Wedding Central: Everything You Need to Host a Wedding in Central Oregon

Dramatic views meet amenities and recreation at these central Oregon resorts.
From: Spring/Summer 2014 edition

Covering nearly 8,000 square miles of national forests, high desert landscapes, rivers and serene mountain lakes, Central Oregon has endless options for both dramatic scenery and recreation: in other words, it’s quickly becoming Oregon’s wedding central. In a state known for rainy weather, Central Oregon boasts an average of 300 days of sunshine a year, making it a popular destination-wedding location for Oregon couples. Just over two hours from Portland by car, Central Oregon is also accessible by air with convenient flights to Redmond from most major cities in the West. The region features an impressive number of destination resorts, perfect for couples looking to offer guests a weekend away with more on the agenda than just a ceremony and reception.

In northwest Central Oregon at the base of Santiam Pass, The Lodge at Suttle Lake is located just 140 miles from downtown Portland. Perched at the shores of Suttle Lake in the Deschutes National Forest, the cabin-like Lodge offers views of the lake and Mount Washington and hosts weddings for up to 100 guests, perfect for more intimate weddings. The Lodge can also organize unique activities for bridal parties and guests, including lakeside yoga classes, boating, fishing, and even a moonlight bonfire on the snow. “We really specialize in customizing the events to fit the couple’s needs and wants,” says event coordinator JoAnna Howard. “No two weddings are the same here.”

Just south of Suttle Lake along Highway 20, Black Butte Ranch has been charming couples and their guests for more than 40 years. Featuring Cascade range views, a lake, meadows and Aspen groves creating an unforgettable backdrop, Black Butte Ranch hosts weddings for up to 240 guests and has 120 vacation homes and condominiums available for rent. “Our unlimited recreation and activity options, quality service and incredible surroundings will make any wedding a memorable one,” says Kendal Daiger, director of sales and marketing. Situated on more than 1,800 acres with two golf courses, bike trails, equestrian center, tennis courts, fly-fishing, canoeing, kayaking and more, the recreation opportunities at Black Butte are endless.


Brasada Ranch, photo by Theresa Valls of Altura Studios

Located at the edge of the charming, Western-themed town of Sisters, FivePine Lodge features a green-built lodge and conference center along with 24 private cabins. Ceremonies for up to 200 guests can take place outdoors by the pond or indoors by a stone fireplace in the conference center. Amenities at FivePine include a nightly wine and craft-beer reception, Shibui Spa, athletic club, heated outdoor pool, cruiser bike rentals and the Three Creeks Brewery, popular for rehearsal dinners, is located right next door.

East of Sisters, Eagle Crest Resort is a 1,700-acre resort with three golf courses, recreation centers, pools, spa, an equestrian center and more than 12 miles of bike and walking paths. The resort’s River Run Lodge and Event Center for ceremonies and receptions features views of the Deschutes River and can accommodate up to 200 guests. Eagle Crest offers a range of lodging options including suites at the Lodge, condominiums and private homes, along with adventure-planning services for activities like fly-fishing, white-water rafting and ecotouring for a memorable guest experience.

Southeast of Redmond, Pronghorn hosts weddings for up to 125 guests indoors and 500 outdoors. With two golf courses, a spa, pools, a fitness center, guest accommodations overlooking the 18th hole and an adventure program for adults and activities for kids, there is something for everyone here. This spring, couples will be able to hold their wedding on an island located between the first and eighteenth holes of the golf course accessible by a bridge. “Brides will be able to make an unforgettable and dramatic entrance to the ceremony,” says Edward Jackman, director of sales and marketing. “The views framed by the lake, golf courses and the Cascade range will be unmatched in Central Oregon.”


Black Butte Ranch, photo by Stott Shots Photography

Just east of Bend with its wide, open ranges and panoramic views of the Cascades, Brasada Ranch is the ultimate rustic-meets-luxury location. With a golf course, two restaurants, a spa and five pools, guests staying at the main Ranch House or in the private cabins love the Western feel and getting around the 1,800-acre property in their own golf carts. The team here can custom-tailor many different activities for couples and their guests, including outdoor fitness classes, horseback rides, spa treatments, golf tournaments, fly-fishing excursions, s’more roasts and more.

