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The Venue Series: Washington Coast & Island Wedding Venues

Historic Captain Whidbey wedding venue on Whidbey Island
Photo by Jess Hunter
 

Welcome to The Venue Series! We love helping couples find the best fitting venue for their ideal budget via our standalone Venue Hunt Consultation or Venue Hunt add-on for wedding planning packages. As PNW Planners, we've planned and designed in hundreds of Oregon and Washington venues, and we're sharing some of our favorites and why we love them. All photos featured are from weddings we've coordinated, planned, and/or designed.


 

If you’re the type of person who loves the coziness and serenity of the PNW coast, good news: it’s the perfect place to host a wedding. Just picture this: waves crashing in the distance, intimate coves for private moments together, a fresh coastal haze in the air, waterfront views and a lush forest backdrop. Sounds nice doesn’t it?


With the islands off the northwestern archipelago and stateside that stretches along the Pacific Ocean, Washington State is full of wedding venues with waterfront views of picturesque coastlines. Many of the venues on these islands are also expansive properties, offering diverse areas all within one venue, and diverse venues across each coastal pinpoint.


As wedding planners who have planned and designed all over the state of Washington, we’re sharing some of our favorite coastal and island venues in Washington State: from the Kitsap Peninsula, to the San Juan Islands, to Whidbey Island, to Bainbridge Island, and even Camano Island. 


But first, some guidance. There are a few things you’ll want to know about hosting your coastal or island wedding.


Tips for Planning a Wedding on a Washington Island


a treehouse at Islandwood wedding venue on Bainbridge Island
Photo by Sarah Anne Photography

Plan For Weather

Washington's weather can be unpredictable, so plan your wedding date or select your venue with care. As planners, we always have a backup plan from the start and have used a handful of companies to get tents set up if needed.


Stay The Weekend

We highly suggest you and your guests (or at least VIP guests stay the weekend for your wedding! The peninsula and Washington islands are so quaint, it’s fun to explore the little towns and walk the coastline in between your wedding festivities. Ask us for our couples’ favorite places they’ve stayed!


Travel

There are limited transportation options on the islands, which means all your guests will need to have a car to ferry across / drive around the peninsula, or you’ll need to provide a shuttle for your guests. There are limited companies that offer this service, but we’re happy to help connect you! With ferry rides being the main mode of transportation, you'll also want to plan your timeline cautiously and leave time for delays so you're not running into any issues with any late arrivals.


A note from experience: we’ve found that avoiding the ferry and driving around the peninsula is actually more cost effective - read more in our second about our travel costs.


Local vs Non-Local Vendors

While there are some great local vendors we always help our couples connect with that are based on the Washington Islands, there are limited options, so you may want to pad your vendor budget to account for travel fees.


Bottom line, you’ll want to work with vendors who are familiar with the area. With island weddings comes various logistics to deal with, like the extended travel time, limited local options, etc. 


Our team has been to every island and all the venues we’ve listed below, plus a few more. Many couples have opted to go with Your Perfect Bridesmaid even with travel fees, because we’re equipped to plan for it all. While we do charge for travel, we are always transparent about our travel costs, so we wanted to share the truth about what goes into those travel fees.


local theater on bainbridge island near wedding venue

FAQs About Your Perfect Bridesmaid's Travel Fees

Why do you have travel fees?

  • Did you know that YPB doesn’t make a single dime on travel fees? We charge just what is paid out to our team. Planners on our team are all employees, and we always make sure they get paid for their time!

  • Our team's safety is a top priority, and we don’t want them driving late at night after an exhausting 10, 12, 15 hour day.

  • We always stay until the end of the night for weddings to clean your venue and pack up your belongings (which not all planners do)- and that means some of these island venues require a night of accommodation for our planners.

How do you charge for travel?

  • Mileage: We map the shortest and/or most cost efficient route to your venue and use the IRS mileage reimbursement amount to calculate mileage charge. This is calculated round trip for each trip made to the venue and is paid directly to the planner. Depending on the island, we try to drive instead of relying on the ferry system. Our timelines are very specific and we don’t want to be late. We have found driving down and around Bainbridge island for instance is far more reliable.  Obviously not do-able when we are going to the San Juan’s for instance but we always do what we can to ensure our ability to deliver the absolute best for you!

  • Accommodation: We actually find specific accommodations and use the actual cost of those accommodations in your quote, not some arbitrary number. Those accommodations are booked immediately upon signing to lock in rates.  Our goal is to look for something safe and affordable near the venue, and since we always have two planners onsite, our planners share a room to save on costs.

