It’s not always easy to decide on a wedding’s setting. Should you have the celebration indoors or take it outside? Would you like to give guests terrestrial or cityscape views? For couples stuck between the aesthetics of nature and city, a rooftop wedding in Portland just might be the answer, offering the best of both worlds. The Tualatin Mountains hug the western side of the city, while the Cascades rise in the east. Snowcapped mountains show off their peaks on clear days, and the city itself is exceptionally green, abounding in tree-lined streets and leafy installations incorporated into cement constructions. Rooftops are versatile spaces for urban weddings—the sky’s the limit, quite literally.
With a relatively temperate climate year-round, Portland is the perfect destination for a sleek wedding beneath the Pacific Northwest sky. And the best rooftop venues in the area will have people covered in the event of rain. With upscale food and drink options, twinkling city lights beneath the glimmering stars and plenty of space to whirl and twirl, Portland’s rooftops are truly special.
EXCHANGE BALLROOM & CASCADE ROOFTOP
123 NE Third Ave.
(above) A better perspective of Portland’s skyline, however, comes from across the river. For that kind of glitzy scene, the Exchange Ballroom, in Northeast Portland, is a worthy choice. This venue offers the breathtaking Cascade Rooftop, which can hold as many as 140 people. In addition to stunning city views, you’re likely to see a pretty sight of Mount Hood in the distance on clear days. With exclusive catering and video agreements, this venue has experienced vendors that know the space’s layout and details well and are ready for your call.
721 NW Ninth Ave.
The Ecotrust Rooftop Terrace in Northwest Portland is a prime candidate for consideration. It’s a preserved part of Portland’s history, retaining the character of the original 1895 warehouse. If the living-greenery roof, garden atmosphere and cozy central fireplace, which can serve as a ceremony backdrop, don’t totally sell you, the way the organization uses its profits from wedding rentals might be the clincher. “All of the profits from weddings at our venues go to Ecotrust to support the nonprofit’s environmental and social equity work,” says Kaley Charlet, the wedding and events manager. This space can host 150–200 people and offers exclusive catering options that are among some of the best and most forward-thinking in the city.
1355 SW Second Ave.
For a chic choice conveniently located in a hotel, The Porter’s rooftop lounge space, Xport, is perfect. Xport offers two covered decks with views of the city skyline, the river and Mount Hood. The exclusive food and beverage options are top-notch, with choices ranging from beet hummus to decadent seafood platters. Individually customizable lighting options can help bring your wedding’s colors seamlessly into the space. With lots of areas that can be rented separately or combined, Xport has event capacity ranging anywhere from 25 to 350 guests.
545 SW Taylor St.
Right in the center of it all in downtown Portland is The Duniway, a hotel with a stunning outdoor rooftop venue called Abigail’s Hideaway. Abigail’s offers a secluded urban-oasis vibe and is especially good for a small wedding (capacity of 75 guests standing) with lush leanings. One of Portland’s most impressive restaurants, Jackrabbit, is located within the building and is the exclusive catering option for Abigail’s. Headed up by Top Chef Masters winner Chris Cosentino, Jackrabbit has a menu that can be customized to suit most dietary needs. It should be noted, though, that while dinners can be
held within The Duniway and even at Jackrabbit, they cannot take place on the rooftop.
DESOTO ROOFTOP TERRACE
720 NW Davis St.
Nearby in this central Portland district is the DeSoto Rooftop Terrace, which can seat as many as 150 people. Catering is orchestrated through The Art of Catering, which builds every event’s menu from scratch. The wooden deck of the DeSoto offers a great aesthetic foundation for any wedding design. Just be sure to prepare for the fact that there is no indoor space on this roof and guests will need to take the elevator down to the bathroom.
517 SW Second St., Corvallis
Should a rooftop wedding beyond Portland be of interest, Vue Corvallis, which is lessthan a two-hour drive from Portland, could be the right fit. With a maximum capacity of 150, this venue can accommodate weddings of most sizes. There is exclusive catering by Forks and Corks Catering, which offers artfully presented meals with fresh ingredients. A double-sided fireplace, LED twinkle lights, and floor-to-ceiling windows help give this place an intimate, bohemian vibe.
TIP: Do remember that an outdoor wedding in an urban setting can come with sounds, weather, and other obstacles you might not expect. From sirens and construction to wind and rain, it’s important that you’re fully aware of what you’re walking into before embracing this type of wedding. “My biggest piece of advice is to keep an open mind and be flexible,” says Charlet.