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wedding venues • profiles • tip s for a va shon wedding • DYI weddings • crea ting cen terpieces

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15 16 17 18

Tips for tying the knot on Vashon One couple’s Burton wedding A lovely lighthouse event Island places to get married A new garden venue 19 A do-it-yourself beach centerpiece

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 • Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber

t’s hard to imagine a more beautiful place to hold a wedding than on Vashon Island. Consider all that this island in the sound has to offer: quiet beaches and expansive views, intimate gardens and rural charm. Vashon — with its quintessential Northwest scenery — provides a remarkable stage, a setting like few others for the couple who wants to begin their lifelong journey together in a place rich in natural beauty. But it’s not only Vashon’s environment that makes it a wonderful place to hold the event of a lifetime. Here, too, are splendid beach houses and romantic cottages, creative bakers and skilled caterers, talented musicians, florists, photographers and graphic designers. Whether couples desire a do-it-yourself affair or one with tasks in the hands of professionals, they’ll find many of the resources they need right on the island. A wedding is a dream, no matter where it’s held. Vashon‚ with its natural beauty and creative professionals, only adds to the magic of the day. And when better to begin planning, organizing and dreaming than the week of Valentine’s Day? That’s why The Beachcomber has pulled together this section, a special publication that offers practical tips, planning help, ideas and real-life inspiration for couples tying the knot on our lovely isle.


Marla Smith Photography

Planning a wedding? Beautiful Church Picturesque Setting Reception Facility with Kitchen Reasonable Rates BURTON COMMUNITY CHURCH Weddings • Vow Renewals • Commitment Ceremonies

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Elegant Floral Creations Weddings, Events, Gifts, Corporate Accounts, Home Interiors, Special Occasions, Complimentary Consultations

Rebecca S. Raymond (206) 463-6613

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 • Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber


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Some dos and don’ts for planning an island wedding

Tips for tying the knot on Vashon By NATALIE MARTIN Staff Writer

There’s nothing like saying your vows on Vashon, a place full of beauty, romance and rural charm. But planning an event at a place surrounded by water can present some challenges as well. Whether your wedding is a big garden gala or a small ceremony by the water, consider a few dos and don’ts for your island celebration. Do shop and hire locally when you can. Local merchants have a lot to offer, and it feels good to support Vashon’s small businesses. It’s much more convenient to work with locals, and in most cases their prices are comparable or even better than those found in Seattle. There’s no reason not to order a cake, hire a photographer, choose a musician or rent tables and chairs on Vashon. Consider looking off-island or online when you’re looking for a particular deal, want to order in bulk or have special preferences that can’t be found on Vashon. Don’t turn to Seattle wedding magazines or those comprehensive wedding websites like The Knot to find wedding resources on Vashon. They won’t be listed. Check in with the local chamber of commerce for island wedding resources. And oftentimes the best way to connect with vendors on Vashon is word of mouth. If you live on the island, ask your friends and acquaintances if they know anyone who caters, does wedding-day hair, designs invitations, etc. If you don’t live on Vashon, ask merchants you’ve already signed with to connect you with others, or find someone who has been married on the island and make them your new best friend. Do book any lodging required for your wedding as soon as possible, especially if you’re planning a summer wedding. There are no hotels on Vashon, so housing

family, friends and wedding attendants on the island can be a challenge. Vacation rentals and B&Bs book up fast, and many places only take week-long or multi-day reservations in the summer, making options limited. Check out, and to find the perfect spots for your guests. Don’t forget Vashon has no big box stores, so some wedding items simply won’t be available on the island. Plan ahead for the shopping or ordering you’ll have to do off-island, and remember Vashon stores also have limited hours for picking up those last-minute things. It shouldn’t present a problem if you think ahead. Do keep in mind that many of your guests won’t be familiar with the ferry system. Consider including a small card in each invitation that lists suggested ferry times and reminds guests to arrive at the ferry early. Make sure out-of-town guests understand which ferry route they are taking so they don’t find themselves getting on the boat in downtown Seattle or driving off the ferry at Southworth. Don’t take your wedding too seriously. Vashon is a great setting for a tasteful but relaxed celebration. Consider holding your wedding in a barn, at a public park or at the beach. Ditch the heels for flip flops, have a backyard barbecue for your rehearsal dinner or consider adding a fun element to your ceremony, such as having the bride and groom arrive in kayaks. And don’t let unexpected circumstances — rain, heat or even ferry delays — ruin your day. Do take advantage of the helpful Vashon community, especially if you live on the island. As addressed earlier, friends and acquaintances can point you to vendors who often operate by word of mouth. And many people are


Marla Smith Photography

eager to help with arrangements, offer a hand with projects and even lend items you would otherwise have to purchase or rent. Do encourage your off-island guests to stay a while on Vashon. There’s plenty to do and see on Vashon, so they can easily make the wedding trek into a day trip or weekend trip. If you live on Vashon, it’s a chance for them to see your home, and if you don’t, it’s still a fun mini-vacation. Steer them toward a good vacation rental and provide copies of Destination Vashon — map included — for them to plan out activities. — Natalie Martin is The Beachcomber’s editor. She was married on Vashon last year.

