Category: Portland Wedding Vendors

Portland Wedding Vendors

Portland Vendor Shout-Out: Stumptown DJs

Matt Kurowski, Owner of Stumptown Djs    Photo Credit: Sikora Photography

 

Have you met Matt? You’ve gotta meet Matt! He owns Stumptown DJs. Now here is a Portland, Oregon wedding professional that will not disappoint on your big day. Now lets get this party started. Here is more about Matt and Stumptown Djs.

AOW: Where are you originally from? And how long have you been in Portland?

Matt:  I’m originally from Highland, MI, about 60 miles northwest of Detroit. I’ve been in Portland since October of 2007, so almost 10 years. Wow, time flies!

AOW:  What is your favorite thing about Portland? 

Matt: The people of Portland are my favorite thing about the city. They’re very honest, nice, down to earth, and weird. That’s something you don’t come across very often in cities as large as this.

AOW: What is your favorite spot or thing to do in Portland?

Matt: My favorite thing to do in Portland is to go to the various beautiful parks we have scattered across our city with my wife and 11-month-old son. I particularly like walking over to Peninsula Park. It has a soccer field, two baseball diamonds, a tennis and basketball court, a pool, playground and a gorgeous rose garden.  It’s definitely worth a visit

 

 

AOW:  How long have you been working as a professional wedding DJ?

Matt: I have been running various businesses since 2002, and I’ve been DJing weddings since 2008. So 15 and 9 years respectively. Next year will be Stumptown DJs 10th year in existence. I’m pretty excited about that.

AOW: What people/training/experiences/opportunities led you to this career path? 

Matt: This is a tough question to answer. I don’t think there’s one particular job, person, or experience that has led me to this career path. I would say that an accumulation of everything I’ve done in life has led me to where I am in my career now. However, the main event that happened and caused me to create Stumptown DJs was the market crash of 2008. At that time, I was working in promotional product sales, and all of my customers had just put a freeze on their orders. At the same time, all major companies instilled a hiring freeze, too. So I was forced to look elsewhere for work. In order to pay the bills, I responded to an ad on Craigslist saying they needed an in-house Wedding DJ at the Acadian Ballroom. The existing staff trained me on how to properly DJ and MC a wedding. The rest is history.

AOW: How would you describe the importance of your role & why do you feel a couple should hire a professional DJ for their wedding day?

Matt: At a wedding, the job of a DJ requires a lot of organization and planning with the couple, their guests and other vendors. It’s not as simple as simply showing up and playing music, as most amateurs think. If done by a professional, there is a lot of planning that is done prior to the event. From music selection, to announcements to be said over the mic and proper sound equipment required, there is a lot to be arranged prior to the big day. With each wedding only happening once in a lifetime, there are no “REDOS or DO OVERS,” so there can be a lot of pressure on the DJ to make sure everything goes right. That’s one of the biggest reasons to hire a professional.

Another component most people don’t realize with a professional vs. amateur wedding DJ is MCing. A true professional wedding DJ will make various announcements throughout a wedding and coordinate the timing of them with others. Professionals know how to use the microphone properly in front of various crowd sizes. They can project their voice and speak clearly to get people’s attention in a polite manner. They can also orchestrate when each announcement needs to be made without causing confusion among guests or other vendors.

 AOW: What is the best part of your job?

For me, it’s kind of two-fold. One amazing part of the job is knowing that you are part of a couple’s most memorable day of their life—and assuming it goes well, they will remember you for it for the rest of their life. The other part is that I get to run a business and listen to music—two of my deepest passions. So running a DJ company mashes it all together in one great package.

AOW: What do you find most challenging about your specific line of work or weddings in general?

Matt: The most challenging part of our job is dealing with clients who do not follow through with what they say they will do, and dealing with a friend of the client, that is placed in what is normally a professional role on the wedding day.

We create many deadlines for our clients in order to make sure that they get us all the information that we need in order to do a great job at their event. Many a times, our clients don’t meet these deadlines, which leaves us chasing after vital information—sometimes up to the day of their wedding. It can be quite worrisome, because if we don’t have something as important as their first dance song or ceremony song, often times, we will get the blame for it. Thus, we choose to plan things out with plenty of time in advance, so we can avoid some of this extra stress.

