Monday, November 02, 2009

Leavenworth Wedding, Choosing Location Part IV

Catering can be a stressful and expensive subject. The time of your reception normally dictates which type of foods will be served. Early morning wedding with a brunch reception, late morning, early afternoon wedding with a lunch reception or a evening wedding with a dinner reception?

To start with, most wedding locations do not allow outside foods to be brought in. Health department and insurance are prime examples as to why on-site catering is required. It is not always just to make more money off you. Wedding and reception locations can save on insurance rates (a big savings) if all foods are catered by the wedding location.

If catering is involved, “samples”, “taste tests” may not be available. If a venue or caterer does set menus; choose “A”, “B” or “C” samples may be available. Caterers that customize your menu according to your desires and tastes, don’t normally provide “samples”. Instead, ask for letters of recommendations or written comments by previous guests (ask to see the guest book).

Find out what type of foods and ingredients are used. Frozen foods, dehydrated foods and ingredients or do they use fresh, wholesome foods and ingredients? Ask, it makes a difference in taste!

If you are not sure as to what to do regarding the foods for your reception, ask your caterer for suggestions. Keep in mind, you may not be able to please all your guests as far as foods are concerned. If someone is on a special diet (for medical reasons), it is suggested you try to have something for that person (that everyone else will eat too).

One misconception a lot of people have is that appetizers are less expensive than regular meals. Yes, generally they are less expensive per item than a regular meal. However, there is a formula to figure out how many appetizers per person, per hour of the event and at what time the event occurs. In the long run, to feed your guests properly, it could be much more expensive than a regular meal. Again, ask your caterer for advice.


Leavenworth Weddings, Choosing Location Part III

A destination wedding is exactly that, a destination away from your normal routine of life where you are having your wedding. A destination wedding does not have to take place in Hawaii, Virgin Islands, or Bahamas.

Your destination wedding could be somewhere in your home state. Keep in mind, you may be familiar with the area you are having your wedding, but you do not KNOW the area. Listen closely to the suggestions being made to you by the wedding location.

Lodging will be a concern for your destination wedding. If the wedding location says the area books up fast because of a festival or seasonal event, you should listen and secure your lodging ASAP. For your guests that will be traveling long distance and plan on staying the night in the area, they should be told to book their lodging ASAP.

A lot of destination locations have a minimum lodging requirement, whether it refers to number of guests or number of nights, make sure you know what they are before you book your wedding.

Your wedding location should be able to help you with your lodging needs. If your destination location can not accommodate all of your wedding guests, they should be able to provide you will some information for additional lodging.

Traditionally it was the brides and grooms parents that were responsible for ALL lodging costs for a destination wedding. This does not necessarily hold true today. With everyone’s lodging preferences being different, wedding guests normally cover their own lodging expenses. However a lot of time, the parents do cover a portion of the wedding parties lodging.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Leavenworth Weddings, Choosing Location Part II

You need to be very up front with yourself and the wedding venue. If there is an idea for your wedding that is an absolute must, tell the venue. Find out if they allow you to do what it is that is so very important for your wedding day.

Keep in mind, if a wedding venue says they don’t allow something you were thinking of doing or having at your wedding or reception, ask if they can make an exception. If the venue says “no”, then no is the answer. Now it’s up to you, just how important is that something? If your wedding hinges on being able to do what you were told no to, then move to another venue. Do this BEFORE you book your wedding at the particular venue. Don’t agree to not doing that “something” that is so important and then try to convince the venue at a later time to allow you to do it. If you are told no, it won’t make a difference just because you decided to book at that location.

If it says no in the contract, no means no. If you didn’t read the contract, it’s your fault; not the wedding venue’s fault. Don’t take it out on the wedding venue. If that “something” is so important to you, then you should consider cancelling your wedding and moving it to another location. Be careful before doing this. First, you may loose a deposit; second, the new location may not be able to do as much for you as the first location. So, you have to ask yourself, how important is it to your wedding? Maybe the first location can do something that is similar that would work just fine.

This is were attitudes come into play. No means no. There have been a lot of brides that have booked at a location after being told no to “something”, later tried to convince the venue otherwise, have gotten mad because the venue didn’t give in, then take it out on the venue saying it’s the venue’s fault. Hence, bad comments (and lies) are posted all over the internet.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wedding Meeting Appointments

As many of you know, Featherwinds Lodging in Leavenworth Upper Valley does Day Weddings, receptions, and Destination Weddings. All tours and meetings are by appointment only. We do this so that you are able to meet with our wedding coordinators, planners and event coordinators to answer all your questions and to view our facility. Appointments are made via email and phone.

