Couples can often be haunted by the pre-wedding questions that arise after they decide to get hitched: Outdoor or indoor wedding? What kind of cake won’t make my in-laws sick? How do I plan a reception on a shoestring budget?
It typically takes a flurry of phone calls to get these answers, but an Oak Harbor woman recently decided to streamline this process.
Lori Spear, owner of Hummingbird Farm Nursery and Gardens, hosted the farm’s first “Weddings on Whidbey” day Sunday.
The four-hour event included about 35 Whidbey-based vendors including cake decorators, photographers, planners, salons, jewelry consultants, caterers and florists.
“Although July seems like it would be late to promote weddings, it’s actually early if we’re booking for next year,” Larry Vail of Vail Studios said.
Spear said she picked the summertime to give the event a garden-setting feel. The booths surrounded the family’s periwinkle barn and colorful gardens.
Debbi Holt said she was browsing for her son, Roy Randall, who is getting married in Oak Harbor next April.
“He’s deployed to Iraq right now and his fiancé is working in Vancouver, so they volunteered me to come here today,” Holt said.
The couple is hoping to find creative, local ideas to plan their wedding from afar.
“They don’t want to go to Albertson’s to pick up a wedding cake, they want it to be personal. They also want to support local businesses,” Holt said.
Along with providing Whidbey-based wedding options to guests, Spear said the event also helped businesses support each other.
“By networking with vendors, we can recommend each other,” Patsy Vail of Vail Studio said.
Spear is scheduling the next “Weddings on Whidbey” for July 2010. This year, she partnered with the Oak Harbor and Central Whidbey chambers of commerce and the Island County Economic Development Council.
“At some point, I want to have weddings here,” Spear said, who was inspired by her 25th anniversary vow renewal. The couple had a gypsy-themed ceremony in the farm’s gazebo.
For next year’s event, Spear is considering having an essay contest in which the winning couple could be married during “Weddings on Whidbey.” A good portion of the wedding would be paid for.