Category: Portland Wedding Vendors

Portland Vendor Shout-Out: Stumptown Booth

Portland Wedding Vendors wedding coordination

Portland Vendor Shout-Out: Stumptown Booth

 

All photos courtesy of Stumptown Booth

If Tony Karais of Stumptown Booth doesn’t win you over with his quick wit and personality in this interview, then clearly you are not paying attention. Sounds like this entertaining guy landed in the right business! Looking for a photo booth for your wedding, but not sure what kind? One of the awesome things about Stumptown Booth is that they have many different kinds to choose from and can help you figure out what’s best for your event. They even have options for slow motion video and light painting! Yep! Keep reading…

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

I’m originally from a town in Southwestern Ontario called Guelph(‘gwelf’). It’s about 60 miles west of Toronto. Home to the University of Guelph and their outstanding agriculture and veterinary programs…neither of which I could remotely qualify for. Also, home to Neve Campbell. Whom no one know where she is anymore. I’ve been in Portland now for a little over 20 years with a short 3 year hiatus to the Garden State with my wife and a new job that she had taken there. I’m happy to be back!

AOW: What is your favorite thing about Portland?

So many things. The very first time I ever visited here, I felt at home. I’d lived in Florida, Idaho, and of course Ontario prior. It just felt right. I love the food scene, I love that Portlanders are willing to try new things and not just keep doing what’s been done. There is definitely a sense of openness here that you don’t find in most place. I love that.

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

Go to Ruby Jewels Ice Cream on Mississippi. No better ice cream on the planet (and for the record I don’t know anyone involved in that venture!). Every time I’d come back to Portland on a business trip from NJ I’d stop there to get the Salted Dark Chocolate with Caramel. If it’s not eating ice cream it would have to be exploring the numerous neighbourhoods in the city. And yes, ‘neighbourhoods’ is spelled correctly. I speak Queen’s English people. 😉

AOW: How long have you been working as a professional photo booth company owner?

We’ve been doing this a little over 4  years now, almost 5! Wow, time flies.

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

A chance encounter with our very first booth (The Photo Graffiti Wall). I had heard about this booth via a friend and, truthfully, it sounded like the most uninspired thing in the world. We were at a conference about 3 months later and the company that made the booth with there for an evening social. I just about lost my mind when I saw it! It was so amazing! I kept the poor guy there until almost 2:30am. He had to drive back to LA from Las Vegas that same night. I sort of feel bad. Though they did get a sale out of it! That led to more and more booths. It’s the equivalent of a shoe fetish I think. I’ve been involved in the event business for over 12 years now and this seemed to be a natural evolution of it.

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

We’re full time at this and you really need to be. It’s not something that can be done properly as a hobby or weekend warrior type deal. There are so many things involved. It still surprises me to this day how much work, detail, and time goes into the simplest of photo booth events before we even arrive on site. Outside of that, just having back ups of absolutely everything ready to go in case you need it. Technology can be fickle my friends!

AOW: What is the best part of your job?

Can I pick more than one thing?? If I had to pick just one it would be the onsite experience of having guests at or in the booths. It’s so much fun! Handing them their pics would be a close second followed closely by having them experience something that they’ve never done before with a booth (slow motion video, animated gifs, light painting!).

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

The pressure that we put on ourselves to exceed our client’s expectations. That’s terribly cliche sounding but it’s so true. There’s nothing better than getting an email, call, or letter from a client telling you that everyone is still talking about you. We have a very “we can do that” attitude and will always find a way to deliver what the clients wants.

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

I have a staff of 6 who work with me on a part time basis. We’ll have a full time designer in the  next month or so and by holiday will have another full timer to manage the booths in the shop.

AOW: What do you attribute to your success as a photo booth company?

A: The ability of clients to reach us 7 days a week and our onsite service. We respond quickly with answers to their questions. You’ll hear from us right away. B: Selection of booths. We pride ourselves on the variety of booths that we offer along with a tremendous prop and backdrop selection. And if we don’t have it, we’ll get it for you!

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

That’s a bit of a moving target! We’ve literally done a wedding the same day when the other company canceled! I don’t advise this – lol. Ideally, if you have a specific date or booth in mind, the earlier the better. The time of year affects it greatly. If your wedding is in July or August – now! Those months are just crazy…

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

From the photo booth community itself. It’s a very supportive group and a very exciting field to be in. I’m currently obsessed with  light painting (so beautiful and fun!), VR360 photos (mind blowing!) and animated gifs and boomerangs. Digital technology is driving the creativity level beyond simple photos and what people can do with a photo booth. Some of the work I’ve seen is just spectacular and we’re helping contribute to that.

