Oregon Bride's Best of 2013 Winners

Congratulations to all the finalists and winners of Oregon Bride's Best of 2013 awards!
From: Fall/Winter 2013 edition

BEST NEW WEDDING VENDOR
PORTLAND WINNER
Something Borrowed
Known for: Specializing in eco-events and vintage rentals, this is a modern twist on vintage cool—with anything from hand-selected, Victorian-style sofas and sectionals to delivery and design. Words of wisdom: “Be a guest at your own wedding,” says co-owner Lane’ Bigsby. “Let things be as they should and relinquish control so that you can enjoy the moment with each other, friends and family.”
Finalists: Artisan Cake Co., Blissfully Sweet

VALLEY WINNER
Hitched in the Hood (Hood River)
Known for: Wedding planning that combines the sophistication of the city with the wild charms of bountiful Hood River and the Gorge, from event design to crafts to rentals. Words of wisdom: “A couple needs to feel really comfortable with me since I will be a part of one of the biggest days of their life and I will be working with them for probably a year,” says owner Debbie Dennis.
Finalists: Forks and Corks Catering, Vue

BEST ALL-AROUND WEDDING VENDOR
PORTLAND WINNER
Bridal Bliss
Known for: Keeping guests on their toes with unique elements and details and fun surprises sprinkled throughout—this group of wedding planners is seriously good at what they do. Words of wisdom: “Book a planner immediately after you are engaged,” says owner Nora Shiels. “The sooner our clients book a coordinator, the sooner they can sit back and enjoy the simplified process. We negotiate contracts for our clients and we always try to bring down pricing as much as possible.”
Finalists: Face Body Beauty, Luxe Event Productions

VALLEY WINNER
Timberline Lodge (Government Camp)
Known for: Mountain! Skiing! History! Food! Snow, flowers and the great outdoors! Did we mention this quintessential winter wedding venue is also one of the most picturesque and well-known lodges in the country? Words of wisdom: “Get the big decisions settled first,” says Tammy Villali, director of sales and catering. “Then hire your DJ or band, order your cake and flowers.”
Finalists: The Resort at the Mountain, Willabys Catering & Event Design

Oregon Bride's Best of 2013 winners

BEST WEDDING PLANNER
PORTLAND WINNER
Bridal Bliss
Known for: Asking all of the right questions so not only the couple will have a stress-free, memory-filled time, but their guests will have something to talk about too. Words of wisdom: “Wedding planning is supposed to be a fun experience, so working with someone you genuinely like and enjoy is important,” says owner Nora Sheils.
Finalists: Champagne Wedding Coordination, Luxe Event Productions

VALLEY WINNER
Stargazer Weddings (Salem)
Known for: Matching (almost) the couple’s enthusiasm for the big day, and this group of ladies covers Salem, Eugene, Portland and beyond. Words of wisdom: “A lot of couples suffer from ‘information overload,’” says owner Ashley Lacer. “There are so many online resources that they don’t know where to start. Our team is available to help you walk through the whole journey, simply help you walk down the aisle, and everything in between.”
Finalists: The Perfect Occasion, Unforgettable Service & Events

BEST DAY-OF COORDINATOR
PORTLAND WINNER
Bridal Bliss
Known for: Being so good at what they do you hardly even notice they’re there, but you know you’re glad they are. Words of wisdom: “The single most important part of a couple’s wedding day is the exchange of vows,” says owner Nora Sheils. “That is what it is all about and what guests are there to celebrate!”
Finalists: Champagne Wedding Coordination, Luxe Event Productions

VALLEY WINNER
Stargazer Weddings (Salem)
Known for: Details, details, details. They matter, and this team knows it. Words of wisdom: “Cherish every moment on the wedding day with your new spouse,” says owner Ashley Lacer. “The way he looks at you, the words she speaks to you, the way he puts his arm around you, the way she holds your hand, the way he kisses you.”
Finalists: A Time 4 Memories, Unforgettable Service & Events

BEST WEDDING SUPPLIES
STATEWIDE WINNER
The Wedding Cottage (Portland)
Known for: One-stop-shop (just inside its Peachtree Gifts location) for invitations, guest books, décor, gifts, and more at the store and online. Words of wisdom: “Invitations are the first glimpse into a wedding,” says owner Petrel Farkas. “The invitations will evoke a sense of excitement for your friends and family, so it’s best to have them reflect the day and the couple…and ask questions! Invitations (especially the wording) can be tricky, and we are here to help.”
FINALISTS: Something Borrowed, Special Occasions

