World Forestry Center
Stunningly located within Portland’s Washington Park, World Forestry Center hosts groups of up to 500 – offering couples the chance to tie the knot in enchanting woodland surroundings.
Since its foundation in 1966, World Forestry Center has championed sustainable forestry. It is a non-profit organization – so you can rest assured that your wedding fees are being pumped back into the ecosystem; feeding the forest and helping trees grow. Pretty cool, right?
That’s just the start. Set two miles west of downtown Portland, Washington Park is a 410-acre urban oasis bejewelled by dazzling flowers and shaded by tall trees. Nestled deep in the forest, you’ll find World Forestry Center, whose alluring spaces benefit no end from their verdant environment.
Many couples opt for Miller Hall – an imposing, pavilion-style space with 72-foot vaulted ceilings and 4,800 square feet of floor space. A polished stone floor, wood panelling and impressive beams bring elements of the outside in – while the attached patio and lawn ensure that your guests can enjoy the great outdoors.
That said, those in search of outdoor space may prefer the Central Plaza, which offers 10,000 square feet of floor space, and comes with a 40’ x 80’ tent (May – October only). You can dine and dance under the stars – and you’ll get Cheatham Hall included; a stylish pavilion with standing space for 250.
For a cocktail hour with a difference, why not head over to the Discovery Museum? Guests can enjoy a drink or two while interacting with the exhibits; Fountain Hall’s expansive windows, overlooking the forest, will take your breath away.
Of course, World Forestry Centre has all the conveniences you’d expect from a modern event centre, taking much of the stress out of your special day. And with an impressive list of catering partners – including ChefStable, Tamale Boy and Elephant’s Delicatessan – World Forestry Center promises wedding banquets to suit every taste.
Getting ready rooms:
Both Miller Hall and Cheatham Hall have private client lounges, which can be used as getting ready rooms. However, many couples prefer to get ready off-site, using the studio for touch-ups and hiding the bride prior to the ceremony.
Hosting your wedding at World Forestry Center gives your guests a chance to get to know Portland – this unique, characterful city will keep them entertained the length of their stay.
Why not start with the venue itself? Washington Park has so much to explore – whether it’s the Japanese Garden, the Hoyt Arbetorum or Oregon Zoo.
The nearby Pearl District has plenty on offer too. Blue Sky is a favourite with photography aficionados, though the puerile might prefer the Freakybuttrue Peculiarium – a bizarre and brilliant day out you won’t forget in a hurry.
Mediterranean Exploration Company offers stunning daily menus with European and Middle Eastern inspiration; if you’d rather keep it simple, Backwoods Brewing Company’s Pearl outpost offers 18 taps, juicy burgers and all manner of bar bites.
There are a few parking spaces reserved for each event space, as well as some metered parking within Washington Park, but space is fairly limited. Guests may prefer to travel by MAX Light Rail, which conveniently stops right outside the World Forestry Center campus.
- Indoor & Outdoor Space
World Forestry Center does not have rooms on-site, but its proximity to downtown Portland means your guests won’t be short of places to stay.
The elegant The Nines (rooms from $265) is a firm local favorite; Hotel deLuxe (from $120) has a charming art-deco feel while Kimpton RiverPlace (from $185) is a cozy little hideaway on the banks of the Willamette.
The Hoyt Arboretum, a botanical garden and tree museum within Washington Park, offers ideal opportunities for outdoor portraits – both on the Redwood Deck and from the hilltop overlooking the park. With wide windows opening out onto woodland, Fountain Hall offers a handsome alternative.
With indoor venue options, World Forestry Center is available all year round – but is especially enchanting in fall and springtime, when the forest really comes to life.