by Nancy Mueller | Photo © Take 5 Photography
You’ve dreamed of that special day, visualized that walk down the aisle in a unique and magical setting. When choosing precisely the right site for your wedding, whether for your daughter or yourself, why not follow your dreams to an unforgettable Northwest wedding destination? From settings by the sea to the majesty of a mountain venue, to picturesque wineries, one of these 9 memory-making venues just might solve the vexing question of where to say “I do.”
Majestic Inn & Spa, Anacortes WA
At the historic Majestic Inn in charming downtown Anacortes, you can enjoy an intimate ceremony in a beautifully landscaped courtyard, followed by an elegant ballroom reception. Or bask in the beauty of a sky-high view overlooking Guemes Island Channel, Mt. Baker and the San Juan Islands by having your ceremony on the seasonal rooftop patio of the hotel’s newly constructed annex next door. At the Majestic Inn & Spa, you have indoor or outdoor event options, or a combination of both for ceremony and reception. The rooftop accommodates 120 people; the new Ballroom, 160 people; and the Courtyard, 200 people.
For information about the maritime town of Anacortes, go to anacortes.org.
TIP: Take the pressure off your wedding planning with the Majestic’s all-inclusive site package, from pre-wedding functions, such as your rehearsal dinner and spa treatments for the wedding party, to booking your honeymoon suite, on-site catering and event space.
Hotel Bellwether, Bellingham, WA
For an upscale waterfront wedding location, boutique Hotel Bellwether offers high-style elegance in a small town setting. A mere 90 minutes north of Seattle, the site sits on the shore of beautiful Bellingham Bay. Fly in on a floatplane to make the ultimate grand entrance or moor your yacht in nearby Squalicum Marina.
Host a cozy rehearsal dinner for up to 14 guests in the hotel’s exquisite wine cellar. Your honeymoon hideaway awaits in the hotel’s signature suite, a freestanding three-story, 900-square-foot lighthouse replica. Climb the spiral staircase from the second-story bedroom for unparalleled 360-degree Northwest water, mountain and island views.
For more information about visiting Bellingham, go to bellingham.org.
TIP: No need to keep Fido away from the fun and festivities. Hotel Bellwether welcomes your canine companions with dog-friendly treats.
Semiahmoo Resort, Blaine WA
Recently renovated Semiahmoo Resort provides a variety of options to transform your wedding from ordinary to extraordinary. At its quiet beachfront location, the seaside Resort Pavilion provides unobstructed water views of snow-capped mountains, Semiahmoo Bay and Canada’s Gulf Islands. Or take your ceremony indoors in one of the event spaces that suits your style and size of guest list.
If your honeymoon plans include golf, get the party started at award-winning Semiahmoo Golf & Country Club or the Golf Club at Loomis Trail with its Tudor-style mansion, perfect for rehearsal dinners and receptions. Let the smooth, green, tree-lined fairways of these two exceptional golf venues inspire a stress-free day for your nuptial.
For information about visiting Whatcom County, go to bellingham.org.
TIP: Surprise your sweetie with a private golf lesson with PGA and Nike Tour Tournament player, Jeff Coston, who coaches beginners and advanced players on how to hit the links with power and accuracy.
Willamette Valley Vineyards, Turner, OR
Showcase your passion for sumptuous food and wine pairings with a destination wedding at Willamette Valley Vineyards. Set in the rolling hills of Willamette Valley, Oregon’s famed Pinot Noir region, this wine estate attracts couples looking for a rural, romantic, yet stylish wedding vibe.
Feast on Pine Nut Crusted Northwest Steelhead, paired with a 2012 Estate Pinot Noir, or try the Toasted Fennel Baked Halibut paired with their 2011 Estate Chardonnay. Exchange vows in the courtyard or on the lawns, then head inside to the Barrel or Founders’ Room overlooking the Willamette Valley for your reception.
Go online at oregonwinecountry.org to learn more about visiting the Willamette Valley wine region.
TIP: For a truly memorable experience, plan ahead and have the winemaker blend a cuvée of Pinot Noir to serve and give as favors to your guests. And stash away a bottle (or a case) for an anniversary.
