by Scott Johnson
Welcome one and all to our month-long countdown of our Favorites of 2018. Over the course of December, we will be listing our Favorite Wedding Venues, Vows, Indoor and Outdoor Ceremonies and more. Our first countdown is a list of our Favorite Venues we visited for the first time this year, Let’s get the show started with part one, of our Favorite New Wedding Venues (for us)!
Far too many people associate Bellingham with its connection to Western Washington University. Others simply know it as one of the last stops before we get to our neighbor to the north. But for those who want to try it as a vacation spot, boy is Hotel Bellwether a prime place to change your mind. The luxury hotel, which boasts views of not only Bellingham Bay and the San Juan Islands, but also the Cascades. There’s even a Canine Concierge.
The Kirk wedding at the end of September took us to the hotel for a splendid day of love and celebration. After holding their actual wedding ceremony at the nearby Assumption Church, the Kirks headed over to the hotel for the reception. With tons of beautiful spots to photograph the newlyweds and their friends, the waterfront hotel is a magnificent sight. A bevy of wedding rooms can accommodate as few as 14 or up to 250 guests. Catering comes included too, with a hand-picked menu that features a Roasted Pork Loin and Risotto Forester.
Even closer to the Canadian border than Bellingham, Blaine also features an incredibly charming, and deeply underappreciated hotel called Semiahmoo Resort. Take a look at the Leslie wedding for all the great things you need to know about the resort. There’s virtual golf, beautifully decorated interiors, a quaint dock perfect for ceremonies, and a stunning waterfront.
The Leslies had such a gorgeous wedding. Following them around the area would have been more than enough for us, but the rest of the resort and grounds are to die for. Views of the ocean and mountain mean you’re just right at home in Washington, while the hotel itself can hold up to 400 guests. An all-inclusive wedding package includes many of the basics, but you can throw on additional enhancements like specialty cocktails and even a bonfire.
Tucked in Magnolia’s Discovery Park, poised on top of a bluff overlooking the Puget Sound, is the Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center. A wildly spacious, architecturally stunning building that can host hundreds of people for any kind of event--especially weddings. At once an undeniably crucial place for Native families, it also brings together people who want to be together for life.
For your big day, you get 25 banquet tables, 250 chairs, and a kitchen where you can hire your own caterer to make all the delicious foods for you wedding. The Spampanis’ big wedding day saw the reception held at Daybreak. Its structure and exterior paintings immediately make you want to take a closer look, and then you go inside and find it to be open and inviting. Its surrounding area, though, is what really takes the cake. Just take a look at the sunset shots we got of the two at the end!
While the name itself should not give you any pause as to where it is, we never actually have been requested to shoot a wedding here! And, being such a Seattle Spot, they come prepared for rain. Their standard package includes buffets, fresh baked rolls, fruits and veggies, professional event staff and more. You can also tack on candles, in-house bar access and even plated dinners rather than buffet.
They also offer an outdoor wedding venue at Fairview Park, though they are fully aware of the weather and can easily switch things to the indoor venue at a moment’s notice.
The Gallos’ January wedding, right in the prime of winter, was made a spectacular day as we avoided rain and snow (the second one is pretty easy). After a morning of patrolling Volunteer Park for their first look, it was the Lake Union Cafe that saw, well, the “union” of these two love birds. As regal as any hotel, with gold decorations, tons of candles and about a hundred mirrors, it really is surprising how little we have seen this place! The dance floor itself is something not to be missed!
If you’re looking for one of the best hotels in the area, look no further than the Woodmark in Kirkland. While not getting nearly as much love as Seattle or Bellevue, Kirkland is a lovely town that boasts an even lovelier waterfront. Rated as one of the Ten Best Resort Hotels in the West, the Woodmark offers more things than you probably care to think about. From its exemplary location right on Lake Washington, peering across to Seattle, down to the awesome fact that you can even stay there after the wedding and have your honeymoon as well, it’s such an awesome place. Oh, and there’s even a boat that takes you out around the harbor.
The Bullards had a spectacular wedding day here in the middle of August. Their first look is one of our favorites of the year as well, taking place inside the hotel with the regal architecture and a sense of sophistication. Even the exterior is unreal, with a long dock for our newlyweds to walk down and a view of Seattle that will make you want to sit for a while. With as luxurious as the hotel is, you bet your bottom they’re willing to go above and beyond for all of your wedding needs.
And there you have it for the first part of our Favorite New (for us) Wedding Venues! Check back in later for the final five. Want to share with us where you got married? Would you want to do it somewhere else if you had the chance to do it again? Let us know in the comments below!