Destination I Do
Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Destination Weddings: A Quaint Wedding in the San Juan Islands

Words by Courtney Kellar
Words by: Kelly Ryan
Photography by: Alante Photography

Finding the perfect destination wedding spot can be difficult and time-consuming, but for Matt and Emily, there was no question when they discovered Roche Harbor. Avid cyclists, the couple stumbled upon the quaint town when they were vacationing in the San Juan Islands shortly after Matt proposed. Right then the couple knew for their wedding, their hometown of Omaha, Nebraska could never compare to the aquatic destination of Roche Harbor.

“Getting people to Seattle was no problem, getting people from Seattle to San Juan was a little tricky,” Matt says. “The limited number of ferry trips made it tough to plan too. You didn't want people to just have to wait 2-3 hours for the next boat, so it really took some detailed planning.” None-the-less the couple decided that having a destination wedding would narrow down the guest list and provide an intimate setting for them and their guests.

“Our wedding would have been much larger if we'd had it in Nebraska," Emily says. "We wouldn't have had as much time with everyone. A large part of our wedding was just getting to have a good time with our family and friends and exploring a new place together - experiencing everything together rather than just on the wedding day.”

The planning took all of two weeks and the process was relatively stress-free, Emily says. Accompanied by her mother, Emily was able to meet with all of the vendors and see the planning come together right before her eyes. Emails were the most convenient form of communication when Emily was home and no issues reared their head as the communicating went swimmingly. The wedding reception was all she wanted and more and the vendors were professional and quick to respond.

Expenses were not a problem since the couple was able to budget and spend money on the things that mattered most to them. A first class photographer was first on their list and finding affordable housing to shelter all their guests was the next. Keeping the guest count low provided extra funds the couple didn’t have to spend on exorbitant amounts of food.

Matt says the destination wedding differed from a traditional hometown wedding in that their wedding in the San Juan Islands created a memorable wedding experience which could not have been reached in Nebraska. “We think back on it as a vacation with our closest friends and family. In Omaha, I feel like I would have remembered sweating to death in my suit with our lovely humidity.”

Wedding Location: Roche Harbor Resort
Photographer: Alante Photography
Ceremony/Reception Site: Roche Harbor Resort
Gown Designer: Lazaro
Florist: Robin's Nest
Groom’s Clothing Designer: DKNY
Bridesmaids/Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer:  Jessica Howard/ DKNY
Wedding Cake: Cakes by Felicitation
Hair/ makeup: Afterglow Spa

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