Our Favorite Summer Add-Ons

Five Simple Ways to Wow Your Wedding Guests!

Hello Dear Readers,

August is here! It’s the height of wedding season, and the Abernethy grounds are buzzing with good vibes as we celebrate our 20th birthday!  After so many 2020 postponements, this summer feels like pure joy for our couples and our staff! It’s a welcome return to what we do best — big, beautiful, extraordinary weddings! 

Watching each celebration unfold has the magic of unwrapping a gift at Christmas. There’s anticipation, joy, gratitude, and sometimes even a happy dance. This is when our creativity thrives, and the inspiration gets flowing. Today I’m going to channel some of that creative juice your way with five of our favorite summer novelties—the little add-ons and easy-to-incorporate ideas that make a big impact on your wedding day.

Your big day is all about the details, but they don’t have to be extravagant to be extraordinary!

Delight Your Guests With Fun Snacks

We focus a lot on the wedding meal while planning, but you may also want to consider the hunger pangs that emerge once everyone starts hitting the dancefloor. The Abernethy chefs offer various sweet and savory “Late Night Bites” that come out right as people begin to look for a nibble.

These are generally more casual fare like mini pizzas, sliders & tots, or s’mores set in an inviting way for guests to help themselves. Or you can change things up with a mid-reception food truck that’ll give guests a taste of Portland from one of your local favorites like Pips Doughnuts or Ruby Jewel Ice Cream.


Go For A Big Finish!

The grand exit creates a memorable close to the festivities, ending the party on an energetic note. It’s like the bookend to your perfect wedding celebration! Creating a high-impact exit doesn’t require much: just your party guests and a few key props.

Steele Photography-Abernethy-Bubble exit


Bubbles are fun, environmentally friendly, and look stunning in wedding photos. What’s the secret to a truly epic bubble exit? Create giant clouds of floating magic by incorporating a bubble machine or several strategically placed bubble guns in the crowd.

Shop bubble machines and bubble guns on Amazon.

Glowsticks & LED Sparklers

Light up the night for your big sendoff! Have your guests wave glowsticks or LED sparklers to create an effect similar to typical sparklers without the fire hazard.

Shop glowsticks and LED sparklers on Amazon.

Offer A Refreshing Take on Beverages

The wedding bar isn’t going anywhere, but increasingly couples are adding to it with creative non-alcoholic options like a refreshing lemonade stand or enlivening espresso cart. To offer options for guests who don’t drink and opportunities to stay hydrated for guests that do, both of which are important!

Lemonade Stand

Abernethy has a lemonade stand with your choice of three refreshing (and colorful) flavors that are stationed in the reception and refilled throughout the event. I love this add-on because it won’t break the bank, is super practical, and provides a cute decor element for the reception.

Espresso Cart

You’re sure to make people smile by offering guests their favorite frothy latte or iced cold brew during cocktail hour. Our friends at Three Sixty Coffee Co offer a modern espresso catering service complete with friendly baristas to craft your guests’ favorite espresso drinks. Learn more about Three Three Sixty Coffee Co

Bring out the playful Side

Most of us haven’t been out much in the last sixteen months, so it’s nice to have activities that’ll help people loosen up and start mingling. Games during cocktail hour are a great way to break the ice. They get people energized and interacting before the reception and into the night! You can get personalized sets on Etsy, bring your favorite camping games, or use ours. Abernethy has giant Jenga, giant connect four, and of course, cornhole.

Choose A Memorable Photo Booth

A great photo booth is the easiest way to make everyone from flower girls to grandparents smile. So why not elevate your photo booth out of the corner and make it a statement piece of the reception? I love Little Photo Bus and Hammie The Photo Booth because they offer your guests an immersive experience with props, professional staff, and super cute retro rigs!

Looking for more creative ideas to craft your perfect summer wedding? Follow along on social where we share ideas and inspiration from real Abernethy weddings almost every day @abernethycenter Be sure to let me know if there’s a topic you’d like to see covered on the blog.

Love & Gratitude



P.S. Last month on the blog, we talked about catering and teased a meal planning lesson from the chefs.  Don’t worry it’s coming just as soon as things slow down a bit in Abernethy Kitchen. Stay tuned!

Learn More About Abernethy Center Weddings

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 an 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