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The Venue Series: Wedding Venues in the Columbia River Gorge

View of the Columbia River Gorge from The Griffin House wedding venue
View from The Griffin House in Hood River
 

Welcome to The Venue Series! We love helping couples find the best fitting venue for their ideal budget via our standalone Venue Hunt Consultation or Venue Hunt add-on for wedding planning packages. As PNW Planners, we've planned and designed in hundreds of Oregon and Washington venues, and we're sharing some of our favorites and why we love them. All photos featured are from weddings we've coordinated, planned, and/or designed.


 

Welcome to the land of waterfalls, evergreen forests, and a touch of magic – the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon. This is one of our most popular regions we work in when planning weddings for both local Washingtonians and Oregonians, but also for out-of-town couples.


The beginning of the Gorge starts just 25 minutes outside of Portland, and stretches to Hood River and then The Dalles before it tapers off into a desert landscape. Throughout this stretch on the Oregon and Washington side, there are mountains and waterfalls, small towns and breweries, wind surfing and hiking - and a handful of wedding venues we know and love, and some newer ones that we’re dying to be at.


If you’re from Oregon or Washington, you probably know how beautiful the area is. But you don’t know the true beauty until you get to experience a wedding out here.


Before we get into all the Hood River and Columbia River Gorge wedding venues we’ve been to and loved, there are a few things you should know about getting married in this area:


Tips for planning a wedding in Hood River or The Gorge


wedding reception with a view of the columbia river gorge

Transportation

While some of these venues aren’t far from Portland and are a short drive, there are little to no options for rideshare pick ups (Uber, Lyft) once you pass Troutdale. You’ll need to plan on providing transportation for your guests and pick up near Portland or local hotels, or warn your guests ahead of time to arrange for safe rides home.


Hotels and Accommodations

The Gorge is a popular destination for not just weddings, but for weekend visitors, too. Some hotels in Hood River book out over a year in advance, and most hotels in the area don’t allow any sort of room blocks unless you host an event like a wedding, brunch or rehearsal dinner at the hotel. Be sure to book early, and warn your guests as well! There are AirBnB’s in the area as well, but save yourself some stress by tackling this part as early as you can.


The Views and Weather

Many of these venues have an incredible mountain view, but make sure you love the venue without the view as well. PNW weather can be finicky, and a cloudy forecast could mean no view - but no matter, we’ll do the rain dance for you before your wedding day for all the good luck. 


There are so many other tips and tricks we could share about the Columbia River Gorge and Hood River, but our advice will depend on your venue and your priorities. So let’s get into our favorite wedding venues in the Columbia River Gorge.


 

Wedding Venues In The Gorge and Hood River


Corbett, OR


Photographers: Alicia Lucia Photography (1-3), Victoria Carlson (4-6), RR Photo (7-8)




Why We Love Them: What’s not to love about a private venue that shows off all the features of the PNW and is only 35 minutes away from Portland? Most couples we’ve worked with say they fell in love with the venue the minute they stepped foot on property. It boasts a private lake (with canoes to have your Little Mermaid “Kiss The Girl” moment, view of the sunset over the gorge, a flourishing garden, a full kitchen prep area and a few covered areas. 


We LOVE being at this stunning venue, and you’ll find so much inspiration of couples who have utilized the space on our blog below. The venue is family owned, and they all treasure the space and each couple they work with. Especially for out of town guests, this one really wows everyone.



Insider Tips: With large properties come logistics you’ll need to plan for! Make sure to account for extra set up time to account for the venue's extensive property. The venue provides wagons to help, but it can take a while to move back and forth between the spaces. You’ll also need a wedding team to help break down at the end of the night - you’ll need to make sure all the tables and chairs are put back. We usually tag team this with an expert catering team so you can go home and enjoy the rest of your wedding night. 





 

Stevenson, WA


Photographers: Bekah Taylor (1-3) & Cascadia Studios (4-6)



Why We Love Them: Cape Horn Estate on the Washington side of the Gorge offers uninterrupted views of the mountains behind the venue’s iconic stone ceremony arch. This venue is perfect for great views and a garden feel. The venue comes with bistro lights strung across the property, a dancing patio, and all the necessary tables and chairs.


The venue also has two indoor spaces: The Grange and The Skamania Room. The Grange serves as a fully equipped catering kitchen, a getting ready space, and an indoor option for a smaller wedding or dancing! The Skamania Room is attached to the main garden and is perfect to have your bar and dessert away from the elements.  


Did we mention the owners are ALSO the owners of Hoda’s Catering? It’s an easy option for an alternative, Mediterranean wedding dinner, but you can also bring in your own caterer.


Laruen and Jason’s August wedding we helped coordinate and design was featured in Oregon Wedding Day!



