Wow-Factor Winery Weddings in Oregon
It’s hard to beat the beauty of a bride on her wedding day, but the gorgeous landscape of Oregon wine country can almost compete. Named for the river that runs through it, the 100-mile-long Willamette Valley is a beautifully fertile region acclaimed for its grape-growing prowess. The majority of Oregon’s more than 800 wineries lie in this area from Portland to Eugene that is internationally recognized for wine production.
Suffice it to say that the picturesque quality of an Oregon vineyard wedding is almost impossible to surpass. “Oregonians love the chance to appreciate nature,” says Emily Dunay, event manager of BeckenRidge Vineyard located in Dallas, Oregon, 15 miles west of Salem. Wedding coordinator and CEO Becky Timmons of Wine Country Wedding Professionals adds that couples appreciate the romantic ambience, especially since this kind of setting “can be casual and fun or elegant and chic, depending on the couple.”
Since the Willamette Valley offers such myriad appealing options, it may be tempting to wait before making a decision. However, Kat Stauffer, venue host at Vista Hills Vineyard in Dundee, suggests booking as early as possible, ideally around a year in advance. “Vineyards with a certain amount of wine production are limited to 18 events per year—and they’ll book up fast.” Stauffer also notes that couples who are nervous about booking so far in advance may want to consider event insurance for peace of mind, should anything happen to the venue, vendors or family between booking and the big day.
Ranging from five-star resorts to a more casual stay, visitors can enjoy the class of Oregon wine country or experience the trendy Portland scene within a relatively short driving distance. One factor to consider in planning a wine country wedding is transportation, keeping in mind the hilly country roads and celebratory drinking. There are many options available: the Dundee area boasts a trolley service, while the more traditional limousine services are available statewide. Photographer David Barss has also seen couples charter buses. “It gives guests the freedom to relax and enjoy themselves,” he says.
Stunning photography is one of the huge benefits in taking advantage of our scenic state—but again, it is important to consider the dates in question. “If you choose mid-November through March, the vines won’t be colorful and give you that ‘vineyard’ look that most brides desire,” explains photographer Anne Nunn. In this case, she suggests taking some engagement photos at the venue a few months before to take advantage of the foliage. Spring and summer brides, she continues, should think about taking pictures 30 minutes before the sun goes down, during the so-called golden hour. “The absolute perfect time to take photos,” says Nunn. It may also be a good idea to visit the site around the wedding date the year before, or look at wedding photography from that time of year to see what the vineyard or winery will look like for your wedding, recommends photographer Heidi Hoffman.
Vista Hills Vineyard (pictured at right, photo by Powers Photography Studios, tucked into the heart of the Dundee hills, is known for its plentiful photo opportunities. “The only problem photographers have is choosing where to take pictures!” jokes Stauffer. “Between the hazelnut orchard, the hills, the vineyard itself and the pond, there’s an amazing array of settings to choose from.” Its signature venue, the Treehouse, is set in the forest surrounding the vineyard, providing a charming woodland feel. Rustic elegance is combined with modern touches, while the staff pride themselves on providing a uniquely “textured” event. All doors are open, and guests, up to 200, are allowed to wander inside or outside, dance away the evening or sip a glass of wine by the fireplace. There’s even a live webcam for guests who couldn’t make it.
Keeping Oregon weather in mind, Zenith Vineyard (pictured below, photo by Evrim Icoz Photography) Salem is one option that can comfortably accommodate weddings all year. As owner manager Kari Ramey puts it, “guests will be comfortable and enjoy being out in the country whether it’s an Oregon 100-degree day or the usual dreary rain.” With extensive parking, a luxurious ballroom, a covered patio that overlooks the vineyard, a mansion-size fireplace, a French bridal salon for the women and a game-style room for the groomsmen, Zenith Vineyard makes the experience comfortable and inclusive for parties from 15 to 500 guests. Opulent is an apt description of this custom-designed facility with its high ceilings, polished floors and a circular driveway surrounding a dramatically lit fountain.
Located near Silverton in Marion County, Domaine Margelle Vineyards allows the wedding party full-day access to the location, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Beyond this one-day rental, it also offers a weekend package with a rehearsal dinner option. The primary location at La Bastide can accommodate up to 200 guests, with a low stone wall along the green lawns and picturesque gravel road. The sites are strictly outdoors, but they provide expansive views of both the vineyard and surrounding tree farms. The nearby Oregon Garden Resort offers convenient lodging for guests, while Domaine owners Steve and Marci Taylor make the entire experience smooth and welcoming from start to finish.
BeckenRidge Vineyard, located just outside of Dallas offers wedding availability year round. A handcrafted metal arch is available for an outdoor ceremony overlooking the expansive grounds, while the classic old-world charm of its indoor facilities provides another romantic option. Alongside the usual outdoor advantages of a vineyard wedding, it also has all the facilities needed for a modern reception including finished hardwood floors, nicely appointed lounges, a great bar staff and kitchen area, a grand piano and a stone fireplace. For both large and small gatherings, BeckenRidge can accommodate anywhere from 20 to 250 guests.
