5 Best Wedding Venues in Portland
I love photographing weddings and elopements in the city of Portland because there is never a shortage of backdrops and variety. Even the same walls and buildings can look different on various days, due to light and weather, making every wedding day feel new and fresh. Portland is a concrete jungle, and weddings give me a reason to play!
Here are my top 5 wedding venue recommendations for getting married in Portland:
I love Castaway for its versatility. I’ve photographed both large weddings and intimate elopements here, and every time I see the space decorated and set up differently it feels like I’m seeing it for the first time.
You might recognize this space while driving through Slabtown in Portland because of its vibrant blue building, or you might have even visited Pomarius Nursery next door, which is part of an equally beautiful venue that I also touch on in this article. Once you know where Castaway is you’ll realize how often you pass by it. This spot is prime for many reasons + is an impressive space to share with your future wedding guests.
The main things I love about this space:
1. It’s size! It’s large enough so that you do not have to transition the space from the ceremony to dinner. You can easily set up the ceremony inside by the windows that allow gorgeous light to stream through or if the weather permits you can have your ceremony outdoors with the city bridges as your backdrop. There is even room to do cocktail hour and dancing outside so you have options in terms of where you want to set up the different parts of the day.
2. Location! In addition to being close to hotels, other accommodations and top Portland restaurants, this venue is located in an industrial area with interesting colors and textures that provide awesome backdrops for photos. It makes shooting at golden hour a dream, it’s no wonder is one of the 5 best wedding venues in Portland.
3. The materials that make up the space! Cement floors and cement walls are amazing for photos. I know that sounds very particular, but indulge me while I nerd out on photography for a minute. Cement naturally reflects light rather than absorbing it which is a plus when you are taking photos of people. Reflecting light onto subjects means better photos and the hue of cement is natural which compliments skin tones.
If you’ve ever seen photos of girls getting ready in a log cabin, the hue of the wood can often cast orange shadows on skin, or if you’ve seen portraits in front of brick, the subjects tend to get lost. The reason for this is because of the busy background but also light is absorbed by dark and rough material like brick. The very opposite situation happens with cement. People in a space with cement essentially are surrounded by reflectors, pushing the most natural light back on them. I always really enjoyed my photos of guests during cocktail hour in the space, for this very reason!
4. Parking! If guests do wanna park on site, or you need parking for vendors, it’s a breeze. Some venues in the city make parking impossible but I’ve never had an issue with parking at Castaway, with lots of street parking available. Plus there is no limit on parking time.
5. Wedding party suite! Castaway has a little suite, tucked away by the restrooms where people can store coats, purses, etc. This is also a nice place for the bride and groom to sneak away after the ceremony, if they need a private moment or want to pop a bottle of champagne.
I honestly could go on and on about Castaway because it’s a personal favorite. I’ve photographed 4 weddings here and every single one was so different and so special. I’ll add to this post, if more thoughts come to me, but in the meantime feel free to email me if you have questions or want to see a full gallery from the space. You can also check out a full wedding at Castaway here.
As you might know, Jacobsen Salt is known for their production of fine salt as well as other JS products like honey and chocolate. This Company was founded in 2011 and is said to be the first company to harvest salt from the Pacific Northwest since Lewis and Clark, but another fun fact is the company has its own wedding venue. You can set up tastings on site and if you’ve seen photos of the space, you’d understand why it would be the perfect spot to get married. Also, as someone who naturally appreciates character, good light, and a clean backdrop, I always see so much potential in this space.
The brick walls of Jacobsen Salt are painted white and the floors are cement which, like I mentioned above, is prime for photos. In addition to their light colored floors and walls, there is lots of natural light that streams in through practically floor to ceiling windows on an entire side of the building.
When I think of the space it gives me a feeling of being in Europe, maybe the countryside. Somewhere in France or Spain? With arched doorways and exposed wood beams, it’s easy to get lost in the space and forget you are in Portland. Don’t get me wrong, I love the industrial vibe of Portland spaces but there is something romantic about a place that feels like its history dates back much further than our US history.
