{ Local Love } Pacific NW Honeymoon Destinations

If you are looking for great honeymoon destinations, then there is no need to look any further than the Pacific Northwest!  This area offers exciting attractions without venturing very far.

Whale watching, wine tasting, and wilderness are just a few of the things you can expect from Un-Cruise Adventures.  They offer options that include the route that Lewis & Clark took through the Columbia & Snake Rivers, as well as picturesque cruises starting in Seattle and exploring the San Juan Islands.  With all they have to offer, it wouldn't be hard to pick a perfect trip for you and your honey!

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Un-Cruise Adventures – Costal Washington & British Columbia

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Victoria, BC offeres the feel of a European vacation, but is only a short ferry trip from Seattle, WA.  You can stay in luxury at the Fairmont Empress Hotel which was built in 1908 and overlooks the Inner Harbour.  While there, make sure you don't miss Afternoon Tea, a time-honored tradition.  For a stunning day trip head to The Butchart Gardens.  Beautiful any time of the year, the gardens offer concerts, fireworks, flowers, and fountains.  Quite romantic!

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Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC

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The Butchart Gardens – Sunken Gardens

When planning your honeymoon make sure to keep these uniquely beautiful Pacific NW locations in mind!

{ Local Love } Pearl District Party Location – Andina and Tupai

It's certianly not hard to love Andina, but many people are not aware that they offer a private dining option Tupai, as well.  This is a great location to be able to enjoy amazing food in a beautiful setting for your next event.

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Tupai set for a seated reception

    "They offer a variety of rooms that would be great for bachelor/bachelorette dinners, showers, rehearsal dinners and receptions. Their dedicated special events team is committed to tailoring every aspect of each event, weaving together spectacular fare, extraordinary cocktails and an award-winning wine program, to ensure that every experience is memorable beyond compare. They offer a variety of menus and packages that will allow guests to take pleasure in the cuisine and hospitality for which Andina is renowned. Andina is also a great option for those looking to add a little destination element to an otherwise local wedding!"

Tupai is their largest event space, with room for up to 65 guests at a seated dinner and 100 guests for a standing cocktail reception.

"Tupai is located above Andina and offers a full bar and kitchen, mezzanine space for live music, natural light and wooden beams. The menu will feature Andina’s NovoAndean cuisine, which combines traditional flavors and ingredients native to Peru with a global reach that draws from Spanish, Japanese and Cantonese culinary influences. Dishes are prepared using modern technique and presented with finesse and flair. The full bar will deliver both Andina’s classic and NovoAndean cocktails – from the Pisco Sour and Caipirinha to the Sacsayhuamán and Margarita de Manzanita. Wines may be chosen from Andina’s award-winning list with the help of wine director Caryn Benke."

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Wedding Reception at Tupai

If you haven't tried Andina yet make sure to go; and keep Tupai in mind for your next event!

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.

{ The Daily Reblog } Tips for a Disability-Friendly Wedding, from Offbeat Bride

Having a wedding is stressful enough. Add in health issues and different physical abilities, and the normal four- to eight-hour long celebration can prove to be a real strain. That’s why I’m so glad I stumbled across this blog post from Offbeat Bride that gives some great pointers to think about, from the bride’s point of view.

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We also have a post from a while back, about checking for accessibility issues at your wedding venue, so all of your guests can enjoy the festivities. You’ll find it here: Accessibility in a Wedding Venue

Are you making any specific accommodations for yourself or your guests at your wedding? How did you get what you needed from your venue or vendors? Please share in the comments.

Gluten-free beer tasting tonight at Belmont Station

Gluten-free-vegfamilycomImage from VegFamily.

Gluten-free is a hot topic around Portland weddings and events these days, as many people are eliminating this protein from their diet either for better health, or because they have been diagnosed with an intolerance. Whatever the reason, it's great to have options so you can accommodate those important friends and guests who are going this route.

So it's so great that tonight at Portland's lovely Belmont Station, one of my favorite places to get beer, there's a tasting where you can try every single gluten-free beer available in Oregon.From their newsletter:

THURSDAY JUNE 7  5 – 7PM GLUTEN FREE BEER TASTING. Taste every Gluten Free Beer available in Oregon, from Portland's own Harvester & Omission, plus all 3 New Planet Beers, Lakefront New Grist, Redbridge, Bard's Tale, and imports from Green's, St. Peter's and Estrella.  (FYI: In the case of Estrella and Omission there is some debate about whether they can be called Gluten Free but they are very low parts per million gluten, thus meeting stringent guidelines)  A brewer from Harvester and some of the distributor/brand reps will be present. 

