Weddings should be a day to celebrate, a day that highlights who you are as a couple and all the things you love most. If you enjoy nature, a Hoyt Arboretum Wedding might be perfect for you. Tying the knot under towering trees or an open sky is possible here. It is ideal for a nature-lover who wants to host a no-frills or DIY Portland, Oregon wedding.
Established in 1922, Hoyt Arboretum bills itself as a living museum. Its exhibits are flourishing plant life. Highlights include magnolia trees, Japanese maples, honey locust trees, and colorful sourwoods. The full collection spans 6,000 trees and 2,300 different species. Some are even vulnerable or endangered. The arboretum has many conservation and eco-conscious practices.
The striking shape of the picnic shelter, bordered by Douglas firs, makes up this space. It makes a striking location for a wedding ceremony. It also provides shelter from the elements without needing to rent a tent. The shelter is open and accessible, with space for caterers to set up a feast or delivery trucks to drop off decor. There’s room for up to 100 guests here, with 10 picnic tables inside the shelter and 4 in the area outside it. This venue offers up to 110V electricity and is a short walk away from water and restroom facilities.
The aptly-named wedding meadow is away from Hoyt Arboretum’s main roads and buildings. This offers a more secluded space for a Hoyt Arboretum wedding ceremony. In fact, you’ll feel as if you’re in the middle of the wilderness in this wooded glen. Like the picnic shelter, this space can accommodate up to 100 guests. There is no electricity or running water here. Hoyt Arboretum does allow portable toilet rentals from an outside vendor. View more of the Wedding Meadow in this Hoyt Arboretum Wedding that I Photographed.
Only a third of a mile down the Wildwood Trail from the Visitor Center is the Redwood Deck. It’s surrounded by majestic views of towering redwood trees. This natural-wood structure is suitable for intimate gatherings. 50 standing or 25 seated guests. It is perfect for a larger elopement or small Hoyt Arboretum wedding ceremony. Again, electricity, water, and bathrooms are not available here. The Redwood Deck might be the spot to exchange vows, then scatter to a second site with more reception room.
If your headcount is small, consider moving indoors. The Bill DeWeese classroom might be the answer for a close by reception. Outside catering is an option, although there’s no cooking or kitchen equipment onsite. There’s room for 40 guests, and the large windows offer views of the beautiful landscape.
As an eco-conscious outdoor space, a Hoyt Arboretum wedding is subject to regulations. You’ll need a permit to serve alcohol here. Only containers of beer and wine allowed: no kegs and no hard liquor. The venue also forbids the use of amplified music. Any processionals or dance parties will need to be unplugged. Keep cleanup in mind, too. You’ll be responsible for leaving your event space clean and free of any trash after your big day.
Apply through Portland Parks & Recreation to host your Hoyt Arboretum wedding. You’ll pay a small wedding application fee, a refundable security deposit, and a rental fee. The fee covers the full day of your wedding, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., when the arboretum closes. The fees are low, making the arboretum a very affordable site for your wedding. All rental proceeds go towards the Hoyt’s conservation efforts and Parks & Recreation.