Chelan sits at the base of the North Cascades, overlooking some of the most jaw dropping landscapes in the PNW; and those views are often served up with a tasty glass of the best wine in the region. When it comes to choosing your wedding destination, what more could you ask for? Beautiful views – check. Delicious wine -check. Somewhere far enough away your husband’s frat douche friends won’t attend -no guarantees. Sunny skies and expansive grape vines create the perfect backdrop for a stunning outdoor wedding, so if you’re thinking about reciting your nuptials in the valley, check out this list of kickass vendors from our picture perfect Chelan wedding!
Venue: Atam Winery
As you drive past Chelan into Manson along a windy dirt road, Atam winery sits at the very top of a hill overlooking the serene Lake Manson and Lake Chelan. It’s the perfect setting to enjoy a nice glass of Bavarian style wine on any day, and definitely a phenomenal place to say I do. Unfortunately Atam shuddered it’s doors in October, so while you can’t recreate this setting, you can head over to Siren Song for a just as spectacular (if not more beautiful!) venue. Siren Song can accommodate up to 200 guests, so if your family rolls deep, this is the place for you! Book soon if you can – their summer 2017 calendar is already filling up fast.
Catering: The Portley Pig BBQ
If you’re on a budget but don’t want your wedding dinner to taste like it, seek out vendors outside of Chelan. Local catering options are few and far between, (although Campbell’s is a remarkably romantic spot for an intimate rehearsal dinner) allowing companies to drive up the cost of a decent meal. It was less expensive to hire a caterer from the greater Seattle area (with the additional travel expense!) than it was to hire someone local. While wedding food is often unmemorable, Mount Lake Terrace BBQ afficianados the Portley Pig delivered THE best BBQ I’ve had this side of Texas. Owner Gary Bright and team are up and out at the crack of dawn getting their smoker set up to cook tender ribs, pulled pork, juicy king salmon, and all the sides you could wish for including spicy corn off the cob and baked beans. “Our ability to cook onsite allows you to get hot fresh quality BBQ,” said Bright. “We will bend over backwards whenever possible to make your day perfect.” And they’ll do it with a smile on their face, donning bolo ties and cowboy hats. Plus who doesn’t love BBQ? It’s your party, and you can eat ribs if you want to.
Photographer: Lilly Photography
With a backdrop as photogenic as Lake Chelan, you might assume any novice photographer will do – but if you only plan on getting married once, why wing it? Do yourself a solid and hire Carrie from Lilly photography, a seasoned local who’s very charismatic and easy going, but knows how to stick to a tight schedule. Carrie grew up in Chelan but has since moved to the west side, so you get the best of both worlds hiring someone who knows the area well, but can meet you in Seattle. Carrie is very attentive leading up to the wedding, and does her research to ensure she understands your style and needs. She puts in 110% on the day of to make you feel comfortable, while getting all the right angles you never knew you needed.
Carrie will be prepared for anything (including a random torrential down pour) and she got along great with our dogs who were moonlighting as flower girl and ring bearer.
DJ: ALL THAT! Mobile DJ
My husband and I geek out on music, and finding a DJ was probably the single thing we both were super particular about. After all, a stellar or shitty DJ can really make or break the party. There are quite a few options in the area, but nobody knows how to pull off an epic party quite like Chuck from ALL THAT! Mobile DJ. Chuck is a friendly local Chelan man who has been slaying weddings and events in the area for over 15 years. We spent an insurmountable amount of time choosing the right music for our ceremony, and Chuck made sure he had everything ready to go, down to the start and end of each song. We requested mid-late 90s music for the dance party, and gave him a list to stick to. Chuck played all the right hits, while sneaking in a few songs for the parents every now and then. He is affordable and professional, and really wonderful to work with. He also has some pretty sweet dance moves.