We are currently working on a Wedding Meeting Form that you can fill out online and then submit. The form will be short but ask for basic information, guest count, wedding date, bride and grooms name, etc. This will help us be able to assist and guide you through the planning stages and incorporate Featherwinds capabilities with your dreams and desires.

As previously state, the Wedding Meeting Form will be short on required information but will also allow you to submit as much additional information you wish. If you have particular questions you can add them in the comment section. Your questions will be answered in an email confirming your appointment time and date.

If you prefer, you can still call to make an appointment.

We will post more information regarding the Wedding Meeting Form as soon as it is available.

Thank you.

Warm wishes,


Friday, October 23, 2009

Leavenworth Weddings, Choosing Location Part I

Choosing a wedding location can be very time consuming and confusing. Be sure to “shop” around.  It is important that you visit each location where you are interested in having your wedding. If the wedding venue has a website, view the website and try to get as much information as possible. If you saw something online that is not mentioned during your meeting, ask about it.

Talk with the wedding planner(s) – coordinator(s) regarding your wedding. You need to make sure the capabilities of the wedding location meet your needs. Take notes during each meeting; names, phone numbers, email addresses, etc. If you get confused or don’t understand something, ask for it to be explained.

You need to be comfortable with not only the wedding venue, but also the people you will be working with. Communication is very important. You need to be able to ask anything even if they already explained it. Ask! Better to ask a couple of times, then to assume you remember the answer. Open communication is a must. How is the contact to be made? Email? Telephone? Both?

Don’t take the word of one venue about another venue. See the venue yourself, talk to the venue yourself and ask the venue yourself. Don’t rely on another venue saying, “they don’t do this, they require that, etc.”, find out for yourself.



Monday, October 12, 2009

Weddings, Going Green

Recent wedding traditions have started to change. Weddings are “going green”. The concern for the environment does not stop at just fuel efficient vehicles, reducing the amount of electricity used or saving a tree. New wedding traditions are being started or re-shaped to fit the needs and desires of brides and grooms to be environmentally friendly.

Traditional throwing of rice: A new tradition is to throw bird seed. The seed that is left on the ground will feed the birds and not harm them as does rice. Left over bird seed is also bio-degradable more so than the rice. Another idea is to throw or cover the “escape” route of the newly weds with fresh (not silk) rose pedals. This is a very elegant look and the rose pedals are bio-degradable. Throwing rose pedals in front of the newly weds is recommended instead of throwing the pedals at the newly weds.

Traditional decorating the newly wed’s vehicle: Tying aluminum cans to the newly wed’s car is out. Recycle the cans, don’t litter. Instead decorate the car in recycled, bio-degradable tissue paper. This still creates a littering issue, but at least the paper is environmentally safe. Covering the windows with shaving cream, that’s out too. Use bio-degradable soap, it washes off easily and won’t harm the environment.

Traditional wedding party favors: Give seedling trees, you can order the trees online (Google “seedling trees”). There are several companies that sell seedling trees for about $1.50-$2.00 including shipping. You can even plant a seedling in a pot as part of your ceremony similar to the sand or candle lighting ceremony. Just remember to water the seedling growing it in the pot. For your one year anniversary, plant the tree outside at your home or in your community.

Remember, if you are having an outside wedding, use natural items such as fresh rose pedals (instead of a runner), hanging baskets with fresh flowers (instead of silk). If you are going to use silk flowers for a particular look (adding fall colors to a gazebo) make sure the silks are something you would want to use around your house for decorations. Garland leafs of fall colors are perfect to reuse for holiday decorations.

These are just a few ideas to make your wedding “green”.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Wedding Traditions

There are many wedding traditions; some stem from religious beliefs, superstitions, family desires and cultural influences. Many of these traditions are changing; either lost and forgotten (not liked or the “in thing”) or changing as our world and environment requires or needs.

One of these traditions is to be married during the month of June. While some bride and grooms still desire and hold this tradition, it seems to have faded away. Yes, we still do weddings in June, but over time we have seen a drastic change and now every month is just as popular as June. Fall weddings Sept. – Oct., winter weddings Nov. – March, spring weddings April – May, and of course summer weddings June – August.

It seems brides and grooms are choosing their wedding date according to: their favorite season, a significant or memorable date or a date that is convenient to friends and families to gather for the celebration.

There is nothing wrong with step out of tradition as far as when you get married, the theme of your wedding or how you dress for your wedding. After all, it’s your wedding and you are getting married.

Featherwinds Lodging, where memories are made and life is celebrated.

Warm wishes,


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Rehearsal Dinners

There aren’t many do’s and don’ts for rehearsal dinners as far as planning is concerned. There are a lot of subjects that need to be addressed and how to handle them.