  • Meals: For venues requiring overnight accommodations, we charge a meal fee equal to $50 a day per planner per day. Being away from their home means they need to eat dinner after the rehearsal and breakfast and lunch too. We keep it reasonable so your planner is ready to go, but isn’t eating extravagantly. 


Kate was our day of coordinator, and we could not have asked for anyone better! She was incredibly patient with us leading up to the wedding, but also pushed us to make sure we were on top of everything. On the wedding day, she handled everything, big and small. She was approachable and would make sure any request was taken care of quickly. We can not recommend Kate enough!

- Tova, Married 9/9/23 at Islandwood



Washington Coast and Island Wedding Venues

 


Whidbey Island, WA

Photographer: Jess Hunter


Why We Love Them:

This historic log cabin inn and restaurant is just what you need to complete your coastal PNW wedding. Standing for over 111 years, exudes charm with its rustic architecture, inviting fireplaces, and cozy accommodations. You can see the history framed on the walls, which made for a nostalgic looking photoshoot for Hailey and Chris’ November wedding. 


The venue provides a range of lodging options, allowing couples and their guests to stay on-site and immerse themselves fully in the celebration. The scenic waterfront setting offers the perfect backdrop for outdoor ceremonies, receptions and romantic first looks, while the cozy interior has a warm and intimate atmosphere for cocktail hour and pre-wedding festivities. Not to mention, you don’t have to worry about securing a caterer because the restaurant provides it all, showcasing Pacific Northwest flavors using locally-sourced ingredients.



Insider Tip: While this venue provides quite a few amenities, there are a few necessities you’ll need to bring on site and plan for. There isn’t a feasible indoor space for events, so you’ll need to do your rain dance and have a backup tent plan. You’ll also need to plan on renting additional place settings for guests counts over 50 (the restaurant has a limited count) and rent mobile bathrooms for guest counts over 75.  Lastly and most importantly, this venue requires you to hire a professional wedding planner - and for a good reason. You’ll need a team to direct guests, set up decor and rentals that aren’t in-house, and be a point person to direct your day. We LOVED being at Captain Whidbey, and would be happy to be there any time!




 

Camano Island, WA

Photographer: Works by Sarah Jane


Why We Love Them:

This venue is an easy coastal destination because Camano Island is easily accessible by a drive over the Mark Clark Bridge. While it doesn’t have a waterfront view, you get to enjoy the beautiful coastal scenery on the drive over. We love recommending this venue for intimate weddings, as The Finery only accommodates 50 guests. The Finery sits on 5 beautiful acres with a woodsy scenery and garden (landscaped with love by the owners themselves!). It’s especially perfect for a boho-inspired wedding and couples who value natural material and beautiful scenery. 


To complement The Finery’s scenery, the venue offers beautiful fruitwood folding chairs and custom wood tables for an elevated look - all included in the venue rental. We love a venue with gorgeous amenities! They also have other included options, like patio heaters for chillier days, access to fire pits, two getting ready rooms / huts, a custom bar with keg taps and an included speakers system. 


Insider Tip

Since this venue is primarily for small weddings and elopements, there are a few things to know. Due to the area’s noise ordinance, you can’t have amplified music or a traditional wedding DJ. However, the venue does provide a special outdoor speaker system for background music. You can bring in your caterer of choice, but there is no food preparation allowed on the premises, so we recommend opting for a food truck or a local caterer so your food stays warm between travels. Lastly, remember to book a shuttle service, because parking is very limited!




 

Bainbridge Island, WA

Photographers: (1-6) Sarah Anne Photography & (7-11) Stefan & Audrey


Why We Love Them:

Islandwood weddings is THE venue for intimate, elevated camp experience for up to 200 guests. One of our planners, Kara, says it’s her absolute favorite Washington venue! The venue boasts a selection of thoughtfully designed indoor and outdoor spaces for both ceremony and reception. The property spans 200+ acres, with meadows, trails, ponds, gardens, treehouses, and a suspension bridge. It’s a PNW lover’s dream! The expansive campus encourages guests to explore. For those sold on the coastal experience, the venue has plenty of trails that lead down to the oceanfront to get that fresh, salty breeze in your hair.  


Islandwood also has a commitment to sustainability, and especially shows in its farm-to-table dining experience crafted from locally-sourced ingredients.


We love the venue’s onsite cabin-style hotel for guests to stay the whole weekend and be immersed in the forest magic, and the treehouses that always make a romantic wedding night stay. But one of our favorite things about this venue is that the staff will even plan a weekend itinerary for you to experience all the venue has to offer, like the team building ropes course, outdoor activities, and more. Combine this with our full service planning or day of coordination, and you’re bound to have the most relaxing and immersive experience for your wedding weekend.


