The Truth About Weddings in 2022, from Portland Vendors Who Know
You can’t throw a bouquet in Portland without hitting someone working a wedding this summer. But what does the infamous 2022 wedding boom feel like to the very people whose job it is to make sure all of these weddings actually happen? And what advice do wedding vendors have for couples trying to plan in this (still) challenging world?
We asked and they answered. Here’s the inside scoop from the officiants, photographers, caterers, venues, and wedding coordinators who gather together again and again and again to bring two strangers total joy.
Responses have been edited for clarity and length.
So, these last two years… Anything in particular that you’d like people planning Oregon weddings to know?
“I think it’s easy to think that things are back to normal for event industry folx but it’s literally insane. So busy, so much more work, things are more expensive. We’re putting in double work now and people are expecting above and beyond that!” —Greg Khng, Great Company (event coordinator and store owner)
“Caterers and rental companies are short-staffed. This means you need to finalize your event day design and book services earlier than you think you normally would.” —Emee Pumarega, EJP Events (event planner and coordinator)
“The hard truth about having a wedding in Portland, Oregon, in 2022 is that you aren’t immune to having your car broken into—even on your wedding day. Last fall, I was photographing an elopement in a park in Portland that is popular for weddings. It was a beautiful day UNTIL the bride and groom returned to their car to find someone had smashed two of their back windows and stolen their purse, wallets, and keys … On a wedding day, couples and guests alike are usually in a new-to-them area and have their guard down so it can be easier to forget about leaving valuables in their car. So, tell your people.” —Marissa Solini, Marissa Solini Photography (photographer)
“We've all been through a lot the past few years. I think now, more than ever, couples should be thinking about what’s most important to them and staying mindful of that throughout the wedding planning process. At the end of the day, it’s their wedding and they are celebrating themselves.” —Kylie Forslund, she/her, The Victorian Belle (venue)
What about COVID?
“COVID has taught all of us that sometimes things are simply out of our control (i.e. the couple tests positive for COVID and needs to reschedule their date just five days before the wedding; this has happened to one of my clients). Be flexible.” —Jaime Ta, Jaime Ta Creative and co-founder of Vendors of Color (event and wedding coordinator)
“Vaccinations have made the landscape for weddings a little less terrifying than the last two years, but COVID is still a very real risk. Please be open, honest, and communicative with your guests and your vendors about your expectations surrounding vaccination status, testing, or anything other requirements you may want to put in place for your wedding day. [Also] please be honest if you get sick before or on your wedding day and communicate that to your guests and vendors.” —Nadia Padzensky, Venture Ever After (photographer)
Any tips for hiring wedding vendors?
“When planning your wedding be sure you are hiring vendors not only because they provide a particular service but also because you connect with them on a personal level. We are not robots and absolutely want your wedding day to be just as special as you do so when there is a good energy between us it just makes everything that much better!” —Cherise Klosner, Another One Ties the Knot (officiant)
“Know your budget and estimated guest count. This will help you a lot while planning as well as sharing a vision board of the style and vibe you’re aiming for when reaching out to vendors.” —Danielle Phan, Danielle Nichole Events (event planner and coordinator)
“Please give as many details as possible up front in the initial inquiry … We can give you a more accurate immediate quote when we have a bigger picture of what your needs are. This streamlines our communication and saves us precious time.” —Amanda Saideepane, Spirit of Sage (mobile bar)
“It is easier than you may realize to support and hire POC [people of color] vendors for your Oregon wedding … Your money has a huge impact when deciding who to hire on your wedding day and you can use that for good.” (Marissa specifically recommends the directory Vendors of Color, created by Oregon wedding vendors Jaime Ta and Marcela Pulido) —Solini
How about how to be a good boss to your vendor team?
“Understand that ping-pong email chains asking detailed questions about what we can and cannot accommodate [or] do for your event is a lot of time and work. Each email is free knowledge, expertise, and creative property … Before contacting a vendor, I advise potential clients to scan the website … Chances are there’s an FAQ page.” —Saideepane
“A card, a tip, an email, or a text sharing your gratitude with vendors who really delivered on your wedding day goes a long way in keeping spirits high as we go through the busy wedding season.” —Emily Sterling, Rooted & Wild (officiant)
If there’s one thing you wish couples knew while planning their 2022 wedding in Oregon, what would it be?
“There are absolutely vendors still booking for this year. The wedding ‘boom’ we've all been hearing about since late last year is real, but that doesn’t mean that there aren't folks with availability still. Reach out! Don’t be afraid to contact folks if you really jive with their work, who they are, and their values.” —Nadia Padzensky, Venture Ever After (photographer)
“It’s worth considering all your options. For example, a different location or venue or an off-peak wedding date may not be what you originally planned but it will end up being perfect for you anyways because you'll be surrounded by humans who adore and love you.” —Jaime Ta, she/her, Jaime Ta Creative and co-founder of Vendors of Color (event and wedding coordinator)
“Release the pressure of having an Instagram perfect wedding. Your love is enough. Instead, focus on the intention behind your wedding day (how you want to feel and what you want to emphasize in your celebration) and make your decisions from that place rather than one of measuring up … You are allowed to celebrate your love story however you want to!” —Emily Sterling, she/her, Rooted & Wild (officiant)
Editors' Note: Author Elisabeth Kramer (she/her) is a wedding coordinator in Portland, Oregon, who is fighting the Wedding Industrial Complex and the author of "Modern Etiquette Wedding Planner." Learn more about her work at elisabethkramer.com.