Happily Ever After Starts Here.
WHAT’S TRENDING: • flowers • venues • food • fashion • entertainment
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KITSAP WEDDING GUIDE
FEBRUARY 24, 2017
Kitsap is a destination for weddings By LESLIE KELLY
ocal wedding planners, those who operate venues and those who have businesses that serve the wedding industry are all saying the same thing. People from all over are coming to Kitsap County to have their wedding ceremony reception and celebration. One of the reasons, said Chloe Hix, a local wedding planner, is that those providing services here are “in the wedding business because they really want to help people out.” “I’ve seen where a bride wants a certain special thing,” Hix said. “In the city, a place would tell her ‘No.’ But here we’ll say ‘Let’s work that out.’” According to Theweddingreport.com, there were 1,617 weddings in Kitsap County in 2016. The average spent on a wedding was $34,485. Total sales in the county attributed to weddings was $55,762,245. North Kitsap County has become such a destination for weddings that Kingston House manager Matt Kelley said 75 percent of their wedding business last year was from brides and grooms who didn’t reside in Kitsap County. “We are smaller scale than places like Port Gamble and the Red Cedar Farm,” Kelley said. “We have just one wedding
each weekend during the spring and summer. But three-quarters of our business comes from outside the county. People are choosing to come here deliberately.” Why? Because there’s so much to offer, he said. “Just the idea of taking the ferry over is romantic,” he said. “And in doing so, it creates distance from their day-to-day lives. It’s just a neat escape.” And he said for guests who travel from elsewhere in the country, Kitsap County is just about 45 minutes from an Olympic trail. “Many of those who choose us are more outdoor people,” Kelley said. “They like that we are so close to so many outdoor places to hike or bike or walk.” Kelley said with the addition of some great new local vendors, brides and grooms can get anything they need right here in Kitsap County. “I passionately tell our couples to use our local vendors for things like food, flowers and photographs. We have some expert services right here.” From just the weddings that were at the Kingston House last season, Kelley has estimated that those weddings have brought in a quarter of a million dollars in sales in Kitsap County. “The whole wedding industry here is growing,” he said. “It’s so fun to see how the business is really taking off. It’s
Happily ever after...
said. “But you have to factor in the costs of travel. From what I’ve seen, people just like it here because it seems closer to nature than Seattle. And they know they can get everything here that they want or need.” Wedding planner Rhianna Guevara, of Saving Grace Events, agrees. “We are more rural,” Guevara said. “Here you’re not dealing with the city and the traffic. They want peace and quiet and you can find that here.” One way to take an overall look at what’s offered for weddings in Kitsap County is to go to www.visitkitsap.com where there’s a list of possible venues, services and planners listed.
a good thing.” And while things are looking rosy for those hosting weddings in North Kitsap, there’s still room for growth. “With the addition of the new (Point) hotel, there’s more lodging for guests,” he said. “But we could still use more. On the typical summer weekend, with all the events and the tourists, everything’s booked up.” He also sees a need for another good restaurant in downtown Kingston, and he would like to see some more music or theater venues. “We have to shut down the bands at 10 p.m. because of local noise ordinances,“ he said. “With the 20-somethings that get married her, they want to keep going. They’re aren’t many places in north Kitsap where they can dance until midnight or after.” One other need he said, is transportation. “We’ve had great luck with Viking Cab,” he said. “But we could use some Lyft or Uber drivers. Some couples will rent a bus, but that’s quite expensive.” In the area, there’s a range of venues, from elegant ballrooms and outdoor plazas with beautiful waterfront views, to charming country settings with sophisticated amenities. Kitsap County seems popular for a destination wedding, Hix said, because it’s “not too far away.” “It may be a bit less expensive,” she
Hix can be reached at 360-340-4179. She is a full scale events planner in business since 2012. See www.weddingplannerbremerton.com for more. Kingston House is a 15-acre, park-like wedding venue and lavender farm in north Kitsap County. The five bedroom house is unique in its northwest architecture, has a large kitchen and Great Room and a fireplace. See more at www.kingstonhouse.com or call 360-930-9737. Saving Grace Events is owned by Jerry and Rhianna Guevara and can be reached at 360-621-2988, or www. SavingGraceEvents.com.
