2023 Oregon Wedding Trends

Our Favorite things, so far, at Abernethy Center

Abernethy Center truly shines during the summer season! The trees are full and vibrant, streams are bubbling, and you’ll find fragrant blooms and occasional wildlife (like birds, deer, and squirrels) in the gardens. Not to mention the infectious wedding joy—It’s a season full of love and inspiration! From distinctive food choices to unforgettable guest experiences, the creativity that goes into each wedding is truly awe-inspiring.

If you’re planning an Oregon wedding or love beautiful wedding content, this blog is a must-read!


1. Creative Guestbooks

The guestbook is a wonderful way to remember everyone who witnessed your special day. Yet, traditional guestbooks often end up forgotten on a shelf. Consider trying something unique and personal to ensure your wedding guestbook is cherished and enjoyed for years.

For instance, you could have guests sign Jenga blocks to build your love, write messages on their favorite recipes in a cookbook guestbook, or even document their thoughts on a customized cornhole board. With these creative ideas, you’ll have a meaningful keepsake to enjoy for years.


Pro Tip

Audio guestbooks are the newest thing! These adorable rotary phones allow guests to record heartfelt or funny messages that you can listen to over and over again.


Abernethy Recommends:

Ready, Set, Pose! PDX.


2. Delightful Desserts

The latest batch of wedding treats are too pretty to eat but too delicious to resist! Picture a table overflowing with mini parfaits, tarts, and cookies. Or you could treat guests to an interactive surprise featuring freshly made fair like artisan s’mores or an adorable doughnut truck at the reception. Dessert experiences add an element of fun and are always a hit with guests!


Pro Tip

Wedding cake is optional. Some couples have a small cake for cutting along with their preferred desserts. Others feed each other something unique and personal, like Britta + Nick’s doughnut bite. Why not serve something fun and exciting for dessert at your reception?

Abernethy Recommends:

Lux Sucre Bakery:  Elegant dessert displays that elevate your reception decor with delicious mini versions of high-end desserts.

Fat Cupcake: All the scrumptious and beautiful cupcakes you could ever want!

The Hungry Hero: Dessert displays with classic favorites like giant chocolate chip cookies, decadent brownies, rice crispy treats, and more!

Pip’s Mobile: Freshly made mini doughnuts that smell amazing and taste even better.

1927 S’mores Company: Artisan made-to-order s’mores in flavors like caramel mocha and cocoa rasberry.

3. Unique Entertainment

Novel entertainment makes a celebration stand out and leaves a lasting impression on guests. Couples should feel free to think outside the box with unique experiences such as caricature artists, tarot card readings, llamas, and even tattoo stations. By personalizing the celebration with something meaningful to the couple, you can create a one-of-a-kind reception that will be talked about for years to come.


Abernethy Recommends:

Cartoons By Bernard: Caricature Artis

Lettie Jane Rennekamp: Tarot Card Reader

Classy Camelids or Caesar The No Drama LLama: Wedding Llamas

PDX Jumpers Party Rental: Bouncy House


4. Outfit Changes

Choosing a second outfit for the wedding reception gives you an opportunity to showcase your personality. You can, but don’t have to go all out with another extravagant look; a flirty party dress or comfortable summer romper can reflect your personal style perfectly.


Pro Tip

A bonus to changing outfits is it gives you a moment to breathe, freshen up your make-up, and be extra comfortable throughout your reception.

5. Free rides

Helping ensure everyone gets home or to their hotel safely at night’s end is important to many couples. We highly recommend contracting a shuttle service to take your guests to and from the venue. If most guests live locally, consider having ride vouchers for guests who’ve overindulged.


Pro Tip

Order Uber or Lyft vouchers in advance.  Ask a member of the wedding party or a trusted friend to distribute ride vouchers at the reception so you don’t have to worry about it.

6. Coffee Bars

While most couples still opt for a bar.  There’s a growing trend toward sober curious weddings that either don’t serve alcohol or greatly deprioritize it.  Wedding coffee bars are becoming a huge hit for fun non-alcoholic beverage options that guests love.


Abernethy Recommends:

Intentional Espresso

7. Late Night Bites!

Who doesn’t love a perfectly timed surprise snack? Late-night bites are casual snacks like street tacos, mini pizzas, mac n cheese cups, a tater tot bar, etc., served midway through your reception, just as people start to get hungry again. The Abernethy Chefs offer various options that are easy to eat and interactive party fuel, which is always a hit with wedding guests. You can check our full menu, including late-night bites, HERE.


Pro Tip

Food Trucks are welcome for late-night snacks as long as they are manageable for the venue — Ask your Event Specialist about size restrictions since larger trucks can’t fit down the garden paths.

8. Private Moments Before the grand exit

Intimate moments are important to savor amidst all the excitement. One idea that many couples choose is a private last dance before leaving the reception. This allows them to enjoy a few minutes alone on the dance floor while guests are lining up for the grand departure, soaking up the enchanting atmosphere and reminiscing about the memories they’ve made together before starting their happily ever after. It’s a special moment that the newlyweds can treasure forever and a perfect way to end the night on a romantic note. Talk to your Event Specialist about carving out some newlywed one-on-one time on the wedding day timeline.


Every Abernethy wedding is a one-of-a-kind expression of the couple’s love story and personality. It is so much fun to see how to-be-weds adapt wedding trends and traditions for the big day. The little details truly make each celebration unforgettable.

This is one of my favorite subjects to blog about because it inspires couples to showcase their unique style through food, drinks, clothing, and entertainment. So go ahead, have fun, and let your creativity shine, expressing unique style through food, beverage, attire, entertainment, and so much more. It is your opportunity to really wow your guests with things you love! Have fun with it, and give yourself permission to think outside the box!

Follow @abernethycenter to see all the love and beauty from our one-of-a-kind Oregon weddings!


About the author:

Sara O’Brien has been with Abernethy Center since 2017. She brings playful optimism and bottomless love of wedding celebrations to her role as Social Media Manager. Sara is a PNW native and nature lover who is passionate about spreading joy through honoring life’s big [and little] moments.

Smooch is the official blog of Abernethy Center, Oregon’s premier indoor and outdoor wedding venue.  Abernethy Center is truly one of a kind! A full-service wedding and reception venue just on the outskirts of Portland in the heart of historical Oregon City. Our property features two distinct gardens, a gorgeous chapel and a classic, elegant Grand ballroom spread out over 9 acres. With nearly twenty years in business, an expert culinary team, and a tremendous staff experienced in providing exceptional service, we have everything for the perfect, uniquely yours Oregon wedding.

Abigail’s Garden —– Veiled Garden—–Abernethy Chapel—–Grand Ballroom