads to a spaghetti strap failure, bobbie pins can help keep your hair looking perfect after a wild go on the dance floor and spare makeup

(and tissues) for after those inevitable tears of joy. 3. Tip your bartender Not just him though – your DJ, band, chauffeur, waitstaff. Gratuity is even expected for the officiant (if a religious affiliate, a donation to the institution is protocol).  4. Marriage License Firstly, make sure to bring the document with you to the event, and don’t forget to sign the marriage license after the fateful “I do”s are uttered. This seals the deal, making the vows legal and official. Once it’s been signed there’s only one thing left to do, celebrate! Put the freshly signed marriage license somewhere safe before the evening’s shenanigans begin.  5. Stay relaxed You’re being pulled in every direction to acknowledge each guest, at least one thing has not gone as planned – amidst the chaos and commemoration it’s easy to get lost in hullabaloo, but this night only happens once  “Go to your happy place as often as you need to,” a local wedding expert said. “The wedding day will not go on without you, so take moments to stay relaxed so that you have a good time and the day doesn’t pass over like crazy windstorm.”

A symbol of the new horizons ahead for the happy couple exchanging vows. Revenue from the Lighthouse Special Events Program contributes to the maintenance and support of this historic beacon.

For more info visit: FolksSJI.org or call (360) 378-5154 1567 Westside Rd, Friday Harbor San Juan Island, WA 98250

Contributed photo / Steve Horn

Cali Bagby photography

OrcasIslandChamber.com MyOrcasIslandWedding.com Facebook: “Orcas Island Weddings” 360.376.2273 • info@orcasislandchamber.com

Unique floral arrangements for your special day


The Nest on Orcas Island provides fresh flowers for all occasions. Flowers are sourced both locally and from afar. Visit www.nestflowers.com or call 360-376-4580 18 Haven Road, Eastsound / 10 am to 5:30 pm daily

Contributed photo / Robert Harrison

By Colleen Smith Armstrong Sounder editor, Group publisher


nown as the Emerald Isle, Orcas Island offers pastoral beauty, pebbly shorelines and bucolic farmland. Imagine you and your beloved holding hands as you say “I do.” Imagine that your backdrop is the gentle waves of the Salish Sea and the surrounding green and rocky islands of the San Juan Archipelago. The island’s 56.9 square miles are dotted with small hamlets offering world-class restaurants, boutique shopping, cultural events and activity tours. Scattered among the forests and along the pristine shores are a variety of quaint and lovely bed and breakfasts and hotels. Your guests might enjoy browsing the artisan pottery, jewelry or art at

the many galleries. Family and friends visiting for a wedding weekend can also take time to explore the beaches and trails on this small but lively island. Professional Orcas Island wedding planners are at your service to guide you as you select a venue; experienced wedding photographers; talented local musicians; wedding officiant; or salons offering personalized hair, skin and makeup services.

Activities for guests

Right as you drive off the boat, the Orcas ferry landing hosts a gourmet grocery and deli, post office, a few shops, a public dock, boat rentals, whale watching, water taxi, car and moped rentals and a taxi service. To the east lies a woodsy residential See BEAUTY, Page 16



Lively Traditional Music Family Band Ceremonies & Receptions crowvalleystringband.com rachelbishop@yahoo.com 360 376 5003


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an d , Was hi n



All Inclusive Elopement & Small Wedding Packages For a Romantic Wedding on Orcas Island. Visit our website for a detailed description. www.turtlebackinn.com info@turtlebackinn.com 360-376-4914 • 1-800-376-4914 1981 Crow Valley Road Eastsound, WA 98245


Beauty: Cont. from pg. 14 area along Killebrew Lake Road and to the northwest, Orcas Road winds through grassy meadows toward the island’s center, Eastsound. Eastsound is home to an array of charming restaurants and specialty shops. You’ll find a library, a historical museum, grocery stores, a pharmacy, restaurants and more. Along its north and south shorelines are three public parks, and Buck Park with a skate park, playground and soccer fields. Orcas Center hosts musical, theatre and artistic offerings throughout the year. On the southwestern prong of Orcas, West Sound features a cafe, a public dock and a marina, while sunny Deer Harbor offers lodging, a restaurant and two marinas where kayak, boat and whale watching tours embark. Southeast of Eastsound, Olga Road leads to 5,200-acre Moran

State Park. Drive, hike or cycle to the top of 2,400-foot Mount Constitution, where you can take in breathtaking 360-degree views of the outlying islands and, on clear days, the Cascade Mountain range. Trails provide easy walks or rigorous, hilly climbs that intersect and add on with one another. You can spend all day exploring the island’s treasured state park. Afterward, you might enjoy picnicking at Cascade Lake’s popular swimming area with a playground, barbecues and picnic tables. Beyond the park lies Olga, with its eclectic art co-op and restaurant. Just past it you’ll find secluded Obstruction Pass State Park, with hike-in campgrounds along a lovely pebbled beach. Point Lawrence Road leads to the hamlet of Doe Bay with a great view of gentle waters and historic resort. Wherever you go on this island you will find beauty perfect for your special day.