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KITSAP WEDDING GUIDE
Weddings are a personal thing
Trends are calling for white, silver, gold and green in decorating, dresses and bouquets By LESLIE KELLY
bridesmaids carry puppies from the local animal shelters as they walk down the aisle, It’s a way of getting the puppies seen and adopted.
or the bride and groom, it’s their day. And it should reflect their personalities and their likes.
“I’ve heard of that,” StephenMcRae said. “But I haven’t seen it here.”
That’s what wedding planners throughout Kitsap County are saying. And with the 2017 wedding season fast approaching, trends are vastly different from the past few years.
Neither have some local animal shelters which reported that they’ve not had that requested, but could probably make it happen. At the Kitsap Humane Shelter, however, regulations are that shelter animals are not taken to other locations, unless it is a KHS-sponsored event, said Rebekah Johnson KHS’ events and outreach manager.
FASHION When it comes to bridal fashions, gone are the flowing off-white gowns that drape down the aisle after the bride. Instead, brides are choosing more fitted gowns in white and are accenting them with metallic golds and silvers.
Some couples are having their own pets be part of the wedding.
That’s what’s happening across the nation. But local wedding planners find this area is about a year behind the trends.
“I’ve done floral dog collars,” Stephen-McRae said. “Sometimes the dogs are at the alter with the groom, waiting for the bride. Other times, the dogs walk in with the bridesmaids.”
”What’s big here is rustic,” said Chloe Hix of CME Experience. “That will never go away.” The rustic look can also be complimented with nature. “Because this is the Pacific Northwest, people like to have the Pacific Northwest vibe in there somewhere. Even if it’s an indoor wedding, they will bring nature inside.” When brides do use the metallic look they use silvers, golds, copper colors, rose gold and pewter. These tones look great against the black tuxedo. The metallic colors are even being carried out on the table linens and decorations. Some people are going for a lot of twinkle lights hanging all around the reception area, planners said. That light reflects well off the metallic used throughout the wedding. Just watch out, they warn. Too much of a good thing, can be too much of a good thing. Try keeping the most of the shine for the head table and the gift display area. If you’re going to add color, planners suggest neutrals, such as charcoal, blue-grays or grey-browns. While outdoor weddings and barn weddings are still in, some planners said the finishing touches have gone from burlap and lace, to a more refined look — using silver and gold. “I’d call it the ‘Napa Valley’ farm wedding style,” said Bernadette Stephen-McRae, owner of Diamond Custom Floral on Bainbridge Island. “Brides still want that outdoor feeling, even if they’re having the reception indoors. But they’re classing it up with very rich looking accents.” FLOWERS In terms of flowers, they’re opting for something very natural.
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And don’t be surprised if you see other kinds of pets at a wedding this summer including cats, pigs, llamas and even a cow.
Rhianna Guevara helps a bride prepare to walk down the aisle. Contributed Photo “Greenery is the color for the year,” Stephen-McRae said. “We’re seeing greenery being used down the middle of the tables and for the bouquets. Brides are bringing nature indoors.”