Many clients choose to have a friend work in what is normally a professional role at their wedding. From caterer to day-of-coordinator, if this person does not do this on a regular basis, it can be very difficult for us and other vendors. If we make a mistake, it can hinder our professional reputation. But if they make a mistake, they may choose just not to coordinate a friend’s wedding again. We’ve had various people say that they are going to have their friend coordinate their wedding. Then on the day, the friend doesn’t seem to know what’s going on most of the time, is very disorganized, and/or before the end of the night, they relinquish themselves from their position and leave us to do their job as well.

AOW: Do you work solo or do you have a studio and/or team?

Matt: We have an office in NW Portland right near the Montgomery Park building. It has a great meeting space for clients to come in and chat with us. We share it with two other great wedding vendors (Your Perfect Bridesmaid, Candy Glass Productions), so it can be a one-stop-shop for customers looking for some other quality wedding vendors. As for a team, we have a crew of 9 DJs available and always keep at least one backup available for any day that we have an event booked.

AOW: What do you attribute to your success as a wedding DJ company? What do you think makes you stand apart from others in your field?

Matt: I attribute my success to the time I spent completing the University of Oregon OEMBA program from 2010 to 2012. During that time, not only did I get a Masters in Business, but I also realized that Stumptown DJs could be more than just a side business. It could actually be a full-time job and a powerhouse DJ company in Portland. I created a real business plan for the business, hired two DJs and doubled my revenue within two years.

During my schooling, I learned that a truly successful business solves an industry problem. So when creating my business plan for Stumptown DJs, I made sure that everything we did as a company solved an existing problem in our industry. This helped us find the perfect niche in the Portland DJ market. Stumptown DJs is an affordable, professional and talented DJ service that’s simple, flexible and fun for everyone. And that sets us apart from others in our field.

AOW: At what point in the wedding planning process should clients hire you?

Matt: Shortly after you book your wedding venue is ideal. In order to draw up a contract with us, we require that you have a venue first. Also in most cases, it is best to book us at least three to four months prior to your event.

AOW: Where do you draw inspiration? Are there any current trends you are excited about?

Matt: Most of my inspiration comes from DJing at least one event a month myself. Just seeing all those happy faces and people dancing to the music I choose is satisfying. It makes the daily grind in the office so much easier and reminds me what we are doing beyond making phone calls, checking emails and organizing key wedding information.

 As for trends, one that I really like right now is called silent disco. It’s a great solution to many venues not being allowed to have amplified music being played after certain times. Basically, sets of headphones are given out to each guest on the dance floor and the DJ transmits music over the airwaves that can only be heard using those wireless headphones. This way, guests can continue to dance to their hearts content and the DJ can work later into the night. Plus, if a guest wants to have a conversation with another person, all they have to do is take off their headphones. There’s no need to yell. It’s quite a site to see and really fun, too. In fact, we rent them out to any clients who are interested. Check out our website for more information. http://www.stumptowndjs.com/silent-disco.html

AOW: What is the most important thing that couples should ask someone in your profession before hiring them?

Matt: I suggest asking five main questions prior to hiring someone in our line of work:

  • What is your process from start to finish in terms of organizing things for the day of? What things do you need from us, the client?
  • What equipment do you include in your services and what is extra?
  • How do clients give you feedback in terms of the music they want to hear at their wedding? What is your process?
  • Name your top three favorite wedding venues you like to work at and why?
  • Name your top three favorite wedding vendors you like to work with and why?

 If they answer all these questions solidly, you know you’re getting a DJ that’s organized, up front about costs, allows you to have a say in your music choices, is experienced in weddings and professional.

AOW: What is your best advice for wedding clients?

Matt: Do some research on actual costs for wedding vendors in your area before establishing a budget. And if you plan on having more than just a ceremony at your wedding, hire a professional DJ. We have a saying in the wedding industry: People come to weddings to see you and your significant other get married—plus, eat and drink, but they stay at the wedding because of the music and DJ.

AOW: Anything else you’d like couples to know about you?

Matt: We still have some spring and summer availability, so call, email or text us today at 503-877-3357.

Thank you so much for sharing your awesomeness with us Matt! We are so thankful to have Stumptown DJs here in Portland. You guys always provide outstanding DJ services to our local couples!

 

Real Wedding: Jessica and Chintan’s Sparkling Civil Ceremony, Portland, Oregon

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Real Wedding: Jessica and Chintan’s Sparkling Civil Ceremony, Portland, Oregon

You know we swoon when we get to share a real wedding with you. This one is so sweet, beautiful and one of a kind. Who ever said you need a fancy location to feel opulent is just plain wrong. A court house wedding can be stunning and filled with your special touches, just as Jessica and Chintan show us below. Take a moment to view and read about their love story, enjoy!