Insider Tips: Since the bistro lights are included and always up in the venue space, your rain plan is limited to the indoor spaces or tenting the gravel parking lot - a tent unfortunately cannot be installed on the reception lawn. If you’re interested in one of the spring or fall dates, be sure to mind your guest count if you’re wanting to have an indoor backup plan for reception! The Grange can technically hold 150, but if you want a space for your dance floor without moving tables, we recommend closer to 120.




 

Hood River, OR



Why We Love Them: Crag Rat Hut is just east of Hood River, inland from the Columbia River, and you get a killer view of Mount Hood at a higher elevation. You get to enjoy the view from a mountain lodge-style venue, with a stone fireplace and mountaineering equipment on display. The name (which we’re sure you’re wondering) actually comes from the oldest mountain rescue organization, the “Crag Rats”. 


This venue is perfect for a cozy-getaway cabin feel. The indoor space is a great place for a reception away from the elements, but al-fresco receptions on the patio have our hearts. For Angelline and Khadi, we helped to flip the ceremony space to reception while guests enjoyed cocktail hour in the indoor event space. And the photos of the mountain behind the tables are just chef’s kiss.


Insider Tip: The venue only provides about 90 chairs, so if you’re hoping to invite the max capacity of ~120, you’ll need to rent a few extra seats. And if you want to feel good about the venue you’re spending your money on, all proceeds at the Crag Rat Hut go to a good cause: supporting the mission of rescuing stranded, injured or lost hikers just like the Crag Rats did!



 

Hood River, OR



Why We Love Them: Gorge Crest Vineyards is another venue with a breathtaking view of Mount Hood. Being here feels like a breath of fresh air, and you can really just get lost looking at the view. We’ve watched an entire wedding stop eating dinner to watch the sunset together, because it’s that magnificent. This venue is located adjacent to Hood River on the Washington side of the Gorge, where the drive up to the venue takes you through hillside vineyards and pee-a-boo views of the river.


This venue offers so much more than the view, too. There are winding paths that lead you to secret gardens, lawn games, hammocks in the trees, and vine-covered gazebos that couldn’t be more perfect for your marriage license signing or private vow reading. It’s a winery venue like no other, with a focus on the outdoor space. But, their indoor space is also beautiful - you may use it for your cocktail hour while we help flip the lawn space for an al-fresco dinner, or for your covered but open air reception if you keep the large garage-style doors open.


Insider Tip: Having your wedding at Gorge Crest means you’ll need to select a few vendors from their preferred list, like your planner, caterer and DJ. We’ve worked with almost all the vendors on their list (which we’re so blessed to be a part of), and we can guarantee they’ll be great for your wedding. 


You’ll also want to make sure you factor in the in-house wine minimums and transportation costs (the venue parking lot only holds 30 cars) into your budget. If you’re nervous about budgeting, we’re happy to help you organize your budget and let you know all the tips and tricks we’ve learned about planning a wedding at this venue.



 

Mt Hood, Oregon



Why We Love Them: It’s hard to come up with the words to describe how beautiful this place is. Between the views, the curated gardens, the detailed architecture, the historic charm, the colorful mosaics and patterns, and the variety of event spaces you get all to yourself… This venue is one of a kind - truly. 


We love that the venue has a natural flow from event space to event space, so your guests get to experience the entire beauty of the property with each section of your wedding. It’s an exploratory experience! If you’re someone looking for a venue that has its own charm, there’s no place other than Mt. Hood Organic Farm. 



Insider Tip: Planning your wedding at Mt. Hood Organic Farm means you’ll be hiring their in-house day-of coordinator and have a provided venue manager. The staff at Mt. Hood Organic Farm and Cassandra Cass Coordinating do an amazing job at helping you on the day, but couples have hired us to lend a heavier helping hand during the planning and design process. Because this is a unique situation, we offer a custom planning process that we’ve worked out with the venue that helps fill in all the gaps where you need, but doesn’t overlap with what you already have. Ask us about planning at Mt. Hood Organic Farm!




 

Stevenson, WA


Photographers: Lauryn Kay Photography (1-4) & The Ashers (5-10)


Why We Love Them: We love Skamania Lodge so much that we wrote a whole blog on this venue alone! We’ve been planning weddings here for over a decade, and know this one like the back of our hands. Skamania Lodge was made for destination weddings and wedding weekends because the lodge offers so many experiences that guests can enjoy beyond the wedding festivities. 


It’s also a one-stop-shop; The lodge offers tables, chairs and since they will also provide your food and drink in-house, they also offer various place setting options for building your tablescape beyond just simple, white glossy plates.


We’ve helped plan weddings where couples just utilize the beauty of the space with a few flourishes, and others where we conceptualized a cohesive, elevated design to bring unique and personal touches to the space. 