In a more centralized location, McMenamins Old St. Francis School in the heart of downtown Bend is a former Catholic school turned hotel that hosts weddings for up to 100 guests and is walking distance to parks, the Deschutes River, shopping, restaurants, breweries and entertainment. Though the 19-room hotel with four private cottages is located in the middle of a bustling downtown, resort-style amenities are happily still available. Guests can enjoy one of several small pubs on the property, the on-site restaurant, an indoor mosaic-tiled soaking pool, a movie theater, or a self-guided or hosted walking tour of the property to immerse guests in a bit of high-desert history.

Right at the edge of Bend, Tetherow hosts weddings for up to 300 guests and offers outrageous views of the Cascades and a feeling of being away from it all while still being close to everything Bend has to offer. Tetherow’s new 50-room hotel is slated to open in spring 2014 and will feature luxury accommodations with golfing just outside your door, access to mountain bike trails and an expanded on-site restaurant.

Seventh Mountain Resort is just a few minutes down the Cascades Lakes Highway from Bend. Located in the Deschutes National Forest along the edge of the river, Seventh Mountain Resort can host weddings of up to 350 people with condominium accommodations for all your guests. Known for their thrilling white-water rafting trips, a stay at Seventh Mountain Resort is all about recreation with its on-site outdoor skating rink, horseback rides, three heated outdoor pools, basketball, tennis, sand volleyball and mini golf for guests to enjoy.


Foxtail Bakeshop

Last year’s Best of Bride statewide winner for Best All-Inclusive Venue, Sunriver Resort features accommodations and venues for up to 500 guests. The views of Mount Bachelor and the Cascades are hard to miss from anywhere on the property, and couples have seven venues to choose from for ceremonies and receptions, including the one-of-a-kind historic Great Hall. “From our premier Sage Springs spa to our 63 holes of championship golf, to the finest and freshest Northwest cuisine, Sunriver Resort offers an unforgettable wedding experience for couples and all of their guests,” says marketing manager Molly Johnson.

With a growing list of resorts catering to weddings in Central Oregon, this scenic pocket of the state is a destination that feels like home.

Resources
Photographers
Kimberly Kay Photography: Our Best of Bride 2013 winner for Best Wedding Photography Studio, Kimberly captures details, couples and scenery in a way that’s modern yet timeless.
Benjamin Edwards Photography: A Best of Bride 2013 finalist for Best Wedding Photography Studio, Edwards is known for his use of natural light.
Byron Roe Photography: Also a Best of Bride 2013 finalist for Best Wedding Photography Studio, this husband-and-wife team captures unscripted moments.

Florists
Mint Floral: Lush and colorful blooms abound in Mint’s casually elegant bouquets and centerpieces.
Blue Daffodil Flowers: Owner Sara Carson is known for using elements such as unique vessels and fruit in her arrangements.
Flowers by Deanna: Specializing in customizing florals and décor tailored to each couple and event.

Cakes
Foxtail Bakeshop: Former Papa Hayden pastry chef Nickol Cady crafts cakes and desserts using locally sourced ingredients from Central Oregon.
The Cake Lady: A Bend favorite for over 30 years, the Cake Lady turns out specialty shaped cakes for wedding and groom’s cakes.
Sweet and Swanky Cakes: Sonja McLean creates personalized cakes featuring hand-painted designs and fashion elements like lace and ruffles.

Planners
Mint Event Coordination & Design: Couples love Mint’s attention to detail and stress-free planning services: full service, day of coordination, event design and florals.
Ceylon Blu: Melissa Vandenbroucke offers full-service planning, as well as an event collective in downtown Bend of one-stop shopping for Central Oregon wedding vendors.

Rentals
O’Brien Events: This full-service event rental and design company also rents vintage furniture, props and décor items.
West Coast Event Productions: Access to every rental available through their Portland location, even at the most remote Central Oregon venues.

Transportation
Bend Trolley: A Victorian red trolley adds charm and provides great photo opportunities as transportation for wedding parties and guests.
Star Limo: Offering stretch and super stretch limousines.

Music
Flip Flop Sounds: Owner Courtney Latham and his team keep the party going all night with crowd-pleasing music and custom event lighting.
Cascade Chamber Players: This string quartet provides live classical and nonclassical ceremony and reception music for any size event.
Star Productions: Specializing in customizing entertainment and lighting for your budget, offering a money-back guarantee. 

Hair & Makeup
Artistry by Angela: Provides hair and makeup services using mineral cosmetics at her salon in Bend, as well as on location.
Weddings by Edge Salon: A past Best of Bride winner for Best Hair & Makeup, bridal parties can come to their Bend salon or the team can come to you.