Real Weddings

Things To Consider When Choosing Your Portland Wedding Venue

Choosing your Portland wedding venue will be one of the most important decisions you will make while planning your wedding. While it can feel overwhelming, having a few key things in mind will help make the process less stressful and more fun! Read below for a few helpful tips!

Guest Count

Having an idea of how many guests you are going to invite is an important step to have completed before you begin your venue search. There is no sense in falling in love with a venue if it isn’t realistic for the amount of guests you will be inviting!

Indoor and Outdoor Options

Since we live in Oregon, plan B is essential. Does the space provide an indoor option if the weather turns out to be unfavorable? Or is there a space for a tent rental? Make sure to discuss with the venue and research your options ahead of time. One of our favorite local tent rental companies is The Party Place.


Some venues have an in house caterer, which means you are required to use their catering services. They should provide you a quote that includes both the space AND the price of catering combined. Other venues may allow you to choose a caterer from their preferred list. If they ask you choose from this list, it is because they have worked with those specific caterers many times in the past and feel confident they will provide you the very best on your wedding day! See our full list of recommended caterers below!


Venue Manager vs Wedding Planner

This is a HUGE difference between these two roles. Many venues offer a day of venue manager, but it is important you know what that means. Often a venue manager will be onsite the day of your wedding but they will focus on the logistics of the property. For instance, they will unlock doors to let vendors into the venue, control the heat and cooling systems, work with the lighting and audio systems, etc.

On the other hand, your wedding planner will facilitate numerous elements of your day as discussed leading up to your wedding. This will include all of your personal details such as decor and style elements, coordinating with all your vendors, creating and keeping to the timeline, and handling any issues that may arise. They will make sure everyone is ready at family photo time and tell you it’s time to walk down the aisle for your big moment! There are many levels of services offered, from full planning of your day to day-of coordination. We highly recommend consulting with a local professional wedding planner to address the options and help you decide the level of service that is right for you! One of our favorite local wedding planners is Your Perfect Bridesmaid. See our full list of recommended planners below!

Save Money!

If your dream venue is booked every Saturday during the peak season or slightly out of your budget, here are some money-saving insights. Most venues will offer lower rates for off-season dates and/or non-Saturday weddings. If you love the venue and are flexible on dates, make sure to have that conversation with the venue!

Full list of recommended local caterers

Full list of recommended local planners

This tips and advice piece was submitted by Lindsay Malkovich, a trusted local wedding professional and talented writer.

Featured photos by Lindsay Blair Photography

The Art of Weddings Portland strongly recommends you hire a professional wedding planner that is experienced and connected to the top vendors in the community.  You can find the full list of our favorite Portland planners, venues, and vendors in our vendor guide! Follow us on Instagram at @artofweddingspdx too!

You should also keep your eye on The Venue Crawl event. Wedding planning has never been so much fun! Follow on Instagram at @portlandvenuecrawl and check it out.