Insider Tip

This venue really is a dream. There’s really no option short of the full experience, so a wedding here means a full buyout and a high venue fee. We spend a lot of time with our couples crafting their budget around the high venue fee, but know that you won’t need to bring in many additional rentals, because the venue has most things in house. But for couples who love the earth, you can rest easy knowing that all their proceeds go to their sustainability nonprofit, and outdoor science education.



 

Poulsbo, WA - Kitsap Peninsula



Why We Love Them:

We also featured Kiana Lodge in our Venue Series post for Washington Wedding Venues With A View for it's waterfront beauty! This venue is perfect if you like a more landscaped, garden setting but want the proximity to the water. One of our very own planners got married at this venue, so you know it's good! Kiana Lodge is right on the water, with an uninterrupted view overlooking Bainbridge Island. We love that the lodge has beautifully manicured outdoor areas, and a cozy, wooden interior with hanging plants that makes you feel like you're still in nature. The lodge also has amenities that shouldn't be overlooked, like staffing to direct parking, an included bonfire (dependent on fire restrictions), and folding chairs and round tables.


Insider Tip

Take it from our planner Laura who got married here:

"Book the house next door to the venue for the weekend! There is a path connecting the Airbnb to the venue, a 60 second walk! And also, book accommodations early; Poulsbo and the surrounding areas are popular areas especially during summer time."

The venue provides wonderful in-house catering and bar, so no outside food or drink is allowed. If you plan to do an inside ceremony, make sure you have a crew (like us!) who can help you flip the space to reception. While the exterior is beautiful for ceremony, we don't recommend dining outside- the outdoorsy area is prone to crows.





 

Kingston, WA - Kitsap Peninsula

Photographer: Tonie Christine


Why We Love Them:

The Kingston House has so much to offer -  it’s a working lavender farm and spans across 27 acres and multiple options for ceremony, reception or just for exploring together on your wedding day. If you’re staying onsite in the mid-century modern Kingston House Residence that sleeps 14 guests, you’re even encouraged to explore the area and walking trails. This house is perfect to host your family or wedding party so you have a central place to hang out before and after the wedding. 


When we helped coordinate a wedding here, our lovely couple held their ceremony at the Pond Arbor and reception under the tent at The Sward, where they opted for a whimsical hanging installation. This venue can host up to 100 people, but unlike some island venues, this venue has a large parking lot AND a parking attendant so you don’t have to worry about limited space or needing a shuttle service.


Insider Tip

This venue requires you to book a few things with their venue rental: 2 nights at the Kingston House for weekend weddings, and a professional and licensed wedding planner and full -service caterer. However, you do have your choice of picks for those required vendors! Sadly, no drop off catering is allowed, but we think you’ll feel more at ease with a full service caterer anyways! 





 

Bainbridge Island, WA


Why We Love Them:

The Manor House at Pleasant Beach Village is the cutest historic venue, offering a sunset view overlooking the Puget Sound! The space accommodates up to 150 and offers year-round rain shelter under their permanent clear-top tent. If you love waterfront properties AND a garden setting, this is it! The tent space is full of greenery, with lucious shrub walls and greenery chandeliers hang year round, and stone paths around the tent lead to romantic gardens that bloom all throughout the summer.


We love that the venue offers in-house catering, as well as a few other dining options for rehearsal dinners, a bite to eat while you're getting ready, or breakfast the next day. Another cheeky tip - one of the photos featured above shows a custom marque message on the Lynwood Theater - if you share a donation with the Theater, you can request a special message and walk just 5 minutes across the street from the venue for a photo moment! 



Insider Tip

Since this venue requires a longer drive or a ferry ride, we highly recommend to make sure your guest book early for accommodations early if they’re planning to stay the night -the island sells out fast in the summer months!


Most photos of weddings at The Manor House are out on the patio under the tent, but note that you’ll need to plan to dance inside - there is a noise ordinance that restricts amplified music outside since the area is home to many local residents.




 

Want to know that you've found the best venue?


We love helping couples find the best fitting venue for their ideal budget via our standalone Venue Hunt Consultation or Venue Hunt add-on for wedding planning packages. As PNW Planners, we've planned and designed in hundreds of Oregon and Washington venues, and we're sharing some of our favorites and why we love them. All photos featured are from weddings Your Perfect Bridesmaid has coordinated, planned, and/or designed. View more of our Venue Series Blogs below:


 

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