Choosing a Venue

Ali Mae Photography

One of the many reasons to love weddings in Portland – you can host a wedding in the city in an industrial building, ballroom, or hotel; close in at any of our farms or vineyards; out to the coast; in to the Gorge with its brilliant waterfalls and majestic greenery; or up Mount Hood for a classic rustic wedding.

Powers Studios
Powers Studios

We’ve been terrible about blogging – sorry about that but we’re busy people planning weddings and meeting with newly engaged couples for the next big wedding season.

Deyla Huss Photography
Deyla Huss Photography

If you are newly engaged and looking for a venue there are a lot of things to consider.  While we wish everyone would hire an expert like us to sit down with you , go over the numbers, your vision and your dreams and then help set a budget and give you all of the relevant vendor and venue recommendations accordingly (our getting started package for only $200 – a downright bargain). If you are doing it yourself, here are some tips and tricks for finding the right place for you:

  1. Set a Budget FIRST – Don’t start looking at venues, fall in love with one, put a deposit down and then realize you absolutely can’t afford the wedding you wanted. How do you set a budget? Start by gathering the details of how much total money you have to spend on your wedding. The average is around $25,000 for 100 – 150 guests. While that might sound like a lot of money, the average new car costs $36,000, according to Forbes. I hope you plan to be married longer than you intend to drive your car. Your marriage is a worthwhile celebratory investment so if you can find the means to fund the wedding exactly as you want it, that is exactly what you should do. That said, averages mean nothing if your parents will be contributing $5,000 and you don’t have access to $20,000 or the ability to finance that much.
Ellie Asher Photography
Ellie Asher Photography


2.Create a guest list – You’ve always wanted to get married downtown in a quaint industrial space. Cool! But if your guest list is 250 people long, you’re going to need to be limited in your options. If your guest list is 60 people you will possibly have way too much space to fill and feel a bit awkward. That’s no where near as awkward as putting a deposit down on a space, assuming 100 guests then writing out your guest list down the road only to realize you can’t fit your must invites in the space you picked, much less your want to invites, and forget about work friends there’s no room

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Elisa Ivers
View More:
Elisa Ivers

3. Be flexible with your date, or don’t – We get that some people absolutely must have their wedding date be 4 – 20 – 19 because you don’t ever want to forget your anniversary, or how you met. Cool, cool! But hey, your dream venue is booked that date and now you have looked at 20 venues you really like but they’re all booked. This is getting frustrating and overwhelming and you might have to get married in mom and dad’s backyard or elope on a hill somewhere – or compromise on the date. Everyone wants to get married in the summer warm months. Please do this if you want to get married on a farm or in the Gorge outside, but if you like industrial indoor venues, why? Get married in October, or November, or please have a beautiful holiday wedding. Everyone wants to get married when the kids are out of school – even though unless they are immediate family or you are having a dry wedding why the hell are you inviting kids? Let your friends enjoy a night off to have fun and celebrate!

Danae Jones Photography
Danae Jones Photography

4. Determine your wedding style – What does this even mean? Well if you want a tropical floral and decor design, and Pacific NW/Asian fusion cuisine, your ideal venue is fairly open with the right expert planner/designer and caterer, but if you want a black tie formal affair with lots of candles and staged lighting, and you want to get married in July at a farm venue that requires all of your vendors to be loaded and out by 10:00 pm, I have questions.

Happy Planning!

Published by Sadie

Mom, Event Planner, WHS PTO President...

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