We love being based in the Portland area, and discovering the magic of new wedding venues every season. These are just a few of the incredible spots to get hitched the city and surrounding areas has to offer, but we thought we'd highlight a few of our favorite spots, from hidden gems to well-known standbys. Just to be clear, none of these venues paid or compensated us in any way for the mention here.
The Sentinel Hotel
One of Portland's most coveted downtown wedding destinations, this hotel blends historic grandeur with slick modern amenities for your guests. Their penthouse bridal suites are spacious and have lots of diffused natural light, which guarantees gorgeous shots of your bride and groom preps. Your makeup artist will love it too.
Our favorite wedding ceremonies have all happened in the long and narrow renaissance room, a deceptive space which can hold lots of guests while still feeling intimate. The room has great natural acoustics, but you'll still want to make sure to hire a DJ to amplify the sound. John Ross' audio team has lots of experience working there, and always does a great job making everything sound great.
There are a couple of great spaces for receptions, the governor's ballroom being our favorite. The high ceilings and rich colors of the room make everything pop in photos and video, as well as being an impressive party space for your guests to enjoy toasts and dance the night away. We recommend investing in an uplighting package from your DJ or lighting company. Uplights can really make these ballroom walls pop. Jake's Catering handles food, and they get great reviews from guests.
This is the newest venue on this list. We'd still classify it as a hidden gem, but this family-run venue is getting discovered quickly, so we'd suggest booking a tour soon if a vineyard wedding is your style.
Nestled down a quaint road on the edge of McMinnville, this manageably-sized vineyard has rolling hills, a beautiful view, and the most gorgeous light at golden hour for portraits and glamorous video shots. Hanna, one of the owner's daughters manages the wedding bookings and oversees events is sweet and truly cares about creating a special experience for couples. We'll never forget following her up to her secret spot on the vineyard with a wedding couple in tow at the tail end of cocktail hour and shooting some of our favorite shots of our career.
They offer several options for ceremony sites, depending on the size of the wedding, the back deck being our favorite. Just make sure you schedule your ceremony at a time of day where the sun won't shine too harshly, as you don't want harsh shadows being cast on your face by your wedding arbor or any building overhangs.
The huge barrel room reception space can accommodate huge groups, while leaving plenty of space for dancing, and the gigantic double doors that slide open allow for infinite lighting options for dramatic portrait shots.
Mt. Hood B&B
This cute little venue is another family run business. They are off the beaten path enough to make you feel like you've stepped in to a quieter world, and are far enough from neighbors that your DJ can really pump up the bass on their cute outdoor dance floor.
They have quaint, purpose-built buildings for bride and groom-preps with little decorations and features that make them great spaces to shoot photos and video in. The real star of the show is the view of Mt. Hood from the ceremony site out on the lawn, where you can get photos and video of your first kiss framed just in front of the mountain.
The light this venue gets in the early evening is stunning and soft. Just make sure you tell your guests to bring a light jacket, as it can get chilly toward the end of the evening, being so high up on the mountain.
Located in Troutdale, the industrious little town just outside of Portland, these guys are wedding pros, and each time we've worked there, this really shows. The hotel rooms are unique and interestingly decorated, with mirrors placed in just the right spots, and a vintage color pallet that makes you feel like you've stepped back in time. We've shot some of our favorite bride and groom preps in these rooms.
Make sure you ask your photographer and videographer to shoot some portraits and couple glamour shots outside on one of the classic plantation-style decks that reach out from each floor of the hotel. There are cute pieces of furniture that just beg to be lounged on out there. And if you have extra room in your portrait time slot, take a trip down to the basement barrel room, where it has a speakeasy feel. With the right lights, you and your photo/video team can create some unforgettable visuals of you and yours.
We love featuring the awesome water tower that looms above the ceremony sites at this venue. The huge variety of cool little areas for brides, grooms, guests to explore is what has made McMenamins Edgefield one of the Portland areas favorite wedding venues.
The Reserve Vineyards & Golf Club
This venue is a beautiful golf course, with a sweet ceremony site nestled down a shrub-lined path and into the trees. They've got some great locations for glamour shots and portraits, and an awesome tented reception area with plenty of space to throw a great party.
What truly sets The Reserve apart, however, is its event staff. Yelena King, the wedding and event coordinator, and her team, are some of the finest wedding professionals we've ever worked with. She and her staff handle bride and groom, guests, and vendors with respect and shows a genuine passion for what she does. The staff can make or break a venue and the impression it leaves on you and your guests, and within the Portland wedding community, there's no one we know of with more universal respect than Yelena.
If we're being honest, the standard bride and groom prep spaces are small and can be tough to light well with larger bridal parties, so if you've got a large one, or you want some exceptional shots of you getting makeup and hair done, consider getting ready offsite.