If you've been wondering what gluten-free beer options are like, you'll definitely want to be there!

Are you eliminating gluten from your diet and wondering what to do with menu items at the wedding, such as cake, alcohol, and so forth? What creative ideas have you come up with? Any caterers or cake bakers you just love? Feel free to leave a comment.

Debugging your wedding (Keeping insects away from the ceremony and reception)

This cool Portland summer has been lovely, but in some places, the dampness has led to an excess of bugs. Bug-off spray is a must at outdoor weddings, but here are a few  tips to make you the perfect wedding host:

– Avoid DEET-based sprays that can irritate skin. Lemongrass and geranium oil-based repellents are available and they smell much nicer.

– Transfer the insect repellent spray into nicer glass bottles before setting them out at your event. Empty glass spray bottles can usually be found in the bulk beauty aisle (lotions and soaps) of natural grocery stores such as Whole Foods and New Seasons. Wrap the bottle in a ribbon to match your scheme, and then it will be guest-book-table worthy.

(Vintage atomizers could be fun too!)

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– Burning lemongrass torches or candles can keep bugs down in the immediate vicinity. Having gently-blowing oscillating fans can also help.

– If the area seems to be uncontrollably buggy, consider applying non-toxic lawn or yard insect treatments (some examples here and here) several hours or days prior to the wedding (get the permission of the venue owner first).

BarStocker – the iPhone app that calculates liquor needs for your party or wedding

Many of our clients are in turnkey venues where they can provide their own caterer and bar. But figuring out how much liquor, beer, and wine to order is always a challenge. Order too much and it's a bit of a waste. Order too little and you risk running out during the event, and having to send a wedding party member to the nearest 7-11.

EJP Events is pleased to unveil our own iPhone app to tackle this continuing problem. Based on an algorithm developed over our 13 years in the event planning, catering, hotel, and wedding planning businesses, BarStocker will save you time and prevent a waste of money or alcohol by helping you figure the perfect amount to order.

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Customize your order based on length of party in hours, time of year, types of alcohol being served, and how much your guests like to party :-)  It's available right now on the iTunes store. Please let me know what you think!

Friday Five: Five most-affordable ways to upgrade your wedding

We’re always looking for ways to step up the experience for you and your guests at a wedding. But budget it always a consideration, isn’t it? I’ve compiled a quick list of what I think are the five most affordable ways to add a little “sumthin-sumthin'” to your day.

– add uplighting

Wedding-uplighting

The photo in the picture above shows a dancefloor illuminated with two (count ’em, TWO) standard uplights with red gels to provide the color. Do a couple by yourself for about $50, or, if you want more than just a couple, have a pro do the installation for under $1,000.

– add a signature cocktail

Even if the budget doesn’t allow for a full or even partial bar, you can still serve alcohol at the wedding and keep it festive. Sometimes it’s more about the presentation than the actual drink itself.

– add a passed hors d’oevure or a passed dessert bite

– garnish everything

– do something at the venue entrance

Why a receiving line is a good idea

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Photo: Jessica Spengler

Receiving lines. Do they bring to mind stuffy, overly-formal, laced up affairs from 1987?  Actually, a receiving line is a very good idea for several reasons.  Here's why: it's imperative that you personally greet each and every guest that comes to your wedding. They have taken off work, scheduled babysitters, and traveled from far and near to witness your big day. Don't leave your guests hanging and yourself in a tizzy, wondering if you got to this group or that group.

In addition, leaving the guest-greeting to a casual time, such as the interval between dinner and dancing, means that you will inevitably have to cut your meal short in order to go table-to-table. Let's think about that. Most of you have spent so much time planning the menu! Most of you say, "The reception – food, drink, dancing – is the most important part." Shouldn't you enjoy your first meal as husband and wife as well, instead of hurrying from group to group?

There are lots of different places you can fit a receiving line in your wedding timeline. Immediately after the ceremony; as guests move from cocktail hour into the dining room; or even a reverse receiving line where the bride and groom greet each pew in the church as they leave. Check with your planner to see which scenario is best for you. But by all means, make sure you greet each of your guests personally!

Continuity in planning

I recently met with a client who will be working with us for wedding day coordination. She began her planning with the thought that she wouldn't need her own wedding planner, since both her church and her venue provided on-site "wedding coordinators".  In fact, the venue's coordinator, in her estimation, was "meticulous" and "reassuring".

The problem?  In the year since she booked her church and venue, both coordinators have since left for other jobs, and she is now dealing with two totally new people; having to explain all of her wishes and instructions all over again.

Continue reading “Continuity in planning”