Since this is the thing that has been occupying 90% of my brain lately, I thought I’d update y’all on our wedding planning progress! (See this tweet for reference, ha.) I don’t want to share everything here quite yet, and will likely save most things until after the wedding. I don’t want to give away the whole party for our friends and family! But, a little #WeddingWednesday never hurt anybody.
So far, we’ve set a date and booked our venue and photographer! Today, let’s talk venue.
I’d already been researching venues since September. We didn’t get engaged until January 27th. Oops ;) After Bryce and I had the talk about getting engaged, I got super caught up in looking, but I’m actually glad I did! This isn’t the type of thing Bryce enjoys researching, and he was perfectly happy to see the options I’d found and discuss them. So the night of our engagement, I was already showing him websites of venues. *insert shrugging emoji here*
We had already decided before we were engaged that we wanted our wedding to be in Central Oregon, in or near Bend. That’s actually where we had that initial chat in September. Why Bend? Well, we considered both our hometowns. I love my hometown, but we were set on an outdoor wedding and the weather in northwestern Washington can be very unpredictable. Plus, aside from my parents and a few friends, not that many people that would be invited live near there anymore. Bryce’s hometown (Truckee, CA) would be an amazing location, too, but a few things held us back. Both his brothers’ weddings were there, and just like colleges, he was ready to do something different. He also wanted to give his parents a break. They were super involved in both brothers’ weddings, and we knew that if we had the wedding there, they’d put in a ton of work – we want them to relax this time. Also, affordable venue options are limited in the Tahoe area for obvious reasons.
We also considered Portland for like half a second. We have some friends here, and his brother’s family, but otherwise everyone else lives somewhere else.
In the end it came down to two things: the majority of guests would be traveling no matter the location and we love Central Oregon. Our guests were split mostly 50/50 between Washington and California, so we decided on a place we love right in the middle of everyone. We get to show off a beautiful area that means something to us, and everyone has to travel (but not too far!) Most folks have never been to the Bend area and have been really excited when we told them that’s where it would be.
I really wanted a somewhat rustic venue. A barn was my dream. Sure, it’s trendy right now, but I knew it was something that fit our personalities (casual, outdoorsy) and would provide indoor and outdoor options. We also knew we wanted an actual wedding venue, as we’d have a larger guest list (around 150), so we wanted to be assured the property could handle that (as opposed to a state park, etc.) I love those freewheelin’ beach side weddings, but it just wasn’t going to work for us. The vision is pretty traditional.
We toured 3 venues in one day in February in Sisters and Redmond, and we landed on the first one we saw (and my first choice!) The venue is Long Hollow Ranch, which sits in the valley right between Sisters and Redmond. The landscape is beautiful, and the location has a lot of personality and versatility. It is a working ranch (the only Dude Ranch in Oregon!) There was a lot to love: the big barn, great views, and some lodging on-site. When we viewed it (phone photos below, it was winter, but I’ve seen photos of it in the spring & summer and it gets so green, and beautiful!)
Coming up I’ll be sharing what resources I’m using to plan the wedding (we’re doing it all ourselves!) and our photographer search.