The west side of the Cascade Mountains is lush and wet, giving Oregon our reputation as a damp place. But east of the Cascades? The high mountains cause a rain shadow, leaving the area drier and sunnier. How much drier? The Dalles, 60 miles east of Portland, only receives 15 inches (40 cm) of rain a year. Compare that to Portland’s 35 inches (90 cm)!
The area around The Dalles (Wasco County in Oregon, Klickitat County in Washington) is in the heart of the “dry side”. The dry rolling landscape with mountains as a backdrop makes a good setting for a wedding (or event retreat), especially an outdoor one! Plus, you’ll have a greater chance of a rain-free wedding on any given date. (Though it will most likely be windier!)
The plaza at Maryhill Museum, which overlooks the sweeping views of the Columbia River Gorge.
The view from Rowena Crest.
Rowena Loops, as seen from Rowena Crest.
Things to do around The Dalles
The area has a number of attractions that make having a wedding there more attractive. Rowena Crest is the east-most spectacular viewpoint on the Historic Columbia River Highway, featuring a set of photogenic hairpin turns. The Maryhill Museum a former estate built overlooking the river, is now a museum featuring more than 80 works by Auguste Rodin. Maryhill Stonehenge is a full scale replica of the British original, built as a memorial to World War I veterans. And the region is filled with wineries, though the craft beer scene is starting to expand with breweries like Freebridge. (Try the pizza if you go!)
Wedding venues around The Dalles
Sunshine Mill in The Dalles. This 100 year old mill building in downtown The Dalles is home to Quenett and Capa di Vino wines. Weddings take place in the foundation of the old mill.
Balch Hotel in Dufur. Billing itself as the “Sunniest Wedding Location in the Gorge”, the Balch is a good safe bet if you want an outdoor wedding not afflicted with sprinkles. Plus, there’s 20 guest rooms on site that exude an early 20th Century vibe.
Imperial River Lodge in Maupin. Located right on the Deschutes River (a popular rafting spot), the lodge provides 25 guest rooms and the options of indoor or outdoor wedding venues.
Maryhill Museum. Want a wedding with a stunning backdrop of mountains and the Columbia Gorge? The grounds at Maryhill are perfect for that!
Celilo Inn. We are very excited about this new wedding venue coming online expected June 1, 2022. The artist rendition shows the incredible view of the Columbia River Gorge, city of The Dalles, and Mt. Hood. Weddings will also receive room blocks and a suite; while all overnight guests receive a glass of wine and a passport to complimentary Columbia Gorge wine tastings.
Sunshine Mill Winery, The Dalles OR
Balch Hotel, Dufur OR
Balch Hotel, Dufur OR
Balch Hotel, Dufur OR
Balch Hotel, Dufur OR
Celilo Inn Event Center. (artist rendering, expected opening June 2022)
Looking for a wedding or event venue that is near Portland but has a different flavor than the Willamette Valley? Then consider a wedding in The Dalles, Oregon. Feel free to contact us if you would like assistance!
This blog post was updated 2/24/2022 by Emee Pumarega.
How time flies! Beth and Sachin were married last summer in the Columbia River Gorge. Many thanks to Evrim Icoz for capturing the day through these photographs.
The wedding weekend kicked off with a Friday evening rehearsal dinner at Multnomah Falls Lodge, followed by a welcome event at the hotel featuring local Oregon and Washington bourbon, beer, and wine tastings; mehndi hand painting by Amrapali Boutique, and lots of treats including s’mores around the fire and cuisine provided by Skamania Lodge catering. Northwest Navigator was on hand to make it easy for guests to get around the Gorge.
Saturday, everyone was up early for beauty and preparations. Family and friends shared in both traditional Hindu wedding rites and a non-denominational Christian ceremony. The cocktail hour was held in a quiet garden patio area, and followed by the wedding dinner reception and dancing a meadow lit with twinkling lights and adorned with bright flowers and vintage details.
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.
Today’s real wedding was photographed by Scott McNamara. We helped Lauren and Kurt from Chicago plan an Oregn destination wedding weekend at Multnomah Falls Lodge. With this type of scenery you really don’t need any other decor!
Their ceremony was held on the patio surrounded by forest and the falls in the background; the reception was held inside the historic 1925 lodge Great Hall, with its soaring ceilings and crackling fireplace.
This time of year, we’re fielding tons of inquiries, cleaning up the blog, receiving happy emails from couples with links to their summer wedding photos. I was just going through some photo files and couldn’t believe I’d overlooked blogging Mindy and Ashish’s garba (Gujarati-style dance party) and wedding weekend from a few years ago.
The garba was held at the downtown Hilton Portland and catered by East India Company. I worked with Royce’s Prop Shop and the bride, who had brought back a ton of gorgeous sari fabric that she wanted to use around the room. Royce and I came up with the idea of draping the saris over T-bar posts, and using uplighting for a festive effect:
The mission of the Portland Wedding Coordinator blog is to provide original content that echoes the philosophy of EJP Events when planning a Portland or Pacific Northwest wedding. We believe in authenticity, finding value, creating the “wow”, and in making guests happy. We believe in keeping stress off the wedding couple, wedding party, hosts/family and everyone in general when planning a wedding. We believe that there doesn’t have to be a bunch of drama when planning a wedding, and that logic and common sense can go hand in hand with creativity and artistry. We believe that beautiful experiences don’t have to be overly lavish or wasteful. We believe that there is an important cultural place for the life landmark that is a wedding, and it can be a lovely jumping-off point and statement for everything that is to come for a married couple. If you agree with our beliefs, and you want your wedding experience to be well-thought-out and mindfully planned, then welcome to our community of readers!
With these points in mind, we plan to:
bring you practical advice that will help make planning a wedding easy
reveal planning tips and secrets that most people don’t consider
bring the idea of a wedding into perspective
break down myths and outdated etiquette to help the modern couple
share special touches and ideas that can make your Portland or Pacific Northwest wedding special, or which can bring a touch of Portland to your wedding
report content that represents an intelligent balance between the impractical “Wedding Porn” and the extremely-dry “bridal education” of other wedding blogs
offer advice for getting the most value out of your wedding
discuss ideas that emphasize quality, value, and great service
Some things we WON’T try to do:
Regurgitate content from other blogs and twitter just to have something to post every day. Writing original content takes time, and so does running a business.
Fawn over celebrity weddings for no reason. Especially those individuals whose celebrated status is, well, questionable. However, if a wedding is stylish and fits in with our ethos, we won’t overlook it just because it’s also Page Six-worthy!
Blindly follow trends and traditions without examining the motivation or history behind them
Make you feel bad or left out for not buying the latest, greatest wedding gadget or product or add-on.
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