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Three Important Tips for Planning a Destination Wedding

Sponsored Content
Follow these simple steps to ensure your destination big day is everything you ever dreamed.
By: 
Reeve Currie

Sponsored by Alderbrook Resort

Perhaps one of the best ways to show your guests how much you appreciate them is by making your wedding a celebration for all involved. From beginning to end, your family will gush over a special location that treats them to a luxurious mini-vacation filled with pampering and room service. Planning a destination wedding can be challenging in its own right, so we’ve highlighted three important things for brides to consider to make the process as smooth as possible.

Alderbrook Resort & Spa is nestled about two hours between Seattle and Portland, making it a convenient destination wedding venue with all of the luxurious amenities and a view of the Olympic Mountains framed by the glacially carved fjord, Hood Canal.

Pick the right location, not only for you and your future spouse, but also your guests.

If guests are traveling great distances to arrive for your wedding, how will they get there? What will you provide for transportation? If most guests will be flying to the location, simplify their trip by offering car services in tandem with the resort. You could provide a shuttle from the airport to the venue, or an on-call van that will drive guests to and from the wedding and lodging. This will save your guests the stress of finding the resort.

Alderbrook is easily accessed via I-5 to Hwy 101 to 106, but many guests catch the ferry from downtown Seattle to Bremerton or West Seattle to Port Orchard and then drive 35 minutes to the resort.  Other guests arrive via seaplane or yacht!

When you have a lot of out-of-town guests, be mindful that they might be unfamiliar with the area. Create a list of activities and local attractions that your guests can visit, along with the best dining spots. A timeline of wedding events could be placed in their rooms or emailed ahead of time, alerting them to group activities like a welcome boating adventure or a cozy cottage BBQ. It’s easy to forget little items when packing; make sure your guests know where they can stop to pick up band aids or shampoo, plus that early morning cup of coffee.

Alderbrook has over eight miles of nature trails, a full service spa, saltwater pool and hot tub, sauna, steam room, BBQs, kayaks, chartered cruises and a nearby golf course, so there is plenty to keep guests occupied while they also celebrate your nuptials.  

Be sure to ask: What will be provided by the resort and what do I need to bring?

When you’re unable to fully experience a location before your wedding, it can be hard to know what the head table will look like or if the gardens will be in bloom. Don’t be afraid to ask your venue for detailed photos that are in season with your wedding date. Depending on your style, the location might speak for itself and not need additional decorations.

Seasonal décor and thoughtfully appointed amenities throughout the property provide idyllic photo opportunities.  The rural location is home to some of the country’s largest evergreen floral suppliers, so fresh arrangements are easily locally sourced.

If you’re still set on bringing decor, see if the venue will allow you to ship items ahead of time to avoid travelling with boxes of ribbons and lace. Find out what local vendors they recommend - it’s a lot easier to have bouquets made fresh near the venue, rather than packing them in a suitcase and arriving to find them in pieces.

Alderbrook has a list of preferred vendors that they know and love, but also work closely with couples and planners to ensure that everything is flawlessly executed.

When you’re getting married hours (or perhaps a country) away from home, it’s helpful to know where you can store things during the festivities. Is there a special room or wing that can be used for wedding materials? Alderbrook Resort and Spa gives you a storage room for your entire stay, specifically for storing wedding items. 

Make sure your vision matches the destination.

Work closely with the resort to define exactly what you’re looking for. Ask what previous couples have done when planning for surprise rain or a sudden snow storm. If you’re picturing a breezy beach wedding with a fiery red sunset, but your location is known for strong winds and starless nights, you’ll may be deeply disappointed.

Know ahead of time what you anticipate the weekend gathering to look like, so the venue staff can help can meet your expectations. If you’re dreaming of an elegant, romantic ceremony complete with stringed instruments, but the location has more of a farm feel, no amount of blush tulle will be able to transform the venue.

Alderbrook offers a range of indoor and outdoor flexible event spaces, including a ballroom, waterfront lawn, private yacht, historic marina and an intimate library, perfect for a Pacific Northwest destination wedding.

With a little planning and some creative ideas, you and the venue can host the most delightful destination wedding, full of surprises for your guests and a relaxing weekend for you before you say “I do.” 

Plan your fjord-side fairytale wedding for a celebration that will be remembered for all time as both stunning and unique. Alderbrook Resort's rustic elegance offers all the refinements of a luxury resort while providing a destination wedding experience only two hours from Seattle and Portland.