{ Local Love } Fun rehearsal dinners and small party venues in Portland

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Yakuza-lounge-space

Yakuza-5-h-zinger

Today's installment of Local Love features the amazing Dayna McErlean's sister restaurants on NE Killingsworth – DOC and Yakuza. As different as different can be, DOC is an Italian kitchen with a changing set 4- or 5- course menu each night; while Yakuza is a Japanese-izakaya-influenced lounge.

What I love about each restaurant: DOC's homey, long-tables, family-style service that makes you feel as if you walked into your Italian grandmother's kitchen, even if you don't have an Italian grandmother. What the wedding planner in me loves is the reasonable, afforable rates for buying out the restaurant on a Friday night for a rehearsal dinner.

At Yakuza, I really enjoyed the Asian fusion menu items, including a Wasabi Martini and a Pear Jalapeno sushi roll, but what really wowed me was the secret hot tub in the backyard. I think it would be so fun to rent out the restaurant for an over-the-top bridesmaids luncheon or couples shower.

McErlean also owns The Colony St. Johns for weddings and larger events, and Dash Commercial Kitchen, so within her culinary empire you have lots of interesting choices.

 

{ Gifts and Registry Ideas } Martha Stewart American Made

via www.ebay.com

Every day we're increasingly becoming more aware of the importance of buying locally and supporting small business. It's good for the economy, good for the environment, and it's more transparent as to the wage levels and working conditions of the laborers and makers.

We admire Martha Stewart greatly, and we feel no differently about her latest endeavor, American Made on eBay. Her team has carefully collected quality products from small businesses all across the United States and showcases them in this special feature.

As you're selecting gifts to give to parents, wedding party members, and also items for your wedding registry, Martha Stewart's American Made is a worthy contender for your attention.

 

http://www.ebay.com/rpp/marthastewartamericanmade

{ Local Love } Eastside Distilling

If you are looking for a local distillery for your event, wedding, bachelor/bachelorette, favors, etc., then look no further.  Eastside Distilling has a great selection of spirits for any occassion. Their helpful staff can assist you in finding just the right booze to choose for your next party.  Not only that, they have a fabulous tasting room that is perfect for sampling everything they have to offer!

"Eastside Distilling has been producing handcrafted spirits in Portland’s Distillery Row since our founding in 2009. All of our unique products are produced locally from natural ingredients in small batches for unparalleled quality and taste."

Eastside-distilling-local-portland-distillery

 

 

National Park Foundation’s Romantic Getaways Guide Just Released!

Olympic-national-park-romantic-getawaysOlympic National Park in Washington State is just one of the National Park Foundation's featured "Romantic Getaways". Crater Lake in Oregon is not listed but worth a look as well!

From nationalparks.org:

"What could be more romantic than looking out at the tranquil waves rolling onto the pristine beaches of Virgin Islands National Park? What could be more awe-inspiring than staring up at the brilliance of a clear, endless, starlit sky at Rocky Mountain National Park?

Get creative, get adventurous, and get a copy of the latest edition of our Owner’s Guide, “I Heart Parks!” The new FREE guide is filled with ideas and inspiration on what to do and see at 15 of the most picturesque parks across the country. “I Heart Parks” is chock-full of tips and advice for any type of trip you and your love hope to plan. Whether you prefer exploring a national park within city-limits, or venturing out to conquer trails in a more rustic setting, we’ve got some exciting ideas to spark your imagination.

Rekindle the romance by creating a new memory. Strengthen your bond by conquering a new challenge. Celebrate your love by reconnecting to each other within the natural and man-made wonders of this beautiful nation. 

You’ll be sure to impress your park lover with these fantastic getaway ideas! So what are you waiting for? Download the new guide today!"

via www.nationalparks.org

There are wonderful national parks close to the Portland, Oregon area that might be great for your proposal, elopement, wedding or honeymoon, or just a romantic getaway. Visit nps.gov and nationalparks.org for more information.

