My Favorite Eastern Washington Wedding Venues // Methow Valley & Columbia Basin Wedding Photographer

My Favorite Eastern Washington Wedding Venues // Methow Valley & Columbia Basin Wedding Photographer

When you’re planning a wedding in a more rural area – basically any area that isn’t a major city center – it’s hard to find information on venues and vendors online. You’ll find listings for vendors in major cities – I’m looking at you Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia – on national websites, but it’s hard to find them for areas like Spokane, much less the Tri-Cities, Walla Walla, Yakima, or the Methow Valley and Winthrop.

So, here are a few of my favorite venues in Eastern Washington that I’ve worked at before. I’m also including a list of places I haven’t worked, but – hint, hint! – I would love to be your wedding photographer there. Contact me to find out if I’m available for your wedding date. I know that planning a wedding in a smaller town can be hard (we did it back in 2011!), so I’m always happy to pass along recommendations for other vendors I love.

Cave B Inn & Winery
I feel like I could write a love letter to Cave B Inn, and it would never say all the things I want to say about this gorgeous venue. Not only is the view out of this world, but the food is amazing and the staff are wonderful at taking care of their couples. When I photographed Jen & Chris’s wedding there last July, they were happy to share tips on little spots for photos that we may not have known about – since I’d never been there. Even though part of the Cave B was closed off during Leslie & Drew’s destination elopement (because of this little group called the Dave Mathews Band playing at the Gorge), they let us know where we could go and were so happy for us all. Someday, I’m going to go there for a night off and eat at the gorgeous restaurant and stay in one of the yurts! It’s an easy drive from Seattle or Spokane, and since there are plenty of accommodations on site, you don’t have to worry about where your guests will stay after the wedding.

Wedding Ceremony by Columbia River at Cave B Winery // Emily Wenzel PhotographyInterracial Couple at Cave B Winery Wedding // Emily Wenzel PhotographyEastern Washington Elopement at Cave B Inn Winery // Emily Wenzel Photography

Mazama Ranch House
The first time I drove up to Mazama, I fell in love. And each time that I have a wedding in the Methow Valley, I fall a little more in love with this beautiful slice of our state. Some day, I may just decide to stay and never leave! The Mazama Ranch House has a beautiful barn and – like Cave B Inn – rooms on site. These kind of locations are perfect for smaller, destination weddings. You could get married here in the snow, but I’ve only photographed Mazama weddings in the summer and fall. The Mazama Ranch house has the most wonderful red barn I’ve ever seen, and getting married here is just like getting married at a cabin in the woods. Someone, please book me for a winter wedding up here!!

Couple Kissing at Sunset at Mazama Ranch House Methow Valley // Emily Wenzel PhotographyMazama Ranch House Destination Wedding PhotographerWedding Couple in a field Mazama Ranch House

Spring Creek Ranch
My other favorite Methow Valley venue is in the larger town of Winthrop (Mazama is a hamlet, or maybe a village). Spring Creek Ranch has a beautiful old home, a gorgeous location with views of town, and while it feels secluded, it’s right at the end of Winthrop. Less than 5 minutes from the downtown area and you can walk there over a stunning foot bridge. Unlike the more cabin-like feel of the Mazama Ranch House, Spring Creek Ranch is more like getting married at your grandma’s beautiful old house, surrounded by the most stunning scenery. The Methow Valley is a small community, but don’t think that because it’s small, they can’t throw an epic wedding. They can – and do – host multiple weddings in the Methow Valley each weekend. The vendor who work in the Methow are amazing, and they love showing off their part of the world.

Spring Creek Destination WeddingWinthrop Destination Wedding PhotographyMethow Valley Destination Wedding

Fontaine Estates Winery
Oh, Fontaine Estates. This sweet little winery is tucked away in Yakima, and while their website isn’t very great right now, their Facebook page is updated often. Or you could check out one of the adorable weddings I photographed at Fontaine Estates. I love that this space is so flexible. You can have a country wedding or a simple and classic teacher inspired wedding (complete with lunch trays) in the same space. It’s a perfect blank slate, but in a way that doesn’t take too much work to make it look stunning. Does that make sense?

Yakima Valley Winery Wedding VenueYakima valley Country Wedding Yakima Valley Wedding Couple

 

Other venues in Eastern Washington
If none of these venues feel like the place you want to get married, maybe one of these other venues will be the place for you and your fiance. [listed alphabetically]

Walla Walla
Foundry Vineyards (I was here for a private dinner, and it is STUNNING)
Marcus Whitman Hotel

The Methow Valley
Freestone Inn
Mazama Country Inn (I haven’t photographed a wedding here, but I’ve stayed here twice, and I really like it)
Sun Mountain Lodge

The Tri-Cities & Benton City
Belle Fiore Gardens
J. Bookwalter Winery
Moore Mansion
Tagaris Winery
Terra Blanca

Yakima
The Capitol Theater
River Ridge Golf Course
Yakima Valley Museum

Chelan, Leavenworth, & Roslyn
Sleeping Lady Resort
Suncadia Resort
Swiftwater Cellars

Spotlight — Apple Brides // Spokane Wedding Photographer

Spotlight — Apple Brides // Spokane Wedding Photographer

Hey all!

It’s been nearly three years since I became a vendor on Apple Brides, and I finally sat down to update some of my information on the site. But, it’s such good stuff (and it took me FOREVER to write it!), that I wanted to share it with you here too.

I talk about how I became a photographer, what draws me to weddings, and most importantly, what my dream wedding couple is like. Spoiler alert: it’s not about the details! :)

You can check out the full interview here, and while you’re there, see some beautiful Inland Northwest weddings.

Methow Valley Wedding // Emily Wenzel Photography

Kathleen & Jeffery — Fontaine Estates Winery Wedding // Yakima Wedding Photographer

Kathleen & Jeffery — Fontaine Estates Winery Wedding // Yakima Wedding Photographer

Kathleen & Jeffery both work in schools, and met through their work. So it was obvious to them that they wanted a school themed wedding. Their programs were paper airplanes, and Kathleen found a bunch of primary colored school trays to use for their “school lunch” dinner. Dessert was styled up as a bake sale, and everything was perfect in the beautiful winery setting of Fontaine Estate in Naches.

Guests traveled in from all over the country to celebrate in the sweet, destination, wedding, and I could not be happier to have been a part of it. Kathleen’s sister gave possibly my favorite toast to date, serenading the couple with a song she wrote to the tune of “Sister, Sister”, which had everyone in the room laughing.

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Vendors:

Venue: Fontaine Estate Winery // Caterer: Cascade Catering // DJ: Friend of the family // Florist: Something Blue Floristry // Hair & Makeup: Belu Salon // Dress: Maggie Sottero // Suit: Mr. Tux // Papergoods: DIY

Kathleen & Jeff // Fontaine Estates Wedding — Preview

Kathleen & Jeff // Fontaine Estates Wedding — Preview

Kathleen & Jeff got married just before I went out of town, and I didn’t have a chance to post a preview — it was driving me crazy! But I couldn’t wait another second to share this sweet wedding with you. The weather was perfect, the venue was one of my favorites (Fontaine Estates Winery, in Naches) and I could not be more happy to have met this lovely couple and been a part of their day! Wait until you see their beautiful school-inspired decor. <3

More to come — soon!

Fontaine Estates Wedding // Emily Wenzel PhotographyFontaine Estates Wedding // Emily Wenzel PhotographyFontaine Estates Wedding // Emily Wenzel PhotographyFontaine Estates Wedding // Emily Wenzel PhotographyFontaine Estates Wedding // Emily Wenzel Photography