Category: reception

Planning Tip: The Perks of a Non-Saturday Wedding!

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Planning Tip: The Perks of a Non-Saturday Wedding!


Photo credit: Jessica Hill Photography

We all know the most popular day of the week for a wedding is Saturday. But for couples that are flexible and open to the idea of planning their wedding on a  different day of the week…the perks can be huge!

Saving tons of money!

This is the number one reason to consider a non-Saturday wedding day. If budget is a concern, then listen up. Your dream venue will likely have lower rates for off season months. And there is a good chance they also offer lower rates for Friday, Sunday, and weekday weddings…even in the summer or most popular times of the year.

Every venue will vary, but you can potentially save hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of dollars on your venue rental rate just by picking a different day of the week. The Foundry in Lake Oswego and The West End Ballroom in downtown Portland are both great examples of this!

The number one reason couples feel like they have to book a Saturday date is convenience for their guests. Especially out of town guests. The fear is that friends and family will have to take too much time off of work otherwise. Well, consider this. If you have your wedding on a Saturday, your traveling guests will likely take Friday off. If you have your wedding on a Sunday, on the other hand, they could work Friday…and take Monday off instead. Either scenario has them only missing ONE day of work. Which shouldn’t be a problem because they are giving their bosses a year or more notice. It’s actually not all that complicated for them and you can potentially save tons of money.

Some out of town guests (who have never been to Portland before) might also love to use your wedding as an excuse to plan a mini-vacation! They may plan to come for several days and explore. In that case, your wedding day could be any day of the week and they will just plan accordingly.

Availability! More choices!

The venue you have had your eye on could easily already be booked for every Saturday next August and maybe even two years out. Summer Saturdays are going to be the first to go! And some couples are on the venue hunt a year or two out. If you are flexible on days, however, you will have a lot more choices when it comes to venues! And the venue is one of the most important decisions you will make. It sets the tone and stage for almost everything else. Your dream venue may already be booked on that Saturday you thought you wanted…but on that very same weekend they might have the Friday or Sunday open…for considerably less money.

It’s all about you!

Some gorgeous venues have multiple areas, ballrooms, grounds…and can host more than one wedding on any given day. The Abernethy Center and McMenamin’s Edgefield for instance. You can almost guarantee they will be booking multiple nuptials on the most popular days. Yep, you guessed it. Saturdays! If you are in love with the venue, but not the idea of running into other couples and celebrations on your day…consider choosing a less sought after day! While these venues are popular for a reason and do a great job hosting more than one wedding on the same day, you might find you have more options if you choose a different day of the week.

Saving even more money!

While it’s true that most venues will offer lower rates for off season and non-Saturday weddings…the same holds true for many other vendors. It’s always a good idea to ask other wedding professionals (caterers, florists, photographers, etc) if they offer different rates for weddings held on different days of the week.

Something different!

Consider doing a Friday night wedding that has more of a cocktail party vibe…just make sure you pick a venue where you can keep the party and music going until midnight or later. You could rent lounge type furniture and decor from one of the many local rental companies like Barclay Events or West Coast Event Productions. Or perhaps think about a Sunday Brunch wedding. Everyone loves brunch food! And many of the caterers in town, like Cheryl’s on 12th & As Good As It Gets Catering, can hit this out of the park for you. Having a Bloody Mary Bar is always a hit. There are many ways to make your wedding unique and memorable to your guests! Don’t be afraid to do something different…especially if it will work better for your budget.

Less is more!

If you choose a non-Saturday wedding date it may, in fact, be the perfect way to naturally weed out some of the guests that you are not that close to anyway…the ones that you felt you had to invite.  Your loved ones, closest family and friends, will be at your wedding no matter what day you choose! Perhaps a few others, however, will not be able to make it. Just remember that when your guest count goes down…so does your catering costs!

At the end of the day…this wedding is supposed to be a magical day for you. And if you are worried about your budget…a non-Saturday is a fantastic place to start majorly cutting costs. If you give your guests plenty of notice as far as the wedding date, they will happily figure out the logistics of being there. Just like you would for their wedding. Definitely pick the day that is best for you!






Real Oregon Wedding: Brittany and Doug at Castaway

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Real Oregon Wedding: Brittany and Doug at Castaway

Brittany and Doug were married at the gorgeous Castaway Portland. While they had a few rain drops on their wedding day, you would have never known it by the brightness of their smiles and their infectious happiness. It was a beautiful day and every detail came together beautifully.

