Save the Date: Rocked 2018

This Sunday, February 18, Columbia Gorge Hotel is proud to be featured as the Honeymoon Giveaway at Portland Bride & Groom ROCKED 2018! The venue is being held at The Nines Luxury Hotel at 525 SW Morrison Street in Portland from 12 - 5 pm.

At the 7th annual couture bridal event, you and your soon-to-be-spouse could be the winners of a 5 Nights Romance Package at the Columbia Gorge Hotel that includes champagne and rose petals in your room, gift certificates at our Simon's Cliff House Restaurant, and a gift certificate you can use at our in-house Spa Remedease!

Be sure to attend this exciting bridal event and register to win!


You Said, "Yes!" Now What?

They did it! They took you to your most memorable and romantic spot, dropped down on one knee and popped the big question! You were surprised and overwhelmed with so many feelings that they are now indescribable. Then through teary eyes and an enormous smile you said, "Yes, of course I'll marry you!" And now you are engaged! 

Being engaged is a truly magical experience, it really takes a relationship to a new level; even if you have been together for 10+ years, there is still some wonderful element to finally committing your intentions of lifelong love to your betrothed. 

As the dust settles, you have sent all your pictures of the ring to your elated friends and family, you have posted the romantic and exciting image of the two of you, or of just your ring, on all of social media and then a calm comes...What’s next?

Well, now you have to plan a wedding and if you have never thought about the details of your dream day it can become instantly overwhelming. Unless you are in the business of weddings and/or an event planning, it is likely you cannot even fathom what has to happen to make an ideal wedding day come to fruition. Luckily, we live in the world of the interweb and everyone today can transform from novice to expert in a matter of minutes. What does it take to make this transformation? Just a bit of research, some organization, a vision. You can make anything happen as long as you know what you want, so what do you want? 

The first step to planning a wedding is to find your vision. You can Google it, you can search Pinterest and get lost for hours upon hours, you can scour Instagram and attend all the wedding shows near and far as long as by the end of it, you have a vision.

You may be saying, "What do you mean, a 'vision'?" Great question! In order to expedite the second step of wedding planning, which is picking a venue, you have to know what you are looking to create. For example, if you are searching for a new home, apartment etc. you will likely have a few expectations; you want it to be cozy and warm, with a balcony and large yard. Though it is in a skeleton form, you do have a starting point/vision for what to look for and what to weed out as you Craigslist away. The same applies to your wedding day, do you want a rustic feel in a barn? If so then you can narrow down your venue search immediately to only look at venues that have barns. Is your theme 1920's, or rustic chic, or medieval? Look, it is your day, we have seen a lot of different wedding themes, i.e. Star Wars, there is no judgement here, just come up with a vision and your planning, whether you, your mom, or wedding planner expedites it will be a hundred times less stressful. 

Then once you have your vision you will need a budget. You and yours should sit down together and discuss the elements that are most important to you both in order to budget appropriately. To some brides and grooms, it is important to have a cotton candy machine on their wedding day, if that is the case and you have a general budget, you may have to cut an expense somewhere else to accommodate your dream cotton candy machine. Does your spouse really want a cigar bar? Everything has a price and it will take some research to figure out your budget and what it will accommodate but it can be done. DIY is a fad for a reason, it is usually very cost effective. 

Now that you have your vision and your budget you can begin your venue search! As stated earlier, it is just like apartment hunting, by the time venues call you back and you have visited a few you will have no idea who is who or what they offer. Luckily, in this day and age, every venue you visit or contact will likely send you home with a packet full of detailed information that you can look through when you get home (I will have another blog posted this week about how to pick your perfect venue, what to look for, what to expect what is a good deal).

Let's continue with what to expect after you have secured your venue. After you have picked your dream venue everything really seems to fall into place and you can start your research. First, who is planning your wedding? Who is helping you, how will they help you and what type of bride do you expect to be?

Some brides are extremely relaxed and easy to deal with. They have a vision but no real extraneous concerns, and they have a trust/faith in the wedding planner, the facility, and the vendors. Overall these brides are chill AF. Then there are brides who may be stressed or a bit worried but you would never know it because the mother or father has done most of the planning, and trust me, there is nothing wrong with that approach. At the end of the day, it does not matter who puts it all together as long as you and yours are happy. You also have brides that trust no one. They do not trust the facility, the wedding planner, nor the vendors. They are worried that all the time and money spent on the day will all go haywire unless they are a part of every decision from start to finish. These brides are not wrong to be worried, lots of things can and do stray from the original plan, but that is what an awesome wedding planner is for, they correct any hiccup with grace and serenity and if they are truly good at what they do, you will never know the difference. 

There are obviously a copious variety of bride types, but it is important to know which type you are so that when deciding how involved you would like to be in the planning of your wedding day you have clear expectations for those who you are working with. If your mother or mother-in-law is planning your wedding, will she make all big decisions of her own accord or does she need to get your, “Okay” first? If planning with your significant other, do they have authority to make plans and visit venues without you? A few expectations help the entire process run smoothly. I have worked one on one with Brides, with Couples, as well as with Mothers and Fathers, all are lovely to work with as long as they know what the expectations for the big day are.

