Have you considered a Skagit Valley wedding? Located about halfway between Vancouver BC and Seattle, the lowlands of the Skagit River Valley feature acres upon acres of farmlands. Many things are grown here, though the valley is mostly known for tulips, culminating in an annual festival held every April. Besides bulbs, the Skagit Valley has abundant water. The Skagit River runs right through it, and Puget Sound is nearby. And don’t forget about picture perfect views of the nearby mountains. A beautiful backdrop no matter which way you look! Plus, the valley is on the way to the San Juan Islands, a destination for fun and weddings.
If you live in the Northwest, getting to the Skagit Valley is easy. It’s about a hour drive via I-5 from Seattle, two (depending on border crossing) from Vancouver, BC, and four from Portland. Better yet, leave the driving to Amtrak! The Cascades service stops in downtown Mt. Vernon. It offers two daily round trips from Seattle and Vancouver BC and one daily round trip from Portland. (You can also use Amtrak to connect to SeaTac International Airport via Link Light Rail. This will bring you from the airport terminal to King Street Station in Seattle.)
So if you are thinking of a nice unique wedding that features lovely farms and stunning backdrops, consider a Skagit Valley wedding!
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 put 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 a married couple 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 couple greets each pew in the church as they leave. We’ve even seen a “Bartending receiving line” where the couple tended bar for the first hour and poured all of their guests a pint of their favorite craft beer!
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!
A version of this article appeared on the EJP Events – Portland Wedding Coordinator blog in 2010.
Couples want to be environmentally conscious and use sustainable methods and services for their weddings. A get-together of so many people can create a great deal of carbon load and waste, and consequently, most of our clients want to reduce and offset this burden. We see a lot of couples choosing sustainably farmed foods, vegan and vegetarian menus, and using flowers and decor that are locally sourced and not creating undue waste, so why not take the next logical step and reduce fossil fuel dependency?
Conferences, conventions, and meetings have been stressing the importance of public transit and reducing the number or cars at an event for many years, but it’s taken a while to catch on for social events. Thankfully in Portland, with transit and bike culture always at the forefront, we’re seeing more and more weddings go car-free.
Elopements don’t have the same social connotations as in days of yore: a rushed wedding, kept under wraps for various reasons; family drama. Nowadays, elopements are becoming a popular choice for couples who don’t feel a big, traditional wedding suits them. Modern elopements, rather than being just the couple running off together, now often include a small number of close family and friends.
What makes it a modern elopement?
The couple is often going to a destination wedding location rather than marrying in one or the other’s hometown, or their current place of residence
There are less than six months of planning involved
Some traditional wedding customs may be left out such as a lavish wedding cake, printed invitations, or an elaborate dress.
What items are we still seeing being “left in” the elopement that are like a planned wedding?
A lot of thought is still going into the wedding clothing and for the couple to look their best
The location is very important, since without a lot of wedding traditions, the location is the centerpiece and more important than decor. The location IS the decor.
Wedding photography is not getting skimped on! In fact, many elopement weddings we’re seeing are able to afford a skilled professional photographer, because they aren’t spending so much on having hundreds of guests in attendance.
What are the pros?
Can save a lot of money. Reducing guest count is the number one way to reduce the cost of a wedding.
Simplifies arrangements. By not using many wedding traditions, the overall planning becomes simpler. Elopement planners can be used to help find the location and negotiate contracts, and may set everything up; but once you walk down the aisle, you may not need the full services of a wedding planner. Asking a wedding planner about their elopement package for a group of 20 guests or fewer may result in surprising savings.
Could reduce stress. If you are introverted, or just don’t like the fuss surrounding a traditional wedding with a large dance party and hundreds of guests, a small wedding or modern elopement can feel perfect.
What are the cons?
Some people could feel left out. If it’s common in your family culture to have large weddings, those not invited could feel snubbed. Check with the elders of your family if you think this could be the case! Be diplomatic and use the 25-year-rule.
Does not always mean a great reduction in cost. We have seen modern elopements where wedding guests are included, quickly turn into destination weddings. These type of events can quickly grow to a $5,000-$10,000 price tag for 20-50 guests. As long as you have set your budget and planned carefully in advance, you should be able to get the type of wedding you want. A wedding planner can be helpful in this respect, especially those who do a “Kick-Off Consultation”.
It can be hard to find just the right location for a modern elopement. A couple searching on the internet for a place to get married can often easily find the flagship or traditional wedding venues in a destination, while the quirky, unusual, or unique locations are harder to find. For this reason it can be helpful to work with a wedding planner who is familiar with your destination, has traveled there before, and can possibly offer a different angle from what you would see on traditional wedding websites like TheKnot and WeddingWire.
Whichever direction you take your wedding planning in, there are a lot of great elements that we can take from smaller, intimate weddings and elopements.
Kristin and Jason were married last July at Lewis and Clark College in the Agnes Flanagan Chapel and their reception was at Smith Hall in the historic Albany Quadrangle on campus. Many thanks to Joe Riedl for the photos of the day.
We enjoyed working with the following great companies to make their day truly special:
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!
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
Entire Second Floor Event space (8 thousand square feet) which includes:
Cocktail Reception Space
Extra Room (used for whatever you see fit including photo booth area etc)
I’m always humbled to receive emails like this. It’s a big deal to trust someone you haven’t yet met in person to work with you through all the details and issues that come with planning your wedding day. Thank you S&D, and I’m so excited to be working with you in the coming year ❤❤
super wayback #tbt to an Austin Hill Country wedding! I would love to go back and do another, so if you’re one of the many Austinites recently moved to Portland, but are going back for your wedding, consider us! http://ift.tt/2lWwSsq
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.
"Splendid Insights will be releasing the 2013 Global Wedding Study during first quarter 2014. In order to represent each segment as best as possible, we'd love it if you shared the survey with your clients, readers and friends! The diversity in responses helps us take a better look at the realities behind the global wedding market. As always, Splendid Insights has no financial bias hinging on the study results, so we're able to share an unfiltered look at the wedding industry…"
The lovely folks at Think Splendid are doing their part to educate us about why we make the choices that we do for weddings. If you got married in 2013, won't you please take a moment to take their research survey? http://wedn.gs/wed13
As we get into the early part of the wedding planning process for many of this year’s upcoming clients, we often hear the question:
“Do I really need to…(insert X, Y, or Z element here)?” This may relate to a a vendor decision (to have a videographer or not?) or a tradition decision (to see each other before the wedding ceremony or not), or maybe a design decision (to rent those chivari chairs or not).
Thing is, no wedding planner or magazine or blog can truly help you answer these dilemmas until you’ve explored your own feelings. One method I recommend is what I’ve been calling the “25-year rule“. How will you feel about this decision 25 years from now? When you look back at your wedding album, when you celebrate your silver anniversary, will you say to yourself, “I wish I had ____________, after all”?
Did you know that about 8 million pounds of fabric waste is not recycled and is landfilled every year? (Source, ALA Waste Recycling) “But what if you didn’t cut the fabric?” Love, June Bridal asked this question, and has now launched an innovative wedding gown line that is eco-friendly and reduces waste. How so? By using natural fibers such as silk and cotton and by creating designs that don’t requirecutting the fabric, virtually eliminating fabric waste. This boutique line, as described on their Etsy profile page, “is created from only squares and rectangles”!
Sounds crazy, no? But the gowns are ethereal, feminine, sexy, and a serious departure from the typical, A-line strapless wedding gown. If you have been agonizing over stiff, shiny, scratchy, heavily beaded gowns, and saying to yourself, “this just isn’t me!” I implore you to take a look at these exotic and different designs.