Frequently Asked Questions about Weddings at Lakedale  

You’ve made the decision – let’s get married! And now the planning begins…  Full disclosure: our philosophy for weddings, and for pretty much everything at Lakedale, is to make it easy and make it fun. So here are the answers to our most frequently asked questions about planning your special day with our Friday Harbor, WA wedding venue. Or bypass this list entirely and go straight to the source. Contact our Event Coordinator who will be thrilled to help you in person!

Book My Wedding

What is required to book a wedding or reception in the Lodge at Lakedale?

We require that you reserve certain accommodations with our wedding venue, located near Friday Harbor, WA. This will ensure that your event will be as private as possible. The types and number of accommodations required will vary depending on the size of the event and the time of year.

How do I book the space and make my wedding or reception date definite?

Lakedale will confirm all space requirements for your wedding ceremony, and/or reception upon receipt of your signed contract and initial deposit. A counter-signed copy of your contract with confirmed information will be returned to you after the deposit has been posted.

How much is the deposit?

The deposit will vary depending on time of year and size of the event.

How far in advance do we need to book our wedding?

It depends on the time of year for your wedding. Weekends from May through September in the San Juan Islands book up very quickly and often are booked a year in advance. As soon as you set the date for your wedding or reception, please give us a call or fill out our online request for proposal, and our Event Coordinator will contact you!

What are the wedding locations at Lakedale?

Our Friday Harbor, WA area wedding venue has 82 acres of opportunities for you to choose your perfect site. A grassy point in the middle of a lake, a daisy-filled meadow, in the midst of a grove of tall, tall trees. Your day, your way!

Are there different rates at different times of the year?

If your dates are flexible, we offer discounts on facility fees and guestrooms between October 1st and May 1st.

How do I obtain a marriage license?

There is a mandatory three-business day waiting period between issue of license and marriage ceremony. Licenses issued in other counties within the State of Washington are valid. Licenses issued in other states are not valid in Washington. Licenses can be obtained through the mail. In San Juan County you may contact the county auditor in Friday Harbor at 360.378.2161.

When is my final payment due?

The estimated balance due is required a minimum of thirty days (30) in advance of the wedding date. Payments may be made by credit card or by personal check. A customizable deposit schedule will be provided with your contract. Any last minute additional charges, beverage charges, or final guestroom charges may be settled on the day of departure.

What happens if I choose to cancel my event?

Cancellations made less than sixty days prior to the event will be charged in full. Cancellations made within three months of the event will be charged 75% of the estimated facility and guestroom charges, and within 6 months incur a 50% cancellation charge. Initial deposits are not refundable and are forfeited due to cancellation. Additional fees are incurred for cancellation of guestroom blocks. Your contract will clearly detail these policies for you to read prior to signing

Wedding Details

Is there a weather alternative space?

The Lodge can be the weather alternative for all outdoor ceremonies, depending on the size of the event, and the room would need to be reset for the reception if the wedding is moved indoors due to inclement weather. We always recommend renting event tents for all planned outdoor receptions at our Friday Harbor, WA wedding venue, as this gives you the flexibility to enjoy nature while being protected from the elements!

How early can I set up?

Please let us know how much time you will need to decorate and we will work with our schedule to accommodate you as best we can. If you have blocked all of the guestrooms in the Lodge for the night before your event, you can start decorating any time you wish.

Do you have a dance floor?

The Great Room in the Lodge has beautiful wooden floors so a dance floor is not necessary.

Do you know a good officiate, photographer, or florist?

Our island has a wealth of talented vendors. However, they book quickly. Click here for a list of our preferred vendors. Most are very familiar with our property, adding a welcome level of convenience on your special day.

Can we have a rehearsal for the wedding ceremony?

Your Ceremony Package includes a one-hour rehearsal at no additional cost. This will be provided at a time that does not interfere with other booked events. The rehearsal specified time will be confirmed 60 days prior to the wedding. If you would like to have a rehearsal dinner in the Lodge, there is an additional facility fee.

Is there a place for the wedding party to change clothes?

Usually we encourage the use of the Lakehouse and/or one of the guestrooms near the Great Room.

May we take advantage of the various photo opportunities on the resort grounds?

 Please do!!! We have beautiful views all over the property.