Actually, at some barn weddings, the farm animals are nearby as a highlight for the children who attend the wedding. Having the animals available for the children to see
and pet is a great activity for the kids, planners said. FOOD When it comes to food, the weddings are as unique as the couples. While some are still having formal sit-down dinners with meals catered and served on exquisite china, others are calling in the food trucks. Locally, Bubba’s Country Cue BBQ, Grub Hut and Stella Fiore Pizza have mobile food units and will travel. “In terms of costs, convenience and for couple who want a more casual, summer picnic feel to their wedding, these are great,” said Matt Kelley, of the Kingston House, which hosts weddings. Larry Kenner, of the Grub Hut, said they took their mobile Grub Hut truck to five weddings last year. “We’re already booked for four this year, too,” Kenner said. He thinks people like the convenience of the food trucks. “We just pull up, cook and serve and pull out,” he said. “There’s no clean up for them.” They have a standard truck menu and adjust it according to the crowd size. And by the way, their Blue Bacon Burger is the favorite. Kris Amos of Stella Fiore Pizza said when See TRENDS, Page 6
“Bouquets have a lot more greens and foliage and are just accented with some flowers that match the colors the brides have chosen for the wedding,” she said. Another trend is to have succulents in the bouquets and on the tables, said Rhianna Guevara, owner of Saving Grace Events, and a wedding planner. “Geo stones and agates are being used in centerpieces and around the cake,” Guevara said. “And there’s just a lot of natural colors –sage and neutrals. The focus is simple and elegant.” When choosing flowers peonies are popular, as are locally grown field and garden flowers that she’s able to buy through the Seattle Wholesale Growers market. “These are great, fresh flowers that are grown locally in a natural way,” StephenMcRae said. “We’re no longer relying on flowers shipped from South America.” And when it comes to bouquets, some brides nationally are opting for puppies instead. Yes, according to national wedding planners, some animal-lover couples are having
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KITSAP WEDDING GUIDE
FEBRUARY 24, 2017
Shower the bride with creativity By LESLIE KELLY
ure. Your girlfriends want to get together to honor your upcoming wedding and shower you with gifts. But that old time meet at someone’s house and play games, open gifts (be sure not to break those ribbons!) and have punch and cake just isn’t the style for you. Well now there’s options. Many soon-to-be brides and their friends are opting to do something just a little bit different. They’re looking to have an adventure. Among the ideas have been to take everyone to a wine room at a local wine shop and sample the specialty wines. At some creative locales, the group can paint and sip wine was they create. Or if beer is more your style, how about a beer tasting at the Slippery Pig in Poulsbo or another local brewery? If your group likes to create, head out for a place like Kitsap Mosaics where participants can create a mosaic picture, coaster, box or tile while drinking wine. And when everyone’s finished, give them to the bride to use in her new home. Manager Kristin Gumpert said bridal parties will sometimes make mosaic letters that spells out the bride’s soon-to-be new last name. “They can make any of the projects we offer,” she said. “Sometimes they will all work on one project like a mirror that can be hung in the bride’s home. Mostly they just want to spend some time together and get crafty.” Other ideas include picture frames that can hold a picture of the couple and can be displayed at the wedding reception.
doesn’t like the focus being on her. Still popular are couples showers, where both the bride and groom are honored by all of their friends, men, women, and couples. At their events, it’s customary to serve snacks and beer and wine and let the couple talk about how they met and became engaged. Sometimes there’s silly games, such as “How well do you know the bride and groom?” where guests try to answer questions like “What’s his/ her favorite movie?” Whatever the style, remember wedding and bridal showers are really meant to be a way to celebrate the upcoming union and “shower” the couple with gifts, be they practical like a toaster, or creative like adding to their funds for the honeymoon. While shower gifts aren’t usually as expensive as wedding gifts, some couples, especially those who are older and already have a household set up, would prefer funds for an adventure or even a charitable donation made in their name. Just make A group of friends took the bride to Kitsap Mosaics for the bridal shower recently. Right: A it an event mosaic wedding gift made at Kitsap Mosaics. Contributed Photo that highAnother up-and-coming thing to do is to have a If your friends are more of the do-gooder type, lights the DYI “work” party where the bride and her friends why not have your shower be a volunteer effort? couple and sit down and make some of the decorations that Some brides and their friends are devoting a their wishes will be used at the wedding. Several local wedding couple of hours by working at a local nonprofit and can be a coordinators, including event planner Chloe of together, doing things such as walking dogs at great memCME Experience, will help make the arrangethe human shelter, or sorting canned and boxed ory for years foods at the local food bank. This is a great way to ments, find a place and gather all the needed to come. give back, especially if the bride is someone who supplies.