{ Under the Radar } The Exchange Ballroom and Cascade Rooftop

Welcome back to our regular Under the Radar feature on Portland Wedding Coordinator, showcasing a cool new Portland wedding venue. Each time, I'll be sharing a site with you that I've stumbled across recently. Most of our Under the Radar wedding ceremony and reception venues are ones you won't yet find in the glossy wedding guides. If you use one of these sites, please let them know you heard it here first! – See more at: http://weddingcoordinator.typepad.com/my_weblog/page/2/#sthash.ZEPUb00V.dpuf
Welcome back to our regular Under the Radar feature on Portland Wedding Coordinator, showcasing a cool new Portland wedding venue. Each time, I'll be sharing a site with you that I've stumbled across recently. Most of our Under the Radar wedding ceremony and reception venues are ones you won't yet find in the glossy wedding guides. If you use one of these sites, please let them know you heard it here first! – See more at: http://weddingcoordinator.typepad.com/my_weblog/page/2/#sthash.ZEPUb00V.dpuf
Welcome back to our regular Under the Radar feature on Portland Wedding Coordinator, showcasing a cool new Portland wedding venue. Each time, I'll be sharing a site with you that I've stumbled across recently. Most of our Under the Radar wedding ceremony and reception venues are ones you won't yet find in the glossy wedding guides. If you use one of these sites, please let them know you heard it here first! – See more at: http://weddingcoordinator.typepad.com/my_weblog/page/2/#sthash.ZEPUb00V.dpuf

Welcome back to our regular Under the Radar feature on Portland Wedding Coordinator, showcasing a cool new Portland wedding venue. Each time, I'll be sharing a site with you that I've stumbled across recently. Most of our Under the Radar wedding ceremony and reception venues are ones you won't yet find in the glossy wedding guides. If you use one of these sites, please let them know you heard it here first!

Exchange-ballroom-vibrant-table

via Vibrant Table's Facebook page

We are SUPER EXCITED about this week's feature: The Exchange Ballroom and Cascade Rooftop located at the Eastside Exchange building, the much-trumpeted new development at the Burnside Bridgehead location. Eastsiders like myself have been waiting for YEARS to see what the development would turn out to be, and of course, with every new development, I kept my fingers crossed that there would be a cool new event venue to explore. The Eastside Exchange delivers.

Exchange-ballroom-portland-events

The Exchange Ballroom has a capcacity of 450: holding 350 for banquets and 450 for standing receptions. Catering and bar are provided exclusively by Vibrant Table Group. Events can go as late as needed indoors, and 10 pm outdoors on the rooftop. The rooftop capacity is 125 seated/250 standing and can be tented.

Evrim-icoz-cascade-rooftop

Photo by Evrim Icoz via The Exchange Ballroom Facebook Page

Lots more details are available from the folks at Vibrant Table

If you liked this blog post, you might like others in the Under the Radar series.

 

What’s the difference between an Inspiration Board, a Mood Board, and a Palette?

 

Wedding-ceremony-vision

Photo courtesy Craig Mitchelldyer

Early in wedding planning, even before the gown or the venue is chosen, most of you are thinking about look and feel. When you close your eyes and picture yourself entering the venue on your big day, what do you see? What flowers are you holding? What colors are surrounding you?

It's a big choice and the heart of wedding design, and it can be overwhelming. Equally confusing can be the many options you have for gathering your ideas in one place. You've probably heard about mood boards and inspiration boards, palettes and swatches, but what is what?

A mood board is the broadest tool used early on to help you determine the most general ideas about look and feel of the wedding. Not limited to actual wedding services, you might pull in photographs, videos, songs, words, and even poetry that evokes the mood you want to set for your special event. I really love the mood boards over at The Wedding and Event Institute Blog, here's one example:

WEI-Tiffany-Mood-Board

An inspiration board is the next building block of creating your wedding design. Many of you may have started a Pinterest account and it's a great way to easily create inspiration out of your collected pins.

