My husband and I got married at Hoyt Arboretum Stevens Pavilion and I wanted to share our experience to help those thinking about having a wedding at Hoyt Arboretum as well.
Also, it’s already been 4 years (!!) since our wedding! Has anyone found a way to slow down time yet? Asking for a friend.
Hoyt Arboretum Steven’s Pavilion Wedding
Where is Steven’s Pavilion?
Steven’s Pavilion is located within Hoyt Arboretum, the area is about 2 miles from downtown Portland. Hoyt Arboretum is very popular for hiking, so you’ll often see folks in the area.
Here’s a map of the area. As you can see, there’s about 40 parking spaces.
How to reserve Steven’s Pavilion for a wedding
You can book your wedding reservation online, by calling 503-823-2525 or by visiting the Parks & Recreation office in person at 1120 SW 5th Ave.
When booking a wedding at Hoyt Arboretum, you will choose between three areas:
- Stevens Pavilion, also known as the Picnic Shelter (our choice)
- Wedding Meadow
- Redwood Deck
Stevens Pavilion Rental Cost & Details
Our rental included all-day exclusive access to Stevens Pavilion, the small meadow behind the pavilion (where we exchanged vows) and ten picnic tables. Outlets were provided as well.
The cost of renting Stevens Pavilion for one full weekend day (8am to 9pm) is:
- May through October $596
- November through April $300
Upon reservation, you must pay a nonrefundable application fee (around $120) and a refundable deposit of $250.
There’s an optional refundable key deposit of $100 as well. The key deposit provides access to the electrical outlets at Stevens Pavilion. We took advantage of the key deposit because we plugged in string lights. When the key was returned, we received our full refund without any problem.
Stevens Pavilion can host 100 guests and is ADA accessible. A restroom with running water is available just across the street at the visitor’s center.
Atmosphere of Stevens Pavilion
Rustic and cozy. We didn’t take enough photos during our wedding because we didn’t hire a professional photographer (sorry about the iPhone photos!).
With that said, the one adjective our guests used most often was “rustic.”
My mother and aunt decorated the arboretum with vintage lace and white cotton table cloths. If this were a Disney movie, I’d be the nature princess focused on staying within budget. The woodsy feel of Stevens Pavilion fit the bill!
Tip to the wise: Costco’s deals on flowers is hard to beat. Really hard. I paid $250 for flowers and had enough for 12 table bouquets plus bouquets for two bridesmaids and myself.
Wedding Seating at Steven’s Pavilion
We decided to go with white seats for our aesthetic. I’ve seen folks do benches and make that look great as well so whichever you decide will probably be fine.
Our concern with the benches is that the ground is somewhat uneven in the meadow so chairs seemed logistically easier and the white against the green meadow looked nice.
Food catering at Hoyt Arboretum
We opted not to hire a caterer because we wanted to keep things as simple as possible.
In an effort to keep our wedding intimate and low key, we decided to create a large charcuterie board for our guests. And it worked really well for us!
But if you’re more inclined to feed your crew – go for it! Heck, go all out and get a food truck. What’s more Portlandesque than that?
If you plan to hire a caterer or food truck, it’s important to note that onsite sales to guests are prohibited.
Essentially, the host is expected to pay for the caterer and meals. I suggest calling Portland Parks & Recreation if you plan to hire a food truck for all the details!
Serving alcohol at Hoyt Arboretum
We served bottled beer and wine at our wedding. We had to purchase alcohol insurance ($100 through Parks and Recreation). Note: hard alcohol is prohibited at Hoyt Arboretum.
Tip to the wise: We ordered beer through Costco and wine through Trader Joes and felt like absolute pros! Highly, highly recommend.
If you have more than 50 guests in attendance (like we did) you will need to purchase alcohol insurance as well. It’s a painless process!
Parking at Hoyt Arboretum
Our guests had to pay to park during the ceremony and reception. Parking is $2 per hour, $8 max per day.
We weren’t able to reserve parking for guests which was a bummer but it’s a small detail in the grand scheme of things. If you feel so inclined, you can put a family member in charge of paying for parking or something.
Oh! Lest I forget. Parking is limited. A lot of our guests were visiting from out of town and used Uber which worked out very well.
Sound system at Steven’s Pavilion
A lot of folks have reached out asking about the sound system we use. We relied on this portable speaker with microphone. It worked like a charm!
For music, we hired a local cellist and didn’t need any technical equipment. She brought her own sound system, which kept things easy on us.
Would we do it again at Steven’s Pavilion?
Yes, in a heartbeat! We couldn’t have been happier with our wedding at Hoyt Arboretum Stevens Pavilion and would easily re-do it again.
Our wedding felt so right for us, with the rustic beams of the pavilion and the towering redwood trees that shaded us from the noise of the world. It was perfect for these two nature nuts.
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Please let me know if you have any questions about getting married at Hoyt Arboretum, specifically Stevens Pavilion!
From one happily married couple to another, I’m more than happy to help.
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Until next time,