Outdoor Weddings in Oregon

(and why we love them)!

We may be partial, as most of the Abernethy team was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, but we’re thoroughly convinced this is the most beautiful place in the country to live and to get married! As lovers of nature, we’re especially fond of outdoor weddings because they allow you to make the magical landscape part of your wedding day decor. Our area is known for towering pines, oaks, and fir trees; along with a lush ground cover of ferns, vines, and wildflowers.

Yet despite it all, we still hear from couples who are apprehensive about tackling an outdoor wedding in Oregon because of the unpredictability around precipitation. Yes, we’re talking about rain!  Rain on one’s wedding day is a classic fear, and it can definitely be an inconvenience, but here in Portland, rain is more something to embrace than worry about.  Let’s face it, we’re used to carrying-on in the rain.  It doesn’t stop us in daily life, so why should it stop you when planning a wedding?  At Abernethy, we have a pragmatic perspective. Rain on your wedding day is always a possibility, but it definitely shouldn’t cramp your style. So we created a three-step process for ensuring outdoor wedding success:

  • Pick the right Season for you

  • Prepare Thoughtfully

  • Embrace the Wedding Day

 

Picking the Right Season for YOUR Outdoor Wedding

Oregon’s mild weather allows us to host outdoor weddings eight months out of the year.  Each season has a predictable character, not only in terms of weather, but also overall vibe, so picking the right season for you is the top consideration when planning an outdoor wedding. To help you make the choice we’ve compiled the key info and some insider tips for each season. Read with an open heart and open mind — you might be surprised by what season ends up feeling the most inspiring.

 

 

Spring Weddings in Oregon

Spring draws playful and adventurous couples.  It’s the season of fresh blossoms, crisp air, and unpredictable weather. The season has a feeling of newness that’s not present at any other time of year.  People are ready to emerge from winter.  Nature’s new growth offers hopeful beauty, the air smells like rain and crisp blue skies signal that the days are getting longer.  Couples who choose outdoors in spring are ready to embrace the weather, and with a little planning and preparation can make it part of the celebration.  These are true Oregonian weddings with a rugged go-with-the-flow vibe. It may not be for everyone but those up for the adventure get some serious perks.  Venue rental rates and catering minimums are considerably lower in the spring as compared to summer, and there’s less competition for dates and vendors.

 

  Average High Temp Average Low Temp Average Rainfall
March 58 40 4.67 in.
April  64 43 3.47 in.
May 70 48 2.46 in

Summer Weddings in Oregon

Summer is the classic outdoor wedding season!  It’s the season of sunshine and staying out late with cool evening breezes, majestic pink sunsets, and only occasional rain.  Summer days in Oregon City are practically perfect with an average temperature of 85 degrees and little to no humidity.   Not surprising, summer is our peak season with the most competition for dates and vendors. Weekend wedding dates typically book at least a year in advance, so sun-seekers need to plan ahead.  It also helps to be flexible, getting married on a weekday in the summer will open up the options, and save you some cash in the process.

 

 

  Average High Temp Average Low Temp Average Rainfall
June 76 53 1.74 in.
July 83 56 0.65 in.
August 84 56 0.72 in

Fall Weddings in Oregon

The vibe of Fall weddings can vary from cozy & romantic to alternative & edgy; with the backdrop of mild weather and brightly colored foliage. There’s a sense of warmth to the season as people begin to make plans for the holidays and look forward to a new year.  Like Spring, venue rental fees and catering minimums are lower in the Fall when compared to summer, and the sun is still out most days.  Fall weather is a mix of alternating sunshine and clouds with crisp air and moderate rain. The foliage around Abernethy turns bright red and gold with dried leaves wafting along the garden paths. There’s a magical aura to the property so Fall weddings tend to draw couples who want their celebration to stand out.

 

  Average High Temp Average Low Temp Average Rainfall
September 78 52 1.61 in.
October 65 46 3.61 in.
November 53 40 6.56 in

Not sure what season is the best fit for you?

Let our Event Specialists help you figure it out.  They know the questions to ask, and what to listen for, to help you discover your season

Abernethy Rain Plans

You can rest assured knowing Abernethy always has a rain plan.

VEILED GARDEN: Couples who choose the Veiled Garden for their ceremony site also get the Chapel as part of their venue rental, giving you the option of moving the wedding indoors if the weather is too wet for your comfort level. Couples have until an hour before the ceremony to switch to their chapel rain plan, just in case you’re hoping for a lucky break in the clouds.  

ABIGAIL’S GARDEN: We can easily move your wedding ceremony under the rainproof reception tent if needed.  The tent is equipped with both heaters and fans to keep your guests comfortable. We monitor the forecast closely and contact couples a few days before the wedding if it looks like we’ll need to move to the rain plan.

How to thoughtfully prepare for your Outdoor Wedding

Portland lies in a temperate rainforest climate zone so there’s a chance of sprinkles, even during our sunniest months.  A big piece of weather preparedness is choosing a venue that has expertise in outdoor weddings and the dedication to help you execute your vision regardless of the weather. There are also some general supplies all couples should have on hand for an outdoor wedding in Oregon.

Umbrellas

Purchase clear umbrellas for the bridal party.  They’re very affordable through Amazon Prime and you can always upcycle to a friend who’s getting married, if you don’t need them.  An added benefit is that they look adorable in photos!

season saavy

Your guests will have the most fun if they’re comfortable! That means setting them up for success in terms of weather conditions. Especially if you have guests coming from outside Portland, we recommend posting information about seasonal weather conditions on your wedding website. The Abernethy team can provide all sorts of data about average temperatures, rainfall totals, daylight hours, etc… just ask.  

Wedding favors can also be geared toward guest comfort.  In spring and fall, we’ve seen guests set out baskets of wraps & throws for guests to cozy up in the evening.  In summer months, personalized fans are a great wedding favor to help your guests stay cool.

Wedding Attire

Layering – Your Key to Comfort in Spring & Fall

Since temperatures can be unpredictable, consider layering your wedding day look with stylish or unique accessories. Brides – choose a faux fur shrug, hand-knit sweater, or personalized leather jacket to wear over your wedding gown. The bridal over-layer is a huge trend and allows you to show some fashion flair!  Pick a piece that feels good and accentuates either the elegance or edginess of your gown.

footwear

Brides or (anyone wearing fancy footwear), Buy a pair of reception or just-in-case shoes.  They should be something that you feel cute in, but will also provide comfort and allow you to move around with ease.  Many of our recent brides have opted for these sparkly sneakers from Keds and Kate Spade.  They come in a variety of colors and have both the comfort and glam factors covered. Plus you won’t have to worry about those beautiful heels sinking into the grass.

embrace the weather & be flexible

Once you’ve picked your date thoughtfully and prepared diligently, the only thing left is to enjoy! You’re ready to celebrate no matter what mother nature throws your way, and you have the whole Abernethy team behind you! If there is anything that I can leave you with it’s this, and it’s something I preach to you often; at the end of the day the most important factor of your wedding is that you two joined together in the most beautiful way and absolutely nothing, not even a little rain, can rain on your parade!

 

xo

Madison & Sara

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