I love the personal details they included in their reception, including the use of Doug’s family plaid. It was the perfect Spring wedding!

We have included a complete list of vendors at the bottom of the page for your reference. All were incredible to work with!




Portland Vendor Shout-Out: Instant Adventure Photobooth

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Portland Vendor Shout-Out: Instant Adventure Photobooth

Are you interested in having a photo-booth at your wedding? Well we have found a great booth for you to use. Meet Kenneth Poirier, owner of Instant Adventure Photobooth. We love how easy going and flexible Instant Adventure is to work with, and their pricing makes them a no-brainer. If you are interested in adding a photo-booth to your wedding check out Instant Adventure!

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

One of the lucky few to be originally from Portland.

AOW: What is your favorite thing about Portland?

Portland has everything you could want from a big city, but still has the small town feel.

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

During the NBA season there is a great chance you will find me at a Blazer game. Rip City Baby!

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

I have been in the industry for over 10 years, but the photobooth is fairly new. I am always looking for fun ways to stay involved in this great industry.

AOW: What is the best part of your job?

I love seeing the pictures after the event. People really have a great time in our booth and it shows!

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

We got into business wanting to simplify photobooth rentals for local couples. We wanted to make the rental affordable, and we also wanted to allow for shorter rental periods. You can rent a booth from us for the entire event, or two hours. We try to be as accommodating as possible.

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

It’s a misconception that you can wait to book a photobooth. We get booked up to a year in advance and it is always sad to have to turn down awesome couples. If you know you want a photobooth at your event, contact as soon as possible

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

One of the things we started doing recently was creating a video of the best images from the night. Its a fun way to share the highlights with your friends and family on social media.

Dave & Jen – 11.20.16 HD from Instant Adventure on Vimeo.

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

I encourage couples to talk to the photobooth owner about their equipment. You want to make sure it is reliable and that the photos will be clear and crisp.

AOW: What is your best advice for wedding clients?

Photobooths give your guests a fun and exciting souvenirs from your wedding day. Its not only a fun, interactive way to participate in your wedding, but it also is a terrific keepsake. Remember, a wedding isn’t a spectator sport.

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

When I am not working on weddings, I am a freelance graphic designer. This really comes in handy as we create custom designs on our photo-strips.

Real Oregon Wedding: Jin and Eric at Wilmes Hop Farm

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Real Oregon Wedding: Jin and Eric at Wilmes Hop Farm

Oh my goodness, what a gorgeous wedding!  Jin and Eric’s wedding was fun, romantic and oh so stunning. The colors they chose really popped against the vibrant green there at Wilmes Hop Farm. Take a look at their images and get inspired!  We included a complete vendor list down below the pictures. They had one heck of a team!


Kids At Weddings: Everything You Need To Know

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Kids At Weddings: Everything You Need To Know

For the past few years, the trend has been to ask guests to leave their kids at home. Despite how popular no-kid weddings are becoming, many couples are still finding it difficult to navigate the no kid waters. To help out we put together some pros and cons and tips and tricks for having kids (or not) at your wedding. Regardless of what you choose, always trust your gut, and you will be happy with the choice!

Before you kick the kids off your guest list for good, there are a few things to consider. The best reason to include kids at your wedding is to keep the peace in your family, and your fiance’s family. I find that families are the biggest challenge to having a kid free wedding. To help ease their feelings, consider having kids at the ceremony so they can be there for pictures and the meaningful part of the day.  After pictures are done, you can send them away to the babysitters.

Another reason to keep the munchkins around is to help kick off the dance floor.  Some of the best things about children is their energy and their lack of self consciousness. It makes them the perfect little people to get the dance party started.  And who doesn’t love watching little ones dance.

Photo credit: ANIKO Photography


Lastly, lets face it, they are pretty darn cute. Its hard to argue with that one.

