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Planning Your Wedding

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Wedding Planning Guide

groom and bride walking down the aisle

Sun Mountain Lodge is the perfect romantic location for your wedding, reception and honeymoon. We offer spectacular outdoor wedding sites, such as the bluff in front of the Lodge overlooking snow-capped Mt. Gardner with a breathtaking view of the Methow Valley far below, or the tranquil, tree-shaded shores of Patterson Lake. We also have elegant indoor facilities, including the Main Lobby with its massive stone fireplaces or the more intimate library. We provide the very best in catered meals, romantic dinners, and creative rehearsal dinner options such as a wine cellar dinner.

Services in our area available to you and your guests include:

  • On-site spa services
  • Local florists and photographers
  • Local pastry chef for wonderful wedding cakes
  • Live music or D.J. for your entertainment
  • Local ministers or justice of the peace to officiate at your ceremony

We are centrally located in Washington State and offer easy accessibility for guests traveling from any part of the country. We look forward to helping you plan your special day!

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Event Planner

Six to Twelve Months before the Wedding


First things first—determine your wedding date.


  • Choose the style and formality of your wedding which best suits your lifestyle and personality. “Classic Formal,” “Formal,” “Semi-Formal” or “Informal.”
  • Discuss your wedding budget. “Who pays for what?” Will your parents contribute?
  • Choose a color scheme and theme for your wedding.
  • Select your location. Be sure to put a security deposit on your desired selection.
  • Choose your honor attendants, bridesmaids, groomsmen, and ushers, requesting their participation in your ceremony.
  • Carefully select a bridal gown and veil to reflect your personality and style.
  • Select your bridesmaid gowns and accessories. Place gown orders, for each maid, at the same time, to assure an identical dye lot.
  • Compile your guest list. Remember, you have five lists to combine and refine. Yours, his, your family’s, his family’s and your master list of the four. When the guest list must be kept to a specific or limited number, be sure to give your families the number of guests they may add to their list. Do this when you request the list, rather than after you receive it, to keep from having hurt feelings in the event you must eliminate names.
  • Begin interviewing wedding photographers, videographers and musicians. Make your selection and put a deposit on your date to insure their availability for your event. Because your deposits will likely be nonrefundable, and many times, nontransferable, be certain of your date and time before placing your reservation.
  • Engagement parties are appropriate during this time.


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Four to Six Months before the Wedding


  • Obtain the completed guest lists from fiancé and both families. Compile your final master list to determine the number of invitations and announcements to be ordered.
  • Send out your “Save the Date” notices.
  • Select your wedding cake, giving careful consideration to style, flavors, size, decoration and color.
  • Order wedding invitations, announcements, thank you cards and personal stationary.
  • Reserve your florist, plan your floral display and order all wedding flowers.
  • Choose your wedding music, secure musicians and soloists.
  • Discuss honeymoon destinations. Make arrangements early for lowest airfares.

Three to Four Months before the Wedding


  • Select Mother’s gowns and accessories. Order immediately if not in hanging stock.
  • Select tuxedos’ for your groom, his attendants and fathers of the couple. Measurements should be submitted to the tux shop within the next month. It is preferable for attendants to be measured at the formal wear shop to insure proper fit and minimize returns and exchanging garments the morning of the wedding.
  • Arrange accommodations for out-of-town guests.
  • Discuss final menu options and costs with the Wedding Planner. Confirm arrival and departure times.
  • Order wedding favors and imprinted items such as napkins, glasses and engraved attendant gifts.
  • Arrange for rental of items needed for your ceremony and reception. Items such as candelabras, arches, alter baskets, sound systems, etc. if desired.
  • Begin counseling sessions with wedding officiant when required.


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Six to Eight Weeks before the Wedding


  • Begin addressing invitations and announcements.
  • Draw map to ceremony and reception for inclusion in your invitation.
  • Finalize your agenda for the ceremony and order wedding program.
  • Arrange for physical examinations and blood tests if required to obtain marriage license in your state.
  • Select a location for your rehearsal dinner and make necessary reservations.
  • Confirm formal wear shop has received measurements of your male attendants. Follow up immediately with anyone not yet fitted.
  • Schedule alterations and final fitting for your wedding gown.
  • Schedule fittings for bridesmaids and flower girls.
  • Finalize honeymoon plans and confirm reservations.
  • Make arrangements for your “Bridesmaid Luncheon” and other “Pre-Wedding Parties and Events”.

Four to Six Weeks before the Wedding


Discuss and finalize details with your:

  • Pastor/Officiant
  • Caterer Florist Baker/Cake Decorator
  • Bridal Shop / Tux Shop
  • Photographer / Videographer
  • Musicians/DJ Jeweler/Engraver
  • Rehearsal Dinner Site
  • Schedule appointment with hairdresser for bride, attendants and mothers.
  • Complete trousseau shopping.
  • Send Wedding Invitations four weeks prior to your wedding date to local/regional guests. Guests needing to make travel arrangements should receive their invitation six weeks in advance.
  • Attend parties given in your honor


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Two to Four Weeks before the Wedding


Apply for your marriage license. Be sure to call ahead for a list of required documents.

  • Confirm rehearsal plans with your officiant and wedding planner.
  • Send thank-you cards as gifts begin to arrive.
  • Arrange for name change, as necessary
  • You shall receive a copy of the Final Agenda from Sun Mountain Lodge. Review this agenda carefully, and check the following: Arrivals/departures; billing instructions; timing details; banquets, recreation information
  • Countdown begins: the initial count is due 30 days prior to arrival. Notify the Wedding Planner of any additions, deletions, or changes in accommodations
  • Confirm rehearsal plans with attendants and request their timely arrival.
  • Confirm reservations for “Rehearsal Dinner.”
  • Confirm reservations for out-of-town guests.
  • Seven days prior to event: Provide final guest count to Sun Mountain Lodge.
  • Delegate last minute errands and details.
  • Begin packing for your honeymoon.
  • 96 hours prior to event: Confirm final guest count to Sun Mountain Lodge. Remember: Final count must be within 10% of the seven day count. Sun Mountain Lodge will prepare meals and services and charge in accordance with the 96 hour fixed guarantee.


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The Day Before the Wedding


  • Decorate for ceremony and reception, if possible, early in the day. Confirm delivery times with your florist, cake provider, etc.
  • Keep your appointment for hairstyling, manicure and pedicure.
  • Arrive thirty minutes early for rehearsal to greet your attendants.
  • Present attendants with your gift of appreciation during the rehearsal dinner, if not given previously.
  • Give Best Man the officiant’s fee in a sealed “Thank You Card” for delivery after the ceremony.
  • Get a good night’s sleep!


dancing bride