Wedding Dresses in the San Juan Islands

If you're like most young brides, choosing the perfect wedding dress is a top priority, because your dress will be the visual centerpiece of the ceremony. Selecting a dress is a uniquely personal process, and chances are it’s one of the first things you’ll do when planning your wedding.

The San Juan Islands have dozens of enchanting little boutiques, and if you’re looking for a full, formal wedding gown, you’ll find that here too. In fact, you’ll find everything from chic, vintage and trendy to traditional formal wear (including tuxedo rentals). And, the islands are full of creative artisans who make unique jewelry and accessories.

Some tips about selecting clothing for yourself and your wedding party:

  • Choose a dress that fits the season and the environment. If you’ll be getting married on a beach on a warm summer day, it isn’t practical -- or comfortable -- to wear a formal wedding dress with layers of fabric and a veil, nor is it a good idea to expect men to wear tuxedos. That type of clothing is more suitable for a wedding in an indoor location like a church or hotel ballroom. Instead, look for casual, comfortable clothes and fabrics. Consider a summery long white dress for the bride a white linen suit for the groom (the groomsmen can wear khaki pants and Hawaiian shirts).
  • Wear comfortable shoes! You have no idea how important this is. You’ll be on your feet for hours, and those traditional satin pumps will make your feet (and the feet of your bridesmaids) very unhappy.
  • Give your bridesmaids a break. The dress you choose for them may look wonderful on a friend who’s built like a supermodel, but how will it look on another friend who's 60 pounds overweight? Honor your friends by honoring their individuality. Consider letting them choose their own dresses (within your chosen color scheme, of course).

Comfort is key. Of course you want to look gorgeous, and you will, but you also want to be relaxed and physically comfortable so you can have fun! © 2010 Terri Daniel

Wedding Dresses in the San Juan Islands

The rural beauty and cozy intimacy that makes the San Juan Islands the perfect place for a destination wedding also limits shopping options, but what the islands don’t have in quantity, they make up for in quality. If you are looking for trendy and chic clothing, you’ll want to visit the Be Chic Boutique in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. They have the best-dressed store windows in town. If you’re looking for wedding finery, you’ll want to visit Gordeaux’s in Eastsound on Orcas Island.

Gordeaux’s, owned and managed by Gordon Koenig specializes, in fine clothes. Given the appropriate lead time, Gordeaux’s, is capable of outfitting an entire wedding party. From the traditional white wedding gown to a full suite of bridesmaid’s dresses, to a generous assortment of tuxedos in a vast array of styles and colors, Gordeaux’s can meet your bridal party clothing needs.

Supplementing what he has in stock with a catalogued collection, Gordeaux’s has access to a an eclectic collection of bridal, bridesmaid’s and ball gowns in a vast assortment of styles and colors. Whether you refer the old-fashioned lace and mutton sleeved look or more trendy and sleek designs, Gordeaux’s can dress you in accordance to your own style.

During the busy season, May-September, Gordon recommends booking your rental tuxedos several months in advance. Booking early for June, July and August is especially crucial. Tuxedos can be rented or purchased, in accordance to your preferences. Sales require less lead time, but for your own peace-of-mind you’ll want to allow two or three weeks anyway.

Shopping on the San Juan Islands can provide unique challenges. Unless you have access to a private motorboat travel between islands isn’t always convenient. One can charter flights or plan around the Washington State Ferry System sailing times. Remember to schedule your shopping expeditions, clothing fittings and pick up times accordingly.