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

Details, details, details. Do you have back up staff? Back up equipment? Ask about the printers, cameras, and the lighting that’s used. Photo booths can run the gamut from very, very poor quality units to incredibly complex units. There’s a huge difference in booths and services.

AOW: What is your best advice for wedding client?

Take the time to enjoy your day and don’t put pressure on yourself for it to be perfect. Have fun and  take in your friends, family, and the experience. While it’s an important day, it’s just one of many you’ll have together. Remember it.

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

This question made me laugh out loud! 🙂 Should it be something weird? Serious? Random? Let’s go with all three. I put ketchup on everything. I’m a fanatical recycler. I’m a closet fan of Nickelback. That last one probably cost me a couple of gigs…

AOW: Thanks Tony! You made us laugh out loud too. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Portland Vendor Shout-Out: Make Up & Lashes by Melissa Pope

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Portland Vendor Shout-Out: Make Up & Lashes by Melissa Pope

We are so excited to feature this talented lady! And yep, this photo below is of HER…not a model. She is gorgeous inside and out. You will absolutely fall in love with Melissa and be blown away by her talents in the make up and lash department. If you are in Portland and have a wedding (or any special event coming up) you need this awesome gal on your team. She will make you look and feel your most incredible.  Meet Melissa! And check her out at www.makeupbymelissapope.com!

                                    Melissa Pope, photographed by: Sara May Photography

 

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

Melissa: I am originally from Huntsville, Alabama and have lived in Portland for 4 years now.

AOW:  What is your favorite thing about Portland? 

Melissa: The food, the people, the constant fluorescent greenery, so much! I love this city so much.

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

Melissa: My favorite spot in Portland is probably Washington Park, there’s just something magical about it.

Photo credit:  Danielle Elizabeth

AOW:  How long have you been working as a professional make up artist?

Melissa: I started working as a professional make up artist 6 years ago and an eyelash extension artist 1 year ago.

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

Melissa: Make up I fell into as I was pursuing a modeling/acting career years ago in Los Angeles. I learned tips from other artists and the more I did my own, the more I started doing my friend’s and I started to see a possible career path. Then I took a bridal makeup artistry class from celeb makeup artist Jena Perry which took my skills to a new level. Training with her was a game changer.

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

Melissa: There are so many aspects to a professional, competent makeup artist. Makeup artistry is of course key but what I find to be of equal importance is the presence they bring to the day. Weddings can be chaotic and emotional and my job is to infuse calm and make that bride feel like the most beautiful girl on the planet. Then of course showing up on time, (which means early) fully prepared and getting the job done perfectly and within the time constraints. That’s what you get when you pay a professional.

Photo credit: Sara May Photography

 AOW: What is the best part of your job?

Melissa: When the bride is all done with hair and makeup and puts on her dress. I’m usually cleaning up/getting ready to leave, but I always take a moment to watch her family and friends have a meltdown over the bride.

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

Melissa: Clients not knowing what they want can be very challenging. But that’s why I require bridal trials, we figure it all out long before the big day so we go in with a game plan.

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

Melissa: I work solo but am hired on by other artists as needed and vice versa. I have a great community of artists and we’re all very supportive of each other.

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

Melissa: In terms of artistry, my focus is always on enhancing the natural beauty. My brides still look like themselves and I’ve built up a little reputation for being more of a “natural makeup up artist”. But don’t be fooled, I can slay a smokey eye too. In terms of experience, I really take the time to get to know my brides and connect with them. Many of them become friends and I then watch them go on to have babies, it’s a beautiful thing.

                                     Photo credit: Andrea Zajonc

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

Melissa: I get hired on average 6-9 months before the wedding day. Portland has a somewhat limited wedding season so I recommend snagging the artist you want ASAP.

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

Melissa: I follow a lot of artists on Instagram and of course YouTube. I’m currently a sucker for dewy skin, soft eyes and a bold lip.

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

Melissa: I’d say it’s less about asking them questions but more about seeing their work and making sure you like their energy.

AOW: What is your best advice for wedding clients?

Melissa: Take your time to find the vendor that suits you and your needs.

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

Melissa: I think that about covers it!

