Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wedding Wednesdays - Episode 2

Location, location, location...

The problem with marrying someone that you meet at college is that your allegiances are to three different places - your hometown, his hometown, and the college town you actually met in (assuming that these are three different places, at least, as they are in my case). So the question is this: where's the best place to tie the knot?

Our choices as we started considering locations were these: Spokane (the college town), Seattle (my hometown), or Portland (his hometown). There are positives for each - yes, even Spokane - and it was a lot harder to make a choice than I thought.

Spokane was originally at the top of my list because of the history of our relationship here. We had our first date here (well, every date really), we chose to stay here after college, and there are so many important places here for both of us that it pretty much made sense.

St. Aloysius Church on the edge of Gonzaga's campus is a beautiful place to get married, as I remember seeing couple after couple have ceremonies here during my undergraduate years.

Arbor Crest Winery is another popular location, and with awesome views and lovely landscaping and buildings (also can't forget the important red wine!) that make for fabulous pictures and a picturesque ceremony backdrop.

But I AM from Seattle, and considering how much larger it is than Spokane (and the fact that no one from either of our families lives in Spokane), as well as it's location along the Puget Sound, it has some ideal locations as well.

The grotto at St. Edward's State Park is something I ran by several times a week during cross country practice and to this day consider a perfect location for a small, intimate ceremony. Plus, pictures along the Lake Washington shoreline would be so gorgeous!

In fact, I think the only place I could see myself getting married in Seattle is at St. Ed's. If you're having a small wedding in the Seattle area, I recommend checking it out. Plus state parks are relatively cheap to rent - compared to other locations.

But alas, I do love Matt, and he had his heart set on having the wedding in Portland. So despite the lovely locations that I could imagine (but wasn't particularly set on) in Seattle and Spokane, it will be a Portland, Oregon wedding for us! This poses several problems - I am not from Portland and don't even know where to BEGIN with anything for a Portland wedding. Additionally, Matt is a boy, and hasn't exactly been scouting possible ceremony locations these last few years. And finally, seeing as Portland is 6 hours away, it's going to be difficult to see things in person or meet with people, you know?

But there are several positives: Matt's mom has already been incredibly helpful at finding out about places and people, and filling us in on all the details. In fact, I have a book on Portland weddings waiting for me at home that she sent earlier this week. Portland is also much closer to Seattle than Spokane, so it'll be easier for my family to get there - and the majority of Matt's family lives in Portland, so that's a plus. And let's be honest, Portland's got some pretty sweet places to have a wedding!

The Portland Art Museum is so beautiful, and there's something so elegant about getting married among the works of great artists. Plus it's centrally located!

The Classical Chinese Gardens in the middle of Portland would also be a fantastic choice - just imagine all of your guests watching you say your vows on that bridge! Their restrictions are a little crazy (no dark flowers or red wine? Booooo) but the scenery could definitely be worth it!

And then there's Hotel Oregon, a McMenamins property, in McMinnville that Matt has mentioned several times. It looks beautiful, and it's in the heart of wine country. Yes please!

We'll be heading down to Oregon sometime in the beginning of May to visit a selection of venues that we determine are "finalists" for the location in the next few weeks - but in the mean time, I'm totally open to suggestions! If you got married in Portland, or have been to a beautiful wedding in Portland, let me know where it was and if you'd recommend it. And don't forget to check back for another Wedding Wednesday next week - who knows what we'll have decided by then!


Rachel said...

Hotel Oregon looks SWEET. And I think it would be interested to get married a little bit outside of Portland - it looks close enough that people could stay in PDX still and enjoy all the city has to offer, but going out to McMinnville for a wedding would feel like "getting away" a little bit and that would be neat! Plus then you'd always have that town as your special place.

ShockTheBourgeois said...

Yayyyyy! I am selfishly excited that I will get to make your wedding into a little vacation :)

I'll have to ask my aunt if she knows of any good spots- she's possibly the most savvy and organized person I've ever met, and she certainly knows Portland!