Sunday, November 24, 2013

Local Venue: The Empress Estate - Empressive!

As a coordinator, I spend a lot of time looking at different venues & vendors so that I can confidently match my clients with the best people, products, services, & places to meet their needs.  There are so many great providers in & around Portland!

Yesterday I visited The Empress Estate in Woodland, Washington.  It was a nice drive out that ended on a gravel road.  I was driving slowly since I’d never been there before & I was so surprised when I turned the corner & saw it!  It’s like finding a castle hidden at the end of a country road.  Plenty of room for parking, which is one less thing to worry about for your guests.

Photo from The Empress Estate Facebook page - William James Photography

I talked with Zoe & Stevie Saleem, who own the Empress.  Their goal is to provide a venue that provides convenience, class, & versatility.  It’s truly a getaway from city life & almost like you’re transported to a dream home.  I love the privacy of the location & all the choices there are for using the space they have.
First you walk through the winged lion gates & down to the entrance.  As you look up at all the details, you know that this place is special!  There’s a small balcony above the front door, which would be a great place to take pictures.  I had so many ideas already running through my mind! 

Photo from The Empress Estate Facebook page - William James Photography

Once you walk in the doors, you’re greeted by a beautiful entryway that’s surrounded by the most beautiful staircase coming down on the right & left side in a semi-spiral – another awesome photo opportunity that has so many possibilities. 

Photo from The Empress Estate Facebook page - Entrance with Beautiful Staircase - Powers Studios

The next room we went in had a dancefloor…on water!!!  There was plexiglass over the top & lights underneath that can be set to colors you like.  The lights reflect off the water & it’s just surreal.  Next to this dancing area is a nice dining area.  The Empress has their own tables & chiavari chairs, so that’s another thing you don’t have to worry about (paying to transport rentals).  They can also provide some d├ęcor items & linens for the tables.  There are French doors that go out to the paved patio, so your reception seating can be inside & outside.  They also have a nice tent that can be set up out there with drapery & a chandelier.  They’ve truly added things to their venue to make it easier for those planning events there!  They even have a chef on-staff, so you can avoid catering transport & reheating.

Photo from The Empress Estate Facebook page - Water Dancefloor

Photo from The Empress Estate Facebook page - Chiavari Chairs, banquet tables, linens, decor, & more availlabe onsite
Outside of this reception area is a grassy area surrounded by beautiful views of rolling hills.  This is a potential ceremony area…of the many potential ceremony areas available.  Next we went to the other side where there was a piano & lounge area with a huge fireplace!  Next to that was another dining area.
All of these areas are so versatile!  Furniture can be moved in & out to accommodate what you’d like to use the space for & you can really get creative!  The walls are all a white color, so you can easily bring in your theme & color scheme & not have it look awkward. 

Photo from The Empress Estate Facebook page - Large Grassy Area

Photo from The Empress Estate Facebook page - Lounge room with many possibilities - William James Photography

There are 3 restrooms downstairs for guests to use & several suites upstairs for those who may like to stay overnight.  There is a beautiful bridal suite & a groom suite for getting ready & both are very spacious & nicely decorated.  The bridal suite even has a vanity & a large bathroom with lots of mirrors. 

Photo from The Empress Estate Facebook page - Bridal Suite - William James Photography

Photo from The Empress Estate Facebook page - Lounge room transformed to ceremony space

There’s so much more to say about the possibilities of The Empress Estate, but I think you just have to go there & see for yourself…tell them Allison at Reverie sent you J

460 Empress Lane, Woodland, WA 98674
T: 360.225.5555, M: 503.866.0970

Thanks for visiting & reading,

Friday, November 15, 2013

Steampunk Wedding Showcase...on a boat!!!

Last Saturday I was part of the Weddings on the Water showcase hosted by Portland Spirit River Cruises.  The cool thing about this show was that each boat was assigned a theme and was set-up to look the way it might for an actual wedding.  This gave vendors a chance to show what they can do and those who attended the ability to see it firsthand. 

All photos courtesy of Paul Rich Studio

Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler - Steampunk Showcase Venue

I was the coordinator for the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler, whose theme was steampunk!  I worked with 3 local companies to pull it off: Something Borrowed Vintage Rentals, Swoon Floral Design, & Artisan Cake Company.

Me with the Reverie vendor table

For this showcase, the goal was to create something truly unique & fun for guests to look at...not something that would be glanced over & passed by.  To accomplish this, there was a different mini theme at each table. 

There were 4 tables set & decorated.  The thing all table had in common were the maroon linens &  mismatched place settings which added so much more intrigue & made the look more authentic & unique.  Each table was truly a feast for the eyes!

Table 1: Literary Table

This table featured torn out old book pages acting as a runner, vintage typewriter, vintage books, & floral arrangements in tarnished silver goblets. 

Table 2: Aviation/Travel

This table featured scraps of leather acting as an overlay, vintage suitcase, vintage cameras, steampunk goggles, brass candelabras, & floral arrangements in tarnished silver creamers/sugar bowls & vintage brass vessel.

Table 3: Tea Party

This table featured a toffee colored runner, vintage (mismatched) teacups & saucers, & floral arrangements in vintage teapots.

Table 4: Time

This table featured a toffee colored runner, a variety of vintage clocks, large & small cogs scattered throughout, & floral arrangements set on silver platters & topped with large glass cloches. 

 The cake table featured a fondant covered, tiered cake topped off with the top hat & goggles that are signature to the steampunk style.  There were also cupcakes with little cogs decorating the top & cog shaped frosted cookies. 

The ceremony area featured a wall of vintage suitcases to act as a backdrop with some floral accents mixed in.

Throughout the boat there were lots of vintage accents…skeleton keys, trunks, sewing machine, dress form – the list goes on!

Reverie vendor table - goggles from

Menu designs I created for the event

Reverie vendor table

Something Borrowed Vendor Table

Something Borrowed Vendor Table

Something Borrowed Vendor Table
Swoon vendor table
There were so many people involved in making this event a success & it was so amazing to see it all come together after all the planning.  It definitely wouldn’t have been so amazing without the contributions of each & every person & the open line of communication between our 4 companies & Portland Spirit.

Our steampunk bride!

You can visit the following sites of contributors for this showcase: - Coordination – Vintage Rentals – Photography - Truffles included in the reverie contribution to the swag bags - Decorated Mini Top Hats & Jewelry – Steampunk Goggles – Venue & Host – Hair & Makeup (Bride)