BEST INVITES
STATEWIDE WINNER
Puddle Jumpin’ Cards
Known for: Creating an entire stock for the modern, retro, classic, crazy, environmental or all-of-the-above couple. Words of wisdom: “Invitations should reflect the personality of the couple, while setting the tone of their wedding,” says owner Sunny Sisson. “Know how many invitations you need, and an idea of what your budget is. Options can be overwhelming, but if you follow your own style and trust your hired professionals to execute the design, the process will be a breeze as well as fun.”
Finalists: New and Blue, Crave Design, Paper Bloom Studio, Red Pearl Designs

Oregon Bride's Best of 2013 winners

BEST OFFICIANT
PORTLAND WINNER
A Beautiful Ceremony/Reverend Steve Sharp
Known for: Experience, ease, and equality—ceremonies from a range of influences, and bilingual too. Words of wisdom: “Plan ahead and think about how you can make sure there will be a boundary between you and all the practical details of your wedding day so you can savor every moment of one of life’s greatest experiences,” says the Rev. Steve Sharp. “Trust the team you’ve assembled to make your day perfect, and then release your heart into the moment and drink it in!”
Finalists: Maureen Haley, Moore Creative Weddings, Roger Moore

VALLEY WINNER
Dale Donovan (Corvallis)
Known for: Sitting down with a couple and using his 40 years of experience to create a meaningful ceremony that suits their values. Words of wisdom: “There is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ wedding day,” says Dale Donovan. “As in life, so go weddings. The unexpected can and will happen. In years to come you will look back at those moments on your wedding day and smile. Life is an adventure.”
Finalists: Patrick Bowler; Mark Burton, MB Services

BEST NEW WEDDING VENUE
PORTLAND WINNER
Castaway Portland
Known for: An open, urban space that is a blank canvas for any kind of wedding you want—from cosmopolitan Pearl to industrial chic to quaint NW Portland, Castaway is at the nexus of it. Words of wisdom: “Take one thing at a time,” says Casey Murry, managing director. “This is easier said than done of course. Once you select the date and venue, the rest will fall into place.”
Finalists: Abernethy Center Chapel, The Foundry at Oswego Pointe

STATEWIDE WINNER
Vue (Corvallis)
Known for: While the modern interior is a standout, couples flock to take their vows with a view that overlooks the abutting abundant Willamette Valley. Words of wisdom: “Create an agenda for the wedding day,” advises Heather Engelman, the event designer. Her team works closely with other vendors on the day of the wedding for a seamless event. “The couple and their family don’t have to lift a finger.”
Finalists: The Resort at the Mountain, The Water Oasis

BEST OREGON DESTINATION WEDDING VENUE
STATEWIDE WINNER   
Timberline Lodge (Government Camp)
Known for: Iconic architecture and art at every turn from hand carved wood staircases to towering stone fireplaces all set amongst the pristine Mount Hood wilderness make this the ultimate ski lodge. Words of wisdom: “Couples are as unique as the snowflakes that fall here at the Lodge,” says Tammy Villali, sales and catering director. “Their personalities come through in spades at their wedding. For some couples the most important part of their wedding day is the photography, for others it is that the cuisine reflect their taste, family traditions or travels, and for others it’s all about the outdoors.”
Finalists: Youngberg Hill Vineyards & Inn, Vue

BEST SUNSET WEDDING VENUE   
PORTLAND WINNER
The Oregon Golf Club
Known for: Views of the Cascade Mountains, walks through the rose garden with on-site catering and staff to help with every detail and great day on the golf course. Words of wisdom: “When a couple looks back on their wedding day, if all they remember was being stressed out about everything going well, then we didn’t do our job,” says Nicole Bergin, private event sales director.
Finalists: Portland City Grill, Waverley Country Club