Dress: Custom couture from Embellish Designs
Makeup:
Melanie Lindsey of Picasso Artistic Salon
Hair:
Melanie Lindsey of Picasso Artistic Salon http://picassoartisticsalon.com/
Shoes:
Christian Louboutin for the ceremony, gold sequin Converse for the reception
Accessories:
Custom 24k necklace/earring set from Mumbai, the gold bracelet was my “something borrowed and something old” and was lent from my best friend Erin Smith (it was her mother’s, and her mother wore it at her own wedding 40 years ago)
Bridesmaids Dresses:
N/A
Grooms Suit:
Custom made in Mumbai
Photographer:
Powers Photography Studio http://powersstudios.com/
Stationery:
Adorn Invitations https://www.adorninvitations.co.uk/
Cake:
Dream Cakes http://www.dreamcakesportland.com/
Food:
Display from Voodoo Doughnuts and two food trucks for catering on site (PBJs Grilled and Koi Fusion)
Flowers:
Brooch Bouquet custom made from Secret Garden Bouquets
Ceremony Venue: 
Multnomah County Courthouse (Portland, Ore. USA)
Reception Venue:
Our custom built home (we moved in four days prior to the wedding)

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Their Story

We met seven years ago at a nightclub in Portland which no longer exists. Fittingly enough, by chance we had our photo taken the night we met. During the pedicab tour after our American wedding, we re-created the same pose and photo from seven years prior.

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How He Proposed

A few weeks after returning from India where I met his family, it was nearly Valentine’s Day. He had his brother send the ingredients for my favorite Indian food, street-style pizza. In India, you often have to offer bribes to get what you want. He said the pizza ingredients was my “bribe” if I’d let him be my husband. (Technically, I was proposed to with Amul cheese—although there was a ring, too).

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Her Wedding Gown

I initially wanted something short and simple. However, in my husband’s community, all-white is reserved for widows. The choice to have a couture gown custom made was a process of elimination. There were no dresses I liked, particularly with accent colors. I’m a big fan of Zuhair Murad’s designs, but nothing was available that was “just right.” Going with a custom gown was the only way to get what I wanted, although “what I wanted” drastically changed in the year-long process.

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Style for their wedding day

For our American wedding, just a few weeks following the large Indian wedding, we wanted something small and simple with just friends. Since neither of us are Christian, the idea of a church wedding was already out. There’s always been something sweet and romantic about the notion of getting married at the courthouse. The day was informal, fun, and simple, which is just what we needed after spending a month in India.

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The Decor

I am not a DIYer, but many of the details were from Etsy designers and shops. I also surprised my husband by having a brick placed in downtown Portland’s Pioneer Square. You can purchase a permanent brick in what’s dubbed Portland’s livingroom. It read “J+C 4.1.16.”

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Any advice for fellow brides to be?

Prioritize making time to spend with just your husband on your wedding day! After all, that’s what it’s really about.

Your favorite moment of the day…

For an hour in between the ceremony and reception, we took a pedicab tour around downtown Portland. It was time where we could just spend it together before hosting the party at home. We also got married again (our third time after India and the courthouse!) at Voodoo Doughnuts where legal ceremonies are performed with blessings from the “Voodoo gods.”

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Kyra Wedding Cakes

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Kyra Wedding Cakes

We love sweets. Cake, cookies, chocolate, caramel, pies, shall we go on? That’s why when we heard from Kyra that she would share some images of her wedding cakes with us, our mouth started watering. Yum! Honestly, our favorite part of the wedding reception is when it’s time to cut the cake. We want to thank her for taking the time to chat with us and share with you a little about her and what trends she is seeing in the wedding industry and of course a bit of advice for you. Enjoy!

wedding cakes kyraWhat do you specialize in?

 

We primarily specialize in pastries, such as celebration cakes, wedding cakes, cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, cookies and scones, although we offer so much more. And oh yeah, everything we do is absolutely delicious AND 100% gluten-free.

How many years have you been in business?

 

I’ve been in business for 7 years now, all beginning with our first stint on the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars.”

 How did you get started in the wedding industry?

 

 I made a cake for some friends, and people at the wedding went nuts for it. It was all word of mouth: couples kept approaching me, asking me to make custom cakes, or a dessert buffet arrangement for them, and I was honored that they wanted to include my creations on their big day!

 Any trends you are seeing within your field for 2016?