Can the front desk distribute my gift bags upon guest's check-in?

Yes. We are happy to distribute gift bags to your guests as they check in. There is a $2 fee per bag for this service. If you would prefer the bags be put in the guestrooms, the fee is $3 per bag.

How many wedding guests can Lakedale accommodate?

Depending on the season and where you’d like the ceremony and reception to take place on the property, we can accommodate between 80 and 200 guests.

Catering and Facility

What is included in my facility fee?

Your facility fee covers much more than just the room rental fee. For all wedding events we include a one-hour ceremony and a one-hour rehearsal. For all receptions scheduled at the resort we provide set up and take down of wedding chairs, set up of reception tables and chairs and staff on hand during your event. Service staff for dinner is not provided and must be arranged through your caterer.

Do you offer catering at Lakedale?

No. Lakedale does not have an in-house caterer. We allow you to bring in any licensed, bonded caterer of your choosing. Our kitchen is only licensed to heat and serve food, not to be used as a cooking facility so caterers need to prepare the food offsite prior to their arrival at Lakedale. We offer a list of reputable local caterers or you may choose someone from off island for your reception.

What about bar services?

Lakedale offers beer and wine for purchase at our general store. We do not provide hard alcohol or bartending services for events. All open bars need to have a licensed bartender. The team at Lakedale would be happy to assist in locating products and bartending services.

What linen is provided?

Linens are not provided. Most caterers are able to supply these for you.

How may I pay my deposits?

You may make deposit payments by credit card.

How do I handle gratuities? What are your service charges?

All purchases are subject to a 8.1% Washington State sales tax. The Facility Fee includes all set up, clean up, and labor fees for bartenders, and our team members. If you would like to leave a gratuity for the bartender, event coordinators, or any other team member, they would be most appreciative, although it is not necessary. You may arrange for envelopes with the event coordinator, who will be most discreet in accommodating your request.


How do my guests make their guest room reservations?

Your wedding guests will make their room reservations directly with you as the host. Lakedale will provide you with a rooming list template, simply fill it out as you receive RSVPs and send it back to our Sales Coordinator 60 days prior to the event date. Guests will not be able to book online for these specially contracted room blocks. Lakedale will collect credit cards and deposits from your guests as they check in, so they don’t need to worry about calling to make or confirm their reservations beforehand, and you as the host have total control over where you want your guests to stay!

When do reservations for guestroom blocks have to be made to ensure the discounted rate?

For best availability, room blocks should be reserved at time of contract. Rooms remaining in the group block after a certain date will be returned to the resort’s general inventory for sale. Additional group room requests will be honored at the wedding party rate on a space and rate availability basis. Please review guestroom needs carefully, as guestrooms that have been reserved, but are not used will be charged to the wedding party.

Do you allow pets?

We currently do not allow pets in our Lodge Rooms but you can bring approved pets to stay in our Log Cabins.

When can our guests check in and check out?

Check in time is after 4:00 p.m. and check out time is before 11:00 a.m.


What activities are available?

Our front desk staff provides a wealth of information on exciting activities for your wedding party, family and friends to do on San Juan Island. We can coordinate some of these arrangements for you. Please check with the front desk for information and assistance.

  • Sea Kayaking from either Friday Harbor or Roche Harbor
  • Hiking
  • Golf (9-hole course)
  • Whale- Watching/Wildlife Tours
  • Shopping


How do I get to Lakedale?

 Click here for directions and transportation information. Options include float planes which land in the Friday Harbor marina, wheeled planes, water taxis, the Victoria Clipper from Seattle (service offered during spring and summer only) and the Washington State Ferry system. On-island transportation can be arranged with San Juan Transit to pick up groups at the marina or airport and deliver to the resort. Transportation information and assistance is available through your event coordinator or front desk personnel.

Can I charter a boat?

Yes. You can charter a private boat for quick transportation or just for fun. A quick 50-minute boat ride from Anacortes is a great way to travel to and from San Juan Island, skip the ferry lines, and enjoy the opportunity to be out on the water creating new memories with family and friends. Enjoy a whale-watching excursion on the way over! Please ask your hotel contact for our list of charter boat options.

What is the charge for parking?

Parking at Lakedale is complimentary.

*Due to seasonal changes and the wide range of information covered, all information provided here is subject to change without notice.