After you have set your budget, created a vision and acquired your plan of action for your wedding planning team, and picked your venue, then you can search for your vendors! Depending on the venue itself, you will need to pick your caterer, your baker, your hair and makeup artist, your photographer, your DJ or live band, your wedding planner and your florist. Most venues have a preferred vendor list that can help guide you in the right direction. The Columbia Gorge Hotel & Spa has a wonderful list of dependable and kind vendors that we have worked with many times. We always know they will be punctual, efficient, and pleasant. 

So, all of this can seem very overwhelming, are you overwhelmed yet? If so, take it slow, and don’t stress too much because it always comes together in the end. Do, however, pace yourself and allow yourself enough time to get everything picked out without any pressure. Your wedding day is the epitome of what you do not want to procrastinate on; many vendors book at least a year out and often kitschy dates such as 08/08/2018 fill up immediately.  The more you know and the sooner you know it, the easier your planning will be. 

A wedding is a lot and there is no getting around that but that does not mean the planning process can't be fun too. A wedding has a lot of moving parts, but at the end of the day it is the most exciting and biggest party you will likely get to put on! With just a bit of foresight, you can easily plan a fun and special wedding day!

Reach out to us with any questions, we are here to help!



Urban Unveiled 2017

Hello to all you future Brides and Grooms! 

This Sunday, November 12th, 2017, from 5pm-8pm at Montgomery Park the Columbia Gorge Hotel & Spa will be a vendor at this years Urban Unveiled event! This year the theme is "Enchanted Forest" and it will be a beautiful display of what Oregon has to offer all you eager Brides & Grooms!

We will be hosting fantastic treats, beautiful flowers, amazing photography and drinks! Come for a fun night of wedding perusing and enjoy a drink and samples on us!

We look forward to seeing you there and sharing our vision with you! 

And don't forget to tag us in your Insta posts @columbiagorgehotelweddings We look forward to seeing your fun throughout the evening!

Click for the Details

Urban Unveiled "Enchanted Forest"

Purchase Tickets HERE


Dog Lover? Us too!

We have said it once and we will say it again and again, "We love your furry pup friends just as much as you do!"

The Columbia Gorge Hotel & Spa is a Dog Friendly environment! Any dog 25 lbs and below is welcome to accompany you and yours for your special day! We do require a $25 dog fee for each night that your pup stays with us, but that seems a small price to pay to have your favorite pet with on your wedding day!

Dress them up, dress them down, however you want your furry friend to look on your wedding day is up to you but for goodness sake do bring them to the Columbia Gorge Hotel & Spa for a fun and beautiful experience!

Wedding Planner...Worth it?

Just the other day I was talking with one of my beautiful friends about her wedding day back in September and I asked her how married life is and how she felt about her Big Day. To my surprise she was a bit perturbed and annoyed about the entire thing, her actual wedding day.

Do not get me wrong, her marriage is wonderful and her wedding was beautiful but she was kicking herself because she did not pay for a day of planner. In her mind, she thought it was a superfluous additional cost only to soon realize why one might go ahead and hire a day of planner.

Since most Brides get married once, there is no real way to understand the nuances of one’s wedding day. Brides often are unaware what goes into a wedding day; corralling hundreds of friends and family to and from the ceremony site, the cocktail hour, and the reception, timing, announcements, vendor communication etc. It is no easy task keeping a wedding on schedule, that is why there are so many movies about it, The Wedding Planner, 27 Dresses etc. These are pretty accurate portrayals of what wedding planners do all in a day’s work.

A wedding can run fluidly and smoothly without a day of coordinator but directing, communicating, running around, etc. all becomes the responsibility of the Bride and Groom on their special day. Like everything, you can DIY your wedding day, but why would you want to?

My friend said she would never want to ask a family member to act as day of coordinator either because it is not fair, especially if you do not plan on paying them for essentially an entire day’s work. And she is not wrong, all the weddings I have planned I have arrived at the Hotel at 10am and am on my feet moving, directing and communicating with hundreds of people until 9pm or 10pm that dame night. A wedding planner’s day is a 12-hour day or more and if you are wearing heels, you are bonkers. The amount of running around is not conducive to heels, be smart, wear flats.

As a wedding planner at the Columbia Gorge Hotel and Spa we are your liaison between all the moving parts of your wedding day while you relax and are getting pampered and ready for your big day. We check in with you, we tell your guests where to go, we set up the decorations should you need that service, we have timelines and keep your day organized and smooth. We time the DJ and ceremony service, we are your personal assistant for one of the biggest and most special days of your life, and we do not charge any additional fees for day of help at the Columbia Gorge Hotel & Spa! 

When budgeting you always have options to save money in certain areas to provide cash flow for other areas. My sweet friend said that she already saved a lot of money by DIYing most of her wedding and she truly wished she had someone there to keep tempo of the day, to tell guests where to go, to give the photographer a timeline, to just be able to relax and enjoy the day that she married her best friend and the love of her life. 

Obviously as a wedding planner I am a bit biased, but I do think it is worth it to have someone in charge of your wedding day. If you book your wedding with us here at the Columbia Gorge Hotel & Spa you are already ahead of the curve since it is our job to cater to your needs and visions for your day, let us assist you in "Creating Your Memory" of a life time!