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FAQ's

General Questions

 

How do you pronounce Pend Oreille?

C'est une excellente question! Pend Oreille is French and it's pronounced Pon-der-ay. It means 'ear-loop'. When the French first explored this area they found the Pend Oreille Lake forms the shape of an ear. The Pend Oreille River starts at Pend Oreille Lake in Sandpoint, Idaho and flows North into Canada where it joins the Columbia River. Ok, enough with history lesson - we just love this area! ;)

Where does everybody stay?

Waterfront VRBO cabin vacation? Check! Local resort with casino and spa? Check! Local resort with golfing and spa? Check! Hotel connected to family fun parks? Check! RV, camping and local campgrounds? Check! There are so many great overnight accommodations nearby. We are so honored to have had brides from all over the United States choose us as their venue so we're happy to help you and your guests find the perfect place to stay. Check out our Accommodations Guide for our top picks!

What is your maximum capacity?

We can comfortably accommodate up to 200 guest, including the wedding party members.

Will there be another wedding the same day?

You've been waiting your entire life for this day, we work extremely hard to make sure you don't have to share it with another bride!

What about additional visits to the venue?

Absolutely! Once you've secured your wedding date with us, our couples are able to bring the wedding party members, family, planners, and Wedding Coordinator to the venue during Planning Sessions at our Open House Events held often in the months leading up to your wedding. This is a time for you to plan and finalize the details for your big day, show family that is in town or even take engagement photos! Schedule your next Planning Session on our online reservation portal.  

How does your booking process work?

Are we the one? Yay! Let's make it official. Once you've decided to give us the honor of hosting your wedding, simply send us an email with the date you've decided on. We'll hold your day for 48 hours in which time we'll have you answer a couple questions and email your contract. Your first payment of $1,000, contract and proof of event insurance are then due within 10 days. Choosing a Wedding Coordinator is a big decision so we give you 30 days to secure that and let us know. Once everything is submitted then your date is officially reserved! Expect your second payment of 50% to be due four months after your contract date. Your final payment is due six months prior to the date of your event. You're able to make payments as you'd like between those due dates as well. We also reserve the right to hold a credit card on file for any damages to the facility or grounds. 

What is an Adventure Session? 

If you've always dreamed of taking a hike with your love, in your wedding dress, to find the most intimate and epic photograph opportunities in the Pacific Northwest then this is for you! In addition to our 10 acres of waterfront bliss, we are so blessed to be located across the road from over 350+ acres of pristine mountain peaks overlooking the river, meadow, fields and a year round creek surrounded by lush forest - all accessible to the community thanks to the Kalispel Tribe's Indian Creek Community Forest. Spend some time exploring to find your 'must have' photo spots in the months leading up to your event. Hire an adventurous photographer and add it right into your wedding day. See our Adventure Session FAQ page for more information. 

If we have to cancel, can we get a refund?

We get it, life as we know it hasn't been so predictable these last couple years. Though we understand there are many variables that may require a cancelation, we also have to keep in mind the reality of the likelihood of rebooking a canceled date. Since we want to be here to serve couples long into the future, we are happy to work with you to reschedule your event to a later date if for any reason you need to cancel. The amount paid up to that point will be applied to an available future booking date of your choice at the new date's price or forfeited without a future booking. If we are able to re-book your date once you choose to release it, you can expect a partial refund. We highly encourage the purchase of cancelation and liability insurance for your event to help cover this and many other 'what-if' scenarios. 

Do you have any hidden fees or up-sells

We understand that planning a wedding has many unknown, ever changing and often expensive variables - we want to make sure that we are not one of those. Our hope is that you can consider us the firm foundation in which you can build your dream wedding and budget upon. We strive for transparency and do require the following services:

  • A professional day-of-coordinator hired from our exclusive vendors list. We've made it easy and affordable to take the weight off your shoulders by hiring a trusted coordinator who knows our venue expectations.

    • Choices range from approximately $800-$2,500+

  • If you're planning on having alcohol, a professional bartending service is required from our exclusive vendors list. We have great options from pour service only, bar wagon/truck, full service and many others to choose from.

    • Choices range from approximately $250-$2500+ 

  • We do require a $1M event insurance policy with Grand Pend Oreille Weddings listed as additionally insured.

    • Approximately $220. This covers both our beloved couple and the parents of the couple (spoiler alert - most other insurance plans do not cover parents).

  • We also reserve the right the hold a credit card on file for any damages done to the facility or grounds. 

How many cars can your parking lot accommodate?

We can comfortably accommodate up to 90 cars in our parking lot, with some overflow parking. 

What happens in case of rain?

We've got you covered! If your heart is set on an outdoor ceremony, we encourage you to have a backup plan (tents or umbrellas) just in case it does rain. If you're not wanting to secure tents or umbrellas as a backup plan, then the Waterfront Barn becomes your ceremony and reception location. With a little help from your wedding party members and Wedding Coordinator, it can quickly be turned over from ceremony to reception seating while your guests enjoy the covered patio. 

Why do you require a wedding coordinator?

Great question! Having been in the industry for over 7 years, we've have seen many weddings with and without a coordinator present. We've come to realize that the absolute best experiences, for both the couple and their guests, have come from weddings in which a professional coordinator was hired. Since we want to provide only the best experience possible, we've adjusted our venue rental price so that our couples can take the weight of the world off their shoulders by hiring a trusted coordinator from our exclusive vendor list. These professionals know our venue, our expectations and work diligently with our couples to ensure the joy of this experience is not stolen by all the details that can so easily get in the way. You're in exceptional hands! 