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KITSAP WEDDING GUIDE
FEBRUARY 24, 2017
Where to go on that honeymoon By LESLIE KELLY
t’s an age-old tradition. After all the fuss and planning of a wedding, the couple who is “just married,” needs a getaway. They call it a honeymoon. And according to local wedding planners and travel specialists, they’re not going out of style anytime soon. According to www.mentalfloss.com, the etymology of the word comes from the Old English “hony moone.” Hony, a reference to honey, refers to the “indefinite period of tenderness and pleasure experienced by a newly wed couple,” and how sweet the new marriage is. Moone, meanwhile, refers to the fleeting amount of time that sweetness would last. While honeymoon has a positive connotation today, it was first used as a term to warn newlyweds about waning love. For couples who like exotic locations, current popular destinations include French Polynesia, Italy and Ireland. For couples who are wanting a “tried and true” place, they’ll pick Maui, O’ahu,Cancun, Jamaica, A walk on the beach might be part of some couples honeymoon package. (Necklace by Third and Caribbean cruises. And Cabo, Costa Wish Studios.) Contributed Photo by Vanilla Bean Photography Rica, St. Lucia and Puerto Vallarta. Paula Demmer, a honeymoon and desspecialize in local honeymoon planning, she you’re going and how long you’re staying,” tination wedding specialist with Travel she said. “It’s important to work within the said. Port Gamble, Alderbrook Resort and Leaders, said those couple who want an couples’ budget but still send them somelocal casinos with hotels are popular. exotic place want to “escape.” Most couples who take a honeymoon where with lasting memories.” “These couples are going to places that immediately won’t leave until Monday or Using a travel service is important are on their bucket lists,” Demmer said. Tuesday after a weekend wedding. because travel agents have inside connec“And at many of these places, the exchange But she says, don’t put off your honeytions which can get you better flights and rate (U.S. dollars to other currency) is moon for more than two years. good.” “Then you get caught up in kids and Knowing “hidden places” is one of her strengths, and she can guide couples to the buying a house and you never take one,” Demmer said. right place after talking with them. And honeymoons are as different as “There are different personalities of brides and grooms are, she said. That’s travel,” she said. “Travel is not a one-sizewhy she gets to know her couples and their fits-all thing. I diagnose what your vision is budgets. and then match you to that.” “Prices can range depending on where Honeymoons are still part With over 30 years of of the entire getting married professional experience we thing. But there are various Your Wedding Day will be one-of-a-kind. ways to work one in. Let us customize a floral package that is equally unique and offer top quality alterations “Some couples will go special as the love you share! somewhere close by, like a & tailoring for your entire Order by March 31st & luxury hotel, for a few days, Receive 10% OFF wedding party wardrobe. and save the honeymoon for Your Package later,” she said. “That allows *must present this ad them to save some money • Bridal, Suit & Tux Alterations after the expense of a wedGazebo • Gown Resizing (vintage or modern) ding. And for many, it’s the Florist & Gifts off season and prices are • Custom Gowns, Veils & Accesories 360-876-1921 better.” 730 Bay St. • Port Orchard There are agents who • Free Consultations
rooms, and the agents will be there to help if and when something goes wrong. “I can’t control the weather,” she said. “But if you are somewhere when a hurricane hits, at least I’m just a call away and may be able to help out.” Through a travel agency, couples will also get placed in locations that are known and won’t be surprised with poor quality. She is careful to place same-sex couples where they will feel welcome. “I’m the professional and you’re getting expert help so that everything will go right. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing and you don’t want it to go bad.” Demmer has planned and executed travel for up to 45 people for a destination wedding. And while she’s no fan of a Go Fund Me account to pay for a honeymoon, she has options. “We offer a honeymoon registry where guest can go in and pick what they want to give, like part of the cost of a snorkeling adventure., just like you can buy a place setting of china on the registry at Macy’s,” Demmer said. “We even have a marketing postcard that says ’Skip the Toaster.’” Another thing that seems to be popular is the “familymoon.” “Sometimes the immediate family goes along,” she said. “In those cases, I make sure to book them at a place where the bride and groom can still find their space when they need to get away from everybody.” Demmer can be reached at 253-759-6203, or www.travelcenter4u.com.