VALLEY WINNER
Zenith Vineyard (Salem)
Known for: Take in that gorgeous sunset with a Pinot or any vintage from an extensive and enviable wine list on the patio, ballroom or lawn. Words of wisdom: “Choose a venue that allows you to relax and know your guests will be comfortable, well fed, and that your pictures will reflect a beautiful place and a happy celebration,” says events manager Kari Ramey. “Communicate with your team often and let the professionals assist in making your planning time fun, exciting and happy.”
Finalists: Youngberg Hill Vineyards & Inn, Vue

Oregon Bride's Best of 2013 winners

BEST ALL-INCLUSIVE VENUE
PORTLAND WINNER
The Oregon Golf Club
Known for: A place to get away and get together, with bridal suite and groom’s room, fully stocked bar and bartender, oak dance floor and catering. Words of wisdom: “Hire a planner,” says private event director Nicole Bergin. “We love it when our brides work with a coordinator to keep them organized and get the most out of their wedding day here.”
Finalists: Abernethy Center, The Foundry at Oswego Pointe

VALLEY WINNER
Youngberg Hill Vineyards & Inn (McMinnville)
Known for: Accommodating a small group of your closest guests for the weekend and everything you need for a larger group on the day of your event. They even offer an elopement package. Words of wisdom: “Select a location and vendors with staff that communicate well from the moment you reach out to them,” says owner Nicolette Bailey. “There is nothing more important than knowing you’re important and that your questions will be answered in a timely fashion.”
Finalists: The Oregon Garden, Vue

BEST VENUE FOR LARGE GALAS (100 GUESTS OR MORE)
PORTLAND WINNER
Portland Art Museum
Known for: The artistic touch isn’t just in the exhibits; gawk at the building, the Park Blocks, the sculpture mall, plus a gallery, library and auditorium to choose from. Words of wisdom: “Book early! There are only so many Saturdays on the calendar,” says events director Bruce Goldberg. “Venue selection, like purchasing a home, is usually prompted by a visceral reaction; an emotional response to the surroundings. From there, it’s our job to guide the couple through the various service options designed to capitalize on their vision.”
Finalists: Abernethy Center, Governor Hotel, The Oregon Golf Club

VALLEY WINNER
The Resort at the Mountain (Welches)
Known for: Comfortable guest rooms, a relaxing spa, fun recreation (including 27 holes of golf), delicious restaurants and a pub all in one place—enjoy a rehearsal dinner the day before, and a wedding brunch the following morning. Words of wisdom: “If wedding planning isn’t fun, you’re doing something wrong!” says Leyla Amrani, the catering and conference manager. “The whole process of creating the most important day of your life should be entertaining. Not that there isn’t any work involved, because there is. But you should feel excited about planning your wedding details!”
Finalists: Youngberg Hill Vineyards & Inn, Zenith Vineyard

BEST VENUE FOR MEDIUM-SIZE GALAS
PORTLAND WINNER
The Foundry at Oswego Pointe
Known for: An array of choices for the not-too-big, not-too-small wedding party: indoors or outdoors; patio, great hall, garden, deck—all along the riverside. Words of wisdom: “It’s all about the marriage, not the wedding,” says general manager Debbie Martin. “Enjoy your special day and cherish every moment. Hire professionals for all aspects of your wedding so you can relax and enjoy the day.”
Finalists: Portland Art Museum, The West End Theater Ballroom

VALLEY WINNER
Vue (Corvallis)
Known for: Enough wedding and reception space for friends and family with the amenities a larger-size venue could offer. Words of wisdom: “Not only do we offer an amazing venue that is architecturally gorgeous and needs little to decorate it,” says event designer Heather Engelman, “but we also have years of creating weddings. We have the ability to overcome issues that may arise, planning for unplanned surprises, having multiple backup resources on speed-dial, and all that been-there-done-that-know-how.”
Finalists: The Resort at the Mountain, Timberline Lodge, Youngberg Hill Vineyards & Inn

BEST VENUE FOR INTIMATE GATHERINGS (75 GUESTS OR FEWER)
PORTLAND WINNER
Hotel deLuxe
Known for: Where the stars of the Golden Era would come to dine, sleep and drink, but where the modern, elegant couple is invited to partake. Words of wisdom: “It is all too easy to get overwhelmed with a million decisions and details,” says Claudia Smith, catering manager. “That’s why it can be really helpful to find a location that can multitask. Couples can turn to us to provide accommodations for friends, family and the wedding party; beautiful ceremony and reception venues; and delectable catering all in a historic, glamorous setting.”
Finalists: Bella Via, The Foundry at Oswego Pointe

