Oregon and Washington are fondly known for their scenic views, old growth forests, amazing beaches and gorgeous mountain views. Oregonians, especially, are proud to “have it all” with beautiful beaches and mountains connected by just a stretch of highway. In the past few years the Northwest has steadily grown as a destination spot for weddings and elopements.
Today I’m sharing a few tips for brides and grooms who may be planning a destination wedding in Portland, Oregon and the surrounding area. Whether you would like to host your wedding in a city with a trendy vibe and acclaimed food, or you prefer a remote destination with the serenity of nature as your witness, your perfect location can be found within a few hours of Portland, Oregon.
Tip#1: Take stock of the seasons. All of the beauty in the Northwest comes with a price- and we pay for it with ample rain. Don’t let that put a damper on your outdoor wedding plans, however. While rain is possible any time of the year, planning your Northwest wedding in late July, August, September, or early October gives you the best odds for amazing weather. You can also use the Farmer’s Almanac as a resource to see which days historically boast dry weather.
Tip #2: Explore the amazing scenic variety of Oregon. If you are planning a small wedding or elopement, take time to explore the unique areas of Oregon that offer beach or mountain views. Mt. Tabor, is an amazing location for small to medium sized weddings. You can also plan a medium sized wedding at many locations in the Gorge. For elopements, the Oregon coast offers amazing views and breath taking photo opportunities.
Tip #3: Take advantage of local scenery, views and “tourist attractions”. From the Rose Garden in the heart of Portland to the scenic gorge views overlooking the Columbia River, Oregon has a variety of natural views and adventures to explore. If you are getting married downtown, consider planning in additional time with your photographer to take photos at one of the many beautiful natural areas in and around Portland.
And as an added bonus for your guests, put together a list of “must see” attractions to include with your wedding invitation. Your guests traveling from out of town will enjoy the good food, great coffee, and scenic variety that Oregon is known for.
Tip #4: Work with amazing local vendors available to help you plan your destination wedding or elopement. The Northwest boasts a thriving community of wedding professionals. I would recommend hiring a wedding planner based in Oregon, and also hiring a photographer who has had experience shooting in the location you are looking at. These professionals can help you create the wedding of your dreams.
Whether you are planning a destination wedding in Portland, along the Coast, or another stunning location in the Northwest, I’d love to chat with you. As an Oregon native, the natural beauty of the Northwest, coupled with an amazing, adventurous couple, makes my heart so happy.
Happy wedding planning!
Thank you to hardwood floor installation Atlanta for sponsoring this post!
Tara and Brandon chose to celebrate their wedding day on a peninsula jutting out into the beautiful waters of Lake Oswego. The location fit the couple perfectly, as they have spent ample time boating around the lake with their friends and family. Tara prepared for the first look with her closest girls in the adjacent boat house, and the rest of the events unfolded throughout the scenic private property. A highlight of the day was the celebratory champagne boat ride for Tara and Brandon, which they enjoyed immediately after their ceremony.
The evening was filled with joy, laughter, + amazing food. Although the forecast promised rain, we were blessed with beautiful sunny skies and an amazing sunset.
A few words from Tara about their love story and wedding day:
How did you two meet?
Brandon saw Tara working out at the gym. Tara was very focused on her workout and wasn’t aware she had caught Brandon’s eye. At the end of her workout she said good-bye to a friend, who Brandon also knew. Brandon inquired about Tara with the friend and learned that she would be at a birthday party that Friday night. When Tara showed up to the party, guess who was standing next to the birthday boy awaiting an introduction?
Tell us about your proposal and love story:
Tara and Brandon were celebrating New Year’s in one of their favorite places, Black Butte Ranch. The couple, along with their beloved furbaby, Tulee, were on a beautiful, sunny crisp walk enjoying the Cascade mountain range when Brandon dropped down on one knee and popped the question. Both Tara and Tulee said yes!
Tell us about finding your wedding dress:
I wanted to feel sophisticated and sexy. I visited two bridal salons and found my dress at the second location. There are so many beautiful silhouettes and styles of dresses and I could have picked several, however, I stayed true to how I envisioned looking on my wedding day. My dress was a sheath fit, with a low cut back and cathedral length train.
What was the inspiration/vison for your wedding day?
Old Hollywood love story. I was drawn to a vintage look with a modern day charm.
How did you choose your venue?
Our friends have the most stunning views and property on the lake in Lake Oswego. When they offered their home for our wedding, it just felt right because we spend so much time on the lake. The views and atmosphere on the property give way to late, fun nights dancing under the stars.
Any DYI elements?
Yes, I had a crew of talented women help create our center pieces. We covered wine and olive oil bottles with rose gold spray paint and added touches of gold and silver glitter to some. We also dipped candle holders and votives in glitter for extra sparkle around the venue. For the wedding, white and light pink flowers were placed in the bottles and led lights were set in the votives.
What was your favorite detail of the day?
The chandeliers hanging in the trees above us as we said our vows. It was a splurge that was definitely worth it and made the day for not only us but our guests.
What was your most memorable moment?
Our first look. Brandon’s reaction was priceless – glad we have it on video!
Three words that sum up your day:
FUN! Beautiful and perfect.
What advice would you give another couple planning their day?
Hire a wedding coordinator – Bite the bullet and spend the money! It was priceless having my coordinator take care of all these crazy situations happening behind the scenes, which I thankfully learned about after the honeymoon.