Waterbrook Winery, Walla Walla, WA
Meticulously manicured grounds, a large, koi-filled pond and outdoor fireplace create a tranquil scene for wedding couples and up to 500 well-wishers at Waterbrook Winery. Not to mention the architecturally-stunning Tasting Room, featuring the winery’s portfolio of wines, including tasting room exclusives.
Start your walk down the aisle from a bridge surrounded by the sweet scent of lavender. Take in panoramic views of the area’s Blue Mountains in the background. Retreat to the three-bedroom bungalow on site for total seclusion before or after your wedding. The lovely, light-filled space features a private patio surrounded by young vineyards.
For more information about Walla Walla, go online at wallawalla.org.
TIP: Wine Club members receive a special pricing discount on weddings and other events.
Crystal Mountain, WA
Now that you’re feeling over the moon with your coming ceremony, why not choose a venue to match? At Crystal Mountain Resort (at 6,872 feet in elevation) spectacular Mount Rainier is your backdrop. Wedding venues don’t get any more grand than that.
From June to September, happy couples can promise to have and to hold from a wedding platform at the top of Crystal Mountain.
Your heady experience begins with a scenic ride aboard the Mt. Rainier Gondola with spellbinding views along the way.
Invite up to 200 of your closest friends for a seated ceremony. Afterward, celebrate with a champagne toast or specialty cocktail before heading back down to the base level for your reception.
For more information about visiting the Mt. Rainier region, go to visitrainier.com.
TIP: Schedule your wedding celebration at off-peak times between Monday and Friday for cost savings.
Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort, Leavenworth, WA
Design an uncommon wedding in commune with nature at the Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort two hours east of Seattle. Sleeping Lady offers rustic luxury in a peaceful, woodland setting, together with abundant recreational adventures and activities any time of year.
If your heart is set on an outdoor wedding, options include Kingfisher Meadow and Stage on the banks of Icicle Creek with its open grassy area and mountain view, or the Knoll above Icicle Creek, framed in dramatic granite boulders. For indoor facilities, check out the Chapel Theater & Salmon Gallery.
Go to leavenworth.org for more information about visiting Leavenworth.
TIP: For an intimate winter wedding, use Sleeping Lady as home base and hire a horse-drawn sleigh to deliver you and a few guests to a special spot in the woods for your vows. For sleigh operators, go to leavenworth.org/experience/sleigh-rides.
The Lodge at Whitefish Lake, MT
Montana’s only Four-Diamond, all-inclusive resort offers wedding packages to accommodate 30 to 300 guests. Personal touches include spa credits, champagne cruises, late-night snack delivery to the bride and groom’s suite and room gift delivery.
Treasure the tranquility of Whitefish Lake and surrounding mountains from your shore-side wedding at the Lakeside Pavilion. Or let the Viking Creek Wetland Nature Preserve set the stage for your outdoor event. Out-of-town guests will find accommodations to suit every need: spacious lodges, suites, luxury cabins and condominiums.
Head to spectacular Glacier National Park for honeymoon activities or stay and play on site.
Go online at explorewhitefish.com to learn more about visiting the Whitefish area.
TIP: Unwind from your wedding ceremony with a 30-minute captained cruise aboard Lady of the Lake, a 31-foot classic wooden cruiser.
Black Butte Ranch, Sisters OR
Black Butte Ranch welcomes wedding couples and their guests with an authentic Oregon experience. Peaceful, relaxing and serene, the 1,800-acre destination resort provides a stunning scene of natural beauty for your outdoor ceremony and reception plus plenty of recreational activities (including two championship golf courses) for a honeymoon retreat.
Start your happily-ever-afters at an altar of lofty aspens and ponderosa pines (particularly colorful for a fall wedding) alongside Phalarope Lake, with expansive views of the Cascade Mountains as your backdrop. Enjoy farm-to-table catering with locally sourced ingredients crafted into exquisite cuisine by culinary experts for your intimate or large gathering.
Go to sisterscountry.com for more information about visiting Sisters.
TIP: Planning a winter wedding? Select the Lodge Buyout Package to rent the entire lodge for up to 120 guests, complete with the large outdoor deck with a built-in heating system.