VALLEY WINNER
Vue (Corvallis)
Known for: Its new, trendy cocktail reception for smaller groups to converse, mingle and relax. Words of wisdom: “Have the time of your life,” says event designer Heather Engelman.
Finalists: Timberline Lodge, Youngberg Hill Vineyards & Inn

BEST ALL-INCLUSIVE VENUE
STATEWIDE WINNER   
Sunriver Resort (Sunriver)
Known for: This resort, located in a planned private residential area, provides the rustic charms you’d expect from the Cascades and its whitewater Deschutes tributary. Words of wisdom: “There will inevitably be unexpected stressors that threaten your wedding day serenity,” says marketing manager Erin Martin. “Having a professional or designated family member to deflect such stressors is a great first step. We recommend having one for both the groom and the bride since issues can arise on both sides.”
Finalists: The Oregon Garden, The Resort at the Mountain, Timberline Lodge

BEST TRANSPORTATION
STATEWIDE WINNER
Best Car in Town
Known for: Getting you there in style in Oregon’s only 1947 “Silver Wraith” Rolls Royce limousine. Words of wisdom: “A Royce is not cheap but well worth it!” owner Eric Newland says. But: “A couple should not rent the Rolls-Royce for the entire day. Select hourly transportation that would make the most sense: the bride going to the church with her father, or leaving the church with her new husband.”
Finalists: EcoShuttle, PDX Pedicab

BEST INDIE DRESS DESIGNER
STATEWIDE WINNER
Elizabeth Dye
Known for: Her dress shop, The English Dept. But the dressmaker not only guides the creative vision of the store, she designs many of the dresses you’ll stare at through the window. (Trust us: Go in.) Words of wisdom: “Give yourself time to enjoy the process,” says owner and designer Elizabeth Dye. “The wedding-planning process is time sensitive, but it’s important for a bride to feel confident in her choice of dress. We want her to feel truly informed and to have a great experience with us. And we always advise a bride to sleep on it before deciding!”
Finalists: Sophie Chang, Sarah Seven

BEST DRESS SHOP
PORTLAND WINNER
Charlotte’s Weddings & More
Known for: Combining a personal touch with technology to help brides find the right dress—not just what they imagine, but what makes her look better than she had imagined. Words of wisdom: “Find your gown right after you book your venue,” says owner Krysta York. “Your venue sets the tone and your gown is a huge part of that.”
Finalists: Anna’s Bridal, Bridal Exclusives

VALLEY WINNER
Blush Bridal Boutique (Eugene)
Known for: Bridal collection in a range of styles and sizes, plus, hang around to get the groom’s suit too. Words of wisdom: “Most brides come in with at least some vision of what they’d like to feel like in their wedding dress,” says owner Teresa Parsons. “Our job is to find the dress that makes that vision a reality.”
Finalists: Bella Brides, The Bridal Gallery

Oregon Bride's Best of 2013 winners

BEST BRIDAL ACCESSORIES
PORTLAND WINNER
Charlotte’s Weddings & More
Known for: Necklaces, jewelry, hair accessories and handbags from national designers in classic, modern and couture styles. Words of wisdom: “Go to our website and create a gallery,” says owner Krysta York. “Use our website, read our blogs, keep up with us on Facebook. And you can always email or call the store. We will do our best to help with anything.”
Finalists: Anna’s Bridal, Austie Eckley

VALLEY WINNER
Twigs & Honey (Salem)
Known for: Fresh ideas on hair adornments and other accessories inspired by nature, made possible by science. Words of wisdom: “Brides should really stick with their personal style and not be swayed too much by coming and going trends or other people’s opinions,” says owner and designer Myra Callan. “It’s really a day to celebrate the couple, and if the bride feels like herself (with maybe a bit more pizzazz) and is comfortable in what she is wearing, she’ll feel confident and happy and will be able to focus on the day.”
Finalists: Bella Brides, The Bridal Gallery