 

 Lots of metallics. Feather detailing. Small table centerpiece cakes for 8 people to share. Rustic Chic is still really big, and we’re starting to see more elaborate, larger cakes, and dessert buffets. Nearly every couple we talk with wants something truly unique and customized for them, so we are doing lots of themed dessert bars, in addition to the show piece cake.

 What advice would you give a couple who is planning their wedding day?

 Remember that ultimately, it’s a day, albeit a very fun day. But their relationship is more important than any one detail. Stop, breathe, and look around and try to soak up the day and all the support and love shining at them from their friends and family, because that’s what it’s all about!

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For more information about availability and questions about catering and cakes contact Kyra here!
New Wedding Venue Site, Century Bar in Portland, Oregon

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New Wedding Venue Site, Century Bar in Portland, Oregon

We are always excited to learn there is a new event space for ceremony, engagement parties, receptions and bridal showers. The newest addition to the Portland market is a warm, wooden atmosphere. With a variety of unique rooms to suit all your needs. Have a one of kind ceremony where your guests are seating in stadium style, to view your wedding day vows! Everyone will have a great view, what a cool concept. It’s equipped with a bridal suite, private balcony, three bars, in house caterer and more!

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century bar portland oregon wedding venue

Here is a photo of their private room. It has a capacity of 50 guests with it’s own bar, private balcony and bridal suite. It’s perfect for a small, intimate wedding.

wedding ceremony location in portland oregon the century

This space is so new that they are still working building a beautiful podium for weddings but the unique rooms are available to be booked for this Summer!

A sunny, street level patio with fire pits will connect via garage doors to a half open-air front bar where locals and visitors can hang out for hours. Two sets of staircases will lead you to two different spaces. One to a rooftop deck with amazing views of Portland and another where you have bachelor parties, bridal showers and more! The Century has so many wonderful nooks to entertain your guests you will want to contact them to get in to visit the site before it gets booked up! Head over to Century Bar Pdx or email them directly at info@centurybarpdx.com.

Be sure to share your wedding photos with us after you get married here! We’d love to see them! Cheers!

Sunday Interview. Red Letter Days

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Sunday Interview. Red Letter Days

Welcome back to our relaxed and lazy Sunday Interview series. We talk to a professional wedding vendor each Sunday and share with you what they have to say. It’s a great way to learn more about them and get real advice. Grab your coffee or tea and enjoy!

Today we are pleased to interview Micaela of Red Letter Days, owner and photographer. Photography is one of the most important aspects of your wedding day, beside the groom! Here is what Micaela had to say when we asked her some questions.

red letter day photography What do you specialize in? “Weddings & Portraits.”

How long have you been in business? “Since 2011.”

How did you get started in the wedding industry? “I knew right away when starting the business that weddings were going to be the main focus for me.  My passion for people and capturing their love and emotions just naturally pulled me in that direction.  Getting started, the most powerful tools were building good relationships with clients and a lot of networking.  Of course a lot of hard work to build that portfolio was important as well.”

Are there any trends you are seeing with your field for 2016? “When it comes to trends in photography, first looks and open air photo booths seem to be going strong in 2016, as well as first looks with dad.  Hiring a videographer is becoming more popular and something I absolutely love to see. It makes me so happy to see couples investing in professionals to preserve their memories.”

What advice would you give a couple who is just planning their wedding day? 

 1- Invest in the things that matter the most to you.  Weddings can be overwhelming, and they cost a pretty penny.  Prioritize your budget and hire professionals to help you see it through.
  2- Hire a coordinator. You may be the best wedding planner on the planet, but on your wedding day, you need someone to steer the ship.  That someone can’t be you, it shouldn’t be your mom, or even your friend. You want your loved ones to be able to enjoy the day with you.  Having someone directing the day will allow for every aspect to flow better and allow your vendors to better do their jobs. Stress free is always the best way to go!
  3- Enjoy your day.  Don’t put so much pressure on yourself that you forget to let the moments sink in. Remember, you’re celebrating one of the happiest stages of your life.  Cheers!

Thanks again for taking the time to share with us and our readers. Head over to her website, Red Letter Days to find out more about her and see more work!

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Coreene Collins Hair & Make Up

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Coreene Collins Hair & Make Up

Our interview series continues with Coreene Collins. Take a moment to learn more about her and what she does and any trends she see’s for the upcoming wedding season! Enjoy.

make up and bridal hair

1. What do you specialize in? I specialize in Bridal Hair and Make Up.” 

 2. How many years have you been in business?
 “I have been in the beauty industry for over seven years. I have been in the bridal industry for five years.”
 