King Estate Winery in Salem is another great option for both indoor and outdoor spaces, allowing for groups of any size. The spacious Vineyard Pavilion can accommodate up to 400 guests and is enclosed by glass so guests can enjoy the view of rolling hills and open sky, rain or shine. The winery is known for celebrating Oregon food culture, even foraging for local mushrooms and truffles to pair with its range of wines created from organically grown grapes. Even beyond the sophisticated catering menu, King Estate also offers every wedding a dedicated event manager to see the experience through from start to finish.
Voted “Best Sunset Wedding Venue,” “Best All Inclusive Wedding Venue,” and “Best Oregon Destination Wedding Statewide” by Oregon Bride readers, Youngberg Hill Vineyards & Inn in McMinnville is a perennial favorite for good reason. Known for its green approach to wine-country living, the staff’s respect for the environment shows in the acres of beautiful landscape and organic wines. Event manager Nicolette Bailey describes a wedding at the venue as “a completely personalized experience,” with an outdoor event site that accommodates up to 350 guests and an indoor site for up to 50. Youngberg even has a unique elopement package for couples looking to keep it simple. The Youngberg Hill Inn offers luxurious accommodations with four suites and four guest rooms on-site, perfectly located in the heart of wine country for views of the Coast Range, Mount Jefferson, Mount Hood and the Willamette Valley.
More Wine Country Resources
David Barss Studio: Internationally recognized for his creativity and unique perspective, David Barss skillfully captures the inviting and organic scenes offered by wine country.
Powers Photography Studios: As a partner of Vista Hills Vineyard, Powers Photography has the experience and connections necessary to perfectly capture the big day.
Heidi Hoffman Photography: Living and working at AlexEli Vineyard & Winery has made Heidi an expert in the details and logistics involved in winery wedding photography.
Willaby’s Catering (Salem): Known for its use of local wines for their dishes, Willaby’s Catering is a favorite for vineyard weddings, tying in the rich flavors reminiscent of the venue.
Oakway Catering (Eugene): The area’s oldest catering company boasts classically trained chefs and a boutique-style catering experience that works specifically with your tastes.
Renaissance Catering (Newberg): Head chef Kris Utz is an expert in pairing local ingredients with Oregon’s award-winning wines, customizing the menu perfectly to the venue.
Dress and Formalwear
The Bridal Gallery (Salem): Salem’s only full-service wedding salon, with a wide selection of formalwear for the entire wedding .
Blush Bridal Boutique (Eugene): The welcoming consultants at Blush Bridal invite brides to sip champagne as they contemplate the vast array of options or customize a dream gown.
The Garden Path (McMinnville): Located on a 25-acre fruit, flower and vegetable farm in the heart of wine country, this floral studio specializes in outdoor Oregon weddings.
The Golden Pear Floral Design (Salem): Seasonal local blooms are supplemented by fair trade flowers at this earth-friendly floral studio that offers both European and garden style designs.
Dandelion Flowers & Gifts (Eugene): With 37 years of experience, Dandelion’s professional design staff offers arrangements from dandelions to roses and everything in between.
Sweetest Things Cupcakes (Newberg): This delightful small-town bakery uses quality ingredients free from hormones, pesticides, artificial flavors and preservatives in its gourmet cupcakes—plus they’re easier to serve!
Myriad Cake Design (Salem): Known for its “Little White Cake,” a completely customizable dessert option, Myriad Cake Design allows the bride and groom to be the artists as they choose all the embellishments.
Sweet Life Patisserie (Eugene): Delicious Guittard chocolate finds its way into many of the options, including the “Triple Chocolate Obsession” and “Cloud Nine” cakes. Yum!
Special Occasions Parties & Events (Corvallis): This rental service comes complete with technology that allows the bride and groom to virtually design the layout of the event .
A to Z Party Rental (Salem): With both traditional rental options and more trendy choices, A to Z can provide anything from a wishing well to a garden fountain.
You’re Invited Party Rentals & Supplies (McMinnville): For those looking to expand on the wine country atmosphere, You’re Invited has wine barrels available for rent as well as heaters to warm the chilly Oregon evenings.
Wine Country Wedding Professionals (Dayton): Becky Timmons and her associates specialize in organizing the details of wine country weddings.
Imagine! Wedding & Events (Springfield): Krysta Albert negotiates with vendors and offers a variety of packages to fit the budget of any wedding.
Stargazer Weddings (Salem): With so many aspects to plan, these wedding experts will work behind the scenes as mediator, supervisor, advisor or budget assistants to fulfill the couple’s vision.
The Trolley (Dundee): The trolley is an old-fashioned and elegant way to transport up to 27 guests through wine country in the Dundee area, eliminating any worries about driving.
Sunshine Limo Service (western Oregon): With a variety of limos to choose from, Sunshine Limo Service offers winery tours for choosing the venue as well as wedding day specials.