If you do decide to have kids remember to:

  • Have highchairs or booster seats available
  • Have some kid friendly plastic cups available at the non-alcohol station
  • Talk to your caterer about a separate (more affordable) kid friendly dinner option
  • Pre-plan a safe, clean, comfortable area for nursing moms ahead of time
  • Have a few coloring/activity books available for the kids
  • Double check the lyrics on the songs the DJ plays to be sure they are kid appropriate
  • Triple check set up to make sure the rambunctious kiddos cannot destroy too much
Photo credit: ANIKO Photography


Switching gears, if you win the battle with your families to have a kid free wedding. Here are some tips on executing:

  • Be sure to keep the policy consistent. No kids has to mean no kids for everyone. Folks will get their feelings hurt if they see anyone’s kids there but not their own.
  • If you have a lot of friends traveling who won’t be able to leave their children behind, offer to provide them with a babysitter. We love Big Top Event Childcare.
  • Communicating that your wedding is a no kid affair can be tricky. You can go, subtle, direct, or you can blame the decision on someone else. Here are a few examples you can steal:
    • Subtle:
      • In order to allow all guests, including parents, an evening of relaxation…we have chosen for our wedding day to be an adult only occasion. We hope this advance notice means you are still able to share our big day and will enjoy having the evening off!
      • Children at the ceremony, we’d love them on the scene. Reception time, however, is an adult’s only theme.
      • While we love to watch the children run and play, this is an adults only kind of day.
    • Direct:
      • Adult wedding and reception
      • Adult only affair
      • This invitation is extended to adults only
    • Blame someone else:
      • Due to restrictions at our venue, children are not invited.
      • Management request no children under 16 (or whatever age this may be).
      • By request of management no children.
      • Regrettably children are unable to attend.

We hope this has helped you navigate this sticky part of wedding planning. Like we mentioned earlier, follow you gut and choose which path will help you create the wedding you want. Everyone will come around and support whatever decision you make.


How To Design The Wedding Cake Of Your Dreams

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How To Design The Wedding Cake Of Your Dreams

Planning a wedding can be bittersweet. There will always be elements that you love and some that you find more frustrating than anything else. You might not care an awful lot of some of the details, but we will all probably agree that the cake is one of the most fun parts to plan.

Not only to you get to design this incredibly beautiful feature that holds a special place in ceremonial wedding traditions, but you also get to eat it too. As your wedding planning comes together, you’re going to want to make sure that cake it up to scratch. If you’re unsure of where to, these easy to follow steps should help.

Pick Your Bakery

One of the first things that you’re going to want to do is pick out the bakery or caterer that you’re going to use. It’s likely that you have a design in mind. When that’s the case, you need to be able to find a designer that will be able to recreate it. But, it’s also important to consider your options when it comes to budget (you can often find pricing online using sites like

Stick To Your Theme

Now that you have your baker picked out, you’re going to want to work on a design that fits with your theme. You might find that some bakers provide you with a bunch of incredible designs, none of which work with the style of your wedding. So, at this point, you need to work with what ideas you have. Different cake trends could tempt you, but you have to make sure that the cake sits naturally at your wedding.

image copyright

Choose A Filling You Love

Sometimes, a wedding cake is a show pony. It looks great, but it might not have a lot of substance. If you’re a sweet tooth, this could be your worst nightmare. So, what you’re going to need to do is work on your filling options as early as possible. This is where the cake tasting will come in. Not only will it be a lot of fun, but you’ll be able to pick a cake style that tastes incredible too.

Go To Town On The Decor

When your choice of cake is chosen, you can then go to town on the design. The bakery you work with should be able to guide you on what will work. You’ll find that some cake fillings and sponges won’t work as well with certain frostings, but they’ll talk you through the options. Whether you want a showstopper or something classy and understated, make sure you get the decor right – you only get one wedding, so make your cake count.

photo copyright

Don’t Forget Practicality

As you plan, you can often find that you get wrapped up in the finer details. But, that can sometimes be dangerous. Although it needs to taste good and look incredible, it’s also important to make sure your wedding cake is practical. It doesn’t have to be huge to be impressive either; smaller cakes (like these can really wow. As you design, make sure you think about how it can be transported and whether or not it will melt!


Across The World: The Best Menu for Your Wedding

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Across The World: The Best Menu for Your Wedding

Planning a wedding is never an easy task. You have to rent a venue, look for the perfect gown, choose a cake, and so much more! There will always be this pressure to have a perfect wedding. Choosing your wedding menu is also going to be an important and challenging part of this.

It’s perfectly natural that you’d want to impress your guests. However, you must keep in mind that there are a lot of other factors you should consider in planning your wedding menu.

For instance, you must take note of the time when you will be serving the food to your guests. Is it going to be around lunchtime or dinner? How many guests will you be serving? How much is your budget for wedding food? Are you planning for a seated-plated, a buffet, or a food station?

