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Pacific Northwest


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

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Destination Pacific NW Weddings 2018

Whidbey destinations already booking into 2019

Kara Chappell Photography

Greenbank Farm is becoming a popular wedding destination on Whidbey Island. The historic farm already has13 Saturdays booked in 2018.

By Patricia Guthrie Greenbank Farm is turning Love Shack this summer. A record number of blissful brides and grooms are expected to get hitched at the historic venue where cows once mooed and loganberries grew. To date, 13 Saturdays have been pre-booked for weddings in 2018, said Chris Michalopoulos, executive director of the Port of Coupeville that manages the property but leaves event planning to specialists. Increasingly, “Whidbey” and “weddings” are being joined together as an “I do” destination. “The couples that I have been showing around lately seem eager to discover all the potential wedding components that Whidbey offers,” says Dave Noble, chef and owner of Fireseed in Langley, who's been hosting weddings and other events since 2006. “Whidbey as a wedding destination has definitely reached a high point,” he said. Weddings are booking beyond the usual year in advance, some venues and event planners say. “We’re booking in 2019, which is new for us on our property,” said Nancy Thompson of Dancing Fish Vineyard, a winery and special events venue near Freeland. “We do all kinds of corporate events, retreats,

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parties as well as weddings,” said Thompson, who along with husband Brad, tends to the many duties of running lodging, a full-service kitchen, and many earthy event spaces with names such as Loafing Shed and Barrel Room. Dancing Fish claims on its website: “We represent what is the spirit of Whidbey — beauty, serenity and harmony.” Besides natural beauty, Whidbey’s multitalented residents are filling the many needs and niches of wedding receptions and rituals. Skilled chefs, plentiful farm-to-table produce and meat, baked goods, wineries, microbreweries, food catering, flower arrangers, fancy dishes, beautiful linens, tables, chairs and tents to rent are all available. Even doughnuts. “A doughnut bar is the trend now for desserts,” said Kelly Russo, who offers packages of weddings at four venues through her company, Whidbey Island Weddings. “We’ve used Donut Master in Oak Harbor quite a bit.” With white-washed walls in its 1904 barn and other unique features — dozens of wine barrels as a backdrop for a rustic cocktail lounge, sweeping views of mountains and water and a pond and gardens — Greenbank Farm shines when it turns wedding refined. And there’s scrumptious food and drink to sample from the on-site shops. “The couples do wine and pie and cheese tasting all beforehand,” Russo said. “It helps that all these choices are available on site. Pie is a huge dessert at weddings so Whidbey Pies is a CONTINUED ON PAGE 3

Photo by Luma Weddings


The Shortest Distance to Far Away ™

Whidbey's beaches are ideal for the trend of First Look photos taken before the wedding. This couple chose Fort Casey State Park. Wedding coordinated by Kelly Russo of Whidbey Island Weddings.

THE COVER PHOTO by Claire Eliza, was taken at a wedding

planned by Gloria Mickunas, of Whidbey Party Girls! Floral arrangements were done by Flowers by Sauvage Fleur.

Destination Pacific NW Weddings 2018

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hit.” Greenbank Farm is among the more established venues for weddings on Whidbey, an industry that’s grown considerably the past decade. About a half-dozen new sites from Clinton to Oak Harbor are joining the offerings of wedding destinations this summer, said Gloria Mickunas, owner of the events one-stop planning and staging company, Whidbey Party Girls! “They’re pretty and they are a blank canvas,” she said. “It’s exciting.” Historic farms and small working farms, such as Greenbank Farm, Crockett Farm and Jenne Farm on Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve, provide the pastoral scenes many urban clients seek for a wedding getaway, Russo said. Her company arranges events on those properties, which are owned by others. She also transforms the barns of her Bayview property, called Wayfarer Farm, into elegant dancing and dining spaces. “Each offers its own character,” she said. “On Jenne Farm, the goats are a big hit.” At Fireseed, Dave and Dawn Noble hosted their first wedding in 2006. Graduates of New York Culinary Institute of America, the chefs catered for weddings when they moved to Whidbey. Seeing a need for a full-service event venue, they transformed their 10 acres of rural property. With a commercial kitchen, 6,200-squarefoot event hall, picturesque valley, forest, private lake and an emphasis on epicurean delights, Fireseed is a popular pick, hosting about 40-45 weddings a year. But there’s more than rustic barns and farms on Whidbey for couples looking for the perfect wow! when exchanging vows. Sea-shelled strewn beaches, rushing waves, rolling bluffs, lighthouses and long, linear wharves all make picturesque backdrops for those all so-important photos capturing the moment and mood, local wedding planners say. “We have so much more than barns here,” says Mickunas. “We have gorgeous gardens. We have amazing water views. We’re an island. We’re not landlocked.” While many weddings take place at private homes, local artisans and businesses still benefit from rehearsal dinners, receptions, decor and other party needs, she said. Clients have spent anywhere from $6,000 to $500,000 over four days hosting weddings, planners said. Whidbey’s many varied landscapes, from verdant forests of fern and moss to scenic windswept seascapes, are perfect for the latest wedding trend called First Look. Instead of keeping bride and groom apart CONTINUED ON PAGE 4

Photo by Claire Eliza

Whidbey Island offers many off-beat backdrops for wedding photos, including this one at Langley's Machine Shop. It's filled with vintage pinball machines and signs. Wedding coordinator, Gloria Mickunas, Whidbey Party Girls!