1. If you are wanting a small rehearsal dinner there are a couple of ways to do just that. Your rehearsal dinner can be for just immediate family. Immediate family would be the bride’s and groom’s parents and grandparents, the bride’s and groom’s brothers and sisters and their spouses.

Another way to do a small rehearsal dinner is to have family and wedding party. Again, this would include: grandparents, parents and the wedding party and spouses of the wedding party. If brothers and sisters are not part of the wedding party, you don’t have to include them, but out of respect, you should.

Aunts and Uncles do not count as immediate family and although they may want to be part of the rehearsal dinner, most will understand if they are not invited. If you are having a large rehearsal dinner, then Aunts and Uncles would be invited. But if you invite one, you need to invite them all.

Remember, no matter how you decide to do your rehearsal dinner, you need to invite the spouse of anyone you are inviting. Children of rehearsal dinner guests do not have to be invited and most guests would understand if their children are not invited. You may want to consider allowing infants depending on the age.

2. Foods are an important part of the rehearsal dinner. Try to compromise and cater foods that everyone will like. The entre does not have to be everyone’s favorite, but it should be something everyone will like.

3. Drinks are something to keep in mind also. Limit the amount of alcohol served. A glass or two of wine or beer is normally okay, but you don’t want to have an open bar if everyone is driving after the dinner. This is an added responsibility you are undertaking at a time when it is very busy in your life. The more alcohol served, the more stress will be added.

Weddings are not a time to be stressed, they are a time to enjoy and celebrate.

4. If you want to socialize and pre-celebrate do it after the rehearsal dinner. It is understandable you want to visit with all your guests (destination weddings and lodging) but it doesn’t have to be at the rehearsal dinner. Visit with family and friends after the rehearsal at a location where everyone can join in the fun. It doesn’t have to be formal, in can be very informal and relaxed.

5. Set a start and end time for the rehearsal dinner. This is the night before your wedding, you will need your sleep. The wedding day itself is a long and busy day. If you don’t have a start and end time for dinner, the night could grow rather long. If people want to continue to celebrate, go else where and continue the party. Once the party moves to a different location than where rehearsal dinner was at, the bride and groom are under no obligation to stay out late.

The last two ideas are a perfect way to handle a small rehearsal dinner and still mingle with family and friends that were not invited to the dinner. If cost is an issue, you have effectively found a solution; small rehearsal dinner and then a gathering after dinner for everyone to attend. This also gives people who may be tired from travel a way to politely excuse themselves to get a much needed nights sleep.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wedding in 2010

The Upper Valley of Leavenworth, WA is the perfect location for indoor or outdoor weddings. Nestled at the foot of the Cascade Mountain range, the Leavenworth Upper Valley is a beautiful and exciting destination for your wedding.

Featherwinds wedding grounds include a wedding gazebo, custom water fall “coming” out of the forest and a secret garden with water fountain, all three make for a beautiful wedding backdrop as well as perfect photo opportunities. Our wedding grounds are lush green grass with a gravel entrance lined with thick, rich grapevines just off our event parking with easy access for your wedding guests.

We also do inside weddings in our 2,300 square foot Sunroom featuring a custom rock fireplace. All of our receptions are held in the Sunroom with seating for up to 125 guests. A dance floor is also available for your use. The Sunroom is acoustically built making a perfect setting for a DJ or music from your sound system.

Featherwinds has 5 buildings on 23 plus acres allowing us to accommodate up to 65 guests. We have 2 B & B’s, a log cabin and 2 lodges. Both Bed and Breakfasts include a full hot gourmet breakfast each morning of your stay. The log cabin and the 2 lodges are fully furnished homes each featuring an outdoor hot tub, full kitchen and laundry area.

All of Featherwinds lodging are with in walking distance of each other. During winter time (under normal conditions) our road and driveways are plowed for easy, safe access.

For more details regarding our capabilities and our wedding packages please visit:

Warm Wishes,


Sunday, June 07, 2009

Wedding Cost Saving Tip


Remember, you do not have to serve alcohol at your wedding reception. However, if you decide not to serve alcohol, you may want to get sparkling cider for your traditional toast. On the other hand if you are going to be serving alcohol at your reception, here are a few tips and hints to be cost effective.

Look for a wedding location that allows you to bring in your own alcohol. If you choose to bring in your own alcohol, you will have to purchase a banquet permit from the state. You can purchase your permit at any liquor store for about ten dollars. Taking care of your own alcohol can be a very big money saver.