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KITSAP WEDDING GUIDE
FEBRUARY 24, 2017
Kitsap hosts its own wedding tour in March By LESLIE KELLY
f going to the typical wedding show doesn’t excite you, how about a wedding tour? Yes, that’s right — a tour — where you can visit six Kitsap County wedding venues in one day. Each will host vendors from the Olympic Peninsula, including cake-makers, florists, officiants, photographers and DJs. Additionally, at each venue, there will be specialty vendors, those who have expertise in wedding day donuts, a live band, and companies that rent decor for that special day. “I came up with the idea after thinking about how brides needed to see actual weddings taking place to get a better idea of what a venue would be like,” said Holly Baker, organizer of the tour which is in its second year. “We wanted to have an event that was more fun that just walking in, looking around at tables and walking out. With this tour, it’s like you are walking into a wedding.” Baker is a member of the Promote Kitsap Weddings group which meets quarterly. The purpose for the group is to keep local brides and grooms here for their weddings and to bring others over from Seattle and the surrounding area. “A lot of people don’t realize that you can get everything you need right here,” she said. “Brides will work with companies in Seattle and end up
Continued from page 3 they opened for business they never planned to do catering. “We didn’t anticipate people wanting pizza at their weddings,” he said. “But we’re getting so many calls that we’re thinking or adding more (mobile) trailers.” There’s even a option for those who want a mobile bar — the Happy Camper Cocktails Company. A family business based in Enumclaw, Washington, the camper — a 1966 Aladdin travel trailer – has been turned into a mobile bar. After meeting and arranging just what you want, the camper comes to your location and creates and served the cocktails. “We’ve done weddings, birthday parties, and other social events,” said Belinda Kelly of Happy Camper. “We price based on the number of guests and we can serve from 100 to 1,000 people.” Because of liquor licensing requirements,
she said. “It’s scary and stressful. I want to help our small businesses grow.” On March 19, participants will begin at the Ramblin’ Rose Farm, a barn and meadow venue near Port Orchard. There they will sign in and get a “swag bag.” After looking at the venue and the vendors, participants will go to Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Silverdale Beach Hotel in Silverdale, Red Cedar Farm in Poulsbo, and then Port Gamble. “Each place will be different and have different things,” Baker said. “Instead of just looking at a photographer’s books on a table, at one location a photographer will actually be taking photos just as they would at a wedding.” Tickets can be purchased online at www.kitsapweddingtour.com. Early Bird tickets are $10 per person; Week-of the event tickets are $12 per person, and day-of event tickets are $15. Vendors who are participating are listed on the website. Organizers are hoping for 50 brides to attend with their grooms, mothers, best friends, or all together. “We’re trying to create an experience for them,” Tables and place settings, such as these from Olympic Farm Tables, will be shown at the Baker said. “We want them to have a fun day, see the vendors in action, and come away from it feeltour. For more about Olympic Farm Tables, turn to page 7. Contributed Photo ing that they got a lot accomplished.” paying more for transportation costs and because and design, put Promote Kitsap Weddings togeththeir prices are just higher.” er so members could refer customers to each other. Baker, who owns Unique & Chic event rental “I know what it’s like to start a small business,”
the wedding party buys the alcohol permit and employees of the Happy Camper do all the rest.
Museum of Flight. Anything is possible, planners say. All you really need is a large space that can be personalized temporarily for the event.
And, speaking of bars, there’s also a trend to offer a “beauty bar” for any and all of the women who attend the wedding. A professional makeup artist sets up shop in an out-ofthe-way cove or bedroom and offers to touch up anyone’s makeup before and during the wedding and reception.
Among the more popular local venues, according to Guevara, is the Gold Mountain Golf Course which recently added a “Wedding in the Woods” garden. Kitsap State Memorial Park is another, as is Port Gamble and even the Silverdale Beach Hotel.
VENUES When speaking of where to have a wedding, if an outdoor or barn setting isn’t you, how about an industrial warehouse? That’s a fad that wedding planner say is popular in the metro areas. At these affairs, there’s many twinkle lights hung about and there’s large over-the-top table centerpieces creating a match-up of old and new. Sometimes these warehouses are cheaper to rent simply because they’re sitting empty. Some couples, who want to wow their guests, are opting to have their weddings at places like an art museum, a glass museum, even the
Guevara sees about half her business from folks who live in Kitsap County and the other half is from elsewhere. She started her business with her husband after they were called on to help out at friends weddings. “I’ve had them from out-of-state, Seattle and the surrounding area,” she said. “This area is popular because of the mountain views and the water.” If it’s a sit-down meal at the reception, couples are trying to incorporate local foods. Here in the Pacific Northwest, that means salmon, whereas in the Gulf, it’s shrimp. Local farm-totable groups are offering their services to provide locally grown fruits and vegetables, too.
And when it’s time for the cake — it’s cake that’s trending. Gone are the cupcakes, donuts and pies. This year’s receptions will feature tradition; layer cakes that can be decorated with anything , even hand painted and jeweled accents. But don’t be surprised if you see a wedding cake that’s frosted only on the top. It’s called a “naked” cake, and is aimed at those folks who don’t want a sugar high. All the sugary frosting on a wedding cake can be too much for some people. At informal weddings, couples are offering ice cream bars, where guest can choose the ice cream they want and top it off with sprinkles, whipped cream, fudge sauce and a cherry. And one more thing, planners say, be a good wedding guest. Turn off your cell phone, or if you’re using it to take photos make sure your ringer is turned off. Some brides are so strict with this that they are having children in the wedding party march down the aisle before the wedding begins with signs that read “Turn off your cell phone.”
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KITSAP WEDDING GUIDE
FEBRUARY 24, 2017
It’s not your mother’s pearl necklace anymore By LESLIE KELLY
Hold on to your seats. Wedding bling has just gotten
personal. Ask Rebecca Johnson, owner and designer for Third Wish Studio in Seabeck. She creates unique one-of-a-kind jewelry for brides and bridesmaids. “It all just started as a hobby,” said Johnson, who has had a career in retail sales. It was when she was busy working for another online retailer, with her own wedding coming up, that her finance said to her “I need my wife back.” So, Johnson decided to create her own jewelry company where she would be her own boss and work hours that worked for her life. That was a in 2009. She began creating jewelry made of gems, rocks, and crystals. Her work was in boutiques and galleries up and down the west coast. She now sells in a couple dozen places around the Kitsap Peninsula and in Seattle and has an online business of her own (www.thirdwishstudios.com.) Recently, her jewelry was worn by models at several wedding shows in the area. “People saw it and wanted to know more,” she said. “Brides are deciding that they wanted to have something that no one else has to wear at their wedding.” And often, brides will have Johnson make similar necklaces or bracelets for the bridesmaids, she said. “Something similar, but less showy,” she said. “And the brides then give these items to the bridesmaids as their gift.” The work she’s done for brides has ranged in price from $40 to $4,000. Cost depends on how long it takes for her to make the items, and what kinds of gems, beads, pearls or
work,” she said. “I used fresh water pearls and Swarovski Crystals. That ran about $750. But I can make a knockoff of it using Chinese crystal and standard pearls and that brings it down to about the $150 range.” Before working in retail, Johnson was a social worker and sometimes misses the connecting with people. However, she’s found that working with brides has helped with that. “It’s a very personal thing, how they choose their jewelry,” she said. “I get to learn about them and about their lives.” She will make jewelry from family heirlooms and with stones people bring in to her. “The vintage look is really popular,” she said. “But some brides don’t want to wear an out of style pendant even though it was their grandma’s. So we take parts of it and design something that fits their personality more.” It’s one of her favorite things to do – work with vintage family pieces. “But it does make me nervous,” she said. “Having something so cherished in my hands can be a bit scary.” She also said chokers are back in style. “Chokers are really popular,” she said. “And some of them have detail in the back that can be seen when brides wear low back dresses. The chain will go all the way down their back.” She travels to gem shows and she buys her wears of bling online. Being a part of a bride’s special day means a lot to Johnson. “It’s the one time you’ll wear jewelry that really matters,” she said. “You’ll keep it forever and maybe even pass it down A pearl and gold necklace designed and made by Johnson. to someone. It’s not something that you’re going to just give away the next year.” Contributed Photo crystals she uses. “One of the necklaces I did took about 12 hours of handi-
Tables can give the event that woodsy feel
By LESLIE KELLY
own,” she said. “And I knew there was a need for a place where people could rent hand-craftWhen Jeri Knutzen was planning her ed rustic and classic wooden farm tables.” wedding two years ago, she wanted some fine To add to the business, the inventory also wooden farm tables to use at her reception. includes lighting, decor, china and stemware But she couldn’t find them. for use at events. They also have a couple of “I told John (her fiancee) and he said he styles of barn doors that they can set up. and his brother would just make them,” said “Sometimes couples want to have a farmKnutzen. barn-like style wedding,” she said. “But they And that’s what happened. want to have it on property they own or in John, who is a landscaper by trade, and their backyard. They want a barn for a backhis brother, who is a carpenter, made 10 drop or for photos, but they don’t have one. tables, each which would sit 10 to 12 guests. This works out well for them.” Knutzen’s wedding went off just as planned Since her own wedding, her husband and and following that, she decided to go in busibrother-in-law have built more tables, some in ness. a more elegant style, made of pine where all The result was Olympic Farm Style Events, the hardware is hidden and the finish is more a company based out of Seabeck which supplies all kinds of things for weddings and other uniform in color. The original tables were made of fir and events. they have more knots and variegated stain “I’d always wanted to have a business of my coloring.
Along with the tables, wooden chairs and /or wooden benches can be rented. In all, they have enough inventory to seat up to 500 people. “Most weddings we do are around 100 to 125 people,” she said. “That would require about 10 to 12 tables.” During the busy wedding months they make 10 deliveries a week. “We deliver and set up the tables and we come and pick them up after each event,” she said. “All of that is included in the rental price.” A 10-foot table with benches can be rented for $135; barn doors begin at $250; and wood arbors are $75. (To see more prices, go to www.olympicfarmstyleevents.com.) They also rent out items for birthdays, anniversaries, and retirement parties. Wooden tables are so great because they are so versatile, Knutzen said.
“You can dress them up with fine linens and china and make them look elegant,” she said. “Or you can go for something more casual, with materials like denim and burlap.” And the natural wood tables add to the “Pacific Northwest woodsy” feel, Knutzen said. Many people will also use the wooden benches for guests during the wedding ceremony. “Sometimes, after the ceremony, the groomsmen pick them up and carry them over to the tables for the reception,” she said. She’s seeing weddings have fewer guests, but more money is being spent per guest. But no matter the size, she loves being a part of them. “At the end of the day, it’s so neat to help create a special place for couples on such a memorable day of their lives.”
