HOW TO PLAN YOUR
HOYT ARBORETUM REDWOOD DECK WEDDING –
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE
Hi! I'm Natasha! Your elopement photographer, dog petter and donut eater. While photography is my first love, connecting with people is my love language. You'll find me lovin' on the big moments, the quiet moments, the silly moments – but especially the in between moments. The moments that are unadulterated and unfiltered. The ones where you are the real you. Here on the blog you'll find all of my favorite tips, tricks and resources for planning an elopement that's all about those moments.
pnw ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER
Woohoo! So you're planning your Hoyt Arboretum Redwood Deck wedding?! Congratulations! Portland's Hoyt Arboretum is one of those wedding venues that seems like something out of a dream. While the preserve located just west of Downtown Portland, OR, The Hoyt Arboretum is home to thousands of plant species and even though it's right in the heart of the city, walking it's many trails makes it feels like you're stepping into real wilderness. You'll truly get to have the best of both worlds for your wedding day. As a Seattle wedding photographer, I've been to plenty of spectacular venues but this one takes the cake for one of the most stunning locations I've ever visited. If you want to see a whole wedding shot here you can check out this blog post for a taste of their full gallery!
Let's talk about everything you need to know to plan a truly spectacular Hoyt Arboretum Redwood Deck wedding!
THE REDWOOD OBSERVATION DECK
If you're planning an intimate outdoor ceremony, with a smaller guest list (just your VIPs!), The Redwood Observation Deck is one of the most spectacular spots in the entire preserve. You'll be saying your I do's under towering redwoods and sequoias. So if you've always dreamed of a romantic, intimate, idyllic forest ceremony this is your spot!
How many people can it accommodate?
The Redwood Deck can accommodate up to 40 guests. However, take note that this particular location is not wheelchair accessible, but there are other ADA friendly wedding spaces in the preserve like the Wedding Meadow/Steven's Pavilion.
How do I reserve the space for my Hoyt Arboretum Redwood Deck wedding?
Because of it's popularity, The Redwood Deck is only reservable by lottery for all weekend events! Yep, you heard me right! This is because it's the only real way to give everyone an equal shot at booking such a stunning venue. You'll also need a permit to use the space. You can make your reservation online, by phone, mail, or visit the Portland Office of Parks & Recreation in person: Portland Building at 1120 SW 5th Avenue, 1st floor, Portland, Oregon 97204.
Walk-in hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM-5:00 PM
You can also check out this PDF about How to Submit a Reservation Request from Portland Parks & Recreation!
How much does it cost to rent the space?
To reserve your spot you'll need to pay the $121.25 application fee, and for a half day rental (8am-2pm or 3pm-9pm) the fee is $300. If you rent it in conjunction with the Wedding Meadow the total cost is $485. There is also a $67 fee for vehicle access to the space.
The Redwood Deck is rustic, meaning there is no available power or other utilities (including restrooms, so make sure ya make a pit stop before arriving) available but with a reservation you're more than welcome to set up small tables and BYO drinks and music. It's a great opportunity to hire a live musician too!
There is no reserved parking, but there is paid parking available, and a few free spots nearby along the road within the preserve, but you also have the option to have the service gate opened (there is a $67 fee) for a shuttle drop off as close as you can get if you're transporting your guests to the preserve to prevent any parking troubles.
Can I bring alcohol?
Yes! Alcohol is allowed, however there are some restrictions
that apply and you may need to obtain event insurance.
Can I bring my dog?
Yes! If you want to bring along your dog for your Hoyt Arboretum Redwood Deck wedding,
you're more than welcome to as long as they remain leashed and you pick up after them.
Park Rules + Regulations
The Hoy Arboretum is meticulously managed by the Oregon Public Parks and is home to a wonderful collection of delicate habitat, so make sure that you're aware of the parks rules and regulations so we can protect the parks nature beauty for other to enjoy! This means no smoking, no loud music (acoustic music is allowed), practicing Leave No Trace principles, staying on trails, removing all trash, no fires or drones, no foraging or taking plants from the preserve. You can find the full list of rules and regulations here.
TIPS + BEST PRACTICES
Now that we have the basics down, let's talk about all of the best tips for how to make your day as intentional, meaningful and beautiful as possible. What makes a wedding day truly remarkable isn't the colors, the florals, how you visually want your wedding to look or even the location, but is the intentionality behind every choice you make. When making any decision at all for your wedding, being intentional with the why behind each choice is absolutely key to creating an extraordinarily special day for yourself. If something feels right for you and your partner, then go for it! If something feels uncomfy or like you're doing it just because it's trendy then maybe skip it. If you want some more tips for creating an intentional and intimate wedding day, you can check out the 8 Ways to Be More Present on Your Wedding Day!
What day of the week is best to get
married at Hoyt Arboretum?
Choosing a weekday for your wedding is a great way to avoid crowds! Because the arboretum is a popular location for visitors you'll likely have people walking by as your ceremony is happening. This is going to be unavoidable to some extent, but getting married on a weekday instead will lessen the amount of people that you'll encounter.
Since we're talking about intentional decisions when it comes to your wedding, choosing vendors that align with both your creative vision and your values will make a huge difference in how your wedding is going to look, feel, and ultimately be remembered. And while choosing a vendor team that's familiar with your venue is always a plus, it isn't necessary to getting incredible results. So hire vendors that you trust, that inspire you, and you feel confident can bring your vision to life!
If you're looking for some recommendations for vendors that are familiar with working a Hoyt Arboretum Redwood Deck wedding you can't go wrong with this team below!
Photographer: NATASHA SHAPIRO
Planning + Styling: JAIME TA CREATIVE
Florals: CARONLINE REUSEN FLOWERS
Hair + Makeup: BLOSSOM AND BEAUTY
Shuttle Service: ECOSHUTTLE
Have other questions about planning your Hoyt Arboretum Redwood Deck wedding? DM me on Instagram: @tashashapiro and let's chat!