Insider Tip: Skamania Lodge has a few indoor and outdoor event spaces to choose from, and they just opened a new covered pavilion space in 2023 surrounded by forest scenery! That being said, since the lodge can accommodate hundreds of people, it’s likely that another event may be happening on your event weekend. We will help you plan your timeline and photo locations so that your event doesn’t run into other events, and you feel immersed in your day and don’t have to worry about anything else. 



 

Hood River, OR


Photographers: Auburn Photography (1-3) & Mariana Tey Photography (4-6)


Why We Love Them: What’s not to love about this fairytale venue? This may be one of the best views of the Columbia River Gorge you can get, and that’s what sells most couples on the venue. And as many times as our team has been to this venue, the view never gets old. 


A few perks we love are that the venue has included chairs that match the nature scenery, alternating clear top and white top tent so you’re protected from the elements but get all the natural light, the property opens up as early as 9:00 am for getting ready and complex set up, and flow that works seamlessly between event spaces. The owners of the Griffin House have created such a special place out of their family’s home! 


Lastly, you have the freedom to book vendors of your choosing, but you will need to hire a wedding planner (and we’d love to be one of your considerations!)


Insider Tip: With cliffside views comes cliffside wind - while it makes for a really romantic moment with a billowing veil or dress, the wind can be no joke - we mean bud vases blowing over or off the table, arches threatening to come down, and paper place cards flying away. When planning your design, be sure to keep to heavy items or items that can be tied down - if you have ideas, we’re happy to share our experience or alternatives! 


On a personal note, we highly recommend you opt for a full service caterer - the venue has an area for food prep, but you’ll need to build it out. Ourselves and your catering team can help you organize and bring the rentals required for a smooth dinner service. 





 

Hood River, OR



Why We Love Them: The Orchard feels like you’re at an elevated, backyard wedding, without the complications of a private residence and all the amenities you can dream of. The Orchard is in Hood River, but it's nestled in a functional farm and orchard space just south of the city. This venue features a garden lawn with one of the more up close views of Mt. Hood you can get from a wedding venue, and the borders of the lawn blooms with hydrangeas from May and even into October. Can our garden look like this please?


Here it’s peaceful, and full of thoughtful touches that make it easy to host an event. You’ll get access to an airy getting ready room with a fenced-off courtyard, a covered area (the “barn”) with high ceilings and vines of hops already growing up the poles, and the newly landscaped Mt. Adams lawn that can accommodate a tent. The best part? The venue provides the tent if the forecast shows rain at no extra cost! The venue also comes with wooden crossback chairs and farm tables - this is a HUGE plus, and really goes with the feel of the venue. Th And if that’s not enough perks, their exclusive caterer is also one of the best of the best and will provide all the place setting you’ll need.


Insider Tip: This venue does require you to book an approved planner (like us) to help manage the day and guide you through planning your wedding at the venue. We’re familiar with their restrictions, inventory, and general flow of the day. The only warning we have to give is that if you’re having a smaller wedding, there isn’t much space to store the unused furniture, so you’ll need to utilize as much as you can. Between The Orchard and Celilo, you have mostly everything you need provided - chairs, benches, tables, umbrellas, headers, and even lawn games. We love it here!



 

Stevenson, WA


Photographers: In The Alpenglow Photo (1-5) & Jen Jones Photography (6-9)


Why We Love Them: Wind Mountain Ranch (previously referred to as Gorge-Ous  weddings) is a great blend between a PNW mountain and a western, ranch wedding. The venue sits in a wide open space that The Dixie Chics would approve of on the Washington side of the Gorge, just This venue has a handful of ceremony locations to choose from, each with a wooden trellis to install your draping or florals, or use as is. There’s a pond onsite, mountain views, and gorge views and lush lawns so you can frolic or create a garden lounge space. This venue is one of the few that don’t require transportation, as it has a large parking lot for all your guests!


Our favorite part about this venue are the mini cabins on site - they’re perfect for a romantic cabin stay before or after your wedding, signing your marriage license, a moment alone together - and it’s just a short golf cart ride away or a 5 minute walk to the event spaces. These cabins are also available to rent throughout the year, so you can return on your anniversary or any weekend getaway.


Insider Tip: Since this venue is tucked away between mountains, internet access can be fairly unreliable so it’ll require a bit of planning ahead of time to make sure your vendors have access to the materials they need. This venue is also under new management, and we’re excited to hear about the new and exciting things coming for Wind Mountain Ranch!



 

Want to know that you've found the best venue?


We love helping couples find the best fitting venue for their ideal budget via our standalone Venue Hunt Consultation or Venue Hunt add-on for wedding planning packages. As PNW Planners, we've planned and designed in hundreds of Oregon and Washington venues, and we're sharing some of our favorites and why we love them. All photos featured are from weddings Your Perfect Bridesmaid has coordinated, planned, and/or designed. View more of our Venue Series Blogs below:


 

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