Intimate Wedding Venues Perfect for Micro Weddings and Elopements
Gone are the days of couples acquiescing to assumed traditions like formal dining, hefty guest lists and lavish décor. Instead, brides and grooms are ditching the hoopla and going small in favor of creating celebrations that reflect exactly who they are and what they want. Enter the intimate wedding: a highly personalized event approach encompassing creative culinary experiences, high-end bars, custom touches and lots of character.
With its eclectic surroundings, diverse culture and wide array of offerings, Portland is the place to host an intimate affair. In the Kerns neighborhood, you’ll find Opal 28, a venue with a classically retro aura. When opening Opal 28, owner Margot Feves says, she dreamed of couples feeling at home in her space, like it was an extension of their own living rooms. This special indoor/outdoor venue accommodates a 50-person seated ceremony and dinner in its main room, and 100 guests for a standing ceremony and cocktail reception. Couples have the option to utilize inhouse wedding planning, coordination and catering services or to bring in outside vendors for no extra fee.
Located less than 2 miles south of Opal 28 in Southeast Portland’s Buckman neighborhood is Union Pine, a uber-cool, laid-back venue. With bones to satisfy any Pinterest board (take a peek at the herringbone wall!), Union Pine strives to create a space for every style of wedding. “Featuring little to no décor, the space can be fancied up or funked out depending on the couple’s style—a blank slate, so to speak,” explained owner Summer Triato. Brides and grooms have the flexibility to fully customize their event with any vendors they choose, reflecting the venue’s effort to support all clients, budgets and visions. Union Pine has room for 130 seated guests or 292 standing guests.
Taking “their passion for parties” across the river, the team behind Union Pine recently opened their new venue, West, in the trendy Northwest district. Fronted by a cozy neighborhood bar, West includes a main event space, North Room, which features exposed beam ceilings, strung café lights, cork floors and a wall of north-facing windows. Its warm South Room is an ideal space for a bridal suite or cocktail hour. West is open daily as a restaurant, so the kitchen staff is equipped for any event’s catering needs, all fare sourced from local farms and purveyors. Dining capacity can range from a 60-person plated dinner to appetizers and grazing for a group of 80.
Also located in Northwest is Blockhouse, a modern garden space built around a gourmet chef’s kitchen. With the venue’s capacity of 60 seated guests and a standing capacity of 75 in its primary space, couples can enjoy a smaller gathering or rent the patio and Pomarius Nursery for as many as 120 guests. Blockhouse provides the opportunity for a lush, vibrant soirée just a few blocks from Portland’s trendy Pearl District.
For an industrial venue with an Art Deco twist, head to Saint Irene’s in Tualatin. Featuring high ceilings, bright natural light and an inviting atmosphere, the Venue Room seats 80 with the option of opening the glass garage doors to its High Dive tasting room for more space. Separately rented, High Dive can accommodate 40 seated guests. All events at Saint Irene’s are catered by Industry Restaurant next door, which works to accommodate all dietary restrictions and menu requests for a fully personalized culinary experience. *Note: Saint Irene's is temporarily closed
With smaller spaces opening their doors throughout Oregon, notably Portland, couples are embracing the opportunity to relish intimate experiences. With less noise and more time to focus on what they choose, couples can feel like their day is a true manifestation of their vision. Because of that paradigm shift, intimate weddings are a new tradition we can all stand behind.