3. How did you get started in the wedding industry?
 “For as long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated with the bridal industry. In highschool, I wanted to be a wedding dress designer. The love for hair and make up came naturally. I was late to all the highschool dances because I was the one doing all of my friends hair and makeup. When I realized my love for hair/ make up, I decided to decline a private college scholarship and attend the local beauty school.
 
After beauty school, friends and family were asking me to do their hair and make up for their weddings. I became fascinated with updos and everything bridal. I decided that “Bridal” was going to be my specialty. I attended many advance hair and make up education courses before I created my own bridal business. It’s been an amazing journey so far. I have been honored to receive the Weddingwire Couples Choice Award 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 for my talent and customer service. I can honestly say, after five years, I still love what I do.”
 
4. Any trends you are seeing within your field for 2016?
 “Yes! Every year brings new ideas to the beauty industry which, in turn, flow into the bridal industry. For hair, I am seeing more messy fishtail braids incorporated in up/down dos. For make up, I have been seeing more highlighted”glowy skin” than harsh contouring. Depending on the season, brides will be wearing nude glossy lips or berry colored matte lips.”
 
5. What advice would you give a couple who is planning their wedding day?
 “I have been happily married for five years, but the memories of planning our wedding seem like yesterday! I would tell couples to take time out of their day and NOT talk about the wedding. Just be yourselves, enjoy the engagement period and have fun. This will help the both of you refocus and help keep your sanity before the wedding day.” 
Thanks to Coreene for taking time out of her day to talk with us. Head over to her website for more info and to see more images from past weddings. You can follow her on twitter @coreenecollins and Instagram @coreenecollinshair.
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How to Book a Wedding Photographer

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How to Book a Wedding Photographer

When it comes to choosing a wedding photographer some people get excited but most get overwhelmed. Photography is so much fun and something that is now accessible to all with smartphones and affordable point and shoot cameras. Just because you know someone that has snapped a few good pictures doesn’t mean they are experienced to capture wedding day moments. Take your time and be selective. Find someone with experience photographing people and events. Things can often change quickly at you need someone who can work quickly when needed. You will also want someone who you feel comfortable with, just because you like their work doesn’t mean you should hire them or the price is right. If you don’t “like” the photographer as a person then issues will arise the day of or before.

You have heard this said many times but I’m going to remind you, “The photos are the only thing you will have after the party is over.” Ok, ok, you’re saying to yourself, “I will have my dress?!” Yes you will but your dress can’t tell the story of when your aunt got on the dance floor and shook her thang with your husband!

We’ve taken some time to compile a helpful pdf with tips on how to book the right wedding photographer for you. This is such an important factor for your wedding day we have made this pdf free. Yes, yes, hugs are in order. We also accept gift cards, flowers and chocolates:) With over ten years in the event/wedding industry I have seen the good, the bad and sometimes the ugly when it comes to wedding planning. Let’s get rid of the bad and ugly and focus on the good.

We are here to help, so if you have questions, let us know. Click on the link for your free pdf download, “How to Book a Wedding Photographer.”  Enjoy!

Here’s quick sample of what you’ll find in the easy to read free pdf.

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The Art of Wedding’s 10th Anniversary Bridal Showcase

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The Art of Wedding’s 10th Anniversary Bridal Showcase

We are so excited for the tenth annual Art of Weddings Bridal Show! We started with a vision on a napkin while chatting with a friend at a coffee shop and it has grown ever since. The goal was and has always been to keep the event relaxed, fun and non-pressured. We think you should be able to meet and talk to vendors without feeling like you have to book them on site. Of course you can if you fall in love but the goal is for your and your fiance to celebrate your engagement in a stylish atmosphere.

If you haven’t already, now is the time to reserve your tickets online. Get a discounted price of only $8 each when you enter the code: PCS online and you will also be automatically entered for the opportunity to win a whole wedding from the Lucky in Love contest (valued at over $20,000). Otherwise get them at the door for $15 each.

We always love having it at the modern and beautiful Gerding Theater at the Armory in downtown Portland. Parking is on street and in nearby lots. Coat check on hand in case it’s a rainy evening.

View stunning photography, sample culinary delights, snack on a sweet cupcake and hop in a photo booth for some silly memories. Stay around for a featured fashion show by local fashion designer Michelle DeCourcy and walk away with ideas to plan your perfect wedding day! See you this Wednesday evening from 6-9pm!

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