Let us help you find the perfect place for your destination wedding on Whidbey.

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Destination Pacific NW Weddings 2018 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3

Photo byClaire Eliza

There's numerous Whidbey small garden businesses that specialize in bouquets and unique flower arrangements. Table setting staging by Gloria Mickunas, Whidbey Party Girls! Flowers by Sauvage Fleur.

bridal parties and guests. “Part of my business model is to use all local vendors,” Mickunas stressed. “The produce, meat, shellfish all come from local farmers. Then there’s disc jockeys, small bands, florists, bakers, hairdressers, food servers, people to set


before the wedding, they meet sweet and scenically before the ceremony. The wedding photographer is in tow, perhaps even the whole wedding party. “They go to Fort Casey State Park for the lighthouse, to the ferry dock, to Double Bluff Beach for photos,” Russo explained. “It frees up their time following the ceremony so they can meet and greet people. With First Look, their makeup is fresh, hair is perfect, flowers fresh. And it’s less stress on the couple, too.” Many different local businesses share the wealth of Whidbey’s rising status as a wedding destination — professional photographers, local farmers, catering businesses and musicians to name just a few. “The guests come in on Thursday or Friday and they do brunch, they go visit the wineries and distilleries, they go to antique shops, they go out for dinners and they stay for the weekend,” Russo says. “It’s a big industry for sure.” Whidbey’s numerous fanciful inns and hidden-away vacation rentals fill with wedding bookings during the May to October nuptial season. This boosts both local taxes and lodging tax profits, which help fund community grant projects. Even Whidbey’s few and far-between taxis get busy shuttling guests to and from ferries. Additionally, Whidbey SeaTac Shuttle & Charter offers “Whidbey Wedding Transportation” for

up and take down tents, chairs and tables. The list is endless.” Mary Jo Lambert, owner of Diamond Rentals in Oak Harbor, said she’s increased inventory to meet wedding trends at her full-rental service. “We have a lot of vintage decor, which is big,” she said. “We have full linens and tableware. We’ve built our business quite a bit so we can supply what they need.” And don’t forget — pretty portable toilets. Not the usual “need” on a bride’s planning list, but a vital one in the wilds of Whidbey or at lavish homes with limited septic systems. To remedy that situation, a few porta-potties in wedding white paint and other flourishes for fancier flushes are now part of Whidbey Party Girls! venue offerings. “We style and stage them, too. I put a candle inside and a cocktail table outside,” Mickunas said. “No matter what space they’re in, clients like a clean modern look. Even classier portapotties.”

Destination Pacific NW Weddings 2018

Tips for brides on budgets Between the thrilling proposal and the prewedding whirlwind — setting the date, finding the perfect wedding dress, planning the honeymoon — weddings should feel joyous and romantic. But after the wedding, couples should enjoy their newly wedded bliss — not panic about digging themselves out of debt. According to the Association for Wedding Professionals International, the average wedding costs between $18,000 and $21,000. In these difficult economic times, couples might need to minimize the cost of their wedding. But brides on budgets do not need to whittle their guest list from 200 to 10. Here are some affordable — and tasteful — measures

couples can take to stay within their budget. What eats up wedding cash? Wedding receptions usually account for half of a wedding's cost. Dinner and drinks add up, especially if couples pay for a full or open bar. To save money on the bubbly, couples should nix the mixed drinks. Soonto-be-marrieds can serve champagne during the toast, then offer beer and wine for the rest of the evening. Give clumsier guests white wine, not red, and the evening should progress with fewer mishaps at a lower cost. For dinner, couples should think outside the catering-company box. Local restaurants might make better deals. Classy catering can come from unexpected places.

