Category: Find A Vendor

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: or give us a call: 503.984.8652.   Thanks for reading!  Kim

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!
Sunday Interview. Red Letter Days

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Sunday Interview. Red Letter Days

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Coreene Collins Hair & Make Up

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Coreene Collins Hair & Make Up

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

make up and bridal hair

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

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

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An Interview with Kim, Owner of Geranium Lake Flowers

I’m thrilled to announce a new blog series starting in 2016. I will be sharing interviews with professional wedding vendors and samples of their work. Many couples get engaged, get excited and just dive in to the planning of their event. This can often mean mistakes are made and having to back track. We don’t want you do that. Let’s work on getting it right the first time to save you money and stress. Over the course of the interview series you will learn about the business owner and they will give a piece of advice to help you. Everyone who is featured has been in business a minimum of three years. Grab your tea or coffee, sit back and let’s learn!

Today’s interview is with the talented Kim Foren, owner of Geranium Lake Flowers. Kim has been in the industry for many years and great start to our series!


1How long have you been in the wedding industry? “I’m on my 23rd year, and I’m still inspired.”

How did you get started in the wedding industry? “I have always loved helping people, and the magic of weddings. As a a painter, I learned to translate feelings and thoughts into images with oils and brushes, and theres nothing more magical than being able to listen to a bride or groom’s hope and dreams about their special day and help them translate that into the gorgeous language of flowers. It’s such a magical process!”

Do you have a favorite flower? “Lily of the Vally or Peonies. DO I have to pick just one? No fair!”

Are there any trends you are seeing for 2016 wedding season? “Deconstructed bouquets! I’m working on a lot of of floral structures like chandeliers and other interesting installations. My clients are loving a fresh floral backdrop for a “selfie” station.”

What advice would you give a couple who is planning their wedding day? “Find a floral designer you trust and who listens to what you want.”

Thanks again to Kim for taking time out of her busy day to chat with us. Find out more about her services and view more of her work by visiting Geranium Lake Flowers.

Hazelwood Photo

S&S - Love Lit Wedding Photography-19

Alex McKissack Photography

Dina Chmut Photography


Erica Anne Photography

Please note, these images can not be used without the photographers permission. You must contact them directly for usage rights.

How to Book a Wedding Photographer

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How to Book a Wedding Photographer

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

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

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

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

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

book a photographer

The Art of Wedding’s 10th Anniversary Bridal Showcase

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The Art of Wedding’s 10th Anniversary Bridal Showcase

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

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

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

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

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Featured Vendor: The Gerding Theater at the Armory

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Featured Vendor: The Gerding Theater at the Armory

gerding theater at the armoryLocated in the heart of Portland’s vibrant Pearl District on the streetcar line, The Gerding Theater at the Armory offers a beautiful setting for any wedding.  The LEED Platinum-rated building’s two-tiered lobby spaces are a sophisticated combination of historic charm, urban contemporary and classic industrial design.  Blending rustic brick and basalt walls in a soaring open air space, with large windows and sky lights to highlight the Douglas Fir wood Trusses, this setting is a one-of-a-kind backdrop for an unconventional, yet uniquely elegant wedding.

With a capacity of up to 200 people for a seated ceremony and dinner, say your “I Do’s” against the backdrop of the “Fire Wall” of flickering lights that cascade down the back wall of the two lobby spaces. Then dance the night away under the dramatic Starfield Chandelier of 184 tiny bulbs suspended in mid-air.  Our inclusive wedding package provides you with the amenities you’ll need for the big day. We only celebrate one wedding a day, offering 12-hour bookings with 5 ½ hours of pre-event preparation for vendors, and 6 ½ hours for your event, ending at midnight.  Included in your wedding amenities are full ceremony and reception set-up and breakdown, tables and folding chairs, lounge furniture, multiple dressing rooms and a lounge for the wedding party, and two subscriptions to PCS’ current season for the couple valued at $900!

We also include complimentary on-site ceremony assistance and reception coordination, diagram coordination, and our experienced staff of event planners will help you coordinate your timeline between your vendors and the Gerding Theater at the Armory.

With a list of eight of the most exclusive catering vendors in Portland, you can be sure to find the perfect match for you and your style for your big day!  Come visit this beautiful, modern site Wednesday, March 26th from 6-9pm for The Art of Weddings Bridal Showcase. Get your tickets online here and enter the code: PCS to get a discount!

Art of Catering

Artemis Foods

Chez Joly

Culinary Artistry

Devil’s Food Catering

Food in Bloom


Vibrant Table

We are available for personalized tours that showcase this beautiful and versatile venue. For a tour, contact us at to see how we can make your wedding an unforgettable evening!


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above photo: Jasmine Photography

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