Ceremony & Reception Sites on Lopez, Orcas, and San Juan Island

You’ve chosen the San Juan Islands for a reason, and it’s probably because of our breathtaking scenery, crisp, clean air and quaint seaside towns. The natural beauty of our beaches and forests provides a dazzling backdrop for a wedding ceremony, and there are many choices -- on both land and sea -- for your ceremony and reception.

In addition to hotels & resorts, restaurants, farms, vineyards, churches and parks, our diverse offerings also include weddings on the water that range from elegant yacht weddings to kayak trips.

From a planning perspective, unless you and your guests live in the San Juans, you’ll probably be traveling from some other locale, so it might be wise to keep everybody and everything in one place to avoid getting bogged down in logistics. For example, if you and your guests can stay in the same hotel where the wedding and reception will be, or if you can find lodging within walking distance of the church, transportation (and arriving on time) won’t be an issue.

When shopping around for venues, you’ll want to take notice of characteristics such a lighting (is it blinding neon or a soft glow?), facilities (is there a room where the bride and bridal party can get dressed and store their belongings?), can the room be set up to your specifications or are there limiting factors, such as the size and shape of the room? If you’re planning to have the wedding on a deck or lawn connected to the venue, will you be able to move indoors in case of rain?

If you’re choosing an outdoor location, be aware of these important considerations:

  • If there will be older people among your guests, they might have trouble walking on rocky trails or standing for long periods of time (and no matter how casual your wedding is, some women will still wear high heels). Pick an easily accessible spot, and be sure to provide seating!
  • Have a back-up plan in case of bad weather
  • Even in the Pacific Northwest, the summer sun can get quite hot, so check out your chosen site thoroughly to make sure you and your guests won’t be in direct sun during the ceremony and reception. If necessary, rent a tent.
  • On of the problems with many outdoor weddings is that only the people within ten feet of you will be able to hear the words being spoken. Unless you’re having a very small group who will be standing right next to you, you WILL need a microphone. © 2010 Terri Daniel

Wedding Ceremony and Reception Sites in the San Juan Islands