This just in….Wedding Giveaway!!

We just heard from our friends at Jupiter Hotel that they are giving a way a free wedding at their new hotel Jupiter Next!

The @jupiterhotel is gearing up for the opening of their expansion, Jupiter NEXT, and to share the love they are GIVING AWAY A WEDDING! Enter to win by posting an Instagram video using their handle @Jupiterhotel AND the hashtag #loveatnext to tell them WHY you want to get married in Portland and why, specifically at the Jupiter NEXT. Winner will receive a wedding package valued at $8k. The lucky winner will be announced on 3/13. Check the link in their bio for more details!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:
Jupiter NEXT Wedding Giveaway!! Enter to win by posting an Instagram video on your profile using the handle @Jupiterhotel AND the hashtag #loveatnext and tell us WHY you want to get married in Portland and why, specifically, at Jupiter NEXT.

Package Value: $8,000
Includes:

  • Entire Second Floor Event space (8 thousand square feet) which includes:
  • Ballroom
  • Garden
  • Cocktail Reception Space
  • Extra Room (used for whatever you see fit including photo booth area etc)
  • Parking
  • 1 night in a Suite
  • Bottle of bubbly in the suite

{ Photo of the Day } McMenamins Edgefield April Wedding

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Photo: Photobystinson.com

Congratulations to Cassie and Brad on #brassie17! This wedding is extra special to me, as it involves many people who I'm lucky to know personally. It's always fun to get to do a wedding with friends. Cassie and Brad were married in the Ballroom at McMenamins Edgefield on a lovely spring April day in the Troutdale/Columbia River Gorge area, Oregon. 

Where wedding websites fall short

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Photo credit: Madeline Ball, licensed by Creative Commons

Newly engaged? If you've started planning, that likely means heading to the computer. What you’ll come across are many websites that provide some of the same things a coordinator does: a to-do list, a list of vendors, and hundreds of articles about anything and everything wedding related. If you're not sure if wedding coordinator is in your budget, or you want to take on the planning yourself, these websites are amazing resources. However, there are several things a website can’t do:

  1. Tailor a plan unique to you and your partner. A coordinator can sit with you and your partner—and your families if they are involved—and go over each individual detail of what you would (and really wouldn’t) like to see on your big day.
  2. Give you advice from years of experience. A wedding coordinator that has been at this for a while has seen a lot of weddings, and this means they can pass all of this knowledge along to you as a bride or groom.
  3. Provide day-of coordination. This is one thing that couples often forget. While some feel they can handle the preparation ahead of time, it’s easy to overlook how many things need managing on the big day. Hiring a coordinator means someone is assigned to this, and you and your family and friends can focus on enjoying yourselves.

If you have experience with planning your wedding over wedding websites, good or bad, let us know in the comments! 

— Malia Robinson-Exo and Emee Pumarega, May 18, 2016

 

 

 

 

There’s no such thing as “just” when it comes to Wedding Day Coordination

I get a lot of requests for Wedding Day Coordination that begin: "We just really want someone that can keep the flow going and keep us on schedule."

Let's break this down:

Keep the flow going.

What is "flow" when it comes to a wedding, anyway? I interpret it as that magical mix of timing and logistics that makes your wedding feel joyful and unplanned, while at the same time using every moment allotted to you by the venue and your vendors to the best possible advantage.

How does flow happen? Well, it doesn't "just" happen. A wedding day coordinator will normally put in 20-30 hours of preparation before appearing at your wedding. This includes collecting all of your contracts and paperwork and reviewing all policies to ensure understanding of everything you have arranged and what you are entitled to; research into your wedding design; confirmation of venue and vendor policies; and understanding you and your families' preferences and decisions about what you want to achieve on the day. Often the coordinator will condense this information into an event plan. Twenty to thirty hours. And that's just pre-event.

Keep us on schedule.

On the day of the event, in order to keep the flow going if it gets hung up or stops, a wedding planner may have to deal with a multitude of issues behind the scenes. Here are the most common ones:

prep time, especially hair and makeup, not going as scheduled
transportation and parking woes
decor issues: wrong color, wrong piece or fit
missing items and going back for them
lateness of vendors or bridal party

Even if everything goes 100% perfectly (and the reality is, it doesn't) a wedding day coordinator still must be constantly available to act as a surrogate host, direction-giver, traffic controller, scheduler, and people-mover. They must be on site well before you or any guests or vendors arrive, and stay on site long after everyone has departed. These duties will take 12-16 hours to complete on the wedding day itself. Not to mention 1-2 hours of rehearsal time explaining the procedures to the wedding party and family; and the little post-rehearsal errands that always seem to come up.