First, you pick the types and brands of alcohol you prefer. Second, you purchase the quantity of alcohol you want, although it is wise to use the recommendations of the liquor store. Try to stay away from getting kegs. A lot of places don’t allow kegs. Kegs also tend to encourage over consumption of alcohol. Third, you may want to check the “big box stores” for purchasing your beer and wines. Some of the stores allow you to return any unopened cases. You should also ask at your local liquor store about their return police. If you are planning on hard alcohol, bring the garish with you. Garish like lemons, salt and shaker, limes, oranges, etc. The garish is something that is a personal preference and you would have a better idea as to how much garish you need.

Be sure to bring a cutting board and knife. Yes the place you are having your reception at may have those things, but they may not have time to get them when you need them if it is not pre-arranged. Do not assume the place you are holding your wedding/reception at will have all the extras that you should bring. Remember venues have to follow rules and guidelines set in place by the state, county, health department, liquor control board and insurance companies.

Put someone in charge of the alcohol. There is no reason why the bride or groom should have to worry about the drinks. Make sure the person in charge of bringing and removing the alcohol is aware of any rules or regulations the facility and state have. When your allotted time is up, make sure no open containers leave the reception area. Normally this is a rule, but it also helps protect you. If open containers are removed, that person may set the now empty container outside somewhere. You could incur an extra charge for grounds clean up. If one empty container is found; extra staff could be sent out to search all of the grounds for empty containers. This could be very costly. Remember, you are responsible for any damage or extra clean up required after your function. This is normal for any place you book.

Leavenworth Weddings at Featherwinds Lodging

Monday, March 23, 2009

Wedding, Hints and Tips

We recently sat down with one of our wedding coordinators and asked her to do a article on some of the most important things to do for planning a wedding. We will be posting her write up as soon as it is finished. Depending on the length and detail, we will post the article in full or in multiple posts divided in sections. The article will include hints and tips for coordinating and organizing your wedding, what to look for in a wedding venue and reception location, some traditional do’s and don’ts, how to include the groom in the wedding planning and much more. This article will provide brides and grooms with a lot of ideas, helpful tips but most important, ways to decrease the stress and have a happy, joy and fun filled wedding day.

If you have any questions, please feel free to post a “comment” to our blog and we will forward your question to our wedding coordinators.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Featherwinds, Leavenworth Weddings

The year seems to be passing us by very quickly. With the economy, pressures of work, finding time and organizing your wedding can be very stressful. Featherwinds is here to help. Our onsite wedding and event coordinators assist you with most every aspect of your wedding and reception. Our coordinators not only assist you with the planning of your wedding; they will also assist you with lodging needs, reception details, and decorating, catering and floral needs. Once the planning details are done, our coordinators also assist you during your wedding and reception. Our onsite wedding coordinators you remember the "little" details that are all to often forgotten until the last minute; the day of your wedding. We care what is important you. We also offer ideas and options to enhance your wedding; to make it YOUR WEDDING.

Our mission is to make your wedding as stress free as possible. You do not have to handle your wedding plans alone; our wedding coordinators will help you stay organized, on track and focused. We provide forms to help stay organized. We have an ongoing open communication with you during all stages of planning and deliverance of your wedding.

Catering at Featherwinds is unique. We do not offer a set menu (chose menu A or B), we offer you the choice of what you want; a customized menu based on what you like and want to offer your guests. We have done deli style buffet to personal beef and chicken wellington entrees. You even have a choice of cake flavors and fillings for your wedding cake. Speaking of wedding cake, with our wedding packages, your wedding cake is included. Our wedding cakes are made fresh for your wedding, decorated to highlight your wedding theme and your personality. Your likes and dislikes are very important to your decision making and we respect your decisions. Remember, it is your wedding and we do everything in our power to make your dreams come true.


Day-Use Wedding and Luncheon Buffet Reception: you can have your wedding at Featherwinds with no lodging required. Our elegant Day Use Wedding Package includes your wedding cake, flowers and table centerpieces, tables, chairs, linens and much more including clean up! For more information click the link below:

Featherwinds Day Use Wedding and Luncheon Buffet Reception Package


Destination Wedding Package: this package offers the option of lodging here at Featherwinds. Featherwinds has 5 facilities that can be reserved for your wedding guest lodging. All facilities are within walking distance of the Sunroom where weddings and receptions are held here at Featherwinds. We also offer the option of an outdoor wedding. Our wedding grounds feature a wedding gazebo, lush green grass seating area, a beautiful deck to start your walk down the aisle and many gorgeous photo "backdrops". For more information click on the link below:

Featherwinds Destination Wedding Package


We are here to assist you make your dreams come true.

Featherwinds, where memories are made and life is celebrated.