a2009: Hey, sorry for my super long delay! I took a break from Weddingbee and just saw your message. If you’re still looking for any vendors or locations, below is a list of who we used. A note on vendors in general: I recommend meeting with vendors in person before signing a contract or agreeing to anything. If any vendor is unwilling to meet with you face-to-face it is a bad sign.
Venues: Mt. Tabor Summit & Oregon Historical Society. We had an outdoor ceremony on Mt. Tabor and our reception was at the Oregon Historical Society. The location you pick/ed will depend on your style, size of your guestlist, and budget. The historical society was a little pricey, because everything had to be rented (tables, chairs, china, linens, glassware), but it was exactly what we wanted and in the end we were really happy with both of our venues. If you plan to hold any part of your wedding in a city park, you must obtain a permit from Portland Parks & Recreation. Prices vary based on the park and there’s more info on the website. portlandoregon.gov/parks/38280
Wedding Planner: Cindy Rosen and Tilly Dorsey at Encore Events. I had a day-of coordinator, not the full package, and if it fits in your budget to hire a planner, I highly recommend a day-of planner. Tilly was there on my wedding day making sure everything was running smoothly and answering vendors’ questions so I didn’t have to. She was great to work with and I highly recommend her and Cindy both. They were tremendous to work with, I can’t say enough good things. encoreeventspdx.com
Photographer: Craig Mitchelldyer – he does mostly sports photography (for the Timbers, the Trailblazers, and the Seahawks) and has a different style than most classic wedding photographers. We liked working with him, but with any photographer, make sure you like their style of photos and that they’re someone you get along well with. You’ll be spending the whole day with them, so if they annoy you in the meeting or something just feels off, don’t book them. Try to book your photographer ASAP if you haven’t already. The good ones go fast!! craigmitchelldyer.com <br />
Florist: My maid of honor did all the flowers, but we bought them locally from Portland Wholesale Florist (portlandwholesaleflorist.com) and Swan Island Dahlias (dahlias.com). The colors of the dahlias varied a little from the photos on the website so if you’re going this route and you have specific colors in mind, try to see the flowers in person before you order if possible. If you are doing DIY flowers, order about 3 – 4 months in advance. Keep in mind that some flowers may not be in season when you want them (true if you DIY or hire a pro), so they either won’t be available or you will pay through the nose for them. A good florist will be able to tell you what’s in season, the availability, and give you an estimated price.
Bakery: We ordered an array of desserts (cakes, pies, cookies, brownies, mini-tarts, chocolate covered strawberries) from Whole Foods in the Pearl and had them deliver it all the day-of. We paid under $400, including delivery, and had a lot leftover. Our guests loved the dessert bar and we spent less than half the money on it than if we had gone with a traditional cake.
Music: We hired Brett Bell, owner of Encore Mobile DJs and he is the one vendor I would never recommend to anyone. (If you wanted a DJ and he was the only one available, you would be better off hooking up an iPod to a set of good speakers.) DJs also book up pretty quickly, so if you want one start looking now. <br />In terms of live music, I don’t know a lot about what’s available in Portland. Friends of mine got married two years ago and hired a square dance band for their country-themed wedding. It was so much fun! They had the band for about two hours and plugged in an iPod after that.
Hair & Makeup: Katherine Ross – Amazing! Her prices were toward the higher end of the scale, but she was worth every penny. She is really laid back, which made getting ready calm and not frenzied, and she’s been working commercially for 30+ years (around the world, with celebs, in Hollywood – she’s done it all!). Her work is amazing and I would recommend her in a heartbeat. One huge plus is that she’ll do whatever makeup you want, which sounds obvious, but I had trials with two other makeup artists who put me in the standard “wedding makeup,” despite my having shown them pictures of what I wanted. Katherine has two websites, one for her wedding makeup and one for her commercial work. Weddings: katherinerossweddings.com Commercial: katherinerossstyle.com
Dress: I bought my gown at Charlotte’s Weddings in Beaverton. I had a good experience and would recommend them. I also went to David’s Bridal beforehand to try on some dresses and get a sense of what looked good. I liked some of the dresses I tried on at David’s, but I don’t think I would have felt confident ordering from them. I would definitely not have been comfortable letting them alter a dress for me. Charlotte’s had a nice selection and they work with a wide range of budgets. charlottesweddings.com
Alterations: Andrea Hoyt at the Bridal Loft!! Andrea knows what she’s doing, she’s honest, and she does great work. Any good alterations work is probably going to cost more than what you’d expect, so be prepared for that. For what my dress needed Andrea charged me a fair price, stuck to the timeframe we agreed upon, and my dress looked amazing. Andrea owns August Veils and shares her work space with Lei, who also does alterations. They’re both great. augustveils.com (This youtube video is what ultimately led me to Andrea and Lei, lots of good info regardless: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_WBXoqcVy4)
Officiant: Kami Aguilar. Kami is a doll! She used to be a wedding planner, but has transitioned into just officiating. We met with a few other officiants and we clicked with Kami right away. My husband and I are not religious and had some specific requests regarding the wording of the ceremony. Kami was completely non-judgemental and delivered the perfect ceremony for us. We had several guests comment about how much they liked our ceremony, and Kami in particular. wedportland.com
Photo Booth: Obviously, not everyone does a photo booth, but if you’re interested, Abra Faraon who owns LOLA the Photo Booth was great. Her prices were good, the pictures are high quality, and Abra was a real sweetheart. lolathephotobooth.com
Transportation: We hired buses to pick our guests up downtown, take them to Mt. Tabor for the ceremony, and bring them back downtown for the reception. We hired ecoShuttles, which was fine, but I would not recommend them. They got the job done, but they weren’t very organized. I gave them specific directions about which routes to take and where to drop guests off at Mt. Tabor and all of my directions were ignored.
Hotel Blocks: If you need a hotel block downtown, the first place I would look is the Hilton. They are the largest hotel downtown and because of their size they are able to beat out everyone else’s prices on hotel blocks. (We secured rooms for $99/night over Labor Day weekend last year.)<br />All of the Kimpton hotels (Hotel Monaco, Hotel Vintage Plaza) offer discounts between 10% – 20% off just by using the rate code “WED”. No room block needed, you can just tell guests to enter that code when they book online.
Wow. That ended up being a much longer post than I anticipated. I hope it’s not too much info. Good luck planning your wedding and have fun!! If you have any follow up questions, just let me know. I’m happy to help.