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Pre-wedding beauty tips

After the reception, photography and videography are the second largest budget-breakers. Couples can hire a photographer and videographer for the ceremony, then leave reception photographs to friends, family and digital cameras. To avoid the cost of a live band, brides and grooms can opt for customized playlists and speaker rentals over pricey bands. Finally, hiring a wedding coordinator can save time, manage stress and get better deals. So, here's a toast to tweaking old traditions to make a dream wedding financially attainable — and to save enough money for a long, relaxing honeymoon. (NewsUSA)

Lips: Get soft, kissable lips by brushing away flakes of dry skin with an infant toothbrush soaked in baking soda and water. Apply healing ointment, and in no time, your lips will be ready for that "kiss the bride" kiss. Makeup: Women with warm skin tones look best in makeup with pink, coral, peach, amber, brown and red with yellow undertones. If you have a cool skin tone, choose pink, berry, lilac, mauve or red with blue undertones. Skin: Make your face glow with a good cleansing program. Use a cleanser that's appropriate for your skin type in the morning, makeup remover and cleanser at night and a daily moisturizer. Use a gentle facial scrub once a week. Hair: If you're planning to change your hairstyle or color, experiment several months before the wedding so you have time to correct any mistakes. Nails: If you're a nail-biter, get weekly manicures to keep your nails healthy. Plan your last manicure a couple of days before the big day. Choose a pretty pale pink or splurge on a French manicure, not just because it looks great, but because the chips won't show as much and are easy to fix. You'll have beautiful hands for the rehearsal dinner and any other festivities. Don't forget, practice makes perfect. Schedule a trial run with your hair and makeup artists several days before your wedding, so there are no surprises the day of the ceremony.

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Destination Pacific NW Weddings 2018

Putting more 'you' into your wedding day

A wedding day is filled with symbolic tradition, from varied religious customs to the never-ending circle reflected in the rings and the types of flowers accentuating the celebration. Even with all the traditional rituals to consider, nearly every bride and groom can find ways to give their special day some unique touches that reflect their personality and love. Music sets the mood for every wedding, and it's an easy place to put your own spin on the celebration. Whether you forgo the traditional bridal march entirely or simply look for an arrangement that gives an updated twist to the classic version, let guests know this isn't your average wedding by setting the festivities against a soundtrack that lets your true character shine. The wedding party is intended to be a collection of those nearest and dearest to the bride and groom, who help ensure the day goes off without a hitch and who lead fellow revelers in celebrating the start of the new couple's life together. That

Add small touches to your wedding that are uniquely you.

being said, there's no reason this group must be limited to women on her side and guys on his, or even that it's limited to humans — a beloved pooch can make for an adorable ring-bearer, after all. Photography is an essential element of your big day, but think beyond the images you'll capture throughout the wedding and reception. Photos lend a personal touch, no matter what your color scheme

or theme. Integrate photos of the two of you at various stages of life, together as a couple and with loved ones (perhaps even some you're honoring in memoriam). You can display these at a table with the guest book, as part of the table centerpieces, or even on the gift table. Or take things digital and load all your images into a slide show set to music. Make favors meaningful. Forgo more common items like bubbles

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and chocolate, and instead send a little of yourself home with your guests. Maybe it's a memento from a place with special meaning to you both, or a bottle opener shaped like a bicycle to represent the way you met. Just think about the moments and things that define you as a couple and do some searching online. You'll probably be surprised by how quickly the options pile up. Serve up a menu that shows guests more about your life together. Your loved ones can order basic beef or chicken anywhere. Instead, give them a glimpse into you. Make your main course the same food you enjoyed on your first date or during another monumental moment in your courtship. Or plan the entire menu around a region that you hold close to your heart. Weddings are filled with traditions, but that doesn't mean you can't put your own touches on the day for a special event filled with memories that are uniquely your own. (Family Features)

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Destination Pacific NW Weddings 2018

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Pacific Northwest Weddings 2018 ACCOMMODATIONS Fort Casey Inn 1124 S Engle Road Coupeville, WA 360-678-5050 Whidbey & Camano Islands Tourism

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

FLORISTS Tobey Nelson Events 360-632-0686

GIFTS Lavender Wind 15 Coveland Street Coupeville, WA 360-544-4132 Seaside & Sylvan Home 765 Wonn Rd, #C-103, Greenbank Farm 360-240-2485

MUSIC The Hot Club of Troy Exceptional Gypsy Swing 360-969-3275

Moose Mobile Music 360-678-2926 Trio Nouveau Romantic Swing Music 360-969-3275

PHOTOGRAPHY The Big Day Photography Brittani Taylor Photography Brittani Brister Photographer Oak Harbor, WA 832-922-7602 Instagram: brittanitaylorphotography Cynthia Woerner Photography 435-640-4944

PLANNERS Tobey Nelson Events 360-632-0686 Whidbey Party Girls! Founder of Weddings on Whidbey and Events Tour 360-969-0337

TRANSPORTATION Whidbey Seatac Shuttle & Charter 1751 NE Goldie Road Oak Harbor, WA 360-679-4003

VENUES Front Street Grill 20 Front Street NW Coupeville, WA 360-682-2551

WEDDING SHOWS Camano Island Wedding and Events Expo 606 Arrowhead Road Camano Island, WA 360-387-0222

WINES AND SPIRITS bayleaf 101 NW Coveland Street Coupeville, WA 360-678-6603


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Weddings - Pacific NW Weddings 2018  


Weddings - Pacific NW Weddings 2018