Category: wedding coordination

Real Portland Wedding: Chase & Chemi

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Real Portland Wedding: Chase & Chemi

Wow! We are so excited to share Chase and Chemi’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 Chase, we send our heartfelt congratulations and best wishes for a wonderful life together!
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: Monica & Jamie at Mt. Hood Organic Farms

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Real Oregon Wedding: Monica & Jamie at Mt. Hood Organic Farms

We are in love with this Mt. Hood Organic Farms wedding! Monica & Jamie shared a glorious afternoon, complete with a stunning view of Mt.Hood, celebrating their love with family & friends at this gorgeous Portland area venue. Local wedding photographer, Bryan Rupp, beautifully captured every  moment. Below you will find a list of several other Portland area vendors that came together to make this magical day happen. Take a look!



Photographer: Bryan Rupp Photography

Venue: Mt Hood Organic Farms

Coordinator: Cassandra Cass

Caterer: Cultivate Catering

Florist: Laurel at Wildwood Farm

Hair/Makeup: Kelli Thomsen

Band: Dance Machine

Dessert: Pie from Pine Street Bakery and vegan truffles from Missionary Chocolates

Kombucha: Gorge Kitchen


Portland Vendor Shout-Out: Stumptown Booth

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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. 








Questions to Ask a Photographer Before you Book.

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Questions to Ask a Photographer Before you Book.

Photo Credit: Katy Weaver

Your photographer is really the keeper of your memories. For many couples, their wedding day is a blur of emotion. It is through your pictures that you will be able to re-live the happy day. Because of that, you want to be sure to pick the best photographer for you. Here are a few questions to help you narrow down the list.

1. Have you shot at my venue? What did you love? What was challenging?

2. Do you bring a second shooter? Is that an optional add on?

3. Are your packages flexible? Can we work to create a customized package?

4.What is your turn around time? When can I expect my images?

5. Do you work from a shot list? Am I able to request a specific shot/pose?

6. Will you put together a photography timeline of the day to ensure everything we discussed is captured?

7. Should a tree fall on your head (or you are not able to shoot the wedding last minute), what is your back up plan?

8. What is your refund policy should you not be able to shoot my wedding or should the wedding be cancelled or postponed?

9. Approximately how many images should I expect to receive?

10. How much post production editing do you guys do?

11. What is a “perfect” wedding for you to shoot?

12. What can I do to ensure we have amazing pictures?

13. How do you coordinate with videographers and make sure neither of you are in each other’s shots?

14. If we run late on time, and need to extend your hours day of, is that possible? What are the costs associated with doing so?

15. Do you provide your own lighting equipment?

16. Would you like a meal provided for you? Any notes or dietary restrictions on that meal?

17.Do you need to take any additional breaks that should be factored into the timeline?

18. Is there an extra cost to go to additional locations on the day?

19.Do you prefer shooting indoors or outdoors?

20.Is there an extra cost to receive my images on a flash drive? Am I able to receive all the images?

Just remember, you are making a significant investment. Take the time to ensure your are investing in the right company.

Hope this helps!

Considerations for Planning an “At Home” Wedding

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Considerations for Planning an “At Home” Wedding



Featured Image Photography Credit: Katy Weaver Photography

Choosing to have your wedding at home has a lot of perks. For starters, you have tons of flexibility and you are able to say  “I Do” at a place close to your heart! While there are a lot of positives to an “at home” wedding there are some unique challenges as well. Below are some tips to make this process as smooth as possible.

Hire a logistics expert: Before you get too far with the wedding planning, hire a coordinator. Getting married at home comes with a lot of curve balls and you need an event logistic expert by your side helping you navigate them. A coordinator will be worth their weight in gold as they help you design a layout that functions and flows. They can also identify any logistical challenges ahead of time, so things are smooth day-of. Lastly, set-up for an “at-home” wedding is quite extensive. Hire a team who can take care of those details, so you and your family can enjoy the day. Your Perfect Bridesmaid is our go-to choice for day-of coordination.

Budget for rentals: Many folks initially choose to get married at home to save money. This often ends up not the case, as everything has to be rented and brought in. One expense often over-looked is the cost of rentals. Before you get too far down the road, get a quote for tents (you need a plan B), dance floor, tables, chairs, linens, catering rentals etc. You want to avoid surprise expenses and make sure you can afford getting married at home.  We love the team over at Party Place.

Devise a plan for parking or shuttle transportation: You are going to need space for an organized parking lot of sorts. Make sure the cars are able to stay organized for easy entry and exit. We recommend mapping off the parking stalls and having a parking attendant to help guests. When planning the location be sure it is a place that is well lit and be sure the cars wont be in pictures. If such a space doesn’t exist, plan on a central meeting location and shuttle guests in. We have found that the most affordable shuttle bus option is First Student. Yes – the school buses. They are a great company to use, and while not fancy, they are an affordable way to haul a bunch of people.

Check out power capabilities and limitations: Having your wedding at home is going to require a lot of power. You will need power for catering, your dj, tent lighting, catering staff, toilet trailers etc. You do not want your tent lighting or your dance music suddenly turning off. Check out how much power each breaker can provide and devise a plan to split the power demands across multiple circuits.

Be sure to plan space for a catering “back of house”.  Your catering crew will need a place to prep and bus from. Usually a 20×20 space is sufficient. Once you hire a caterer, have them out to see the property and devise a plan.

Speaking of catering, choose your caterer wisely! When you are getting married at home, the property is much more spread out then a normal wedding venue. You need a top notch catering crew who can successfully handle the logistics. When interviewing caterers, ask them how experienced they are at cooking onsite and working at private residences. You do not know your wedding to be their training ground. Some awesome, very experienced caterers are: Premiere Catering, Pearl Catering, and Reedville Catering

Increase your insurance! You are going to have a lot of folks on your property for the wedding, and there is an increased chance something can go wrong. I advise talking with your home owners and getting a one day event rider to your home-owners insurance policy. Additionally, I recommend getting event insurance to cover the added liability if you are going to be serving alcohol at the event. You want to make sure you CYA every step of the way.

Book the nice potties: Unless you are having a very small wedding, you are going to want to bring in extra toilets. I recommend splurging on the nice wedding toilet trailers. They are air conditioned, have a hand washing sink in them, and are generally nicer than most of the restrooms we have in our homes. Two great companies here in the Portland area are: Privy Chambers and Royal Throne.

While we absolutely love at-home weddings, they are much more involved. We hope this article helps guide you in the right direction towards a wonderful day!


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: 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