BEST INDIE JEWELRY DESIGNER
PORTLAND WINNER
Mandalena Designs
Known for: Exquisite, fanciful, and sophisticated jewelry, from couture to classic to bohemian, with just a hint of the artist’s native-Alaskan allure. Words of wisdom: “All those little details finish a wedding,” says owner and designer Mandalena Register. “Having help to complete those last-minute accomplishments are so important, so having their wedding jewelry styled and customized helps the bride feel confident and beautiful on her important day.”
Finalists: Acanthus Jewelry, Elizabeth Perry Collections

VALLEY WINNER
Richard Gretz Goldsmiths (Corvallis)
Known for: Their guarantee, experience, classical techniques, and one of the state’s most impressive collection of gems. Words of wisdom: “The rings are the most important thing because they are a symbol of the vows,” says owner Richard Gretz. “Do some research and determine a budget. Look at what we have, go online, bring us pictures.”
Finalist: Nashelle Jewelry

BEST RINGS
PORTLAND WINNER
Kassab Jewelers
Known for: A broad selection of diamonds and settings, and a reputation that expands to the Pacific Northwest. Words of wisdom: “We recommend planning ahead to schedule an inspection for your wedding rings, which also includes cleaning and polishing,” says Marketing and Creative Director Noha Kassab. “Having your rings looking brand new for such a special day is both simple and practical.”
Finalists: Gilt, Malka Diamonds & Jewelry

VALLEY WINNER
Olufson Designs Fine Jewelers (Corvallis)
Known for: Custom-made jewelry in gold, platinum and palladium, working with the client every step of the way. Words of wisdom: “The couple should have the wedding rings polished and cleaned,” says owner Elisa Olufson. “The wedding set will be examined by most of the guests and it should sparkle.”
Finalists: Jackson’s Jewelers, Richard Gretz Goldsmiths


BEST FORMALWEAR
STATEWIDE WINNER
Duchess, Clothier
Known for: Custom, classy, impeccably made suits—complete with details you never even thought of—that will make the man in your life feel almost as good as he looks. Words of wisdom: “Do a little research!” says manager Katie Reynolds. “Think a bit about what you love about suits you have seen—and what you don’t like, as well! What is important to you? Do you have special fabric needs/desires? How about colors? What would you change about current garments you own, if you could make them perfect?”
Finalists: The Bridal Gallery, Mario’s

BEST HAIR & MAKEUP
PORTLAND WINNER
Face Body Beauty
Known for: Makeup and hair for either the bride and bridal party on the wedding day or for engagement photos, from simple to sultry to romantic to dramatic. Words of wisdom: “Choosing a location to get ready that has ample natural light and plenty of electrical plug-ins is also a very important part of getting the most out of our services,” says owner and makeup artist Jennifer Walker. “Makeup artists need natural light to do their best work, and hair stylists need plug-ins for their styling tools.”
Finalists: Powder Inc. Makeup, Jessica Belknap

VALLEY WINNER
Epic Day Spa (Corvallis)
Known for: A day at the spa for brides, couples, and wedding groups for whatever the party needs: relaxation, perfect nails, time with the girls. Words of wisdom: “You already have the perfect ring, the perfect dress, the perfect fiancé and all of your friends and family to share this wonderful day with,” says Hali Kaelin, wedding coordinator. “It’s okay if things don’t go exactly as planned.”
Finalists: Kate Tuma, The Retreat Day Spa & Salon

Oregon Bride's Best of 2013 winners

BEST CEREMONY MUSICIANS
STATEWIDE WINNER
John Ross Music and Production
Known for: Combination of live music and a DJ service to capture the moments you want to remember for years to come. Words of wisdom: “Delegate and trust,” says owner John Ross. “The saddest sight I see is brides and grooms inundated with questions and tasks, heads stuck in a timeline, unable to truly soak in and enjoy their wedding day.”
Finalists: Duo Con Brio, Effesenden Music

BEST RECEPTION LIVE BAND
STATEWIDE WINNER   
Hit Machine
Known for: Getting the crowd dancing to the music—and also joining in—they play the hits of the eras and can add a live horn section and female vocals. Words of wisdom: “Song selection at the reception is important,” says CEO Bart Hafeman. “What are must-plays and do-not-plays from the band? Knowing those two pieces of information really can help focus the rest of the night.”
Finalists: DesignBand, Fate 55

