{ Local Love } Deals & Discounts on Portland Wedding Venues

If you are looking for some great ways to save money during the wedding planning process, look no further.  Here are a couple of deals from some of our favorite local vendors.

Vibrant Table is offering two deals to new bookings.  If you decide to use Vibrant Table as your caterer they will include a complimentary champagne toast or they will provide their Loft on Belmont for the rehearsal dinner.

Thumbs_classic-wines-winemaker-dinner-03-05-10-loft-icoz-127Loft on Belmont – Vibrant Table

One of our favorite Lake Oswego venues, The Foundry at Oswego Pointe, is currently offering a 20% discount for all remaining 2014 dates! Here’s a photo from a wedding ceremony we did recently there:

JOS-photographers-Kiran-and-Siddharth-Indian-Wedding-09The Foundry at Oswego Pointe

If you haven’t decided on your venue or caterer yet, make sure to keep these deals in mind! We’re always finding out about more of these for our wedding clients, so bookmark us and check back soon; or contact us at info@ejpevents.com.

{ Daily Reblog } Tips and Tricks to Attending Bridal Shows

We are starting to get back into bridal show season and I though I'd share a few tips on how to get the most of your bridal show experience and how to avoid "bridal show overload." 

Bridal show attendane

Gear Up!

First things first, make sure to have a good breakfast or lunch before attending the show if it doesn't have a food function offered. Many times samples of cake or even champagne are offered, and these can wreak havoc on an empty stomach.

Bring a water bottle so you stay hydrated while you're walking around. Sometimes all that air-conditioned, recycled air can dry you out and leave you feeling fatigued.

Finally, make sure to wear comfortable shoes since you'll be doing lots of walking.

Be Prepared!

Use your show time efficiently! Make a few sheets of labels with your name, address, email, and wedding date if you want to avoid standing in lines to enter drawings or raffles. At the same time, remember that if you provide personal information, you'll probably receive mail and email from those vendors. If you provide a wedding date , most vendors will stop contacting you once your date has passed.

Understand the show timeline. Is there a seated food function, or seminars to sign up for? What time should you arrive in order to get a seat for the fashion show? Make sure you take a look at the program offerings; that way you get the most out of your admission fee.

Make a list of items you still need from your wedding checklist, and target those booths first. Otherwise you could spend precious time wandering the aisles! Also, bring notes or pictures to help your planning along — for example, if you're looking for jewelry and accessories, bring a picture or swatch of your attire.

If you plan on hitting the gown sales, avoid wearing heavy foundation or lipstick, as products are bound to smear. You can always stop by one of the beauty vendors for a touch-up once you're done shopping!

Finally, Enjoy Yourself!

You'll probably receive lots of brochures and business cards. Try to sort through them as you go through the show, otherwise you could wind up with a heavy bag that just gets recycled!

In the end, be sure to have fun and enjoy yourself! Don't be overwhelmed by the choices; in the end you'll be sure to find some great ideas and hopefully, put together a winning team for your wedding day.

A version of this blog post originally appeared on February 22, 2010.

What you can and can’t learn from a vendor’s website


Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/carbonnyc/ / CC BY 2.0

So many of you are planning your weddings long-distance. We talk regularly to couples in L.A., San Francisco, Houston, and other locales. Whether you or your family are Portland-based, or you just wanted a destination wedding in the Pacific Northwest, here you are doing your planning from afar.

Because of this, I get lots of questions about how one should pick a vendor or service provider. Some of my own clients tell me, "Oh, you don't need to help me with X or Y service, I found this great one on the internet." Which can be great, but I wanted to put my two cents in about some things to look for when you're wedding shopping on the web.

1. You CAN see photos. You CAN'T see their personality or how they will execute on the wedding day.

We've seen countless examples of vendors with stellar portfolios who in person are um, a little bit hard to deal with in person. I think back to one officiant an East Coast client chose by virtue of website alone, who came out of left field with an impromptu ethnic slur during the ceremony homily.

2. Are the photos representative of the service provider's work?

As a business person, I know I have to have some kind of "eye candy" on my website, and so I try my best to pick the best photographs from the weddings I have coordinated. However, I did not bake the cake, or arrange the flowers, or take the pictures! So website photos can only go so far in describing what I do or how well I do it. Clients will get the best picture of what we can do if they interview my team in person, check references around town, and find out what kind of experience they and their guests will have when we are working a wedding.

3. Are the photos actually of their work?

The ease of use of many blogging platforms allows pretty much anyone who can use a WYSIWYG editor to create a wedding blog and rehash content from other websites. The savvy consumer will dig deeper, both online, and face to face, to find out if the business is responsible at in any way for any the pretty photos or written content on the website.

4. You're loving photos of the vendor's real work, but it isn't work that will actually apply to your wedding.

For example, a makeup artist or hair stylist who has countless photos of gorgeous editorial and high-fashion features is obviously a skilled individual. But if you are buying makeup, for example, I recommend that you look at the makeup — not the lighting, photography, visual styling, clothing, or the attractiveness of the models! If you're shopping for wedding makeup…look for wedding makeup.

Similarly, a snappy website design is always pleasing, but unless you are looking at this wedding vendor to design a website for you, it doesn't tell you much about how they will perform at your event.

It's not that websites can't be helpful, it's just that there is so much more to your experience than what you can find on the web. In fact, some wonderful service providers I have worked with have little to no web presence, although this is becoming less and less common. Do your initial research on the web, yes, but there is no substitute for the face-to-face interview, client and vendor references, and other processes relating to your own due diligence.