For more info on how to cut your wedding food costs. Here are some ideas as well:

Wedding Menu: Asia vs. Europe

When looking into versatile wedding menus, you can look into European or Asian cuisines. If you’re looking for a light and fancy dinner food, you might want to look into European food. But even though European food is light, it can still satisfy your taste and appetite.

However, if you are looking for a hearty lunch with an oriental twist, the Asian cuisine is a good place to look into. Being a large continent, Asia can surely offer you a wide array of cuisines that will fit your and your partner’s preferences.

Heading West For Your Wedding Food

The European Cuisine is mostly popular for Italian, Greek, and French dishes. This is also probably why most buffets and restaurants avoid missing out these particular themes. Unlike other continents like the American or the Asian continent, European Cuisine has a quite definitive identity because of their drinks, cheese, herbs and spices.

Italian Wedding Menu

Pasta, cheese, herbs and seafood are staples in Italian food. This is because Italians are very conscious about what they take and particular with the quality of the ingredients in the food that they cook.

Greek Wedding Menu

Surrounded by bodies of water, Greek food has a lot of similarities to the Italian cuisine. However, Greek cuisine emphasizes on the color. You might notice that Greek food involves a lot of flavor and color going on by adding fruits and vegetables together. Their dishes are also more on dairy products than meat.

French Wedding Menu

The French on the other hand are famous for their pastries, meat and drinks. Spirited drinks, cocktails, and other alcoholic drinks are a usual especially during dinner time for the French. This is also why classic champagne or signature cocktails are always present during a wedding, most especially for the symbolic toast.

Choosing Among Asia’s Best

Since Asia is a very big continent, it is quite challenging to sum up its cuisines in one definitive line. There are a lot of ideas that may come to mind when we say Asian cuisine. However, we can categorize Asian cuisines as East Asian, South/Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern (as known by most people) or West Asian.

Japanese Wedding Menu

Ramen, sake, and sushi are some of the most famous Japanese dishes. Like most other cuisines, the Japanese are known for using unique ingredients only common in their country like the bonito flakes, mirin, dashi and miso are some of their well-known food ingredients. However, the Japanese are not very keen on drinks.

Indian Wedding Menu

Curry and turmeric, those are some of the things that come to our minds when we hear about Indian cuisines. However, curry based dishes aren’t the only dishes you can serve on your wedding day. Indian cuisine is also known for Buddhist and Hinduist influences. This is also why vegetarian dishes play an important role in Indian dishes.

Don’t Sweat It – It’s Your Day!

At the end of the day, your wedding itself is the most important thing, and not just the food. Fortunately, nowadays you can go for a food tasting with caterers before you book them. That way, you won’t be making decisions out of thin air.

Stressing yourself about the smallest details might actually just lead to a bad wedding day. Remember that choosing the perfect wedding menu for you and your partner is not all about impressing your guests. More importantly, it should embody you and your partner’s tastes and preferences.

Real Wedding – Julia and Michael

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Real Wedding – Julia and Michael

Hello 2017! We hope you had a great New Year’s Eve and we wish all of you an even better 2017. The year of the Chicken or Rooster is upon us. Still a few more weeks until that changes over and I bet many of you are ready for a fresh start, new energy and opportunities. I know I am. 2016 was a rough one on many levels for myself and my family but within the dark times there is always light.

I’m excited to start the first post of 2017 off with a real wedding! This wedding is stunning and makes us want to book a flight to Australia right now. Sit back, relax and enjoy the beauty of Julia and Michael’s wedding day. Cheers!

The Details…
How did you and your partner meet?
Michael and I met through mutual friends and had an instant connection, when we were 18 and 20. My family had just moved overseas after I’d finished high school, and I had just commenced at university. Feeling homesick for my mother’s wonderful Vietnamese cooking, I asked friends to join me at a local Vietnamese restaurant, and one of them brought her new friend, Michael. I was struck at first sight, and we were pretty much inseparable, in heart if not physically ever since. We spent 10 years courting, finishing our relative studies, and travelling, studying and working overseas, before moving in together and starting our lives together in Canberra nearby family and adopting our furbabies, Snowy the Japanese Spitz and Tintin the rescue kitten.