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014 • Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber

A destination wedding in Burton Couple coordinated their dream wedding from afar By SARAH LOW Staff Writer

Baltimore resident Emily Haroz recently realized a lifelong dream when she was married on Vashon Island. Though born and raised on the East Coast, in the summer of 2012, Haroz was married on the lawn of her family’s summer home, overlooking the waters of Quartermaster Harbor. Haroz’s mother, islander Elizabeth “Boo” Edmunds, grew up in Seattle and spent summers on Vashon with her family. When Edmunds had her own family, she continued the summer tradition, even though they lived in Boston. “I loved Vashon so much growing up,” Haroz said, recalling her summers on the island. “It was so important to me that I wouldn’t invite any friends to come and spend time here with us. I didn’t want anyone else to have it.” Eventually Haroz did find someone she wanted to share the island with — her boyfriend, Jacob Taylor, and she took him on a trip to Vashon one summer. Taylor not only fell in love with Haroz but the island as well, and he proposed two months later. Though choosing Vashon for the location of their wedding seemed a given, Haroz and Taylor weren’t sure they’d be able to pull it off, as they’d have to plan and make arrangements from where they lived in Baltimore. Haroz’s mother, however, began to ask around for ideas on how to get things done through her island friends, and the community responded, providing a network of resources that would make Haroz’s dream wedding possible. The couple decided to keep their ceremony and reception simple, taking on do-it-yourself projects and using as much local fare as possible. The location was the easy part, as Haroz’s family still owned a summer house in Burton with a large lawn where the ceremony could be held by the water. The two were wed by rabbi — Taylor is Jewish — and made their own

Marla Smith Photography

The couple handed out jam made with Vashon blackberries. chuppah out of island driftwood. Certain elements for the day were handled by off-island businesses. Seattle-based Skillet took care of the catering with its mobile trailer. Tents, restrooms and the band for the reception also came from off-island. But everything else was purely Vashon. Using the Burton Coffee Stand’s message board like a wedding coordinator’s command center, Haroz and Edmunds managed to take care of every detail. Instead of a cake, the couple decided to use Vashon’s abundant blackberries for cobbler and pies, and they made blackberry jam to give as favors to their guests. Friends and family — and even kids who’d seen the event take shape via the coffee stand — picked the berries all summer, and they were stored at Harbor Mercantile. Haroz found her photographer when Edmunds posted a message at the coffee stand and multiple people responded. And Sarah Perlman, formerly of the popular island music duo RedPerl, provided music for the ceremony, a connection that was once again made through the coffee stand.

elebrate your wedding in an exclusive and elegant garden setting at Froggsong Gardens on Vashon Island. This beautiful, private estate location hosts a limited number of weddings per year. The garden includes a rose pergola, labyrinth, formal water course, and water lily pond, and has been featured in the Seattle Times, and Fine Gardening, Better Homes and Gardens, and Sunset magazines. The 16 plus acre site can accommodate 250 guests with onsite parking, and offers several choices of locations across the garden for the ceremony. The reception, dinner, and dancing can be held in a spectacular 1000 square foot building that includes an indoor/outdoor fireplace, a 25 foot bar, and a 12 foot buffet table constructed of a live edge, polished fir. Glass French doors open onto a 1500 square foot tiled patio, and a 110 foot covered pergola. A separate building is available for the caterer. This is a private estate garden with facilities unmatched in any event site — a dream location for a dream wedding. Site rental starts at $4000.

Contact us by phone (206 463 3734) or email us at to discuss possibilities. Visit us on the web at

Froggsong Gardens Vashon Island, Washington

Marla Smith Photography

Emily Haroz and Jacob Taylor on the front steps of a family vacation home where they were married in 2012. Flowers came from friends’ gardens in Burton as well as the Tacoma Flower Mart and were arranged by islander Colleen James. Haroz’s hair and makeup were done by Sarah St. Germain, whom Edmunds had met before. Karen Biondo even catered the morning-after brunch with her mobile pizza oven. Now, a year and a half after the big event, Haroz and Taylor are new parents to a baby girl. Looking back, Haroz called her wedding the most fun night she’s ever had. “We both felt like it honored both us together as a couple and what we love so much about Vashon — friends, family and community coming together in a majestic place to celebrate happy times.”