In sum, while your wedding day planner's job is to "just keeping the flow going and keeping everything on schedule", in order to do that, they and their staff must put in upwards of 48+ hours of solid on- and off-site work that culminates in your well-run wedding day.

{ Local Love } Quin Candy

Quin_promoLollipop production at Quin Candy

If you are looking to deck out a candy bar, stuff scrumptious sweets into guest bags, or just take a break from planning and treat yourself, make sure to check out Quin Candy.  All of their candy is made in-house and the ingredients are sourced locally when possible.  They have an array of caramels, lollipops, and chews with unique and delicious flavor profiles like maple and cracked pepper caramels and smoked cola gumdrops.  Their Best of Oregon Caramels are crafted with Oregon grown hazelnuts, local honey, and salt from the coast.  You can visit their store on SW Stark or find these treats in shops around town.  If you don't live in Portland you can also order these confections online.  Just make sure to get enough to share!

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 12.18.14 PMA selection of candy from Quin Candy

{ Happy St. Patrick’s Day! } Dormae and Brian at Bridal Veil Lakes in the Columbia River Gorge

From Emee: It's so very easy to blog about what's going on around town in the world of Portland weddings — however, I'm making more of an effort to go back and blog our own weddings that we have coordinated and planned in the past, under the tagline { Real Weddings }. Some will be little snippets, some will be full features — but my goal by the end of this year, is for our { Real Weddings } tag to be as helpful to Portland couples as possible, full of as many real venue and wedding ideas, and providing inspiration and information to all.

In honor of St. Patrick's day, today's little glimpse is one of our favorite weddings that we coordinated at Bridal Veil Lakes. This Columbia River Gorge wedding included a Celtic handfasting ceremony to reflect the groom's Irish heritage, AND Filipino traditions to reflect the bride's. TOO AWESOME.

Thank you to Scott McNamara for the photos.

Celtic-handfasting-2Above: Dormae and Brian's Celtic-inspired handfasting.

Read more about Irish wedding traditions over at Green Wedding Shoes.

In the Filipino tradition, the ceremony often involves many extended family members called sponsors, and three important rites are used:

  • An exchange of thirteen coins representing the promise of the couple to support and provide for one another and the family.
  • A veil, historically symbolizing being clothed in the love of Christ, but in non-denominational weddings, more often interpreted as a symbol of the couple's home and safe haven in each other.
  • A cord, wrapped around the couple's shoulders, to symbolize the strong bond between the married couple.

        For Filipino weddings that take place in a church, there is also normally a candle lighting. You can read more about Filipino wedding traditions at MyBarong.com.

Filipino-wedding-veil-ceremony

Above: the Filipino veil and cord ceremony.

Below: Officiant Lisa Kristen-Scott is seen here, presiding over the couple's exchange of coins.

Celtic-handfasting

 

Bridal-veil-lakes-columbia-gorge-wedding
Bridal Veil Lakes, as always, is a gorgeous venue.
We've coordinated tons of weddings there and always love it.

Are you incorporating any cultural traditions in your wedding ceremony? Do share with us in the comments!

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

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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.

 

{ 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

 

 

Event Design Series – Part 6: Good, Bad, and Ugly

Our final installment in the Event Design Series on the Portland Event Planner blog. Continuing our discussion of event design (and please, make it a discussion by commenting)…

More about our Event Design Series here at Part 1, and where the questions came from

Part 6: Case Studies: Of all the designs and/or event decor you’ve come up with, what has been the most successful and why? …And what was the biggest ‘bust’?

I’m not going to post any client pictures as that would probably be a shock to the client that I thought their design was “a bust“. I will tell you that my weakness is sometimes being TOO accommodating to the client’s wishes.

In this example, I had a client who told me she cared absolutely nothing for decor and just wanted to make sure that the chairs in the room didn’t squeak against the floor. She had attended an event in the same venue for a fundraiser, and was horrified at the constant squeaking and grating noise the venue’s wooden chairs made against the bare concrete floor.

