Weddings are a personal thing | 2017 Kitsap Wedding Guide

For the bride and groom, it’s their day. And it should reflect their personalities and their likes.

That’s what wedding planners throughout Kitsap County are saying. And with the 2017 wedding season fast approaching, trends are vastly different from the past few years.


When it comes to bridal fashions, gone are the flowing off-white gowns that drape down the aisle after the bride. Instead, brides are choosing more fitted gowns in white and are accenting them with metallic golds and silvers.

That’s what’s happening across the nation. But local wedding planners find this area is about a year behind the trends.

”What’s big here is rustic,” said Chloe Hix of CME Experience. “That will never go away.”

The rustic look can also be complimented with nature.

“Because this is the Pacific Northwest, people like to have the Pacific Northwest vibe in there somewhere. Even if it’s an indoor wedding, they will bring nature inside.”

When brides do use the metallic look they use silvers, golds, copper colors, rose gold and pewter.

These tones look great against the black tuxedo. The metallic colors are even being carried out on the table linens and decorations.

Some people are going for a lot of twinkle lights hanging all around the reception area, planners said. That light reflects well off the metallic used throughout the wedding.

Just watch out, they warn. Too much of a good thing, can be too much of a good thing. Try keeping the most of the shine for the head table and the gift display area.

If you’re going to add color, planners suggest neutrals, such as charcoal, blue-grays or grey-browns.

While outdoor weddings and barn weddings are still in, some planners said the finishing touches have gone from burlap and lace, to a more refined look — using silver and gold.

“I’d call it the ‘Napa Valley’ farm wedding style,” said Bernadette Stephen-McRae, owner of Diamond Custom Floral on Bainbridge Island. “Brides still want that outdoor feeling, even if they’re having the reception indoors. But they’re classing it up with very rich looking accents.”


In terms of flowers, they’re opting for something very natural.

“Greenery is the color for the year,” Stephen-McRae said. “We’re seeing greenery being used down the middle of the tables and for the bouquets. Brides are bringing nature indoors.”

“Bouquets have a lot more greens and foliage and are just accented with some flowers that match the colors the brides have chosen for the wedding,” she said.

Another trend is to have succulents in the bouquets and on the tables, said Rhianna Guevara, owner of Saving Grace Events, and a wedding planner.

“Geo stones and agates are being used in centerpieces and around the cake,” Guevara said. “And there’s just a lot of natural colors –sage and neutrals. The focus is simple and elegant.”

When choosing flowers peonies are popular, as are locally grown field and garden flowers that she’s able to buy through the Seattle Wholesale Growers market.

“These are great, fresh flowers that are grown locally in a natural way,” Stephen-McRae said. “We’re no longer relying on flowers shipped from South America.”

And when it comes to bouquets, some brides nationally are opting for puppies instead.

Yes, according to national wedding planners, some animal-lover couples are having bridesmaids carry puppies from the local animal shelters as they walk down the aisle, It’s a way of getting the puppies seen and adopted.

“I’ve heard of that,” Stephen-McRae said. “But I haven’t seen it here.”

Neither have some local animal shelters which reported that they’ve not had that requested, but could probably make it happen. At the Kitsap Humane Shelter, however, regulations are that shelter animals are not taken to other locations, unless it is a KHS-sponsored event, said Rebekah Johnson KHS’ events and outreach manager.

Some couples are having their own pets be part of the wedding.

“I’ve done floral dog collars,” Stephen-McRae said. “Sometimes the dogs are at the alter with the groom, waiting for the bride. Other times, the dogs walk in with the bridesmaids.”

And don’t be surprised if you see other kinds of pets at a wedding this summer including cats, pigs, llamas and even a cow.

Actually, at some barn weddings, the farm animals are nearby as a highlight for the children who attend the wedding. Having the animals available for the children to see and pet is a great activity for the kids, planners said.


When it comes to food, the weddings are as unique as the couples. While some are still having formal sit-down dinners with meals catered and served on exquisite china, others are calling in the food trucks.