Hair & Makeup: Deep Water Salon
I don’t know much beyond mascara and chapstick and haven’t used a straightener since 2003, so I knew I couldn’t be trusted to DIY my hair & makeup. I’ve had some less than stellar experiences with professional makeup in the past, and was a little terrified I’d walk down the aisle looking like Boy George’s doppelganger. However, I’m 1000% happy I turned the reigns over to Deep Water Salon owner Amber Moore for both hair and makeup on my wedding day. I was “that bride” who brought in a few pinterest photos to my consultation, and after glancing at them quickly, Amber nailed exactly what I was looking for. She’s playfully sassy, and an absolute delight to work with, putting your mind at ease, and handling any surprises in stride (like when your bridesmaid somehow forgets to shower, and you need her wash and blowout to happen in a pinch). She and another stylist took care of hair and makeup for myself and five bridesmaids under a tight schedule, and left us feeling as flawless as Beyonce. If you want natural, stunning makeup and your hair to hold up all night, leave it to Amber.
Tent Rentals and Accessories: Lake Chelan Wedding Rentals
If you’re thinking about a summer wedding, Chelan can get up into the 90s in that June-August window. Weather can be unpredictable, so don’t underscore the importance of keeping everyone in the shade, or out of the rain. Do your guests a favor and reserve a big beautiful white tent from Jeff and Gwen over at Lake Chelan Wedding Rentals. They have everything from tableware and fun decor to space heaters for chilly nights, and work with you to find the best items for your big day. Note that when you go out to their shop, it’s about 45 minutes outside of Chelan, out of cell service, so bring a map, and plan ahead!
Transportation: Hats Off Limo
If you’re getting married at one of the local wineries parking might be tight, so you may want to look into transportation options. Hats Off Limo service based out of Wenatchee has been driving around winery tours, bachelorette parties and wedding guests around Chelan since 2006, offering a fun, swanky way to tote your guests around. Owner Jeffrey and team are very friendly and accommodating, and get your guests to the ceremony on time, and in style. Hats off is also pet-friendly, so both your pups and guests will have a safe ride to and from the party.
Gifts for the Bride & Groom: Artwork by Darcy Goedecke
When it comes to picking out the perfect gift to express how much you love your significant other on your wedding day, it can be heart-attack inducing stressful. What kind of gift lives up to that hype? Is there really anything that heartfelt, and authentic? Yes: one-of-a-kind commissioned artwork of course! Darcy Goedecke is an insanely talented artist based out of Olympia, WA who specializes in creating inspiring nature themed pet and animal artwork. “Capturing an animal’s personality and spirit is my specialty, and my paintings are very whimsical and magical,” said Goedecke. “I do more than just copy a photo – I work with my customers to find other symbols, colors, etc. that are special to them to create a deeper meaning and personalize each piece.”
Our lives revolve around our dogs and I knew my husband would love a painting of our alpha, Capone. Darcy worked tirelessly to take the idea I envisioned for the portrait, and run with it, (even when I requested Capone sit on the GOT throne, which seemed inconceivable). She kept me involved every step of the way from initial sketches, up until the final paint strokes, sending sneak peeks at progression along the way. She managed to capture Capone’s attitude, personality, and physique so perfectly I could barely contain my excitement to give my new husband this impossibly perfect gift on our wedding day.
As luck would have it, my husband and I have the same brain, and he actually had Darcy create a beautiful sloth painting (my steadfast obsession) for me too! If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary that your loved one will cherish for a lifetime, send an inquiry to Darcy, it’ll be the best addition to your wedding day.
Flowers and Decor: DIY
Autumn lends itself to the most stunning foliage, and that translates to beautiful orange, red, and yellow pops of color in your wedding bouquets! Thankfully peonies are in season well into fall, and these stunning flowers from Pike Place Market (there is also a lovely farmer’s market in Chelan where you can order flowers too) were a DIY assembly project put together by a bad ass team of family and friends. All of my decor was orchestrated beautifully as the result of a DIH project (do it HERSELF) by a very loving talented family friend. Flowers including boutineers and bouquets, signs and decor have become easier than ever to create with tutorials on pinterest, so grab some friends, roll up your sleeves and have fun planning the best day EVER.