Tag Archives: weddings

“Ka-Ching” go the wedding bells

Bainbridge business and city leaders say the island should be doing more to cash in on weddings.

The island has all the right ingredients to attract these highly lucrative events. Bainbridge is surrounded by water and draped in greenery. It’s a scenic, 35-min. boat ride from Seattle, where chances are good that some of the close to 1 million people over there will get hitched at some point. Bainbridge also has plenty of quality service providers, including caterers, musicians, beauticians and decorators.

With the average wedding costing just over $30,000, island business leaders say there’s a lot of money to be spread around. And two weddings on one weekend can easily fill every hotel and B&B on the island.

One way to pull in more weddings would be to substantially reduce the $10,500 conditional use permit that is blocking some of the island’s many bed and breakfasts from hosting weddings.

City Councilwoman Debbi Lester is proposing such a measure, and it’s strongly backed by the island’s chamber of commerce.

“The requirement of the (permit) has pretty much killed the wedding business for B&Bs and farms on the island,” she in a story I wrote for today’s paper. Read it HERE.

I didn’t have room for it in the stor, but it’s kind of interesting how this issue came to Lester’s attention.

Back in ’07, Lester, who is an officiant with the Universal Life Church, was called in at the last minute to help with a wedding that had been moved from a Bainbridge B&B to a North Kitsap B&B.

The soon-to-be wed couple had long planned to tie the knot on Bainbridge.

“Our first date was a ferry ride to Bainbridge,” said Joel Shepherd, who lives in Seattle with his wife Beth. “We knew we wanted to incorporate Bainbridge into our wedding.”

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