Locally, Bubba’s Country Cue BBQ, Grub Hut and Stella Fiore Pizza have mobile food units and will travel.

“In terms of costs, convenience and for couple who want a more casual, summer picnic feel to their wedding, these are great,” said Matt Kelley, of the Kingston House, which hosts weddings.

Larry Kenner, of the Grub Hut, said they took their mobile Grub Hut truck to five weddings last year.

“We’re already booked for four this year, too,” Kenner said.

He thinks people like the convenience of the food trucks.

“We just pull up, cook and serve and pull out,” he said. “There’s no clean up for them.”

They have a standard truck menu and adjust it according to the crowd size. And by the way, their Blue Bacon Burger is the favorite.

Kris Amos of Stella Fiore Pizza said when they opened for business they never planned to do catering.

“We didn’t anticipate people wanting pizza at their weddings,” he said. “But we’re getting so many calls that we’re thinking or adding more (mobile) trailers.”

There’s even a option for those who want a mobile bar — the Happy Camper Cocktails Company. A family business based in Enumclaw, Washington, the camper — a 1966 Aladdin travel trailer ­– has been turned into a mobile bar. After meeting and arranging just what you want, the camper comes to your location and creates and served the cocktails.

“We’ve done weddings, birthday parties, and other social events,” said Belinda Kelly of Happy Camper. “We price based on the number of guests and we can serve from 100 to 1,000 people.”

Because of liquor licensing requirements, the wedding party buys the alcohol permit and employees of the Happy Camper do all the rest.

And, speaking of bars, there’s also a trend to offer a “beauty bar” for any and all of the women who attend the wedding. A professional makeup artist sets up shop in an out-of-the-way cove or bedroom and offers to touch up anyone’s makeup before and during the wedding and reception.


When speaking of where to have a wedding, if an outdoor or barn setting isn’t you, how about an industrial warehouse? That’s a fad that wedding planner say is popular in the metro areas.

At these affairs, there’s many twinkle lights hung about and there’s large over-the-top table centerpieces creating a match-up of old and new. Sometimes these warehouses are cheaper to rent simply because they’re sitting empty.

Some couples, who want to wow their guests, are opting to have their weddings at places like an art museum, a glass museum, even the Museum of Flight. Anything is possible, planners say. All you really need is a large space that can be personalized temporarily for the event.

Among the more popular local venues, according to Guevara, is the Gold Mountain Golf Course which recently added a “Wedding in the Woods” garden. Kitsap State Memorial Park is another, as is Port Gamble and even the Silverdale Beach Hotel.

Guevara sees about half her business from folks who live in Kitsap County and the other half is from elsewhere. She started her business with her husband after they were called on to help out at friends weddings.

“I’ve had them from out-of-state, Seattle and the surrounding area,” she said. “This area is popular because of the mountain views and the water.”

If it’s a sit-down meal at the reception, couples are trying to incorporate local foods. Here in the Pacific Northwest, that means salmon, whereas in the Gulf, it’s shrimp. Local farm-to-table groups are offering their services to provide locally grown fruits and vegetables, too.

And when it’s time for the cake — it’s cake that’s trending.

Gone are the cupcakes, donuts and pies. This year’s receptions will feature tradition; layer cakes that can be decorated with anything , even hand painted and jeweled accents.

But don’t be surprised if you see a wedding cake that’s frosted only on the top. It’s called a “naked” cake, and is aimed at those folks who don’t want a sugar high. All the sugary frosting on a wedding cake can be too much for some people.

At informal weddings, couples are offering ice cream bars, where guest can choose the ice cream they want and top it off with sprinkles, whipped cream, fudge sauce and a cherry.

And one more thing, planners say, be a good wedding guest. Turn off your cell phone, or if you’re using it to take photos make sure your ringer is turned off. Some brides are so strict with this that they are having children in the wedding party march down the aisle before the wedding begins with signs that read “Turn off your cell phone.”

This story originally appeared in the 2017 Wedding Guide.

Leslie Kelly can be reached at

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