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Federal Way: Hot wedding spot?

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Tying the knot in town

can save time and cash

With wedding season approaching, many brides-to-be are dreaming of their big day at a venue in Seattle or on the Eastside.

Nearly 90 percent of South King County brides travel north for their weddings, said Maegan Both, owner of Federal Way-based Bridezilla Events wedding planning.

But there are several great wedding locations here in Federal Way.

“I think there are fabulous venues in this area,” Both said. “There are nice and fancy ones in the south end.”

Both had her own wedding at the Twin Lakes Golf and Country Club. There were beautiful grassy views of the golf course, flowers and landscaping, Both said. Another perk of the country club: She was able to get ready in her own home.

Most areas of Federal Way are located five minutes or less from the water, something that brides tend to seek out, Both noted.

“You’re probably not going to pay as much for your venue having a beautiful view of the water as you would in Seattle,” she said. “You’re saving money and getting the same view that you’re going to get without the traffic and commute and noise of the city.”

Many of the most popular Seattle venues are booked more than a year in advance, leaving few options for brides planning their weddings in a few months, Both said. It is especially difficult to book a venue in the most popular wedding months of June through October.

Brides who choose a location in Federal Way are likely to have more flexibility selecting a date for their wedding and booking a venue.

“The demand for a Federal Way or south end venue would be a lot less than Seattle or somewhere on the Eastside,” Both said.

One concern brides might have is that most of the vendors for music, photography, flowers, cake and other services are located in Seattle. But most of those vendors are willing to travel for minimal or no charge.

And there are some creative options for wedding vendors in Federal Way.

Students in the Decatur High School horticulture program can create floral designs for brides on a budget, for example.

And Federal Way brides are lucky to have a Metropolitan Market nearby, Both said. Even in Seattle where florists are abundant, brides are choosing to get their flowers from Metropolitan Markets there.

“A lot of people on do-it-yourself or on a budget have been using grocery stores,” she said.

Grocery stores are also an option for wedding cakes.

A quick Internet search will reveal a variety of wedding photographers from Federal Way, including Chris Leavitt Photography.

Some local wedding venues that Both suggests are the Dumas Bay Centre, Twin Lakes Golf and Country Club, the Federal Way Community Center and the Centre at Norpoint in nearby Northeast Tacoma.

Linda Farmer, spokeswoman for the City of Federal Way, noted that Steel Lake Park and Dash Point State Park are also good locations for Federal Way weddings.

The Rhododendron Garden near Weyerhaeuser can be booked for local outdoor weddings. The Weyerhaeuser Aquatic Center also rents out the banquet hall for weddings and receptions.

Brides who are on a budget, a time limit or who want to be close to home would be wise to consider locations in the south end, Both said.

Contact Margo Horner: mhorner@fedwaymirror.com or (253) 925-5565.

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