Pinterest-wedding-planning

Once you have set the mood of your wedding, use an inspiration board to collect specific photographs of actual flowers, invitations, linens, stages, mandaps or huppahs, ceremony backdrop, room layout, and so on. Lots of folks interchange the terms mood board and inspiration board, but I feel like the inspiration board is a more specific tool.

An inspiration board can also be tweaked to become a story board later on – necessary for design-intensive weddings. A story board is just that: a detailed board that tells the event's story from start to finish, from the actual color scheme and entry points to the venue, to the lighting settings and tablescape. These depict final choices and elements. Most of the time, we accomplish the same thing at EJP Events by writing a detailed setup narrative, but in some cases, a story board is definitely needed.

A palette is just a selection of possible colors for the event. This is a great way to communicate to your vendors so they are all on the same page and using the correct warmth, hue, and saturation as they produce your wedding attire, linens, tablescape, and flowers. I love the palette tools over at ColourLovers:

Wedding-color-palette

Finally, a swatch is a sample of a design item, usually a textile/fabric that you use as a sample of the texture and color you would like to see. It is the physical version of the digital palette.

Thanks for reading this post! You might also like this post about 5 tools to help you choose a color palette for your wedding.

Wedding Sparklers: Tips and Tricks, and Where to Buy for Portland, Oregon Weddings

Portland-photographer-paul-richPhoto courtesy Paul Rich Studio

In the middle of #Snowlandia2014, why am I sitting inside thinking about weddng sparklers? Maybe because I am obsessed with making sure people don't make mistakes with their wedding, and sparklers are one place where it's really easy to screw up something that seems simple. Here are a few tips:

1. Order your sparklers really early. First, so you can get the benefits of super-low bulk pricing from the large favor sellers. Second, because in most places, sparklers are considered to be a type of firework, and thus cannot be shipped express air. So many people wait until the last minute/last couple of weeks before the wedding and then realize that they can't get the sparklers on time!

2. (Or maybe, #zero?) Check with your venue to make sure they will allow you to use sparklers on site! Just because you've seen a bunch of great pictures of people using wedding sparklers on Pinterest, doesn't mean your venue allows it. Also be prepared that, especially in the Gorge or Oregon's forested areas, where it can be very windy, a site that allows sparklers normally can all of a sudden ban them if there is a general burn ban in the area due to dry and windy weather.

3. Don't hand them out too early. Guests will get into them and start lighting them up on the dance floor or wherever, and all of a sudden, there aren't any left for the special getaway picture you were planning. Designate someone to pull them out of their safe storage place at the end of the night and hand them out as guests are leaving.

4. Organize your peeps. Those getaway pictures don't just happen. Guests are usually occupied getting one last drink at the bar or hanging out near the dance floor — they have no idea that you want them to gather out at the front of the venue to pose for a complicated photo composition. Again, designate your wedding coordinator or trusted friend who will have their wits about them at the end of the night, to round up guests a few minutes before you and your new spouse exit the venue. Or get the DJ/emcee to make an announcement.

5. Again, those getaway picture don't just happen! Make sure your photographer is well versed in taking nighttime photos with sparklers. Once more, your coordinator is key in making sure that the schedule will accommodate your photographer's package (you don't want them leaving before the getaway, right?).

6. Timing is everything. By the time the last guest lined up gets their sparkler lit, the first guest's sparkler could go out. That's why I recommend using 28" to 36" long sparklers – the really long kind – so they last a long time. As an alternative, you could give out two of the shorter (more commonly found) 12" sparklers per person so when their first one goes out they have a backup. It goes without saying that you should have plenty of lighters, matches, or a central large sparkler for everyone to light off of. And of course, pails of sand or water for guests to put them out. 

I hope you found these tips helpful! In Portland, here are a couple of great Portland-local places where you can order your sparklers:

The Wedding Cottage

Fancy That

Or if you want to order online, here are a few links from some of our great sponsoring merchants below.