 

Thank you Melissa! We love your work and will promote you every chance we get! Here is her website again: www.makeupbymelissapope.com

 

 

 

Portland Vendor Shout-Out: Your Perfect Bridesmaid

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Portland Vendor Shout-Out: Your Perfect Bridesmaid

One of the biggest pieces of advice we give to couples getting married is “Hire a Coordinator!” We know first hand, the value coordinators provide and we think it is an essential investment into your wedding day.  One of our favorite coordinators in town is Your Perfect Bridesmaid. Take a moment and meet Kimberly Morrill, the owner of Your Perfect Bridesmaid. She and her team are excellent at what they do and they would love to help make your wedding day as stress free and enjoyable as possible!

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

I am originally from Southern California, but don’t tell anyone that. 🙂  My family first landed in the Northwest in 1996.  I left to go to the college, and then eventually came back down to Portland in 2005.

AOW: What is your favorite thing about Portland?

Oh gosh, there is so much I love about Portland. My top three are: the people (we are the nicest folks), the little neighborhoods, and the food. OMG the food!!

Photo Credit: Sara K Byrne

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

My favorite thing to do is probably eat at our incredible restaurants. Having to pick a favorite restaurant in Portland is like asking a parent to choose their favorite child. My top two are Toro Bravo and Le Pigeon. I do have a favorite bar however. Hands down it is Kells. I love the people, the drinks and the live music 7 days a week!

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

I started Your Perfect Bridesmaid in 2008. It is absolutely crazy to think we have been doing this for 9 years! What an awesome journey it has been.

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

Prior to starting YPB I did corporate events for many years. Prior to that I was my college’s Activities Director. Events have always been a passion. The business side of things has been a lot of learning as I go (who starts a business in the midst of an economic meltdown) but I also can say that bits and pieces of my previous jobs have all helped with various aspects of what I do know. Its crazy how every step of life is preparing to get you where you need to be. You don’t see it at the time, but you sure do appreciate the journey once you get there.

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

I honestly believe that having a day-of coordinator is essential. That is why I launched the business. The guidance, the peace of mind, the expertise we provide really allows couples to have a smooth planning process and it allows them and their families to sit back, relax and actually enjoy their wedding. Couples spend so much time and SO.MUCH.MONEY planning their wedding. They deserve to have it go well, and they deserve to enjoy it.

Photo Credit: Brittany Lauren Photography

 

AOW: What is the best part of your job?

Oh gosh that is easy. The couples are the best part. I love getting to know our couples and I love making their wedding day better. This is definitely an act of service for me, and the people are what make it so darn rewarding!

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

Thankfully, I have an amazing team.  I am so blessed and honored that these folks have chosen YPB to be the place they dedicate their time and talents. I cannot imagine doing this with out them!

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

I think couples appreciate my direct, no frills approach to wedding planning. I am pretty straightforward and give honest feedback. They can trust that if something will look horrible, or if an idea has challenges, I will address it. They also really value my experience and expertise in our industry. Having done over 400 weddings I have seen a lot. That experience gives them a lot of peace of mind. The other compliment I hear a lot of is that our team is very calm.  I think our calm nature rubs off our clients and the other vendors around us. It helps everyone have a relaxing and fun day!

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

Couples really should hire us immediately. Regardless of which package they choose, we begin working with them right away. If they hire us early on in the process we can help them with their budget, vendor recommendations, timeline etc. We can save them the most amount of money and time and frustration the sooner they hire us. With that being said, it’t never too late. Even if couples have most (or all) of the planning done, we can come in, sanity check everything, pull it all together and execute it day-of.

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

I find my inspiration from our couples. I think a couple’s wedding should really tell their story, reflect their interests and style and personalities. Tell their story through the event is what I love to do.

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

Really I think it all comes down to experience. Ask coordinators how long they have been in the industry. How many weddings have they coordinated.  Be sure everyone is licensed and insured and always make sure they have a back-up. Things happen, but you only get married once.

AOW: What is your best advice for wedding clients?

Stick to your budget. I cannot stress this enough. Set a dollar amount you are comfortable with, and lets make the day happen for that amount. I hate to see folks stress over money and then regret anything about their wedding after it’s over.

Photo Credit: Brittany Lauren Photography

 

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

Definitely check out our packages. We really work hard to keep our prices affordable, because I truly believe every couple should have a coordinator. Peace of mind on your wedding day shouldn’t be a luxury. If you would like a coordinator for you wedding, send us an email: info@yourperfectbridesmaid.com or give us a call: 503.984.8652.   Thanks for reading!  Kim

Portland Vendor Shout-out: Stumptown DJs

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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. Let’s 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.