BEST DJ
STATEWIDE WINNER
NW Mobile DJ Service
Known for: Pride in being the background music—this isn’t an insult, it’s the company’s mission, because sometimes the best music is the music you barely even notice. Words of wisdom: “Couples have the option of having us stick with a script or letting us handle it,” says owner Kevin Verables. “It’s really up to them. The only thing we need is the music they select for their spotlight moments: ceremony, entrances, exit, first dance. Everything else flows from that. They can be as much a part of the process as they want. If the couple has more important things to worry about, just move us down the list.”
Finalists: Chad Dowling Productions, Event Team Entertainment

MOST CREATIVE FAVORS
STATEWIDE WINNER
Blissfully Sweet
Known for: Sweets, candies, cookies—caramel apples!—and more that look almost too good to eat…almost. Words of wisdom: “Give your guests the ultimate wedding experience and provide fun, interactive things for them to do while celebrating you,” says owner, designer and baker Heather Seethoff. “We get such rave reviews about our dessert bars and candy buffets because it allows guests to get up from their tables and enjoy something very different and fun that most guests have never experienced at a wedding before. It is so much fun for us to overhear guests at weddings exclaim ‘What a cool idea,’ or “Oh! I haven’t had one of these since I was a kid!’”
Finalists: Moonstruck Chocolates, Dot Shoppe

BEST FLORIST
PORTLAND WINNER
Blüm Floral Design
Known for: Taking the time to write a proposal with itemized descriptions and pricing at the start to help organize thoughts and narrow down the gazillion options and ideas floating around. Words of wisdom: “I believe the most important part of a couple’s wedding day is embracing and celebrating the fact that two people are making a lifelong commitment to create a family with each other,” says owner Jordan Gladow. “Everything else above and beyond that is frosting…really, really, fun, pretty, frosting.”
Finalists: Geranium Lake Flowers, Zest Floral and Event Design

VALLEY WINNER
Greengable Gardens (Corvallis)
Known for: An array of floral arrangements: speckled here, thrown there—elegant to elaborate—there seems to be no limit to styles or flowers. Words of wisdom: “Start with one thing you really like, perhaps a color or a flower, but just choose one item that is small and build off of that,” says floral event designer Viesia Balint.
Finalists: Celebration Florals, Distinctive Designs

BEST RENTALS
PORTLAND WINNER
Barclay Event Rentals
Known for: Having the abundant resources but also the personal touch to provide everything you need for a gathering of a few or an event for hundreds. Words of wisdom: “Each couple has different priorities, and it’s important to recognize this,” says Jen Maust, vice president of sales and marketing. “The couple should start with the basics: colors and styles. Does the couple have a Pinterest page or photographs they’ve been collecting?” These tools, she advises, can help narrow down decisions.
Finalists: The Party Place, West Coast Event Productions

VALLEY WINNER
Special Occasions (Corvallis)
Known for: Decades of providing nearly everything you could want for your wedding: tents, tables, chairs, balloons, lounge furniture, heaters, etc. Words of wisdom: “Trust your instincts,” says manager Kyle Tegner, “and create an event that reflects your unique personalities.”
Finalists: Danner & Soli, She Designs

Oregon Bride's Best of 2013 winners

BEST CATERER
PORTLAND WINNER
Vibrant Table Catering & Events
Known for: Colorful, seasonal, sustainable and fresh food from their menu or tailored to the party’s tastes. Words of wisdom: “Just show up and experience the most blissful day of your lives,” says Karen Rich, sales manager. “We ask the questions, the couple provides the answers and then we create a plan and put it on paper. That creates focus and makes the editing process so easy.”
Finalists: Art of Catering, Premiere Catering

VALLEY WINNER
Willabys Catering & Event Design (Salem)
Known for: Providing tastings for clients, offering a range of catering options, and providing full-service expertise. Words of wisdom: “Do your homework when choosing venue and vendors,” says owner Jean Mateson. “I am always sad when clients choose a venue without knowing all the costs involved then I see them cut back in areas that they should not be cutting back in.”
Finalists: Forks and Corks Catering, Valley Catering

BEST CUSTOM CAKES
STATEWIDE WINNER
Le Cookie Monkey
Known for: Wedding cakes baked from scratch with locally grown fruit and a seasonal menu. Words of wisdom: “Meeting with your vendors—especially for tastings with your caterer and baker—is essential,” says pastry chef and owner Amber Darrinton. “That way you know if they click with you personally and with the feel of your wedding.”
Finalists: JaCiva’s, Dream Cakes by Judy Reese