 

Is there a play area for children? 

We offer plenty of open space for you to bring lawn games or family friendly activities. For safety reasons, all games and activities need to be approved prior to your wedding. Because the venue is located on the shores of a river, it is very important that all children be very well supervised at all times. Though the river may seem slow moving from the shore, the current is quite quick.  Children and guests are required to stay in the designated ceremony and reception areas. The shoreline and dock areas are for photograph opportunities for the couple only. 

Can we take engagement photos at the venue? 

Absolutely! Once you've booked your wedding with us, you can plan an engagement photo session during one of your scheduled Planning Sessions. 

Catering Questions

What are your catering options?

We do not have requirements for catering at this time but please check out our Preferred Vendors page for a list of our preferred vendors! 

What is your alcohol policy?

We are a beer, wine, champagne & one signature drink only venue. We do require the use of one of our exclusive bar/beverage vendors if you are planning on having alcohol. Whether you want a full service vendor, bar wagon/truck or pour service only we have plenty of options to choose from to meet your needs. Please email us for more information. 

Do you have a kitchen / catering prep area? 

Yes! Located in the Waterfront Barn your vendors will find prep tables, a countertop, a sink, a commercial refrigerator and a chest freezer. 

Planning Questions

 

What is a Planning Session?

A Planning Session is a scheduled time available for our booked couples to come visit the venue at our Open House Events for any of the following reasons:

  • Bringing a photographer for an engagement photo shoot.

  • Brainstorming layouts and decorations with your Wedding Coordinator.

  • Asking questions. 

To best serve you, your time must be reserved by going through our online reservation portal. Once you've booked with us, you can attend as many Planning Sessions as you'd like. Our team will be on-site ready to assist you and answer any questions throughout your visit. This gives you numerous opportunities to visit the venue prior to your wedding to make sure you feel confident about all the little details of the big day. 

How will tables and chairs be arranged for my event?

During your scheduled Planning Sessions leading up to your wedding you will be able to envision what you want your big day to look like. This is a great time for you to work with your chosen Wedding Coordinator to brainstorm ideas - they'll have great insight into what will work best for your style of event. Your Wedding Coordinator is responsible for set up, coordination, tear down & clean up so make sure to choose the best package they offer to fit your needs.

 

How do rehearsals work

All Saturday Experiences include a five hour rental the Friday before your wedding.

This is your time for rehearsal, final preparations, bringing decorations and even to cater a rehearsal dinner on site. We will have a room dedicated for you to stage all your wedding day belongings. For security purposes, we ask that no valuables (ie: purses, dresses, keys etc.) be stored at the venue overnight.

All Sunday Experiences include a four hour rental the Thursday before your wedding. 

This is your time for a rehearsal, final preparations and the option to cater a rehearsal dinner on site. Since there will likely be a wedding between your rehearsal and your wedding day, we start your venue rental an hour earlier on Sunday to give you time to bring your decorations and wedding necessities. 

What time does the music need to end?

As much as we'd love to let you party all night long, per our County ordinance and out of respect for our neighbors, music has to end at 9:30pm. This is also a perfect time to start the clean up process to ensure all guests, family, wedding party members, and vendors are ready to leave the venue at the appropriate time. 

If we are using a rental company, can they get access to the property before or after our reserved time?

Your rental time frame is reserved for you and your vendors. Out of respect for other guests having tours and having reserved time for tours and Planning Sessions we cannot allow anybody to access the property outside of their designated venue rental time frames. 

How far in advance do you need a final head count?

We need these details three weeks prior to your wedding but make sure to consult with your Wedding Coordinator and catering vendors - they may have a different deadline. 

How do I obtain a marriage license? 

Click here  for all the information you need on obtaining a marriage license in Washington State. 

Set Up and Day-Of Questions

Do we have access to all areas on the property? 

Guests have access to the ceremony location in addition to the Waterfront Barn for your reception. For photo opportunities, the couple with their photographer only, have access to the entire estate. Please let us know what areas you believe you'll want to utilize specifically that are outside of your ceremony and reception areas so that we can ensure it is completely ready for you! 

Can we come early to decorate?

Out of respect for other guests having tours and Planning Sessions we cannot allow anybody to access the property outside of their designated venue rental time frames. If you have your heart set on decorating the day before your wedding, you may be interested in booking a Friday Experience. All Friday Experiences include an additional 4 hours the Thursday before. 

What is the event clean up process?  

You can expect Grand Pend Oreille staff to be adequately maintaining garbage throughout your event. At the end of the evening, you will need to take any/all personal belongings, floral arrangements, decor etc. that you brought with you. You will be working with your Wedding Coordinator to have a clearer idea of what this process looks like for your event. Any live floral arrangements left at the venue will be donated to a local company working hard to serve the community. 

Can we take photos on the dock?

This is a great question! The answer, is a bit tricky. Because the water level is constantly changing on the Pend Oreille River, we cannot guarantee the opportunity to take photos on the dock. However, the water levels are somewhat predictable. Early spring runoff can often send the water levels soaring over the boardwalk so unless you want a brisk swim, that would not be the time for dock photos. Late May and June are usually the best time for a perfect water level because the delta we are situated on is usually completely covered with water and access to the dock from the boardwalk is good. Like clockwork every year, after July 4th the water level starts dropping rapidly. By August, the dock nearly sits on the delta itself making it difficult to go beyond the boardwalk for photos. While we make every effort to ensure you get the most incredible pictures, the dock is available for photos based on the water level. 

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tour? 

 

What's included in the price?
 

Is your date available?