Lauren Lesson #1: Give direction to your helpers!

I wanted to share a good lesson with all of you… I saw it in action at two weddings this month and I knew it would make for a great blog post.

Lauren Lesson: Give your helpers clear and direct assignments.

Every wedding has family and friends who want to help you out to make your day easier, but the problem is they say “How can I help??” and then look at you expectingly with wide eyes. On the spot it’s hard to come up with tasks because as the bride, mother of the bride/groom or coordinator you have everything stored in your head and know exactly how it should go.

What I recommend to all of you is to think through your task lists…. who is going to take home the gifts? who is going to take any leftover food and cake? Is the florist coming back for the flowers/vases? Who will take your centerpieces and other décor? Now, who do you trust for these jobs? Some of them are simple and easy, but some of them you have to select trustworthy people ;)

I had a bride recently who was very smart. She had a one pager for all of her helpers that had set-up instructions and clean-up instructions. Every person had their name down with exactly what she wanted them to do, so they all knew their responsibility and had clear instructions. This isn’t a hard thing to do, but it will save you! At the end of the night, your helpers will spring into action and take care of their jobs and clean up goes so smoothly. Everyone wants to move on to the afterparty (or bed) so the quicker clean up is, the better! :D

Another wedding recently was full of family – both sides had large families. What was wonderful to watch was how everyone pitched it almost without being asked. It was a large 200 person wedding and we had to do a chair shuffle between ceremony and reception and I had brothers/uncles/cousins helping me move chairs. About 50 chairs were moved in about 15 minutes thanks to those people. My arms were very grateful! This wedding was the same night as the Starlight Parade, and at the end of the night all these same great people helped get the décor to the cars in the parking lot on Salmon and maneuvered through the parade crowds so that the bride and groom could head off into the sunset.

So to recap, tell people specifically what you need from them and give clear instructions. Plan ahead and you’ll be thanksful!!

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Portland welcomed!

This week we welcomed our friends at to Portland for a party with all of our industry professionals. It was so nice to spend an evening with all the people we work with, but hardly get to socialize with!

Take a look at some of these pictures taken by Atelier Pictures. Aren’t they beautiful!? We had some great vendors helping out, so please check them out… maybe even use them at your wedding! ;) Visiting Media shot a TrueTour™ of the West End all dressed up and I can’t wait to show it to you all!


The wonderful event vendors:

Bar - My Bartender

Caterering - Eat Your Heart Out
Caterering - Divine Catering
Caterering - Elephants

Cheesecakes - Food Lush

Coordination - Sweet Dreams Weddings & Events

DJ - Paradox Productions

Florist – Botanica Floral Design

Lighting - Greenlight Creative

Linen Rentals – Barclay Event Rentals

Musician – John Ross Music

Photography/Videography – Atelier Pictures

Venue – West End Ballroom

Visiting Media

Wedding Network USA


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Stefanie and Marcel

I remember giving the initial tour for Stefanie back in September because the weather was still nice and she showed me her Batman/Superman tattoo on her shoulder, and I remember that Marcel loves his orange soda! It’s funny the little things we remember about people :)

Their day went so smoothly…courtesy of the lovely Jessica at Bash! Events NW, the always on top of things Premiere Catering, the oh so talented Greenlight Creative, the master of ceremonies Memories of Muzic, the quick shot pros at Powers Photography Studios and the delicious Bake Me Happy. A great team of wedding professionals like this can take the stress and risk out of your day.

I love how they pulled off the Batman theme in such a way that it was never campy or over the top. They carefully incorporated the colors, symbols and music (!) in a way that felt very natural.

I’ve already shared a few pictures from this wedding on Facebook, but check out Powers’ blog for more! Here are a few of my favorites…I think the black and white room shot will be our next Facebook cover photo :D

13-0519maddox-001 13-0519maddox-002  13-0519maddox-004 13-0519maddox-006  13-0519maddox-008 13-0519maddox-009 13-0519maddox-010 13-0519maddox-012  13-0519maddox-014 13-0519maddox-016 13-0519maddox-017 13-0519maddox-019  13-0519maddox-021 13-0519maddox-022 13-0519maddox-023 13-0519maddox-025 13-0519maddox-026 13-0519maddox-027 13-0519maddox-029 13-0519maddox-030 13-0519maddox-031   13-0519maddox-034 13-0519maddox-038  


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Welcome back to our blog

I’ve been a bad, bad blogger. I’ve been careless with this delicate technology…

To keep it simple – blogging is not one of my favorite things to do, but I know it’s SO helpful for everyone! I read blogs daily, so I understand how useful they are, great resources for planning and inspiration.

I’m going to work hard to bring you some useful information, maybe some interviews with vendors, real weddings here at the West End and things I find amusing [but still wedding related ;) ]

For today we’ll just start with the cutest toast – I’ve seen this one many times, but I can still get teary by the end. There’s something wonderful about best friends. #bestiesfortheresties #amirite

Best Wedding Toast

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Did you know? The West End now has a Photo Booth!

We are very excited to announce our newest addition to the venue!

The ballroom now has a photo booth on site and we are offering photo booth services to our clients via Flashionista Photo (a great partner of ours)!

Call for details!


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Mallory & Tyler!

Mallory & Tyler are amazing people and had an amazing wedding day! We can’t wait to see all of the images from their special day – but you can see a little sneak peek on the Powers Photography Blog. Be sure to check back here soon for more photos! Congratulations to Mallory & Tyler!


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A Virtual Tour of the Grand Ballrom

We are working on setting up a new virtual tour of our building.  See what we’ve got done so far below!

Click on this link to view the pano tours:


Here are a few others from the building!





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Calin & Trevor {Engagement Session}

We are very excited for Calin & Trevor’s upcoming wedding in 2013! Recently, they went up to Mt Hood with our partners at Powers Photography for a super cute engagement shoot, and even included their pup-pal, Turbo!

See more images from their session by clicking here!

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Alex & Carolyn {Engagement Session}

Alex & Carolyn are getting married this August at the West End.
Our partners at Powers Photography Studios took them out for some fun shots in Lake Oswego
during a rare but much appreciated rain-free afternoon.
We love all the bright colors on this shoot!
Congratulations on to Alex & Carolyn on their engagement!

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