BEST WEDDING DESSERTS (CUPCAKES, CANDY BUFFET, PIES, ETC)
PORTLAND WINNER
Le Cookie Monkey
Known for: Cookies made to go with any décor and satisfy any sweet tooth. Words of wisdom: I think it’s fun if they are wanting more than just cake for their wedding desserts,” says owner and pastry chef Amber Darrington. “I try and help talk about what their ideal vision is for their wedding, going through not just talking about the desserts, but also the food, ambiance, and let that help bring more direction to what they need.”
Finalists: Blissfully Sweet, Cupcake Jones

VALLEY WINNER
Sweet Dreams Cupcakery (Albany)
Known for: Creating any cupcake flavor imaginable: if you can dream it, she can make it—and fit it into the décor. Words of wisdom: “Don’t sweat the small stuff, but don’t forget the details that your guests are all looking forward to, such as the cake,” says owner Heidi Robbins. “Everyone loves when it is time to cut/eat the cake, so give them cupcakes/cake that they will talk about for years to come!”
Finalists: Myriad Cake Design, Cakes by JoDee

BEST WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHER
PORTLAND WINNER
Ambient Sky
Known for: Putting together a same-day edit to show guests while they’re still at the reception, a short feature film of the event, and other specialized services. Words of wisdom: “Watch a bunch of films and talk about what they love,” says Amanda Shama, principal creative director. “After watching our films, couples understand the value of what we offer and naturally gravitate to our artistic storytelling approach, choosing the options best for them.”
Finalists: Hybrid Moon, Moving Picture Weddings

VALLEY WINNER
Focal Point Digital Media
Known for: Focusing on the couple through the camera lens amid all the lights, colors, and activity. Words of wisdom: “It’s all too easy to get caught up in all the details and DIY ‘things’ of a wedding and begin to lose sight of what matters the most: the people,” says owner Ryan Chaney. “There’s no question in my mind that it’s the story of the people that matters in the long run.”
Finalists: Lights in the Attic, Moetic Wedding Films

Oregon Bride's Best of 2013 winners

BEST WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO
PORTLAND WINNER
MoscaPhoto
Known for: Oregon and destination wedding photography of the ethereal, romantic and sunlit bent. Words of wisdom: “Wedding photography is a very personal thing,” says Alice Falzone, owner and photographer. “Art is and always has been subjective. The Internet is a wonderful tool for finding anything, but it can also be an overwhelming chaos of ideas. We suggest choosing the best and most perfect vendors for the wedding, and then trusting those vendors do what they do best.”
Finalists: Holland Studios, Powers Photography Studios

VALLEY WINNER
Kimberly Kay Photography (Bend)
Known for: Modern but timeless photography that captures every moment from the big unveil to the little details. Words of wisdom: Great communication is key,” says photographer Kimberly Kay. “Sharing exactly what your needs and expectations are and sharing as much as you can about who you are as a couple really helps the photographer capture the ‘authentic you’ on your wedding day.”
Finalists: Benjamin Edwards Photography, Byron Roe Photography

BEST INDEPENDENT PHOTOGRAPHER
PORTLAND WINNER
Jessica Hill Photography
Known for: Wedding day and engagement photographs that make you feel like a close friend—with a great eye—snapped a candid photo of you. Words of wisdom: “Having an engagement shoot before the wedding allows you to feel comfortable in front of the camera and to get to know your photographer,” says photographer Jessica HIll “Many people don’t like to be photographed, and an engagement shoot is a great way to break the ice and to feel at ease before the wedding day.”
Finalists: Dina Chmut Photography, Evrim Icoz Photography

VALLEY WINNER
Simply Kissed Photography (Corvallis)
Known for: Investing the time to know each of the clients well and creating a realistic photography schedule for each. Words of wisdom: “Great communication is key,” says owner Edith Taylor. “Sharing exactly what your needs and expectations are and sharing as much as you can about who you are as a couple really helps us capture the ‘authentic you’ on your wedding day. Every couple is beautifully designed in the same way their love story is elegantly written.”
Finalists: ADB Photographix, McCloud Photography

