Outstanding. Yum. These are some truly terrific cupcakes. Serving cupcakes won't necessarily save you money, but they can be quite beautiful and it's an easy way to please all of your guests. We had six different kinds of cupcakes at our wedding (plus some gluten-free ones from another bakery). It was a hit. Our cater, Voila Catering, set them up at no additional cost, using a cupcake stand set-up that we rented from a florist recommended by the owners of Cupcake Jones. They've got a book there with ideas for arranging the cupcakes. Now we can go back for "wedding cake" whenever we like!
Versatile Violin is a guy Timothy, who you can often find playing violin in downtown Portland, OR, near the public library. His strengths are his versatility (classical, bluegrass, some interpretations of 50s/60s rock...) and his ability to adjust the music to fit the tone of the event. We had him play solo at our ceremony and then with a guitarist at our reception. We got rave reviews from our guests. Timothy is professional and easy to work with. The only drawback is that he can be difficult to get a hold of. If you google "Versatile Violin" and "Portland," his phone number will come up. He doesn't yet have a website.
If you're looking to save $$$ AND you have a helpful family, you might want to consider getting dahlias from Swan Island Dahlia's in Canby. We got about 8 dozen flowers and a bunch of vases from garage sales and the dollar store. As part of a family get together the day before the wedding, family members young and old had a great time making all of the table arrangements. Some of the arrangements were stunning, some were simply nice, but all of them were special and their creation became a wonderful memory. That night we also arranged calla lilies (ordered from an on-line wholesale place) and misc. filler from our garden to create the bride's bouquet and bouquets for the bridesmaids. They turned out great, but ONLY because two family members had a talent for flower arranging.
For a $50 reservation fee that can be applied the purchase of make-up, you can have your make-up done at a Mac counter (at Nordstrom). The first time I had my make-up done there, it turned out beautifully, and it was free (walk-up). If I had made sure to have the same lady to my wedding make-up it surely would have also been awesome. So, having make-up done at the mall is a great cost-saver, but it's only worth it if you 1) have time to stop by the mall on the way to your venue and 2) have a trial sitting with the artist before your wedding.
Lisa is a joy to work with. Her pre-wedding consultations really set my husband and I at ease. She helped us to create a ceremony that was meaningful to us and to our family. This was done through one-on-one meetings and with the immense help the binder-full of ceremony plans she lent us. On the day-of she expertly orchestrated everything related related the ceremony. We had total confidence in her. Everyone involved, the wedding party and all guests, loved the ceremony. Lisa is amazing!
If you've dreamed of an outdoor wedding, this is the place. It's absolutely magical, and worth every penny (even though it's not cheap). Many of our guests (and even some of the catering staff) told us that it was the most beautiful wedding venue they'd ever experienced. In addition to the gorgeous scenery, grown-ups and kids both loved playing in the canoes and on the swing set. The icing on the cake, for us, was that the owners of the place are great to work with, and we loved the fact that Bridal Veil Lakes is a family business. Potential challenges: you'll need to plan for the possibility of rain and for ways to deal with uncomfortably hot or cold weather. It's worth it, though! A final note, we strongly recommend exiting your ceremony by canoe. It was lovely having that time alone with each other just after the ceremony!
The food was outstanding in flavor and appearance. Many people said it was the best food they'd had at a wedding--and I don't think they were just being nice. It truly was fantastic. After the wedding, the caterers pack up your leftovers, and you can take them home. This worked out great for us because we had a steady stream of out-of-town guests stopping by our house to visit the day after the wedding. They all got fed left-overs, and they were quite happy! There are two other highly positive aspects of Voila Catering: 1) the staff are very professional 2) it's a huge time-saver to be able to rent everything from Voila, rather than finding another vendor for rentals.
The price is very reasonable and the place is nice. Not having bathrooms in your room is a serious drawback for many, though. Kennedy School (another McMennamins) is only about 20 minutes farther away. If that's not a problem, I'd highly recommend staying at Kennedy School. Staying at either McMennamins, though, is far more charming than staying at an average hotel.
My family really enjoyed staying here. It's a very unique place! There are two potential drawbacks: 1) no TVs in the room 2) one couple said that there was a lot of noise coming from the hallway. Despite the lack of TV and some noise, all were quite happy to have stayed at Kennedy School.
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