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acific orthwest eddings 2017

A supplement to the Whidbey News-Times and South Whidbey Record

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Destination Pacific NW Weddings 2017

Trend heading toward bigger celebrations By RON NEWBERRY In 2007, Scott and Stephanie Pendell started a catering business in Freeland with the idea of serving small groups at Whidbey Island retreats. "That was a good place to start," said Scott Pendell. "We soon realized the wedding industry was pretty big here." Ten years later, after a few dips and rises along the way, the wedding industry remains big business on Whidbey. About 85 percent of the catering the Pendells do at their Midnight Kitchen Catering Company is for weddings, Scott said. This year, they're already booked every weekend from Memorial Day to Labor Day, which has never happened this early. "It seems like 2017 is going to be quite the banner year," Scott said. "A lot of the parties are big." Whidbey Island has always offered an appeal as a charming, scenic backdrop for one of life's most celebrated occasions. But in more recent years, the island has grown into more of a destination wedding location, aided by the emergence of impressive new venues, skilled chefs and bakers, crafty COVER PHOTO, by Michael Stadler of Stadler Studio, was taken

at a wedding planned by Gloria Mickunas, of Whidbey Party Girls! Floral arrangements were done by Flowers by Shamay.

caterers who use locally grown products and other opportunistic, complementary businesses. Not only does Whidbey have a wide range of alluring potential locations for wedding ceremonies and receptions, it also has become more attractive because of the rise in things to do for island visitors, said Gloria Mickunas, a wedding and events planner with her company Whidbey Party Girls! "We have so many wineries now," Mickunas said. "We have more distilleries. We have the microbrew movement. The slow foods movement is picking up leaps and bounds. We're putting up quality product. This also is helping the wedding industry. All of that is making Whidbey that much more desirable." It's giving Whidbey more props as it competes with the San Juans as an island wedding destination site. One advantage about Whidbey is its proximity to bigger cities and to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. "We're still close enough to Seattle that it's easy to get to yet it still gives you a feeling that you're getting away," Mickunas said. "When you get on a ferry, there is something magical that happens. You just exhale." Full-service wedding venues such as Fireseed in Langley have helped lure wedding parties from

Photo by Michael Stadler

Big cakes are back in style. Pictured is a spread by CwwJ & Y Decadent Desserts.

points across the country for the past decade. Dave and Dawn Noble moved to the island in 2003 from the Midwest and turned their spacious rural property and barn into an elaborate spot where weddings can be held year-round, hosting their first wedding in 2006. They've watched the wedding industry grow on the island over the past decade. They typically host between 40-45 weddings a year and are already booked solid through November in 2017 and have at least five weddings already contracted for 2018. Mickunas also is seeing 2017 as a big year on CONTINUED ON PAGE 3




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Whidbey in more than one way. She normally does about three or four weddings in September but has nine scheduled for that month this year. She's noticing a return to big weddings involving more than 200 people, a sign of a rebounding economy. And while she's seeing some ceremonies at churches, most are being held at private residences, particularly at waterfront homes right on the beach. "Who doesn't want to get married on the water?" Mickunas said. About 80 percent of the weddings that Midnight Kitchen caters are at private residences, Scott Pendell said. The booming popularity of the photo-sharing website Pinterest about four years ago created an interest in do-it-yourself couples looking to take matters into their own hands and cut wedding costs. But more recently, Mickunas has seen her clients using Pinterest as more of a starting point to share with her ideas that they'd like to see re-created at their weddings. "Most couples are very visual," Mickunas said. "It's a great tool for creating that medium. It's a place we use as a starting point to what appeals to you." Mickunas said she often matches clients' interests with what's available on the island and is finding that easier these days with a wedding-friendly industry that's grown up around her.

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Fireseed in Langley is a full-service wedding and events venue that attracts couples from across the country.

She's noticing more island residents keeping their weddings at home and wanting their costs to stay on the island to support local business and producers. Diamond Rentals in Oak Harbor has expanded its inventory in recent years to accommodate Whidbey's growing wedding industry. They now rent more vintage decor, dishes, glassware and tents and even provide luxury restrooms

on trailers, said owner Mary Jo Lambert. Lambert said she's seen a noticeable increase in wedding parties from off-the-island in the past three or four years and her business has adjusted its rental inventory accordingly. She's accommodated weddings at family farms, state parks, wineries and more. "I think people are really using it (the island) as a destination," she said.