Located south of Burnside and Belmont, this spot is a prime location to host a wedding. You are in the middle of a great area so hotels and AirBnBb’s are easily accessible, plus the backdrops for photos are prime. The city of Portland is amazing for that very reason, because every corner and alleyway provides something interesting and new for photos. Every time I photograph portraits in this part of Portland, they are always different because there is so much versatility.
A few added bonuses that come with this space is that there is no curfew, you are allowed to bring in a caterer of your choice, it has an outdoor space you can utilize, and pets are allowed. I remember when we were planning our wedding initially at Silver Falls State park, I was so sad that we couldn’t include our dog Tony! What a treat to have the choice to have your dog be at your wedding.
Jupiter NEXT is located in the central Eastside of Portland and can be summed up in one word, sleek. This hotel provides a space where couples can get married on site, so guests don’t even have to hop in a cab after a night of partying.
There are four different sports on site where you can host your nuptials. The Arium Ballroom, The Secret Garden, The DreamTENT or The DreamBOX. The Secret Garden is definitely my favorite for the mix of nature and urban vibes, but The Arium Ballroom is lovely too because of the amount of natural light it gets.
The Jupiter NEXT also is known for its ground level bar, Hey Love which is instagrammable as ever due to its intricate art and flora. It is known for its yummy cocktails and tropically inspired comfort food and it’s hard to not wanna show up and just take photos. It’s that kinda space you will be eager to share with your guests.
Neighboring the Jupiter NEXT is the well known Doug Fir Lounge which is known for its live music scene. Having this fun environment next door gives wedding guests another event to experience before or after the big day and for those who aren’t up for dancing, this area provides endless eateries and places to grab a drink.
Click here to see more photos from this JupiterNEXT elopement.
Putting it out into the universe that more people need to get married at Enso Winery. It’s charming as hell, and as mentioned above, I’m a sucker for good light, character and a solid backdrop. As opposed to Jacobsen Salt’s white walls, Enso has the most gorgeous black backdrop which is the perfect contrast when shooting in an indoor space with good light.
Handcrafted wines, mix and match chairs and an urban ivy-clad storefront, makes this spot feel eclectic, inviting and lively which feels like the perfect way to welcome guests. Located off of Stark, this venue is another spot that is prime for portraits. There are endless options for backdrops and many streets to wander.
This venue has two spots you can rent out for your wedding or elopement and can fit up to 120 guests. You can rent out solely the barrel room in the back for a smaller event, or the entire place for a larger wedding. Added bonus, the curfew is 11pm, which is later than most venues in Portland. Also, alcohol is onsite and provided for an extra fee, and you can even request to use Enso’s PA and Projector system.
I know if we were to get married again, we’d consider this spot 100 percent.
I think this venue is adored by so many because of the juxtaposition between urban and nature. Adorned with endless plants, you reap the benefits that nature provides, tranquility, peace and a sense of calm for your wedding day. Woven into natural elements, you see and feel the more urban side of the venue with its open kitchen/bar concept and cement pavers. And then on top of that you are steps away from sweeping views of city bridges, brick walls, and endless streets to roam.
Blockhouse is located right next to Castaway, and in the heart of Slabtown and is a part of Pomarius Nursery. You may have visited the nursery before and not even realized that it was a wedding venue. In fact, this space hosts more than weddings too. You can book this spot for holiday parties, baby showers, and other celebratory events. You could even do a vow renewal or host a dinner party here.
This venue is also another pet friendly place! And it also is also classified as an eco/green space. The venue provides alcohol for an additional fee, although you are required to use their catering services which could be a plus if you are overwhelmed by choosing a caterer.
I think my favorite thing about this venue is that if it’s pouring rain, you are sheltered while still feeling surrounded by nature. You really get the best of all worlds with Blockhouse.
Other notable venues in Portland: