Oregon Bride Best of 2012 Winners

In our much-anticipated annual accolade, the Best of Bride awards celebrate Oregon’s wealth of bridal talent and creativity as voted on by brides and wedding professionals—plus, a few of our editor’s favorite things.

BEST NEW WEDDING VENDOR

PORTLAND WINNER: One Divine Party   
Known for:
Custom couture event design specializing in dessert and sugar bars, creating a focal point that makes a couple’s story come alive.
Words of wisdom:
“Make your day all about your love story, unique personalities, hobbies, family history and anything else that inspires, excites, or delights you,” says owner Amy Childs. “We like to help our clients to think outside of the box and celebrate their originality one divine detail at a time.”
Finalists: A Step Above, DJ Prashant

VALLEY WINNER: Smile Photo Booth (Corvallis)   
Known for: Bringing out the sillies in all who enter these fun photo booths that are available for rent in Portland, the Valley, and the Oregon coast.
Words of wisdom: “Ask for samples of prints from each company you are renting from,” says owner Eric Sundstrom. “This is your special day, so make sure you get what you want in the quality of the product.”
Finalists: ADB Photographix, Vue    

 

BEST ALL-AROUND WEDDING VENDOR

STATEWIDE WINNER: Bridal Bliss
Known for: Kicking wedding planning up a notch with weddings that are elegant celebrations filled with luxurious details, both big and small. 
Words of wisdom: “Think about hiring a coordinator for assistance throughout the entire planning process, or even just to run the show on the wedding day, so your friends and family do not have to,” says owner Nora Sheils.
Finalists: Face Body Beauty, Evrim Icoz Photography

 

BEST WEDDING PLANNER

PORTLAND WINNER: Bridal Bliss
Known for: Going out of the way to make sure no two events are ever the same and pulled off by a staff of coordinators who truly love what they do.
Words of wisdom: “Planners are not just for the rich and famous,” says owner Nora Sheils. “We save our clients considerable amounts of time and money. There are so many ways we can assist each and every bride regardless of her budget.”
Finalists: Champagne Weddings & Event Coordination, Blush Bridal Consultation Group

VALLEY WINNER: A Time 4 Memories (Salem)
Known for: Developing a personal connection with couples, having an eye for detail and bringing fun and resourcefulness to the wedding groundwork.
Words of wisdom: “Get organized from day one of planning,” says owner Morgan Peterson. “Get a large binder to keep all your ideas, inspiration, schedules and contracts in and take it with you to all wedding-related appointments.”
Finalists: Raina Powell Events, With This Ring Wedding and Event Planning

 

BEST DAY-OF COORDINATOR

PORTLAND WINNER: Champagne Weddings & Event Coordination   
Known for: Going above and beyond to make sure clients enjoy the planning process and helping them find the perfect vendors to fit their unique style and budget.
Words of wisdom: “Don’t forget to take time away from ‘wedding planning’ to soak up time with your fiancé and enjoy being engaged,” says wedding and event coordinator Mandi Wiley.
Finalists: Soirée, Bridal Bliss

VALLEY WINNER: A Time 4 Memories (Salem)
Known for: Spending time with each couple to create an event that accentuates their personalities, being professional and personable, creative and resourceful.
Words of wisdom: “When setting your budget, decide what the three most important elements of your wedding are to you and work your budget around those,” says owner, Morgan Peterson. “It can get stressful, but remember to have fun—you are planning your wedding.”
Finalists: Raina Powell Events, Stargazer Weddings     

 

BEST INVITES

PORTLAND WINNER: Puddle Jumpin’ Cards
Known for: Creating a custom piece of stationery art that describes the couple’s personality while setting the tone of their wedding.
Words of wisdom: “Make sure you add postage costs into your budget so there are no surprises that set you back when you go to mail those beauties out,” says owner Sunny Rickards. “Additional ounces, bumps in the envelope and odd shapes can all add to postage costs.”
Finalists: New and Blue, Paper Bloom

VALLEY WINNER: Red Pearl Designs (Salem)
Known for: Digital press, off-set printing and letterpress custom wedding stationery that spans the design spectrum from classic to whimsical and everything in between.
Words of wisdom: “Do not procrastinate with your wedding invitations,” says owner Megan Ward. “The custom design process can take several months, and really good designers can book up six months to a year in advance.”
Finalist: Twin Ravens Press    

 

BEST OFFICIANT

PORTLAND WINNER: Maureen Haley       
Known for: Performing all types of ceremonies: religious, nonreligious, spiritual, interfaith and customized. 
Words of wisdom: “The heart of your wedding day is the ceremony, and it will set the tone for what comes after in the celebration,” says Haley, a nondenominational wedding minister and officiant. “The words of your wedding ceremony should speak with joy to your hearts as you begin your journey into your future as a happily married couple.”
Finalists: Moore Creative Weddings, Carroll R. Myers

VALLEY WINNER: Mark Burton (Salem)   
Known for: Balancing appropriate humor with the seriousness of the event, and for saying a blessing over each couple after they kiss and just before they are presented to their guests.
Words of wisdom: “Get a wedding coordinator! By the way, your mother does not count,” says Burton, who offers professional, nondenominational services.
Finalists: An Event to Remember, Dale Donovan

 

BEST NEW WEDDING SITE

PORTLAND WINNER: Castaway
Known for: A versatile space that’s the perfect balance between industrial and modern.
Words of wisdom: “Visualize what you want your wedding to look like before searching for venues,” says event manager Jamie Mollas. “Do you want it to be black tie, a small garden affair, rustic or elegant looking? These decisions are the theme to your wedding and will effect what your space should look like.”
Finalists: The Foundry at Oswego Pointe, Imago Ballroom

 

BEST OREGON DESTINATION WEDDING SITE

STATEWIDE WINNER: Youngberg Hill (McMinnville)
Known for: Breathtaking views of vineyard and valley, award-winning wines, and an intimate and luxurious inn for both hosting events and accommodating guests.
Words of wisdom: “Have fun in the process, as the journey is part of the reward,” says owner Nicolette Bailey.
Finalists: Resort at the Mountain, Zenith Vineyard

 

BEST SUNSET WEDDING SITE

STATEWIDE WINNER: Oregon Golf Club
Known for: Gorgeous views of the surrounding vineyards in West Linn and snow-covered Mount Hood, award-winning rose garden, and spectacular Rose Pavilion with 25-foot chiffon-draped ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows. 
Words of wisdom: “Work with a team of professionals. Don’t try to hire your friends and family to do the job of a professional,” says catering sales director Nicole Bergin. “Leave the planning and execution up to the people who do this for a living.”
Finalists: Bridal Veil Lakes, Vista Hills

 

BEST ALL-INCLUSIVE VENUE

PORTLAND WINNER: Abernethy Center
Known for: Two lush gardens, a ballroom and a brand-new wedding chapel offer couples a plethora of options for an indoor or outdoor celebration of all sizes.
Words of wisdom: “Always read reviews and look for testimonials prior to hiring your vendors and selecting a wedding venue,” says event specialist Alyssa Tolman. “Remember to enjoy the planning process, because it goes by quickly.”
Finalists: Oregon Golf Club, Lakeside Gardens            

VALLEY WINNER: Youngberg Hill (McMinnville)
(see Best Oregon Destination Wedding Site)
Known for: Catering to the guests’ specific preferences, offering complimentary concierge service and providing a two-course gourmet breakfast made from local resources every morning. 
Words of wisdom: “Look for a location that offers a complete package flexible enough for each bride to create the wedding of their dreams,” says owner Nicolette Bailey.
Finalists: Zenith Vineyard, The Oregon Garden      

 

BEST VENUE FOR LARGE GALAS (100 GUESTS OR MORE)

PORTLAND WINNER: The Nines                       
Known for: Modern, sophisticated downtown style and decadent cuisine.
Words of wisdom: “Be confident in the team behind the venue and know they will guide you through the process and pull together all the finishing touches to create an unforgettable experience,” says sales coordinator Heidi Kreis.
Finalists: Abernethy Center, The Governor Hotel

VALLEY WINNER: Zenith Vineyard (Salem)
Known for: The quintessential Oregon Wine Country wedding venue with luxurious amenities coupled with a breathtaking vineyard.
Words of wisdom: “Your wedding is an expression of joy and celebration with those you love best,” says owner Kari Ramey. “The wedding location should express your personality and allow your guests to be comfortable and well fed.”
Finalists: Youngberg Hill, Resort at the Mountain

 

BEST VENUE FOR INTIMATE GATHERINGS (75 GUESTS OR FEWER)

PORTLAND WINNER: Portland City Grill       
Known for: Views of the Willamette River, Mount Hood and downtown Portland from the highest perch in the city—30 floors up—from private dining rooms.
Words of wisdom: “Choose a venue that is all-inclusive to make your planning processes that much easier,” says event manager Alyssa Dodge.    
Finalists: The Foundry at Oswego Pointe, Bella Via    

VALLEY WINNER: BeckenRidge Vineyard (Dallas)   
Known for: Private events with attentive staff, great customer service and astounding views of the Willamette Valley and Cascade Range, whether you are inside, on the patios or on the lawn.
Words of wisdom: “Start with what kind of setting you are looking for and tour at least three locations within that idea,” says manager Arwen Rhodes. “Read through your contract carefully. Every facility does things differently.”
Finalists: FivePine Lodge, Vue

 

BEST ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORT

STATEWIDE WINNER: Resort at the Mountain
Known for: Beautiful rustic and elegant location at the base of Mount Hood for outdoor (the Pavilion) or indoor (Cascade Ballroom) celebrations.
Words of wisdom: “Bring in as many personal details as you can,” says catering and events manager Becca Kolibaba. “If the couple enjoyed a Manhattan on their first date, we would suggest having a signature Manhattan cocktail for the reception.”
Finalists: The Oregon Garden, Youngberg Hill        

 

BEST INDIE DRESS DESIGNER

STATEWIDE WINNER: Embellish
Known for: Skilled craftsmanship and classic silhouettes that utilize unique fabrics and trims such as organic bamboos, silks and linens. 
Words of wisdom: “Before getting stressed about a detail, ask yourself, How much does this particular detail really matter?” advises owner Terri Spaeth-Merrick.
Finalists: Elizabeth Dye, Sarah Seven         

 

BEST DRESS SHOP

PORTLAND WINNER: Charlotte’s Weddings & More
Known for: A relaxing and inviting atmosphere with private dressing suites for selecting gowns from fifteen designers, including favorites such as Maggie Sottero and Wtoo.
Words of wisdom: “Make time for each other that doesn’t involve planning or talking about the wedding,” says owner Krysta McLaughlin York.
Finalists: Anna’s Bridal, AniA Collection

VALLEY WINNER: The Bridal Gallery (Salem)
Known for: Their approach to finding the right gown for the right bride among the store’s more than 450 options that starts with a discussion of the bride’s personal style.
Words of wisdom: “Maintain perspective when the little details get to be overwhelming,” says owner Angie Oven. “There are a million decisions to make, so remember: At the end of the day, you’ll still be married.”
Finalists: Blush Bridal Boutique, Simply Grand Bridal        

 

BEST BRIDAL ACCESSORIES

PORTLAND WINNER: Anna’s Bridal
Known for: A carefully selected collection of European-designed fine accessories, including couture headpieces, veils, jewelry and shoes.   
Words of wisdom: “It is never too early to start the planning process, but when your day arrives, relax and enjoy every moment,” says owner Anna Totonchy.
Finalists: August Veils, Charlotte’s Weddings & More    

VALLEY WINNER: Blush Bridal Boutique (Eugene)
Known for: Fulfilling the accessory needs of the entire wedding party, being especially mindful of the bride on a budget.
Words of wisdom: “With so many checklists to accomplish, delegation to trustworthy friends can make all the difference,” says owner Teresa Parsons.
Finalist: The Bridal Gallery

 

BEST INDIE JEWELRY DESIGNER

PORTLAND WINNER: Mandalena
Known for: Custom jewelry that incorporates the visual elements of a wedding’s design and a ready-to-wear bridal couture line that layers beads, crystals, silver and gold links, ribbons, and pendants for true statement pieces.
Words of wisdom: “Breathe, laugh and love,” advises owner Mandalena Register.
Finalists: Elizabeth Perry Collections, Grayling        

VALLEY WINNER: Richard Gretz Goldsmiths (Corvallis)
Known for: Art-influenced craftsmanship incorporating filigree and intricate metalwork for rings and pendants designed and fabricated in-house using a dazzling variety of colorful stones and diamonds sourced from Asia.
Words of wisdom: “Look at every jewelry store; see what you like. And if you decide on a custom piece, bring drawings, pictures and your ideas, and we’ll offer you ours,” says founder Richard Gretz.
Finalist: Nashelle         

 

BEST RINGS

PORTLAND WINNER: Malka Diamonds
Known for: Creating modern and unique custom wedding and engagement rings in close collaboration with brides and grooms.
Words of wisdom: “Take your time walking down the aisle,” says co-owner Ronnie Malka. “Notice all of the people that are there to support and love you.”
Finalists: Kassab Jewelers, Judith Arnell Jewelers    

VALLEY WINNER: Richard Gretz Goldsmith (Corvallis)
(see Best Indie Jewelery Designer)
Finalists: Jackson Jewelers

 

BEST FORMAL WEAR

PORTLAND WINNER: Duchess, Clothier
Known for: Fun and funky, custom and off-the-rack suits that appeal to the dapper Don Draper in every groom.
Words of Wisdom: “You get to marry the love of your life—enjoy it!” says owner Seyta Selter.
Finalists: Mario’s, Este’s Men’s Clothing         

VALLEY WINNER: The Bridal Gallery (Salem)
Known for: Their complete line of tuxedos from Jim’s Formal Wear that includes designs by Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren, conveniently located in the same location as the bridal gown showroom.
Words of Wisdom: See Best Dress Shop.
Finalists: Blush Bridal Boutique, Shryock’s Menswear        

 

BEST HAIR & MAKEUP

PORTLAND WINNER: Face Body Beauty
Known for: Fresh-faced, romantic and timeless hair and makeup that doesn’t distract but, rather, accentuates the bride’s own features.
Words of wisdom: “You’ve hired a professional makeup artist to make you look your very best,” says owner Jennifer Walker, “so choose a location for getting ready that has natural light, mirrors and ample plug-ins. It will make a big difference in your pictures.”
Finalists: Powder Inc. by Nicole Wagner, Chachi Hair        

VALLEY WINNER: Epic Day Spa (Corvallis)
Known for: One-stop hair and makeup in the largest spa in the Willamette Valley that includes three full floors of rainfall showers, spacious steam rooms and a comfortable luxurious lounge area.
Words of wisdom: “Love unconditionally, laugh without reservations and trust in the journey,” says wedding coordinator Hali Kaelin. 
Finalists: Edge Salon, Spa-W

 

BEST CEREMONY MUSICIANS

STATEWIDE WINNER: Duo con Brio
Known for: Classical violin and cello music that is music to both the ears and to the pocketbooks of discerning couples.
Words of wisdom: “Give your musicians guidance musically and at the same time trust their professionalism,” says owner and musician Corey Averill. “Remember to enjoy one of the best days of your life!”
Finalists: Michael Charles Smith, Effesenden Music         

 

BEST RECEPTION LIVE BAND

PORTLAND WINNER: Hit Machine       
Known for: The ability to entertain and adapt to every situation with music for any age or dancing ability.
Words of wisdom: “Get references from couples and wedding planners who have experience with the band you’re thinking of hiring,” says owner and frontman Bart Hafeman.
Finalists: Design Band, Swingline Cubs

 

BEST DJ

PORTLAND WINNER: Paradox Productions
Known for: Seamlessly mixing all types of music.
Words of wisdom: “Do your homework on all of your vendors by running a Google search with the keywords ‘wedding day regrets’,” says DJ Paradox, aka Justin Babbitt.
Finalists: Mobile Music, Chad Dowling Productions      

VALLEY WINNER: Ben Haslam (Corvallis)       
Known for: DJ services at a great value and a fun environment tailored to your style.
Words of wisdom: “When you are sending out invitations, include a line that asks for song requests on your RSVP card,” says Ben Haslam. “This is a great way to make each of your guests feel recognized and included on your big day!”
Finalists: Bust a Move, Flip Flop Sounds

 

MOST CREATIVE FAVORS

PORTLAND WINNER: Crave Design
Known for: Creating a custom experience in which no idea is too offbeat to use as inspiration, such as a recent favor that combined a recipe for love attached to a wooden spoon.
Words of wisdom: “Live in the moment,” says owner Lisa McGuire. “All that time, planning and compromise has led to one big day, so don’t rush through it.”
Finalists: Photobooth for You, Paparazzi Tonight        

VALLEY WINNER: Kasey’s Kreations (Salem)
Known for: Fun cake pops in addition to delicious cakes, cupcakes and cake truffles to delight your guests.
Words of wisdom: “Make sure if you are working within a budget and that you let your baker know up front,” says owner Kasey Brown. “Try not to ask for diamonds on a cubic zirconium budget.”
Finalist: Monogram Wedding

 

BEST FLORIST

PORTLAND WINNER: Zest Floral and Event Design
Known for: Couture flowers and décor that is clean, classic and chic—with a bit of sass and flair.
Words of wisdom: “When hiring your wedding vendors, it’s important to find someone you click with,” says owner, Hailey Bernstein, “and someone whose taste and style you completely trust.”
Finalists: Blüm, Fleur:ology        

VALLEY WINNER: Celebration Florals (Corvallis)
Known for: Floral arrangements hand-selected to reflect Celebration’s refined sensibilities as well as the couple’s vision and personalities. 
Words of wisdom: “Be true to yourselves,” says co-owner Carol Young. “Let your wedding tell your story.”
Finalists: Distinctive Design, Flowers by Deanna    

 

BEST RENTALS

PORTLAND WINNER: Barclay Event Rental
Known for: A vast linen selection featuring everything from burlap to taffeta (not to mention all of the dishes, silverware and glasses to go on top).
Words of wisdom: “Plan ahead, order early and don’t hesitate to ask questions,” says sales and marketing manager Jen Maust.
Finalists: West Coast Event Productions, The Party Place

VALLEY WINNER: Special Occasions Parties & Events (Corvallis)
Known for: An expansive collection of unique pieces—including themed décor—accumulated over the past 25 years.
Words of wisdom: “Only work with reputable and tenured vendors for all of your needs. Select vendors that genuinely love what they do,” says sales manager Jen Sperling. “You should truly be able to take pleasure in planning the wedding of your dreams.”
Finalists: SHE Designs, All Star Tents and Party Rentals  

 

BEST CATERER

PORTLAND WINNER: Vibrant Table Catering & Events
Known for: Broad culinary knowledge that includes cuisines from across the globe but uses seasonal and organic local produce and meats. Not only limited to food, Vibrant Table also provides soup to nuts event planning.
Words of wisdom: “Think about what’s most important to you: music, food, the look, photography, location, etc.,” says marketing coordinator Faith Adams. “Professionals can help craft an event that first and foremost reflects you, but we can also help you identify where you might want to invest more of the budget and where you can save.”
Finalists: Crave, Art of Catering        

VALLEY WINNER: Willabys Catering and Event Design (Salem)
Known for: Highly personalized menus that use the best ingredients from Willamette Valley farms and are presented with elegance.
Words of wisdom: “Hire vendors based on their track record and years of experience, not just on price,” says owner Jean Mateson. “That way you truly can sit back and trust that you are well taken care of.” 
Finalists: Valley Catering, Cafe Uncorked

 

BEST CUSTOM AND GROOM’S CAKES

PORTLAND WINNER: Le Cookie Monkey
Known for: Their mega-popular Italian meringue buttercream cakes that can be ordered in multiple flavors and are decorated with hand piping.
Words of wisdom: “Others’ opinions do matter,” says office manager Adrienne M. Jarvis. “However, it is your day, and you should enjoy what you ordered.”
Finalists: Lamb’s Thriftway, Dream Cakes        

VALLEY WINNER: Myriad Cake Design (Salem)
Known for: Elegant designs that use fun textures and flourishes, though not so wacky that guests will be scratching their heads at the reception.
Words of wisdom: “Don’t settle for a standard wedding cake,” says owner Marion Barnes. “Think cupcakes, petits fours, cake truffles, chocolate-dipped strawberries or an entire dessert spread.”
Finalists: Haute Cakes, Kasey’s Kreations        

 

BEST WEDDING DESSERTS (CUPCAKES, CANDY BUFFET, PIES, ETC.)

PORTLAND WINNER: The Candy Buffet
Known for: Custom-designed dessert and candy buffets that run the gamut from fun and whimsical to chic and elegant.
Words of wisdom: “Surround yourself with the people and things that you love, because this celebration is about you,” says owner Elizabeth Gomez.
Finalists: Le Cookie Monkey, Cupcake Jones    

VALLEY WINNER: Sweet Life Patisserie (Eugene)
Known for: Scrumptious desserts and pastries made daily from scratch for the past 18 years by sisters Catherine and Cheryl Reinhart, including their special “dessert of the month” selections, such as dulce de leche cheesecake. 
Words of wisdom: “Start planning your wedding early, a year in advance ideally,” says Cheryl. “Some businesses get booked many months in advance, especially photographers and venues. This will also give you enough time to have a more leisurely schedule and help prevent the stress of last-minute planning.”
Finalists: Myriad Cake Design, Sweet Dreams Cupcakery

 

BEST WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

PORTLAND WINNER: Powers Photography Studios
Known for: High-drama lighting, interesting camera angles and scenic locations befitting of such a significant day.
Words of wisdom: “Many photographers can use a camera well, but could you become friends with them?” says co-owner Ben Powers. “If you don’t love your photographer and their work, you won’t end up happy.”
Finalists: Evrim Icoz Photography, Holland Studios        

VALLEY WINNER: ADB Photographix (Salem)
Known for: Her ability to capture a wedding’s small touches, from décor to surprising moments that make a wedding special and unique, make for natural and unstaged photos.
Words of wisdom: “Wedding photography is an intimate process,” says owner Ashley Dimeo Buchan. “Make sure your photographer is someone you don’t mind sharing it with.”   
Finalists: Karl Maasdam Photography, Stalnakers Photo Studio  

 

BEST WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHER

PORTLAND WINNER: Hybrid Moon
Known for: An unobtrusive style and high production value resulting in cinematic wedding-day stories.
Words of wisdom: “Always keep in mind the days, months and years after the wedding day,” says founder Eric Newland. “How will you want to remember the big day and all of the special people that took a part in it?”
Finalists: Black Label Films, Moving Picture Weddings      

VALLEY WINNER: Focal Point Digital Media (Salem)
Known for: Crafting carefully edited wedding films that combine just the right moments and music to match the emotional significance of the entire event.
Words of wisdom: “You’ve spent so much time and effort planning the wedding, but it’s equally important to remember that when the day finally arrives just take a step back, soak in the love, and enjoy one another.”
Finalists: Lights in the Attic Wedding Films, Moetic Wedding Films

 

EDITOR'S PICKS

 

Most Adorable Wedding Adornment
Nichole McIver, the creative force behind Portland’s Acanthus jewelry, designs the type of ultra-feminine finery that only looks like you raided your grandmother’s jewelry box. With her background in art history, McIver’s pieces (all of which she designs and fabricates in her Beaverton home) have a timeless quality, but with a modern twist. One can as easily imagine a modern bride or a Byzantine queen wearing Acanthus’s Alexandra headband and matching bracelet and necklace, constructed out of golden beads and woven into a rounded chain design. Luckily, you don’t have to be a queen—much less have her budget—to acquire one of Acanthus’ graceful pieces for your wedding day. Prices start at $75.

 

Best Rooftop Reception View
High above the urban hubbub that defines Portland’s Pearl District, the DeSoto Rooftop Terrace is an open-air oasis. During daytime soirees the location boasts tree-line views of the maples and elms lining the nearby North Park Blocks, but in the evenings guests can gaze at the stars as well as the lights of downtown Portland and beyond to the West Hills. With the city as its backdrop, the entire DeSoto space (large enough for 120 seated or 175 standing guests) is defined by grape arbors decorated with string lights and abundant potted greenery. These natural elements contrast with the surrounding Pearl District’s artistic ethos by including raw industrial details such as wood plank flooring, steel sculptures and metal railings. It’s a rare and delightful location, perfect for an intimate yet undeniably big-city wedding. desotorooftopterrace.com

 

Best New Boutique Hotel
As the first hotel built in downtown Eugene in 28 years, the new Inn at the 5th is full of innovative design ideas while still reflecting the laid-back style of Eugene. Completed in February 2012, the Inn at the 5th is part of the popular Fifth Street Public Market and occupies 40,000 square feet over five stories. Half of the first floor is home to a newly relocated Gervais Salon & Day Spa, an Aveda concept spa that boasts enough private salon suites (including catered food from the hotel’s restaurant, Marché) for an entire wedding party. Indoor and outdoor ceremony and reception spaces are available, though best suited for small weddings with fewer than 75 guests. But when it’s time to call it a night, the inn’s luxurious accommodations prove that they share more in common with a bed-and-breakfast than a large hotel. Thoughtful touches such as butler closets (where room service is delivered through a separate private door), themed décor and reclaimed design elements (end tables crafted from a stately maple tree that once grew at the site) all come together for a welcoming entry into the valley hotel landscape.

 

Coolest Invites
Quill & Fox is the bright and beautiful brainchild of the unbelievably talented Portland-based designer, Yas Imamura. Specializing in finely crafted paper goods and invitations that are both whimsical and sophisticated tiny works of art, Imamura illustrates each design by hand and then transfers them digitally. “It’s not much yet, but my cards have slowly been traveling across the country and finding nests in some lovely little shops,” says Imamura, who can include Oregon, California, Illinois, Mississippi, Georgia, Virginia and even the UK among the ‘nests’ her cards have found. After designing invitations for her own wedding, Imamura was inspired to create an entire line of cards (now being offered at Anthropologie), and lends her visionary talent to brides for custom projects.

 

Hottest Food Cart Catering
They began, in 2009, as a lone mobile taco truck, cruising the streets of Portland, offering a range of Korean barbecue and Mexican flavor fusion mash-ups. In record time, Koi Fusion was making waves and the headlines of CNN, the New York Times, Gourmet magazine, Forbes and, of course, all the local media. Now that owner Bo Kwon’s traveling team has expanded to an entire catering division (as well as three mobile trucks and two stationary locations), couples can offer their guests a whole slew of heavenly barbecued meats, tacos, burritos, kimchi quesadillas, Korean fried chicken, K-dogs and Koi’s signature dish: k’sliders. Of course, vegetables are fresh, tortillas are locally sourced, and tofu is always an option.

 

THE REST OF THE BEST

 

BEST WEDDING SUPPLIES

PORTLAND WINNER: The Wedding Cottage
Finalists: New and Blue, Barclay Event Rentals    

VALLEY WINNER: Special Occasions Parties & Events (Corvallis)       
Finalists: SHE Designs, Parties to Go

 

BEST BOUTIQUE REGISTRY

PORTLAND WINNER: Canoe       
Finalists: Moule, Cielo       

VALLEY WINNER: The Inkwell (Corvallis)   
Finalist: Passionflower Design

 

BEST QUINTESSENTIAL REGISTRY

STATEWIDE WINNER: Macy’s
Finalists: Crate and Barrel, Bed Bath & Beyond

 

BEST BRIDESMAIDS GIFTS

STATEWIDE WINNER: New and Blue  

 

BEST GROOMSMEN GIFTS

STATEWIDE WINNER: The Wedding Cottage

 

BEST MOTHER-OF-THE-BRIDE DRESSES

PORTLAND WINNER: Nordstrom       
Finalists: Anna’s Bridal, Joy’s Uptown Style      

VALLEY WINNER: The Bridal Gallery (Salem)   
Finalist: Blush Bridal Boutique   

 

BEST CHILDREN’S APPAREL

STATEWIDE WINNER: Anna’s Bridal

 

BEST SPA FOR GROUP MANI-PEDI’S

PORTLAND WINNER: Dosha Salon Spa       
Finalists: Pink & White, Coldwater Creek

VALLEY WINNER: Epic Day Spa (Corvallis)       
Finalists: Shibui Spa, Gervais Salon & Day Spa

 

BEST REHEARSAL DINNER RESTAURANT

PORTLAND WINNER: Pazzo Ristorante at Hotel Vintage Plaza       
Finalists: Andina, ¡Oba!       

VALLEY WINNER: Del Alma (Corvallis)      
Finalists: Gamberetti’s Restaurant, La Capitale

 

BEST TRANSPORTATION

PORTLAND WINNER: Portland Pedicab       
Finalists: Best Car in Town, ecoShuttle

 

BEST VALET SERVICE

STATEWIDE WINNER: Premiere Valet       
Finalists: City Center Parking, Star Park Valet

 

BEST WEDDING NIGHT HOTEL

PORTLAND WINNER: The Nines Hotel        
Finalists: Hotel deLuxe, The Benson Hotel

VALLEY WINNER: The Grand Hotel (Salem)   
Finalist: FivePine Lodge        

 

BEST HOTEL FOR GUESTS

PORTLAND WINNER: The Nines Hotel   
Finalists: Hotel deLuxe, The Governor Hotel

VALLEY WINNER: The Grand Hotel (Salem)
Finalist: Hilton Garden Inn (Corvallis)

 

Voting methodology: The Best of Bride 2012 winners are the result of an online survey in which more than 1,500 brides and wedding vendors voted for their favorites.