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Destination Pacific NW Weddings 2017

Gowns bringing a pop of color By PATRICIA GUTHRIE Blushing brides take on a new meaning this season as gowns in subtle hues of soft pink, rose and silvery gray increasingly usurp the traditional wedding white. “Colors are really becoming a trend,” says Colleen Thorsen who custom-makes bridal gowns from her Clinton home and sells through her business website, French Knot Couture, www.frenchknotcouture. com “The brides are starting to add more color, non-traditional tones, floral and prints,” added Thorsen, who also sells through Etsy, an online site for handmade and vintage items. The ombre look is also popular as more brides add shades and fades to hair, dress and accessories. Various shades of green are also expected to color weddings this year. Pantone chose Greenery as the Color of the Year for 2017. According to its website, “Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings, a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s

greens revive, restore and renew.” As a bridal color, shades of green are a departure from Pantone’s 2016 color, Rose Quartz and Serenity, that led to a rainbow of pastel shades for brides and bridesmaids. Designers suggest incorporating green by using greenery as a decor accent or in a bridal bouquet. In cooler weather, brides can go bolder. “Velvet is a really big thing this year,” Thorsen said. “Velvet red gowns, black ball gowns or dark red dresses are just some of the styles. Laces will still be in and you’ll see more plunging v-backs. And straight silhouette gowns are still really popular.” The casual bohemian, or Boho Gown, still resonates with some brides while others go “puffy and fluffy” with cascading ruffles and fully tiered skirts which billow nicely at outdoor weddings. Hems have dropped back to traditional sweeping floor length as the knee or tea-length style popular in the past four or five years tapers off.

Long sleeves and the streamlined silhouette look, meanwhile, retain their popularity thanks to the Kate Middleton effect. Even though it’s been more than five years since her Royal Wedding to Prince William, the simple yet elegant gown designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen continues to influence bridal fashion. Long veils and long, dramatic trains are expected to continue in popularity, Brides magazine predicts, noting that such features dominated recent bridal fashion shows. On the flip side of modesty are off-the-shoulder gowns and plunging necklines, styles featured prominently on bridal websites. Increasingly, brides-to-be “go” shopping for gowns without stepping into a store. Like Thorsen, many turn to online sites, Etsy and Pinterest, to check out the latest fashion. “The advent of the Internet has changed bridal shopping immensely,” she said. “Now you can look at thousands of pictures in one day.” Some brides even take into account

Photo courtesy of French Knot Couture

Color in gowns is becoming a trend.

how their outfit will play on social media. Many women find a style of dress they admire online, then track down the designer, cutting out bridal boutiques. If you are a mail-order bride, so to speak, ordering with enough time for additional fitting by a local tailor is key, advises Thorsen. “My orders start to pick up in January and it gets really busy through May,” she said. “You have to get on the calendar quick.”

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Sourcing locally is key for budget-minded By KYLE JENSEN From the florals that add a finishing touch to table decor to those who create the bridal bouquets, flowers are central to any couple’s visually pleasing wedding. Not only do they create a festive and delicate atmosphere, but many believe flowers in full bloom symbolize a freshness. However, finding the right flowers without breaking the bank may be tricky. For Whidbey-based wedding planners and florists, a good start is shopping local. Tobey Nelson, owner of Tobey Nelson Events & Design, says shopping local is crucial to making a wedding Whidbey-centric, since islanders tend to support local businesses. Shopping local is also a good way to stick within the budget and utilize the best of local flowers. “Sourcing locally is about the best thing a couple can request a florist to do,” Nelson said. “In general, there are so many artisan vendors on Whidbey that nobody needs to bring Seattle vendors over. You can have an amazing five-star wedding on Whidbey.” Choosing native flowers that are in season keeps costs low since travel costs are taken out. Couples have plenty to choose from when considering native flowers and greenery. Anemones and ranunculus grow on Whidbey during the spring, while Nelson says dahlias “are huge” during the summer. When fall approaches, island-grown chrysanthemums are very popular. Kelly Uhlig, a florist at Sonshine Farm, said that garden roses remain on trend while more couples seem to be looking for a more bohemian look that incorporates vines, branches and greenery. “People like greenery and a variety of flowers,” Uhlig said. “White always seems to be a favorite since they’re simple and pure, but more forward thinking couples seem to be drawn towards bouquets that vary in color and flower.” Shopping locally is also a more ecologically friendly option. It takes the pesticides often used

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at flower farms in South America — the source of most flowers — out of the equation. Nelson said floral foams typically used in mass-producing flower farms are toxic. A large number of Whidbey florists grow sustainably and practice careful land husbandry. Nelson says couples should seek out a florist who doesn’t use floral foam. A popular bouquet trend at the moment is to have less flower-dominant bouquets that utilize more greenery, branches and vines. It’s a more natural look that many local florists think gives wedding a dash of Whidbey Island flavor. Flowers and plants also present a great gift to supply to wedding guests as a token. Nelson says handing out living plants is growing more popular. Succulents and potted sedums are options she says work great as both decorations and favors. As always, traditions continue to be popular. White flowers, garden roses and colors that match the season continue to be tried and true recipes for success. On Whidbey, floral and craft vendors offer a myriad of options that allow couples to get creative with their wedding decor. If a couple doesn’t feel comfortable flexing their creative muscles, professional florists and wedding planners can offer many great ideas.

Photo by Kim Nowell Photography

A foliage bouquet created by Tobey Nelson Events and Design.

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Destination Pacific NW Weddings 2017

Having fun after the nuptials By EVAN THOMPSON Seeing a friend, family member or loved one get married is already a special occasion. Creating an event that can match that level of enthusiasm can be difficult, but feasible with some forethought and planning. Here are some ways to spark some fun and entertainment into every wedding. Oversized lawn games There’s nothing that spells out fun and goofy quite like playing chess with oversized game pieces. Oversized lawn games such as Jenga, chess and Connect Four are among the trends for weddings over games such as bocce ball, said Elizabeth Sheils, a wedding coordinator at Seattle-based Bridal Bliss. Classic games such as cornhole, also known as bean bag toss, are also a big hit at weddings, said Whidbey Party Girls! owner Gloria Mickunas. Guest participation Creating a S’mores bar or setting up a station for getting temporary tattoos are just a couple ways to involve guests in the fun, Sheils said.

Temporary tattoos could include the newlyweds' faces, a favorite quote, or a logo from the wedding. “We’ve seen that as a pretty big hit,” Sheils said. The S’mores bar is another “trendy” activity at weddings, Sheils said. Caterers can be hired to set up a burner where guests are free to roast their treats at their leisure. Sheils also said “do-it-yourself” dessert bars, such as a station to build cupcakes, are also an entertaining prospect. Hire entertainers A wedding could include entertainers ranging from aerial dancers to electric violinists. It all depends on the newlywed couple’s tastes, Sheils and Mickunas said. Magicians, such as Seattle’s Nash Fung, can also be a hit, Mickunas said. Kristi O’Donnell, an acoustic upright bass player and manager for Trio Nouveau, said bands are also a good way to set the mood. Her band specializes in swing jazz and has performed at weddings in the past. “We read the audience, we go with

the flow and we’re never too loud,” O’Donnell said. “They love that they can dance and not be blown away by too loud of music. We like setting the mood. They’re confident that when they come, the music is playing.” Kids table Entertaining children, especially below the age of 8, can be a tough task. But, with a little bit of planning, a wedding can be just as fun for a kid as it is for an adult. Mickunas said placing a piece of scratch paper with crayons, markers and other drawing tools can serve as fun activities for kids. “They feel special because someone thought of them,” Mickunas said. Not only will the kids appreciate it, but their parents will as well. Photobooths Documenting a wedding can be done in a number of ways, from wedding photographers to pictures on an ordinary smartphone. Perhaps one of the best ways to catch authentic and raw emotions from guests is by setting up a photobooth, which

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Mickunas said can be a staple at a fun wedding. “It’s always clean fun,” Mickunas said. “You get to be silly and goofy. As the night goes on, you get some fun shots.” Mickunas also said that a couple doesn’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a photobooth. Setting up an impromptu photobooth with an empty frame can work just as well. “It doesn’t have to be an all-out, $6,000 expense with all the photobooths, wedding bells and whistles,” Mickunas said.

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Destination Pacific Northwest Weddings 2017

ACCOMMODATIONS Dancing Fish Vineyards 1953 Newman Road Freeland, WA 425-802-7730 Fort Casey Inn 1124 S Engle Road Coupeville, WA 360-678-5050

CATERING bayleaf 101 NW Coveland Street Coupeville, WA 360-678-6603 Fireseed Catering 6051 Coles Road Langley, WA 360-321-4748 Front Street Grill 20 Front Street NW Coupeville, WA 360-682-2551 Whidbey Golf Country Club 2430 SW Fairway Lane Oak Harbor, WA 360-675-5490

FLORIST Tobey Nelson Formerly Vases Wild 360-632-0686

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OFFICIANTS Rev. Dave Bieniek Freeland, WA 512-796-3283 www.WhidbeyWeddingMinister .com

PHOTOGRAPHY Stadler Studio Photography Michael Stadler, Photographer 222 Anthes Avenue, Suite 102 Langley, WA 360-221-6030

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Plan the perfect wedding in 15 steps You’re getting married! Congratula­ tions! Now it’s time to plan the wedding. Here are 15 steps you should follow (not necessarily in order) so that eve­ rything is perfect on the big day. Be­ fore you start, set your budget and stick to it at all costs. If you think you might lose your head, your best bet is to hire a wedding planner.

1 Decide on your theme. Holly­

wood glamour, car-themed, tur­ quoise and white — you know the pos­ sibilities are endless!

in a grand hotel, at the park or in a cozy cabin? Will you need to rent any equipment? Dream up the floral arrange-

6 ments and decor. Which flowers

will be featured in the bride’s bouquet, the boutonnieres and the centrepieces? What kind of accents (balloons, can­ dles, draperies) will create the perfect ambiance?

the officiant and the type 4 Select of ceremony. Courthouse wed­

ding or religious tradition? Officiated by a priest or by a friend? Make sure that the option you choose welcomes your personal touch. your venues. Where will 5 Find the ceremony and the reception be held — in a church, at the beach,

your rings. What will 12 Purchase the objects symbolizing your

union look like? Will they be golden, diamond-studded, massive or subdued? Choose wisely, because you’ll (hope­ fully!) be wearing them for life.

items do you and your partner need — a toaster, wine glasses, silk sheets? Open a registry to avoid receiving du­ plicate gifts. And remember to thank your guests with a personalized keep­ sake.

nies? Will a DJ, a string quartet or a rock band be in charge of the music?

the wedding procession. 3 Plan Who will you pick to be the best man, and who gets to be the maid of honor? Have you found a flower girl and a ring bearer?

horseback? On your bike? In a limo, a sports car or a hot-air balloon?

your registry and 7 Prepare your gift bags. What household

an entertainment team. 8 Secure Do you need a master of ceremo­

up your guest list and send 2 Draw invitations. Will it be a grand af­ fair or an intimate gathering? Who do you want by your side on your special day? Make sure everyone can make it by sending out save the date cards and invitations early.

your grand entrance. Will 11 Plan you arrive at the ceremony on

a photographer and a 9 Hire videographer. Who will immor­

talize your magical day? Take a look at several portfolios to find the pro that understands your vision. a caterer and a bakery. 10 Find What will be on the menu, and

how will food be served? Will there be a candy bar, or even a chocolate foun­ tain? Don’t forget the cake!

Shop for your outfits. Bowtie or

13 regular tie? White gown or co­

lorful sundress? Your attire for the event should reflect your personal style and make you feel absolutely stunning! your beauty appointments. 14 Book Have you called your hair stylist,

your makeup artist and your esthetician yet? And what about the nail salon? Don’t forget to plan for trial sessions. up your vows. What words 15 Write will you choose to describe your feelings? Time to brainstorm! Finally, draft your prenuptial agreement and marriage contract — a task that’s decidedly unromantic, but essential nonetheless. Remember to book eve­ rything as early as possible to avoid scrambling for a backup plan. And one last thing: where will you spend your honeymoon? Send your invitations early to make sure that all of your loved ones can be present for your big day.

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Weddings - Destination Pacific NW Weddings 2017  


Weddings - Destination Pacific NW Weddings 2017