The Rest of the Best
BEST QUINTESSENTIAL REGISTRY
STATEWIDE WINNER
Crate & Barrel
Finalists: Macy’s, Bed Bath & Beyond

BEST BOUTIQUE REGISTRY
STATEWIDE WINNER
The Inkwell Home Store
Finalists: Twist, Jonathan Adler, Canoe

BEST BRIDESMAIDS GIFTS
STATEWIDE WINNER
The Wedding Cottage
Finalists: Many Hands Trading Co., Mandalena Designs

BEST GROOMSMEN GIFTS
STATEWIDE WINNER
The Wedding Cottage
Finalists: Broadway Cigar Co., 3 Cottage Lane

BEST MOTHER OF THE BRIDE DRESSES
STATEWIDE WINNER
Nordstrom
Finalists: Anna’s Bridal, Charlotte’s Weddings & More

BEST CHILDREN’S APPAREL
STATEWIDE WINNER
Nordstrom
Finalists: Anna’s BridalMacy’s

BEST SPA FOR GROUP MANI-PEDIS
PORTLAND WINNER
Dosha Salon Spa
Finalists: Pink & White Nail Salon, Portland Spa & Boutique

VALLEY WINNER
The Allison Inn & Spa
Finalists: Shibui Spa, Epic Day Spa

BEST REHEARSAL DINNER RESTAURANT
PORTLAND WINNER
Andina
Finalists: Pazzo Wine Cellar, ¡Oba!

VALLEY WINNER
Oregon Garden Resort’s Garden View Restaurant
Finalists: Del Alma Restaurant, Bentley’s Grill

BEST VALET SERVICE
STATEWIDE WINNER
Best Car in Town
Finalists: Premiere Valet

BEST WEDDING NIGHT HOTEL
PORTLAND WINNER
The Nines Hotel
Finalists: Hotel DeLuxe, The Heathman Hotel

VALLEY WINNER
Timberline Lodge
Finalists: FivePine Lodge, Hilton Garden Inn

Editor's Picks
BEST COMPLEMENT TO ST. JOHN'S BRIDGE
What could be a better reception location for the gothic lines of Cathedral Park’s iconic bridge than the new Colony in North Portland’s St. Johns neighborhood? The nearly 9,000-square-foot space (don’t be spooked by its former life as a funeral home) boasts a reception hall, guest rooms, and a commissary kitchen. Although the space is still fairly new—developer Dayna McErlean, owner of another architectural standout in Northeast that houses the restaurants Beast and Yakuza, just bought the building last fall—there’s little doubt this place will quickly be the place to rent.

BEST OLD IS NEW
It didn’t take long for the word to get out about Eve in Eden Bridal, a Northwest Portland vintage bridal salon—it’s Portland retro meets Hollywood glam meets Paris classic. Proprietress Cindy Rokoff, who expanded her Eden vintage shop to include the annex-style space, unveiled the opulent boutique in March. Rokoff curates everything from found jewelry and accessories to wedding dresses made by Portland designers. Brides can peruse the wares in the recently renovated space in the Pearl—and get lost in the exquisite details of a different time when thought was put into everything. This is truly Eve, through the ages.

BEST UP-AND-COMING PHOTOGRAPHER
There is something infectious in the playfulness of Portland photographer Brittany Lauren. Brides and grooms look relaxed and happy, colors seem more vibrant, obstacles such as wind or rain storms seem perfectly timed rather than reasons to worry. For a day fraught with so much anticipation, and let’s be honest, anxiety, having a photographer who is willing to laugh in the face of adversity is a treasure indeed.

BEST COUTURE GOWNS
To visit designer Sunjin Lee’s atelier in Southwest Portland is to be transported to a world of unabashed femininity. Glittering rolls of chiffon, silk and beaded tulle occupy most of the space in her small workroom where every gown is fit and made to order. Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Sunjin’s background studying architectural and urban design informs her designs that delight in the curves of a woman’s body. She describes her 2013 Mid-Century Blossom collection as reminiscent of classic American glamour, or as Sunjin says, “when no one was afraid to look fantastic every day.” Wearing her designs, this is especially true on the Big Day.

Voting methodology: The Best of Bride 2013 winners are the result of an online survey in which more than 2,800 brides and wedding vendors voted for the finalists. A second, wedding vendor-only vote was conducted to determine the winners in every category.