While Portland is known for its eccentric locals, phenomenal cuisine and quirky aesthetic, a primary draw of this one-of-a-kind city are its natural surroundings. Portland is overflowing with the splendor of towering Bigleaf maples, Ponderosa pines, Grand firs and other trees that create fresh air and mesmerizing vistas. In the Spring, cherry blossoms, daffodils, and magnolias are coming alive in almost every garden, while Fall alights the city with vibrant variations of reds, oranges and yellows. If you’re hoping for an unforgettable wedding that’s kissed with the majesty of Mother Nature, these Portland outdoor wedding venues might just be right for you.
Create an Alice in Wonderland-esque celebration in the magical gardens of this liberal arts college, which features a reflection pool, old world stone terraces, historic architecture, endless trees and a tapestry of colorful flowers. As you wander this diverse expanse of foliage, you’ll be pleased to realize that the woodland tones and open spaces don’t just suit a whimsical theme, but could serve as an excellent backdrop for any variety of nuptial. The four aptly named outdoor areas include the Cobblestone Circle, Gazebos and Reflection Pool Lawns, Great Plat Lawn, and the Wisteria Arbor Terrace. To ensure the weather is warm enough for an outdoor gathering, these estate gardens are only available between May and September.
Typical Cost: $8,500 to $9,500
Bonus: The natural lighting filtering through the trees creates an ethereal ambiance for photos.
Imagine enjoying a special moment of connection with you partner as you glide across a 3-acre spring-fed lake in a canoe, take one-of-a-kind photos amongst a rainbow of wildflowers, and savor jaw-dropping views of the Historic Columbia River Gorge. This enchanting experience can be savored at Bridal Veil Lakes, a secluded wonderland where guests are protected from overzealous gusts of wind and can escape inclement weather under an open-air pavilion or patio. Both 800 square foot covered areas are lakeside, and provide decorative lighting, electricity and close proximity to restrooms. Enhancing the simplicity of a wedding at Bridal Veil Lakes are the ample amenities, which includes tables and chairs for 250 guests, a decorative arch for wedding ceremonies, a catering prep area with a commercial refrigerator and freezer, custom BBQ grill, and four canoes with life jackets. Nature lovers planning a wedding between May and October should add Bridal Veil Lakes to their list of must see venues.
Typical Cost: $3,200 to $6,500
Bonus: They only allow one event per day, so you can party from 9am to midnight.
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One of the most astonishing outdoor wedding venues in Portland, Hoyt Arboretum is a 190-acre paradise of flora and fauna that allows you to pledge your love under a canopy of redwood and sequoia trees, as the fresh air, soothing sounds and earthy aromas of Oregon’s natural world please your senses. Other event spaces at this dreamy venue include a lush expanse of grass in a rustic meadow, and a picnic shelter surrounded by Douglas firs. Upping the feel-good vibes is the fact that rental proceeds support the arboretum’s plant collections and preservation programs, in addition to the impactful work of Portland Parks & Recreation.
Typical Cost: $285 to $595.75
Bonus: As it’s located in downtown Portland, the arboretum is close to many of the city’s most popular lodging options.
For those hoping for nuptials with an essence of rustic luxury, Kimpton RiverPlace Hotel is an optimal choice. An alluring combination of brilliant views of the Willamette River and RiverPlace marina from the outdoor courtyard patio, romantic lighting, immaculate landscaping and a dance floor create a fantasyland of passion, beauty and fun. When you’re ready to retreat indoors, the hotel’s interior welcomes you with mid-century modern details, dazzling artwork, and plush furnishings. Private rooms almost demand you settle in and stay for a while, as their innovative design and supremely cozy furniture make it near impossible to leave. And because you’ll probably never have a better reason to splurge, you should consider treating yourself to a riverfront suite.
Typical Cost: $1,000 to $2,000 for six hours of event time
Bonus: The in-house catering provided by King Tide Fish & Shell whips up delectable seafood dishes that will make your taste buds do a happy dance. Popular options include crab cakes, lobster bisque, oysters, scallops and much more.
Couples planning an intimate outdoor wedding will appreciate this fern-filled bucolic land, which has been evolving since the 1930s and is overflowing with rich displays of unrestrained nature. Adding to the appeal of ceremonies at Leach Botanical Garden is a wooden pergola that can be draped in lights or flowers to create a truly spectacular alter. Receptions can be equally breathtaking at the open-air terrace, brimming with unique plants and graceful flowers. Much like a secret garden tucked into the heart of the Pacific Northwest, this astonishing event space is the ultimate visual celebration of the wonders of flora and fauna.
Typical Cost: $3,700 for 8 hours
Bonus: A tent can be rented for an additional fee if rain sneaks up on you.
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Bailey Gaddis is the author of Feng Shui Mommy: Creating Balance and Harmony for Blissful Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Motherhood, a childbirth preparation educator, birth doula, and hypnotherapist who works with mothers-to-be, new mothers, and their support teams. She is also a regular contributor to media outlets including Disney’s Babble, Working Mother, Pregnancy & Newborn, Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, and Woman’s Day. In addition to her childbirth-prep work, she volunteers for families in need of postpartum support. She lives in Ojai, California.