How to take advantage of the most beautiful of locations on your big day.
Find a Gorge-ous Setting for your Wedding in the Hood River Valley
Majestically tucked between Mount Hood, the Cascade Range and the winding Columbia River, Hood River rests in the vibrant Columbia River Gorge ecosystem. Over the years, the tight-knit community has watched its town become the windsurfing capital of the world as well as the go-to spot for adventurers, nature lovers, foodies and now, brides and grooms. With sweeping views, endless activities, art galleries, wineries, craft breweries and fare from Hood River’s farms, it’s the perfect playground for out-of-town groups (and local groups, for that matter) to savor.
Above all, Hood River is ripe with orchards—just take the Hood River Fruit Loop, a 35-mile scenic drive that weaves through the Hood River Valley, acquainting you with its plentiful fruits, flowers, ciders and more. With all of that, it’s no surprise that couples choosing the Gorge for their big-day backdrop head for the orchards—especially during mild spring and summer months. At the epicenter of orchard events are Mt. Hood Organic Farms, Mt. View Orchards and The Orchard – Hood River, all working orchards that are also wedding venues.
Mt. Hood Organic Farms dates back to the turn of the century and was the first certified organic farm in Oregon. The 205-acre property serves primarily as apple and pear orchards, but it also doubles as a full-service event venue, open Saturdays and Sundays from Memorial Day weekend through the first weekend in October. With both indoor and outdoor venue options for couples to consider, it’s the lush grounds and gardens that captivate couples and photographers alike. Wedding attendees nosh on tasty local cuisine sourced from the Hood River Valley and served family style by Cultivate Catering. “Food is important to us, and it’s our goal to reflect that in the quality of meals that are served,” explains Brady Jacobson, one of the venue’s owners.
Surrounded by expansive trees and fields of flowers, the Orchard Meadow at Mt. View Orchards shines with stunning views of both Mount Hood and Mount Adams. The venue features a lush lawn space and a pavilion, which allow for various set-up options. To bring a little Hood River to the plate, the venue invites caterers to include fresh fruit from its fruit stand on reception menus, and house-made apple cider and Golden Row hard cider on bar menus.
Also treating guests to views of the two mountains, The Orchard – Hood River offers the charming experience of getting married in a mature pear orchard while being conveniently located five minutes from downtown. Taking advantage of its secret-garden setting, The Orchard recently added a new barn space that provides a special indoor/outdoor flow for events and accommodates as many as 200 seated guests. Keen on a hands-on approach, owners Molly Harman and Amanda Vicente are dedicated to ensuring a stress-free, easy experience for all guests.
“With natural beauty and breathtaking views around every corner, the Columbia River Gorge is the perfect backdrop for a wedding,” says Sierra Wright of The Pines 1852, a family-owned and -operated winery in Hood River. The vineyard’s wedding venue, The Pines Estate, is nestled in the countryside next to Mill Creek; there, guests can enjoy pristine grounds and pours from one of the oldest vineyards in the Pacific Northwest.
If rustic charm is high on a couple’s list of musts, The Ruins is a magical indoor/outdoor event space located steps from downtown Hood River. While an indoor venue option is available, the showstopping outdoor space is hugged by the remnants of a 100-year-old pear-canning factory that feel nothing short of an ancient Roman ruin.
For those seeking a different vibe for their festivities, the Hood River Hotel has it all. Located in the heart of downtown, the historic property was established in 1912 and has since been updated with modern amenities while maintaining its vintage flair. A popular spot for intimate weddings is the retro lobby, complete with checkered black-and-white floors, welcoming fireplace and cozy lounge. The hotel’s other event space, the Emerald Room, is its newly refurbished basement ballroom. But perhaps the coolest thing about the Hood River Hotel is that it offers couples a buyout option, which reserves all 41 guest rooms and event spaces to use—talk about the ultimate destination-wedding digs.
With flare, fun and fruit to boot, Hood River provides couples and their guests a unique stage for a perfectly Pacific Northwest experience. And the best part about getting married in the heart of the Gorge? You’ll always be able to return, reminisce and make new memories.
HOOD RIVER VENDOR GUIDE
Love Notes has been providing one- stop coordination and planning services for more than 14 years. Heather Sullivan, a Hood River native who is also the catering manager for Celilo Restaurant and Bar, loves helping couples from
all over the world get married in her hometown.
Union Event Co. has a dynamic planning team that thinks and works outside the box to deliver uniquely styled events to reflect each couple.
Boda’s Kitchen is a veteran, full-service catering company that provides customized menus and works to accommodate dietary restrictions.
Celilo Catering, an offshoot of Celilo Restaurant, uses local, seasonal ingredients to create delicious and distinctive dishes.
Solstice Catering offers full bartending services along with a mobile wood-fired pizza kitchen.
Blaine + Bethany Photography are trusted and experienced locals who strive to notice and take advantage of all potential photo ops. They understand the dazzling tones of natural sunlight, which helps them produce stunning wedding photo collections for their clients.
Lucy’s Informal Flowers specializes in locally grown flowers and greenery, creating unique floral combinations for a beautiful aesthetic. Options range from one bouquet and one boutonniere for elopements to full wedding florals.
Windflower Cakes incorporates ingredients sourced from local farms and orchards to create all-natural cakes that exude beautiful simplicity.
Fleur Cakes is known for more than its delectable cakes—it also offers a full selection of other desserts.
Riverhood Rentals provides a variety of event rentals both to local and out- of-town clients. Husband-and-wife duo Debbie and Keith moved to Hood River after falling in love with the town while planning their destination wedding.
Gorge Music is run by Ryan Kolberg, a diverse musician who performs great music for all tastes and genres.