A Destination Wedding in Portland…

A Unique Perspective


I recently had the privilege of being invited to a destination wedding in Oregon. It was absolutely beautiful and very intimate and personal as only about 50 people were invited.  My niche is planning destination weddings to beautiful tropical venues, but today I want to provide a unique perspective as a guest attending a destination wedding based in the U.S.   


The Landscape!



The wedding ceremony took place in Vancouver, Washington, in a music studio of the groom uses to produce music and ghost write songs.  I stayed in Portland, which was a short 20 minute drive to the ceremony, but the reception was in Mount Hood, Oregon which is out in the mountains and about 1.5 hours from Portland.  So though amazingly beautiful, it posed some logistical challenges as well. But on the good side, I got to see other parts of Oregon that I never would have if not for the way things were set up.  

The Lodging



This couple relied a lot on family and friends to help them plan their wedding, which is always nice to have, but I think having a wedding planner would have helped smooth out some of logistical issues.  As with any type of destination wedding, it is good to have one central location that everyone can stay at, so that everything runs smoothly on the day of the wedding.  For this wedding, lodging was on our own. There wasn’t a designated hotel for all the guests, or even hotel suggestions. Without really understanding the lay of the land, I chose to stay in Portland.

Connecting The Group:


Anyway, the bummer about this type of set up was that we couldn’t connect with other wedding guests during our stay. With everyone on their own and without lodging recommendations, the vacation part of the trip wasn’t with other guests.  If this couple had used a wedding planner, the planner could have had that discussion with them and possibly even recommended some places for the group to stay.  Planning a destination wedding at a resort, makes it so easy for you to get the entire group in one location, and the resort staff take care of the group, giving you some peace of mind.  It’s a win win!  

Renting a car. 


With being on our own we had to rent a car and navigate all the locations. Not a big deal but it made me realize how easy it is for guests going to an all inclusive destination wedding. Their plane simply lands and a shuttle service is awaiting their arrival to whisk them to the resort so the fun can begin!


The Day of The Wedding.    


As I said above, the wedding day was beautiful!  The ceremony was rustic bohemian, and beautiful.

 After the wedding ceremony we had the long drive to the reception. We were able to see some amazing sites along the way to the reception such as waterfalls and Mt. Hood! 


Mount Hood
My Real Picture of Mount Hood, Oregon


The Reception:


After the very long but incredibly scenic drive to the reception, it was nice to explore the lay of this beautiful B&B in Oregon. The decor was very well done, and the bride and groom hired a food truck that specialized in gourmet sandwiches!  Unfortunately, the food truck staff said they had a delay and the food all had to be re-heated and they were behind schedule.  I know this can even happen at a destination wedding, but in general the staff and restaurants at a resort have more than enough man power and facilities to make sure the food should run close to on time no matter what comes up.  


The Rain Came:  (I mean it poured)


One thing I always tell my couples is to have a back up plan, even for and especially for a destination wedding.  What I love about planning weddings with the resorts I use, is that the wedding staff will always meet with the bride and groom and discuss a back up plan due to bad weather.  There are usually alternate locations for ceremony and reception that you will be able to scope out and secure once you arrive on property.   We got about half way through dinner and after a few drops fell, it just absolutely down poured!  Luckily this B&B had a very large pole barn, that I assume is also used for receptions.  It wasn’t set up, so it took all of us to jump in and get chairs and tables set up, so that the reception could continue.  It’s possible that if they had used a wedding planner, I ‘m sure the planner would have helped the bride and groom make contingencies for bad weather.  


Closing it Down


When the reception ended, we all pitched in to help the family put things away and clean up. This meant that after everything was put away,  we had the 1.5 hour drive back to Portland. If you compare that to planning a destination wedding, you, your bride and groom, and the guests don’t have to worry about any of that.  There is no clean up! No set up! No micromanaging or coordination required. And when the reception is over, simply walk to your room and call it a night! Easy-peasy!


It Was Worth It!  


All the logistics involved in this wedding were ultimately worth it, because the couple was worth it. The setting was phenomenal and one of a kind. It is a wedding I will cherish and never forget! But in comparison with a destination wedding, I think that’s what I’ll stick with recommending!  It’s just easier to plan and not near as much work, especially on the day of the wedding.  The resort wedding staff has it all under control.  


P.S. this couple did not hire a wedding planner, and it showed. With a wedding planner I think the guests would have been better informed and the family would have had peace of mind.  


If you have ever thought about planning or adding tropical destination weddings to your services, you may want to sign up for my free live cast that explains how easy it is to get started in the destination wedding planning business.  I hope to see you there!  

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