12" WEDDING SPARKLERS (pack of 5)
Price: 1.75


Heart Shaped Sparklers (BULK Case of 72 Wedding Sparklers)

Price: 65.99
Koyal-wholesale-wedding-sparklers
36" Wedding Sparklers (6 Per Pack) – 3 Minute Gold Sparkle

Price: 119.88
Koyal-wholesale-wedding-sparklers
36" Bulk Wedding Sparklers (144 Per Case) – 3 Minute Gold Sparkle

Price: 183.90

Heart Shaped Wedding Sparklers

Price: 49.80

36 Inch Wedding Sparklers

Price: 3.95

Read more about our relationships with sponsors and affiliate organizations.

{ Wedding Etiquette } Where can I tell my guests about my registry? {Sponsored}

Portland-weddings-gift-registry-etiquettePhoto courtesy asenat29 on flickr licensed by Creative Commons

Today I received a question from a bride who wanted to know how she should let her guests know about their wedding registry.

"We've been wondering how couples typically let their guests know about their registry. Is it a part of their mailed invitation, a word of mouth thing, or something else?"

Let it be known: it's generally frowned upon to put information about gifts or gift registries into the wedding invitation. The reason is that you would never imply that your guest wasn't welcome without a gift, right? Nor that attending your wedding comes with an obligation to give a gift. The focus of a wedding invitation should never be on gifts.

That being said, most everyone attending will want to fete you and shower you with blessings and gifts! So you should definitely register for gifts if you want them. But how to let people know, since you're not supposed to put it in the invitation?

There are two ways: old-school word of mouth, and new-school wedding websites. Both are etiquette-correct. Simply let your family and friends know where you are registered, and if a guest asks them, your besties/familia can pass the word along.

Or, list it on your wedding website on a secondary page, not the home page. This way, your wedding website acts as your etiquettely-correct, 21st-century word-of-mouth, since by clicking on a link to your registry, your guest is inquiring where you are registered and it's not you pushing the information at them. And you CAN include a link to your wedding website in the invitation, as long as, again, the focus of the website isn't the gift registry but information about the wedding overall such as maps, directions, and the like.

Our blog is sponsored by many great merchants. Feel free to click on the link below for some great deals from our merchant partners at Wedding Paper Divas.

Wedding Paper Divas Sale

Vote for Oregon Bride’s Best of 2014 Awards! | Bridal and Wedding Planning Resource for Oregon Weddings | Oregon Bride Magazine

It's that time again for the Oregon Bride Best of 2014 awards! Here's your chance to share your opinions: Who out-shined, out-impressed, out-performed and just plain out-amazed you in the past year?  Newlyweds and brides-to-be, tell us about the best Oregon vendors and venues that made your day a dream come true. Wedding pros, who among your colleagues stood out?

Your votes in over 40 categories will be tallied to determine the winners of our annual Best of Bride awards, which will be announced at our Best of Bride party in June and in our Fall/Winter 2014 issue.

This year, we're doing things a little different: Voting will take place in two phases. The first phase will be open voting to nominate the finalists. Voting for phase one closes February 14, 2014. A second, final round of voting will take place from March 1-7, 2014 and is open only to vendors.

via orbridemag.com
You do have to vote in at least 6 categories for your vote to count. If it's been a while since your wedding, or if you need some vendor ideas, please feel free to check out these lists from The Bridal Loft and Oregon Bride Magazine.

Top signs you do NOT need a wedding planner

I know, crazy, right? Why would The Portland Wedding Coordinator blog about not needing a wedding planner? The plain truth is, not every wedding really needs one. Here are some signs that yours might be one of them:

1. You are very laid-back about the look and feel of the wedding and don't need for things to turn out or look a certain way.

2. Your event has very little etiquette, protocol, or time constraint

3. Culturally, the expectations of family and guests of your ability to host a party experience are low.

4. Your guest list is small (less than 40) people, and you don't have friends and family coming from out of town

5. The how-this-will-all-come-together is pretty cut and dried. Logistics are really easy, and your vendor team has all worked together before in that venue. Additionally, you are not creating a script or schedule that deviates greatly from what's been done before.