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If you have ever visited Portland, Oregon then you will have heard at least once the phrase “Keep Portland weird.” While I will admit that this city does have a certain eclectic and sometimes strange ambiance, I will say that is also one of the most uniquely beautiful cities I’ve ever seen. The citizens here have built their businesses, homes, lifestyles and spaces to be unapologetic reflections of themselves, which in turn has created this unique ability amongst one another to not not think twice or pass harsh judgement, but to encourage people here to think outside the box and make things their own.
Which is why as a wedding photographer, I think Portland makes for the perfect place for wedding gallery. From the hotels and wineries to the parks and campuses, there are no rules or themes and that has left this city with a little bit of everything for everyone. So today I’d like to share with you 10 of my favorite, and most recommended, locations in Portland for wedding photos, portraits or even elopement if you feel so inclined. And if you have any questions about these locations please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask below!
This hotel comes with a little bit of everything. It’s a space where you can stay and relax or wander the gardens after visiting their breweries, wineries and distilleries. It’s a venue that welcomes all for intimate moments and large gatherings depending on your preferred way to celebrate. Having worked at McMenamins Edgefield before, I’d recommend making reservations beforehand for both dinner and for bigger events as this place has become a Portland favorite.
Monet Vineyards has quickly become one of my most requested locations for weddings, engagements and couples sessions and I could not recommend this space enough. With an Italian inspired architecture, Monet also offers privacy for their guests to enjoy the grounds and celebrate weddings. While there is a small fee to shoot here, every gallery created here has become an Auburn Photography favorite.
For those on a smaller budget Pittock Mansion is the venue for you. While the Pittock Mansion is a public museum there are no fees for couples to come and take wedding portraits on the grounds. This historic Portland home has a transverse ability to be the perfect space to wander on Sunday afternoon or celebrate with 20 of your favorite people. Like art, this venue’s beauty lies with the beholder, and you are encouraged to make it whatever you please.
The first campus on our list is the famous Lewis and Clark College campus. Known for its picturesque grounds, brick buildings and jaw dropping architecture, the campus alludes to class, elegance and maybe a touch of luxury to the photos it produces. While there is a fee to shoot here and hold a wedding, this is a venue in Portland that I cannot recommend enough for both weddings and portrait sessions.
Located under one of Portland’s most iconic bridges, this Cathedral Park venue is one of the best venues for Portland’s unpredictable rainy weather. With the bridge protecting a small pavilion, this space makes for the perfect intimate wedding or elopement as it can easily host both ceremony and dinner for roughly 10-15 guests. While wonderful year round, I would recommend getting in touch with the city of Portland before planning your upcoming nuptials to discuss availability and permits.
6. Reed College
Our second campus, Reed College, is one of my favorite Portland locations for its ability to completely surprise me at any point throughout the year. Mainly in its greenery and landscaping. While this campus is crafted with beautiful buildings and open spaces, the trees are what give this unconventional venue a touch of luxury with the blossoms that bloom each spring. While Portland has many ties back to nature, this campus is a venue that puts itself in a completely different league.
For our floral lovers, this one was made for you. Peninsula Park is one of Portland’s famous rose gardens and easily allows nature and a natural elegance to be incorporated into your day. Available May-September, Peninsula Park creates a sense of romance and simplistic elegance for your wedding as it blankets you over 200 different kinds of roses as your backdrop.
Another Italian inspired venue, this one could easily be considered a favorite. Located in Oregon City, Oregon this unique vineyard offers rolling hills, romantic archways and breathtaking views for its outdoor pavilions; however that’s not all. Villa Catalana Cellars also offers an indoor space that is equally romantic and glamorous that is available to house a celebration of marriage should that be your preference (or there be rain!)
Closely located to Reed College, Crystal Springs Rhododendron shares much of Reed College’s beauty. This outdoor venue is one that sets the perfect backdrop to a summer wedding or elopement with both its architecture and landscaping. Located next to the water and with a waterfall nearby, Crystal Springs Rhododendron provides its couples with a simplistic elegance and sense of peace as they set into their next chapters of life.
10. Oregon Temple
Last but certainly not least is the Oregon Temple. This iconic Portland structure is as beautiful as it is jaw dropping. With marble structures stretching 20 feet up, this space commands attention and yet allows its visitors to take center stage at any point throughout the day, evening or night. This venue does require advance booking for both ceremony and portraits but is one that provides class, elegance and maybe a touch of luxury.