ORCAStrating your dream... Visit our website for our newest trendy inventory… wood farm tables and chairs, LED color lighting, heavy duty café lights, push air heaters for tents, flame electronic ignition space heaters, & much more... Call us today 360-376.8376 or email us at PartyOn@orcasevents.com 434 prune alley :: eastsound :: wa 98245 www.orcasevents.com :: serving all islands



Contributed photo / Robert Harrison

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B A S E D I N T H E S A N J U A N I S L A N D S , C O V E R I N G W A S H I N G T O N S T A T E


Contributed photo

By Alison (Graham) Sanders Special to the Sounder


ate summer, early fall, you can call a September wedding on Orcas Island either one… I call it perfect. There was never any doubt in my mind that I would get married on Orcas Island. One is hard-pressed to find a more beautiful area of the world. The magic of Orcas is that it has everything you’re looking for, whether it’s a sandy beach, a wide open field, a rustic barn or an intimate chapel atop a mountain. I was so impressed with the services available on the island. There was everything we needed right there. Hair and makeup, photography, flowers, catering, transportation, wedding coordinating, event planning, you name it. I can’t tell you how nice it was to not stress about whether or not a vendor was going to miss the ferry and thus the wedding itself. The experience that our guests had was very important to us, and that was partly why we chose to have our wedding on Orcas. We wanted them to feel like they were on a mini vacation where they could relax and fall in love with the islands the way we had. What better start to a vacation is there than taking a ferry boat ride from Anacortes through the San Juan archipelago or flying into a beautiful marina on a float plane? Plus there are loads of accommodations available in all price ranges, which was a must if we were going to have all of our guests attend. Though, with all the amazing options we had available to us my now-husband and I were torn. Do we have a wedding by the water? Or do we have a garden wedding? In the end we opted for both, a small intimate ceremony on West Beach and then off to a huge reception in a spectacular garden complete with a covered dining area and a picturesque pond nestled in the center. We were married in mid-September on what must have been the most beautiful day in the history of Saturdays in September, or maybe ever, I’m not quite sure. I don’t mind telling you that the photos from that day are stunning, every single one of them. It was a truly magical experience.

Weddings on Orcas Island

Creating personal, unique and meaningful ceremonies on Orcas Island since 1993. With the recent passage of the WA State Marriage Equality Act, we are honored to provide legal ceremonies for ALL couples. Sandy Playa, wedding officiant Carl Burger, guitar & vocals www.WeddingsOnOrcas.com 360-376-5531

Contributed photo / Robert Harrison

By Cali Bagby Weekly editor


ith pristine beaches, beautiful backgrounds of rolling hills and a general laid-back feel, Lopez Island is a perfect destination for a special wedding day. Don’t be surprised if fellow motorists wave to you and your guests – it’s how the island got its nickname of the “Friendly Isle.” Lopez is also the closest of the ferry-served islands to Anacortes, making it a quick trip for you and your loved ones.

Although Lopez Island’s population is only around 2,400 people, you’ll find photographers and musicians to make your ceremony one to remember and venues that are lovely. There is also a wealth of accommodations, from camping to bed and breakfasts, to fun resorts. For your down time, stroll through the village, where most of the island’s businesses are located. On Saturday mornings in the summer, you’ll see shoppers perusing fresh vegetables at the farmers’ market

and children playing in Lopez Village Park. Wedding venues The island offers a selection of potential ceremony venues, like the Lopez Center for Community and the Arts, with its wood floors, large windows and outdoor performance pavilion; Woodmen Hall was recently renovated to reflect its historical character; Lopez Island Vineyards has landscaped winery gardens for an intimate outdoor wedding location; Lopez Islander Resort is located on Fisherman Bay and includes waterfront hotel rooms and restaurant; The Galley provides a family-friendly environment on Fisherman Bay; the Edenwild Inn has accommodations nestled in the heart of Lopez Village; Mackaye Harbor Inn is beachfront on the southend; and Lopez Farm Cottages and Tent Camping has 30 acres of privacy. There are also quaint and beautiful churches available for tying the knot, including Center Church and Grace Episcopal Church. Activities for guests What makes Lopez such a romantic setting is its vast expanses of spectacular beaches and wildlife. It’s common to see great blue herons and osprey fly into the distance behind you. Take a trip to Odlin County Park and Spencer Spit State Park and your wedding guests may also catch a bald eagle soaring overhead or spy a killer whale sighting in the waters below. Lopez Village, which has grocery stores, two coffee shops, several boutiques, restaurants, a bookstore and a bakery, provides the essentials and any last minute items for your time on the island. In addition to the accommodations listed above, there is a wide variety of private houses to rent. Lopez is the ideal place to tie the knot and will give you a chance to soak up a true island experience.

Contributed photo / Robert Harrison

Lopez Island Woodmen Hall

Be part of a Lopez Tradition Hosting events since 1898 Offering for your special day, Beautifully renovated building Commercial kitchen, tables, chairs, linens, place settings

Stage with a professional lighting and sound system Reasonable rental rates Available year-round Call the event coordinator for availability and pricing 360-468-3092

Profile for Sound Publishing

Weddings - 2015 Weddings in the San Juan Islands  


Weddings - 2015 Weddings in the San Juan Islands