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Washington's Sun Mountain Lodge
Offers a Scenic Summit To Share a Vow
By Jane Cassie

Her dress is crafted from Victorian lace and a twirling parasol shades the sun from her ivory face. He flaunts a wide-brimmed Stetson, and a western tuxedo that replicates the Frontier days to a tee. And while poised on the cantilevered bluff that overlooks the vast Methow Valley, Gary and Heather gaze into each other's eyes and share those two life-altering words, "I do."

Family and friends bare witness to this couple's western-style ceremony at Sun Mountain Lodge, where the surrounding snow-tipped peaks have been coined 'The American Alps.' And although nestled in Washington's Okanogan instead of Heidi's Swiss homeland, they all admit that it's every bit as romantic.

Thanks to Mary Campbell and her qualified staff of wedding planners, 'tying the knot' for couples like Gary and Heather has been totally simplified. Whether exchanging heart-felt vows overlooking this breathtaking-view bluff, along the tree-lined banks of nearby Patterson Lake, or within lodge's palatial interior, the vistas and the exquisite surroundings are guaranteed to be the same - sensational!

As well as this luxurious location, the basic fee covers professional consultation from the time of booking right through to the 'big day,' and specialties, ranging from catered meals to wine tasting dinners are available options. "We don't offer wedding packages," Mary explains. "Instead, after meeting with each couple, we determine what their wants and wishes are, and then simply take over."

For Gary and Heather, the decisions had been simple. They are both drawn to stories of the Wild West and love the nearby historical town of Winthrop, where creaky boardwalks hug up to turn of the century façades and provide a romantic step back in time. After a recent visit, they wanted to incorporate some of the area's legendary past into their whimsical wedded day and couldn't imagine a better place to combine the two than the neighboring Cascade peak where Sun Mountain Lodge makes it's home.

After vows are expressed and photographic memories are captured, the wedding party makes its way into the lodge's chic interiors where recently refurbished offerings appear to be hand-hewn from the mountain itself. Massive post and beams tower above regionally crafted décor where guests mull and mingle over fine food and wine. Cherry wood armoires and fresco-painted motifs embellish traces of wrought iron and wispy willow furnishings where they relax and chat. Volcanic rock-faced fireplaces warm additional intimate areas and through oversized windows they view a chunk of the three thousand acres that embraces beyond.

While some guests later retreat to mountaintop guestrooms, and others to lakeside cabins, the bride and groom commemorate their union in one of the piéce de résistance Robinson suites, where their fireside jetted tub and cushy king are just a couple of amenities made with amoré in mind.

They could easily remain cocooned in this honeymoon haven for the entire stay, but the pair of pools, tennis court quartet, and calorie-quenching work out room, are a few activity enticements that lure them out the door. Also lacing Sun Mountain's landscape, are a hundred plus trails that offer other ways for Gary and Heather to connect with Mother Nature. One of the more popular pathways (via hiking boots, horseback or mountain bike) is the three-mile round-trip trek to the historical Hough Homestead. Although a dilapidated log-hewn structure and rickety stagecoach are the only historical remains at the end of this well trod trail, it's grassy meadow had been the perfect ground covering for the couple's western-style rehearsal party. Family members and attendants had been carted in on horse-drawn wagons, and after swerving tree trunks and jostling over pot holes they were invited to chow-down on a camp cookout spread that would have satisfied the likes of any cowboy (and cowgirl).

Although this experience had provided Gary and Heather with the Wild West wing ding they'd always dreamed of, other couples may opt for a more refined rehearsal in the lodge's intimate wine cellar room, where over five thousand bottles of vino are stored. And others may choose the main dining area where Methow Valley views stretch on forever. In any case, the exquisite settings are matched by Pacific Northwest fare that is phenomenal.

Soothing hot tubs help soak their weary-worn muscles, during their stay and Gary and Heather discover true heights of indulgence at the spa. Although the ensemble of enlightenments range from de-stressing facials and therapeutic massages to re-mineralizing body wraps and stimulating Shiatsu, they are enraptured by the 'spa for two' where the 'Double Decadence,' also offers them a taste of bilateral bliss, and paired paradise!

As the sun sets behind Gardner peak at the end of the day, evergreen hillsides transform to sapphire mounds, and crystal blue skies turn a coral pink, shot with streaks of amber and orange. This silent symphony of colour seems to go on forever, and from this same elevated bluff where Gary and Heather had declared their heart-felt vows, another 'I Do' can be heard echoing in the gentle breeze.

On Site:
  • 98 well appointed rooms in Lodge
  • 16 lakeshore cabins
  • 6 suites
  • Dining Room
  • Full spa service
  • Mountain bikes
  • Hiking
  • Cycling / walking trails
  • Cross country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating
  • Horseback riding
  • Tennis
  • White water rafting
  • Fly fishing
  • golf
  • Fifteen minute drive from the western town of Winthrop
  • Artisan shops,
  • Local Museum
  • Quaint Country store
  • Restaurants
Travel Planner:
Sun Mountain Lodge
P.O. Box 1000,
Winthrop, WA 98862
Toll Free 1-800-572-0493 or 509-996-2211
Fax: 509-996-3133
E-mail: sunmtn@methow.com
Website: http://www.sunmountainlodge.com

Jane and Brent Cassie are a travel writer/photographer team. Follow their other adventures on their website - www.janecassie.com.


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