Category: Reception

Real Portland Wedding: Chemi & Casey

Ceremony Couples Inspiration Reception Vendors

Real Portland Wedding: Chemi & Casey

Wow! We are so excited to share Chemi and Casey’s wedding with you. From their coordinator: “Their celebration was designed to blend American and Tibetan traditions. Their day began with an intimate morning ceremony in a historic setting with beautiful garden photos. The bride and groom had a full change of attire. Luxurious fabric donned the bride and groom for round 2 of their 3 attire changes for the day. The traditional Tibetan Scarf Ceremony kicked off the evening event with 400 guests who enjoyed authentic cuisine, music and performances. The evening concluded with a 3rd attire change, a DJ and dancing into the wee hours of the evening!”

This stunning wedding was a huge success due to some incredible Portland Wedding Vendors:
Planning and Coordination: Soleil Bliss Event Productions
Photography: Aniko Productions
Part 1
Ceremony (& Reception)Music: John Ross Music (Michael Blake artist)
Suit: Men’s Wearhouse
Part 2:
Rentals: Elegant Wedding Chair Covers
Rentals: Barclays
Photo Booth: Happymatic
Many thanks for sharing this incredible wedding with us. Chemi and Casey, we send our heartfelt congratulations and best wishes for a wonderful life together!
Perks of a Non-Saturday Wedding!

Ceremony Reception Tip & Ideas Vendors

Perks of a Non-Saturday Wedding!

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!

Photo credit: Jessica Hill Photography

Real Oregon Wedding: Brittany and Doug at Castaway

Ceremony Couples Inspiration Reception Vendors

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!

 

 

Vendors

Portland Vendor Shout-Out: Instant Adventure Photobooth

Reception Vendors

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.

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

Engagement Inspiration Reception Vendors

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

 

 

 

Real Oregon Wedding: Jin and Eric at Wilmes Hop Farm

Ceremony Couples Inspiration Reception Vendors

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!

Vendors

Portland Vendor Shout-out: Stumptown DJs

Reception 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. 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!

Tips for Kids At Weddings

Ceremony Reception Tip & Ideas Vendors

Tips for 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.