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KITSAP WEDDING GUIDE
FEBRUARY 24, 2017
Making a marriage work
“You have to be able to not interrupt your partner and not hit below the belt.” email@example.com When it comes to specifics, such as whose stuff gets tossed when moving in together, she said ny couple preparing to merge their there are many ways to approach this. lives together needs to think about “Be creative and find common ground,” she what’s ahead of them. said. “If he has a special blanket on the bed that And one of the ways to do that is important to him, but that you really don’t is to make sure your marriage house is sound, according to Heather Carstens, Licensed Marriage like, find a way to keep it, but maybe not use it on the bed. Perhaps folded at the end of the and Family Therapist, who practicing in Kitsap bed. Negotiate. Really listen and find common County. “You need to figure out how to negotiate every- ground.” As for throwing everything out and starting all thing,” Carstens said, “because once you are marnew, she’s not seen couples do that. ried you will never again have things 100 percent “If one of the spouses would suggest that, I your way.” would ask them to list the benefits and the drawLearning good communication skills and how backs of starting all over.” to compromise are the keys, she said. And good After being in marriage counseling for 15 years, way to do that is to check out the questions for Carstens said every couple she has worked with couples on the www.gottman.com website. The Gottman Institute was created by marriage has different ways of dealing with issues, such as money. therapists John and Julie Gotten. They compare “”If you show me 500 marriages, there’ll be building a strong relationship to building a strong 500 different ways of managing money,” she said. house. The process is called “Building a Sound “There’s no one right way to do it.” Relationship House.” Both spouses have to talk and determine what Gottman Method Couples Therapy was they can agree to whether it’s separate accounts, or developed from years of research to help partners a combined account, or both. And she said, how increase respect, affection, and closeness, break through and resolve conflict when they feel stuck, you manage money can always change. “You have to be able to continue to address the generate greater understanding between partners, subject,” she said. “Don’t be afraid to do it differand keep conflict discussions calm. ently.” Carsten said if you learn how to do these An example, she said, is credit cards. If you things, any conflict that comes up can be resolved agree at first to use them, but later one of the partin a respectful manner. ners is not comfortable with that, sit down and re“You have to learn to compromise,” she said. negotiate that. Possible answers could be not using By LESLIE KELLY
them, or setting monetary limits. Ultimately, couples need to think about the fact that they are taking two lives and putting them together. “Have a positive perspective about what it means to be blending lives,” Carstens said, referring the third level of the Gottman Sound House method. “And always trust that your partner has the best intent, even when conflict arrises.” Kitsap News Group employees offer wedding and marriage advice: From military reporter Terryl Asla: After 52 years of marriage I can say the secret to a long, happy marriage can be summarized in two words: “Yes, dear.” Marketing assistant Annie LaValle who has been married 24 years: It’s YOUR day, you can listen to all the advice, but make it your own. Don’t spend a fortune - you’ll need it for your house, car, schools.... nest egg... Annie said the best parts of planning her wedding (besides dress shopping): The pre-marriage counseling meetings with the Episcopal reverend. He gave us a list of questions to answer, no right or wrong answers, but prompted conversation and saw where our thoughts were similar and different. We found out our basic values were the same so that would be a strong foundation to survive the things life threw at us. Graphic designer Kelsey Thomas: Married eight years. We had two receptions, one in Kitsap at my mother in law’s house and one in Wenatchee at a park. Since we had family on both sides of the mountain we wanted to make sure more people were included and my mom was set on planning
a reception on her side of the Mountains. We had large receptions where family and friends came. We wanted a small wedding but my husband has a huge family so we invited only immediate family to the wedding then had the big receptions it was the only way we could keep it small and not have family with hurt feelings. Best parts of planning my wedding: I loved picking out colors and designing my invitations and choosing flowers anything creative really. I also took a lot of pride in keeping my budget low, I wanted to have a nice wedding but a very affordable one. I would hear about people spending what could easily be a down payment on a house on their weddings and well I would rather put a down payment on a house and achieve some of our long term goals we had as a couple. Advice to others: Don’t go crazy and spend what could be a down payment on a house. Don’t skip or downplay on the photographer (in 20 years you will have your photos and ring and maybe you have a dress you don’t fit hiding in your closet). And the advice my parents gave me, that marriage is 60/40, if you give 60 and expect 40 things usually work out. Leslie Kelly, special sections editor: “I adhere to the advice my mother gave me — have two TVs, especially when you live with a newshound like my husband, Brian. “ Reporter Sophie Bonomi: “Enjoy the moment! Little things like give-aways at the reception or programs will be meaningless in a few years, but memories with friends and family will last forever.”
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