 

Photo credit: Christy Cassano-Meyer Photography

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?

Matt: 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!

Raindrops and Rainbows; Spring Time Wedding Inspiration

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Raindrops and Rainbows; Spring Time Wedding Inspiration

Everyone knows it rains a lot in Portland. While outside folks think that is a negative, us locals know it’s the raindrops that give us the beauty our region is known for. However, raindrops on your wedding day can so often bring about a frown. But don’t let it make you too sad. In addition to being good luck, raindrops often lead to beautiful rainbows. So if you are getting married in the Pacific Northwest, always have a solid rain plan, a few clear umbrellas on hand, and keep your eyes open for a beautiful rainbow. It could be the start of your happily ever after!

This inspiration shoot is the perfect way to celebrate the raindrops and rainbows that are so prevalent in springtime weddings in the Pacific Northwest.

A big thank you to the vendor team who put this beautiful shoot together:

Venue: Scandinavian Heritage Foundation
Catering: Broder
Photographer: Klover Studios
Coordination/Design: Your Perfect Bridesmaid
Flowers: Milwaukie Floral
Stationary/Paper Goods: Colleen Schwab
Dessert: Petunias Bakery:
Dress: Ania Bridal
Rentals: Classic Vintage Rentals
 

Five Things to Remember About Your Bridal Party

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Five Things to Remember About Your Bridal Party

Photo Credit: ANIKO Productions

 

The folks you choose to stand by side as you say “I Do”, have no doubt been by your side for many of the wonderful ups and downs of your life. They are your best friends, your college roommates, your siblings, your childhood pals.  They know you, they love you, and they are so happy for you. While bridal parties can add so much joy to the wedding planning process, we have also seen bridal parties add stress. We have even seen wedding planning end some wonderful friendships. Here are a few things to keep in mind when making your plans. Follow these tips and hopefully the folks you choose to be in your bridal party will be by your side after the wedding for the incredible things still ahead.

Choose who you want by your side, period!

We have seen so many brides and grooms sacrifice who they ask to be an attendant because they were worried about having the same numbers on both sides, or they were concerned about having too many, or two few people. Just keep it simple folks, ask your favorite people. Nothing else matters.

Photo Credit: ANIKO Productions

 

Communicate with your bridal party, but not too much

Definitely keep your bridal party informed, but remember they have a lot going on in their lives. Make sure they know where they need to be, when they need to be there, and what they need to be wearing. Otherwise respect the fact that while they are over-the-moon happy for you, they still have their own lives going on, and that is where their attention needs to be. Please don’t blow up their email boxes every week with updates.

Photo Credit: ANIKO Productions

 

Keep prices in check

Holy cow, being in a wedding is expensive. Between the travel, the pre-wedding festivities, the attire, the gifts, the hair and and make up, the happy hours that keep you sane during the planning process; it all adds up so quickly. I was in a wedding recently and by the time the couple headed to their honeymoon, I had “invested” over $3,000 into their special day. While I don’t regret a thing, I do miss that 3K from time to time.

When making plans that impact the wallets of your bridal party, be kind. Remember that everyone has different financial situations and things add up quickly. We have seen relationships sour over finances and wedding related expenses.  Avoid that happening to you by keeping your requests affordable to everyone.

Photo Credit: ANIKO Productions

 

Take a wedding break with friends too

Many wedding planning advice books recommend taking breaks from talking about the wedding with your partner. The same is true with your friends. While it’s understandable if the wedding occupies your every waking moment, don’t expect it to be the same for your friend. Don’t lose the well-rounded, caring, interesting, person you were before you got engaged.  And don’t stop being a great friend. It is your day, but it cannot be all about you, all the time. Remember to check in with your friends about what is going on in their lives and their relationships. There will most definitely be times during the wedding planning process where you will need your bridal party. But there will also be times  during wedding planning where they will need their friend.  Make sure you are there for them too!

Photo Credit: Jessica Hill Photography

 

Your wedding party is not free labor

While your wedding party will move Heaven and Earth for you, they want to have fun on your wedding day too. Avoid assigning too many tasks to your attendants. Be sure to hire a coordinator to take care of the set up, decorating, and clean up, so that your favorite people can be on the dance floor with you.

In closing, your friends and family know you are excited, and they are so excited for you. They are also very honored to stand by your side as you marry your partner and best friend. With that being said, they really don’t want to go broke or crazy standing there!  Keep it simple, and fun and everyone will have one heck of a good time.

Photo credit: ANIKO Productions

 

 

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!