Marine View Estate VA S H O N I S L A N D , W A

This historic 1930’s house is located next to the King County Boaters Park with direct trails to the park, a great opportunity to invite your boater friends for an afternoon of hiking, biking and cocktails on the large deck overlooking the view. There are two separate living quarters which allows two families to have private accommodations and still enjoy a large area to gather for fun and entertaining. (#388767) 206-418-8788 206-463-2592

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 • Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber


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Married beneath a Vashon lighthouse A Point Robinson wedding makes for a memorable day

Marla Smith Photography


I never dreamed of my wedding day as a girl. I never talked about wedding colors with friends or married my stuffed animals. In adulthood I didn’t give weddings much thought either, and certainly never pinned about them on Pinterest. So when my boyfriend Nick got down on one knee last year, I knew I wanted to get married, but I had no idea what that wedding would look like. The two of us considered all sorts of settings for our big day. There were elaborate gardens, country clubs with water views, even barns that rented out for weddings. But none of those places felt like us — not to mention they usually charged an arm and a leg. We soon realized that the perfect spot for our nuptials was right on Vashon, a place I already lived and a place we’d both fallen in love with since I began working at The Beachcomber three years before. Why not say “I do� at a beach where we’d strolled the shore many times picking up beach glass, where we’d poked starfish during the low tide festival and where we knew the keeper of the lighthouse personally? Our wedding at Point Robinson was like nothing I could have dreamed up as a girl. On a mercifully sunny day last August, we said our vows in front of a sparkling blue Puget Sound, beneath a driftwood arch assembled by our friends. We did little decorating for the event, as Point Robinson is full of natural beauty. A verdant hillside was the backdrop for the day, and the events unfolded on a lawn surrounded by driftwood and rustling beach grass, all set off by a striking red and white 1915 lighthouse. After the ceremony, our friends and family enjoyed the beach and climbed to the top of the lighthouse. Dinner was a simple but elegant spread, the main dish being sockeye salmon my husband’s uncle caught in Alaska, prepared by a caterer his family knew. For drinks, we offered Vashon-made Cliff’s Beer and wine we picked up at the local grocery store. A large vanilla cake from Snapdragon was topped by a hand-painted bride and groom, and small


y *2-daum m mini

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Marla Smith Photography

berry and apple tarts were served. As the evening waned, I threw my bouquet from the top of the lighthouse and guests took to the dance floor — a large, homemade floor we borrowed from a generous neighbor and pieced together the night before. Our minister danced; so did my 89-year-old grandmother. Just when we thought the day could be no more lovely, the sun began to sink and melted into a colorful sunset, drawing those who weren’t still dancing down to the water. Nick and I stole away for a quiet moment together on the beach. The cliche exit by sparklers we had planned was ruined, of course, when half of our guests suddenly had to catch a ferry. We quickly distributed the sparklers anyway, and all had a laugh waving them around on the lawn. One of my favorite moments of the night came during the toasts, when Captain Joe Wubbold, who’d helped us for months with our wedding arrangements, gave what he called a captain’s blessing. He said he hoped the aids to navigating our new life together would be “on station and watching properly,� providing good direction just like the working lighthouse before us.

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Where to wed?

Vashon is full of venues With scenic parks, lovely churches and large rental estates, Vashon has a wide range of venues for couples tying the knot and options to fit every budget. Use this non-exclusive list as a starting point for exploring all the unique locations the island has to offer. Parks showcase the best of Vashon’s beauty and can be more affordable that other rental options. Point Robinson Park, with a lighthouse and views of the water and Mount Rainier, is a popular choice. West-facing Lisabeula Park also has a large lawn with a view of the sound, and it gets evening sun. Winghaven Park is a lovely spot for a smaller, more intimate ceremony. Park weddings can be tricky to plan, but many caterers can work out of mobile kitchens, and generators and amenities such as extra restrooms can be brought in as well. Several of Vashon’s churches can be booked for weddings, and many offer kitchens and reception halls as well. Burton Community Church on Quartermaster Harbor and Havurat Ee Shalom on the west side of the island have historic buildings that provide the perfect

settings for a quaint island ceremony. Other churches offer larger, more modern worship halls. For a rural or rustic feel, consider renting out an island farm venue such as the Old Chaser Farm or the locally famous Jesus Barn Farm. Madrona Meadows Bed & Barn also offers a large barn tucked away in the woods. Vashon is known for its beautiful beaches, and several waterfront locations can be rented as wedding venues. Camp Burton offers a large shoreside lawn as well as an indoor event hall and kitchen facilities. KVI Beach House overlooks the beach and sleeps about a dozen people, and at Villa Vashon guests can watch the ferry come and go at a convenient north-end location that’s right on the water. Inland weddings can be just as beautiful, so consider the wooded AYH Ranch Hostel, where guests can also stay and camp for the night, or the new Froggsong Gardens (featured at right). If all else fails, ask that island friend or neighbor if you can hold your event on their large lawn or beach house. You may be surprised by the answer.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 • Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber

Garden estate now open for weddings Couples going all out for their Vashon wedding might consider Froggsong Gardens, a 4-acre garden and estate that opened this year for wedding rentals. Froggsong is the private estate of islanders Cindy and Steve Stockett, who have spent years creating and tending to an elaborate garden that includes perennial and ornamental gardens, a long rose pergola, multiple ponds, a knot garden, cascading water features, a parterre and a stone ruin. Situated on a 16-acre property, Froggsong has been featured in several national magazines, is regularly visited by gardening clubs and was part of Vashon Allied Arts’ most recent garden tour. “The garden is extremely well known in garden circles and nationally,” Steve said. The Stocketts have hosted nonprofit events and galas at Froggsong and recently decided to open the property as a wedding rental that can accommodate up to 250 guests. The garden includes a 1,500-square-foot tiled patio and a 1,000-square-foot greenhouse, meaning guests can go indoors if necessary. Renters also have access to ample parking, buildings on the estate and a kitchen. With rental rates starting at

Courtesy Photo

$4,000, the Stocketts say they expect to rent out the site for a few weddings or events a year. Cindy, the gardening enthusiast who started Froggsong, said the venue is high-end but

also feels less commercial than some of the garden rentals in the Seattle area. “It’s not sort of a typical wedding venue,” she said. “It’s got a much more personal feel.”

Dana Lazare 206 463 3800 By appointment Westwood Village

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Weddings or Special Event? We offer bridal hair/up-styles, hair color, cuts, manicures, pedicures, face waxing & tanning

Contact us today for a consultation 206.463.3414

9929 SW Bank Rd, Suite 101 • Vashon, WA 98070

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all kinds of masterful sewing

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 • Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber


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Do it yourself

A beach centerpiece can set off party tables or a dinner table omemade centerpieces add a personal touch to any wedding and can be more affordable than bouquets of flowers. For a Vashon wedding, consider making a beach-themed centerpiece for one of your tables, or put one on every table at the reception and hand them out as gifts at the end of the night. For a polished look, go to the store for vases, candles and shells. For a thriftier craft, look for items at home, on the beach and at second-hand stores.

H What you’ll need:

9-inch glass globe or similar vase White pillar candle 3 cups playground sand A dozen shells

Directions: 1. Fill the bottom of a glass globe or vase (available at craft stores and florists) with playground sand (available at hardware stores). 2. Push the candle firmly into the sand, and pack the sand around it so it won’t tip over. 3. Place shells around the candle, arrang3 ing larger shells first and filling holes with smaller shells. Clean shells from local beaches can be used, and more exotic shells available at craft stores add color.

Marla Smith Photography

AYH Ranch/Campground Rent -A -C a mp (for groups of 10 or more people) Weddings • Reunions • Retreats

• Beautiful 10 acre ranch borders a 100 acre reserve and offers a relaxing retreat. • Unique lodging offering a western setting w/Indian teepees, covered wagon and plenty of space for camping • The main house sleeps 15, log cabin 14. • Open June 1st – September 30th • 206-463-2592

4. For some extra color, add beach glass to the vase or place it on top of a square of blue cloth.

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Have a Dream Wedding— in a Park.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 • Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber

Planning a Wedding or Event? Don’t miss the opportunity to tour Island lodging and event venues during the Innkeeper’s Tour sponsored by the Vashon Island Chamber of Commerce. Over a dozen lodging and venue facilities will be open for viewing on Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 from 10:00am to 3:00pm. It is the perfect opportunity to see where to have your event or where to host your guests! Maps will be available at the

Choose the Vashon Park that fits your dream…

Vashon Chamber of Commerce and on our website:

• Pt. Robinson- Historic lighthouse

For more information, call 206.463.6217.

on the water with Mt. Rainier vista

• Belle Baldwin House at Fern Cove

·0Q[\WZQKPWUMWN\PMÅZ[\NMUITM physician in Washington State

For more information, call: 206-463-9602 or go to: Chamber of Commerce

photo courtesy Benj Haisch

Read thi s i ssue online with your paid subscription •


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Pull out section for Weddings on Vashon. Our editor was married this year and graciously allowed us to use some of her photos throughout thi...