How did he propose?
Michael proposed on April 1st 2015, which was a significant date; he proposed with his grandmother’s beautiful solitaire diamond engagement ring, which she had worn for the duration of her long marriage to Michael’s grandfather. April 1st was the date that Michael’s grandfather had proposed to his grandmother, and so Michael wanted to follow this tradition especially using that ring. He did add his own flair, however, having starting the day with various April fool’s jokes designed to trick (and simultaneously terrify) me. After a full morning of tricks and jokes (some involving fake spiders), he went to the cupboard to make me breakfast, and when he turned around from the cupboard, he got down on one knee, with the ring box and proposed to me. After I said yes (having checked it wasn’t a joke first), he then recreated our first date for the rest of the day, including a meal at the restaurant where we first met

How did you choose your wedding gown?
I didn’t have specific inspiration for my gown, I just wanted to choose a gown that made me feel myself, and this was perfect. I loved my gown which was a fit and flare, strapless luxurious satin gown designed by Cristiano Lucci. Featured an intricate beaded belt and dramatic beaded skirt and train. I loved how this gown made me feel and how it fitted on the day! It matched the glamorous theme I was hoping for! My accessories were as follows:

My veil- a custom length 4 meter veil by Wedding Veils Australia, exclusively stocked through  two-tier veil, made in ivory glimmer tulle, customized cathedral length, and beaded edges made up of Swarovski clear crystals along the edges, with top tier having teardrop crystals spaced along the edge.

My shoes- Badgley Mishka “Gene” shoes, satin Mary Jane peep toe shoes which had embellishments on the heel that matched my gown!

My something blue was offered by my delicate lace garter, which my maid of honour and best friend had bought for me when we were travelling together in Venice in 2012, long before the engagement!

What sort of style did you envision for your wedding day?
I wanted an old fashioned gold glamour with romantic touches, with main colours of gold, and accents of creams, soft pinks and maroons. I once saw a wedding photoshoot set in a forest, with strong bold berry colours but accented with metallics. I was inspired by the bold colours and how beautiful they were alongside the metallics and so we developed the mix of creams, pinks and maroons to contrast leafy greens in the flowers, with a strong a gold base. I fell in love the champagne gold sequin fabrics and sought out the elegant bridesmaids gowns to bring the dream to life! I was also able to source matching gold sequin fabric overseas, and created all the table coverings to match.

Any DIY décor elements?
Almost everything was DIY! We did the tablecloths, mirrored seating chart, table numbers, centerpieces, most stationery and bonbonniere amongst other things!

If you could do it all over again, what would you change?
I would take more photos with my family, as we somehow missed the opportunity because it was so busy!

Any tips that you can give to future brides?

Tips on how to enjoy the engagement:

Really remind yourself that the wedding is a celebration of your love and commitment to each other, forever. We took on board a lot of family support and ideas, which can be stressful. For us we wanted to make sure our families were happy, and took that stress on willingly, as our families have done so much for us. At the end though, we just had to remember that the day would mean we’d be married, and all the stresses sort of become insignificant! And have a party, why not!

On Planning:

I adored wedding planning, at every stage. I would recommend that brides use so many of the resources online and in bridal magazines that helped me along. Our relatively short engagement period meant we had to be decisive in decision-making and I loved what we came up with. I felt that the day was a perfect representation of what we both wanted, which is so important, and in the end the day will be what it is! Money can be stressful too, but just make sure to use DIY options available!

 And on the Wedding Day:

BREATHE! I nearly forgot to do this so many times. But you’ll have surrounded yourselves with vendors and people you trust. So take a back seat to the operational aspect of the day, and focus on the actual event- marrying your fiancé!

Thank you for your submission. You too can submit your real wedding for a chance to be featured on our blog. For info on how to do so CLICK HERE. Here are all the fab vendors that made their day so special.

Who Made it Happen?
Couples Names:  Michael Wentworth-Perry and Julia Price
Wedding Date:
26th February 2016
Cristiano Lucci
Shopgirl Beauty
Leslie Henshaw
Stationery: Giant Invitations
Badgley Mishka
LOVEON Jewellery
Bridesmaids Dresses: Jadore
Grooms Suit:
Overseas tailor
Keepsake Photography
Traditional cake- Cake of Your Dreams
Croquembouche: Croissandor
ANU House
Silk Flora
Ceremony Venue:
St Christopher’s Cathedral, Canberra
Reception Venue:
ANU House
Videographer: Say Hello to Forever
DJ: Mr Michael Music
Live music: Jay Boats
Transport: Select Limousines