Obliging as always, I agreed to rent some very basic (and in my opinion, unattractive) hotel banquet chairs with little rubber tips on the chair legs. This way, my dear client would not have to endure that squeaking sound.

However, the rest of the event decor was compelling – she worked with a wonderful florist, we printed individual menus, and her guests received an adorable favor; one per place setting. Those details, coupled with the wonderful catering and simple, chic linens she had chosen meant that her choice of chair, which I had gone along with, was glaringly out of sync with the rest of the clean, classic decor. Looking back, I wish I had just suggested we purchase soft-felt furniture sliders and offered to attach them to all 800 chair legs. It would only have taken a few hours, the venue probably would have loved it, and the overall look would have been much more appealing. (Of course, this is all in my head – not a single guest, nor the bride, said anything about the ugly chairs!)

As far as a successful design? Again it seems that it came from taking a client’s wish and running with it wholly. In this event, the only direction my client gave was that she wanted “a big red party”. Working with Portland Art Museum, Vibrant Table, Royce’s Prop Shop, and Geranium Lake, we did just that. It is still one of my favorite designs of all time.

Photos: Robert McNary for Melissa Jill Photography


What are your thoughts about successful design — what constitutes a blowout or a bust? Any great event design stories to tell? Please share in the comments below.

You might also like to look back at the previous parts of this series:
Part 1- It’s an Event Design Series on The Portland Event Planner Blog!
Part 2 – Event Design Trends
Part 3 – Sustainable Event Design
Part 4 – Event Budget and Design
Part 5 – Event Theme and Design

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{ Portland Wedding Venues } Planner’s Roundup – 5 sites that allow outside catering

For so many couples, the food is the THE most important part of the wedding celebration. I often hear from them: "The food HAS to be good"…"We like the Portland food scene and want to integrate it into our wedding"…"We want to give our guests a taste of Portland and the Pacific Northwest". Often, they already have a caterer in mind when they start their venue search, and are challenged when they keep running into venues that have strict exclusive lists.

That got me to thinking. What Portland wedding and event venues allow outside catering? Here are just a few. Know any others? Please share in the comments below!

The Eliot Center – The Eliot Center is the "fellowship hall" aspect of the downtown First Unitarian Church. Not only are they able to seat up to 160 in their conference center for a reception, the adjoining Historic Eliot Chapel can seat up to 250 in a beautiful, elegant chapel setting for a wedding ceremony. They allow self-catering, outside caterers, and alcohol service in accordance with their policies.

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Multnomah Arts Center – Located in SW Portland just a few minutes from downtown, the MAC is a Portland Parks and Recreation community center venue with a large auditorium and stage for indoor wedding ceremonies that can be changed over to a reception during a cocktail hour. Mingle areas include a dance studio and an outdoor plaza, which can also be used for ceremonies. All rental rooms, including the auditorium stage, and bathrooms are ADA-accessible and air-conditioned. In addition, most spaces have free Wi-Fi access.

Multnomah-arts-center-wedding-venue

The Glenn and Viola Walters Arts and Cultural Center is near and dear to our hearts, as one of our favorite recent weddings just took place there. The site features a large auditorium for ceremony and reception, downstairs classrooms to use as changing areas, a ground-floor lobby and an upstairs art gallery where guests can mingle during a room changeover. The kitchen facility is well-appointed and convenient for self-catering or your own caterer. The outdoor plaza can also be used for ceremonies.

Portland-wedding-planner-walters-arts-center

The Laurelhurst Club – A 100-year-old property adjoining Laurelhurst park in SE Portland, this venue features an historic ballroom, mezzanine bar, kitchen facilities, bride's and grooms rooms, and outdoor ceremony lawn.

Outdoor-Ceremony-laurelhurst

NW Events & Environments – By far the largest open catering venue we have seen, NW Events & Environments can accommodate 650 in a banquet setting and over 1000 if using multiple rooms in a reception-style flow. They do not allow outside alcohol, and kitchen facilities may have limitations.

Main-ballroom-large-wedding-venue

Thanks for reading – if you found this post about Portland wedding and event venues helpful, you might also like:

Also if you found this helpful, please Like, Share, Comment, Plus or do whatever you do! Happy Friday!