Category: wedding planning

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


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

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.


Five Things to Remember About Your Bridal Party

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Five Things to Remember About Your Bridal Party

Photo Credit: ANIKO Productions


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

Choose who you want by your side, period!

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

Photo Credit: ANIKO Productions


Communicate with your bridal party, but not too much

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

Photo Credit: ANIKO Productions


Keep prices in check

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

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

Photo Credit: ANIKO Productions


Take a wedding break with friends too

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

Photo Credit: Jessica Hill Photography


Your wedding party is not free labor

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

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

Photo credit: ANIKO Productions



Unmissable Pieces Of Advice You Need To Hold The Perfect Wedding Reception

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Unmissable Pieces Of Advice You Need To Hold The Perfect Wedding Reception

You might be surprised to know that the wedding reception can make or break a wedding. After all, it’s the main part of the wedding that guests look forward to. And it’s what they will remember from your big day. Therefore, once you have sorted out your ceremony, it’s time to switch your attention to sorting out your reception. After all, you want your wedding to stand out from the rest. Therefore, here are some unmissable pieces of advice to hold the perfect wedding reception that your guests will absolutely adore.

Choose a beautiful location with lovely grounds

First things first, you need to pick somewhere to hold your wedding. And one of the main factors that you should be considering when you are choosing a reception venue is the location. After all, the location is what will help your wedding stand out from the rest. And your wedding photographs won’t look spectacular if you don’t have a beautiful location full of photo-worthy spots. Therefore, hunt down a fantastic location which has lovely grounds which will be perfect for your photos. And if you pick somewhere wonderful, it will definitely get your guests ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ when they arrive at your venue; a reaction every bride is looking for!

Pick somewhere that is exclusive to your wedding party

When you are holding your wedding, it can be impersonal if other hotel guests are walking around amongst your guests. In fact, it can make your wedding feel less special if you keep bumping into people you don’t know! Therefore, you can make your wedding extra special by getting an exclusive venue. That way, there will be no one else aside from your guests during the big day. It can make your guests feel more comfortable too if they know they don’t have to be concerned about offending strangers. And with an exclusive wedding reception venue, you know that all the staff will be focused on your big day so it can make you feel like you and your new husband are VIPs.

Opt for a venue that has plenty of room for your guests

It’s also important that you have enough room for guests at your wedding venue. After all, there’s nothing worse than everyone being cramped in one room. In fact, it can make it a nightmare when your guests are trying to get a great shot of the first dance. And it can be hard for everyone to get their groove on with limited space. Therefore, to ensure your wedding reception is fantastic, you need to pick a spacious venue. With more than one room, it can be good if people want some time away from the loud music. After all, it can be hard for older guests to handle hours of listening to loud tunes!



Make sure that the food is to die for at the venue

Another thing that can help your wedding reception to stand out from the crowd is the food. After all, everyone can’t wait to try the wedding breakfast. And you want to leave a lasting impression. The best way you can do this is to make sure the catering is top notch. Ask for samples before the big day so that you can check out the food for yourself. And you can then make changes before your wedding day to ensure the food is cracking. As we said before, remember to ask your caterers if they can do a custom menu for your big day. That way, you can make the food extra special and delicious for your wedding day!

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Keep surprising your guests during the wedding reception

It’s also important to make sure your guests are entertained throughout the day. After all, it can be a long day for guests, especially for people who don’t know many other guests. Therefore, you need to keep surprising them during the day. For example, you might want to hire some magicians to come and keep guests busy in-between wedding breakfast courses. And you could consider doing some fireworks in the evening. These little extras can help your big day to stand out from everyone else’s.

Don’t leave too much time before the disco begins

After the wedding breakfast, it can be a long wait until the disco starts. And it’s easy for some guests to get bored during this time. However, you can ensure you have the perfect wedding reception by timing the day out properly. It’s best to not start the day off too early. Otherwise, there will be a lot of sitting around for guests. You should consider having the ceremony at 1 or 2 pm, and then sit down for the meal at 4 pm. That way, you should be finished by 6.30pm, and then you can start the disco at half 7, so there is only an hour wait for guests. It means they won’t be bored and will enjoy your wedding reception.

Pick somewhere with accommodation close by

There’s nothing worse than having to drive for miles after a wedding. After all, it tends to mean you have to leave earlier. And as for drinking, it has to be out of the question. Therefore, to ensure you hold the perfect wedding reception, you should pick somewhere that has accommodation. That way, people can shuffle to bed once the party is over. And if you can’t find a venue with bedrooms, you should at least pick a venue which has several hotels within five miles. That way, your guests can just get a taxi back to their hotel after the wedding reception and collect the car the next day! Your guests will look back on your wedding reception much more favorably if they can enjoy themselves without worrying about accommodation and transport!


Make sure you accessorise the venue well

Decor is also another way you can make your wedding reception perfect. After all, adding cute touches like special photos of you and the groom, and beautiful flowers around the venue can make your wedding extra special. Therefore, get some great accessories you can use to dress your venue before the big day. The more personal, the better as this will help to make your wedding unique. You can find further help in this article on planning the decor for your venue.

  Public Domain Pictures


Don’t make it too formal for your guests  

With a lot of weddings nowadays, they are skipping traditions. After all, things like receiving lines can just make the day feel even longer for guests. And long speeches can also be painful when the guests just want to get merry. So if you want to hold the perfect wedding reception, you need to ensure your wedding isn’t too formal for your guests. Skip traditions which are past their sell-by date and focus on ensuring your guests have a fab time.

Be careful when it comes to your seating arrangements

Sorting the seating plan leaves many couples shuddering in horror. After all, it can be a nightmare sorting out who is sitting where. But if you want to hold the perfect wedding reception, you need to make sure everyone will be comfortable in their seats. After all, you don’t want for your guests to feel uncomfortable next to someone they don’t like. Therefore, spend time getting the seating arrangements right. And if you can’t please everyone, let people sit where they want and have no seating plan! That way, you can’t be blamed for any awkward seating arrangements.

And remember if you need some help holding an amazing wedding reception, you can hire a professional wedding planner to organize your day. They will be able to think of small touches which will make it extra special.