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Elisabeth Kramer: Wedding Venue Review

Excerpted from the original post on Elisabeth Kramer’s wedding consultant website.

There’s a new event and wedding venue in northeast Portland, Oregon, and its main differentiator? It’s all about that professional-grade audio and visual.

An events space created and owned by a local A/V rental company, AVENUE bills itself as an “AV-forward event space” that’s invested in the kind of tech needed to pull off a concert-level event. But is that a good fit for your wedding?

Here’s my take as a professional wedding planner.

The pros

  • The sky’s the limit when it comes to A/V
  • Nicely appointed kitchen
  • Central location in downtown Portland
  • One of the biggest spaces in the area
  • When I asked the AVENUE team to describe the ideal client for the space, the most commonly used word was “creative.” I agree. If you’re going to shell out for this space, you might as well make use of all the bells and whistles they offer in terms of audio and visual because, really, that part can’t be beat.

What does “make use” mean here? Personally, if I booked an event at AVENUE, I’d take advantage of every screen and light I could.

This would mean using the projection wall in the main ballroom, playing up all of the included uplights and stage lighting, likely taking advantage of the “story wall” (a fleet of 16 TVs on the east wall of the ballroom where you can put a static logo or, potentially, run a photo or video slideshow), and watching the activities on the ballroom floor from your hiding place in the getting-ready room (yes, you can actually do this and yes, it is a little creepy to think of spying on your guests and vendors mid-wedding).

I would also budget to do even more cool audio and video things because this place is run by The AV Department, which has done more than 800 virtual and hybrid events since 2020.

That could potentially mean hiring the AVENUE team to livestream the event, design me a custom backdrop for the projection wall, share photo booth pictures in real-time during the wedding (a $1,500 to $2,000 fee in addition to whatever the photo booth might cost), and/or make use of the “robotic” and “mobile” cameras that are in stock but not part of the standard package.

The result: At AVENUE, you could easily have a venue bill that’s north of $10K. That’s a lot of money, even when we’re talking about wedding venues in downtown Portland. For easy reference, many downtown venues cost $3,500 to $5,000 for 10 to 12 hours. Why the difference? I imagine AVENUE is charging a premium for the size, location, and, of course, tech abilities of the space.

Beyond the A/V capabilities, AVENUE has a very nice kitchen that includes four ovens, four hotboxes, and a fridge with freezer. It’s what’s known as a “stage-only” kitchen, which means catering has to bring pre-cooked food to heat up on-site. That’s not rare for wedding and events venues but something to note and to share with a caterer.

Lastly, if you want a wedding in downtown Portland, the location is hard to beat (it’s right next to the Convention Center). AVENUE also isn’t wrong when they market themselves as “one of the largest non-hotel venues in Portland.” To my knowledge, when it comes to venues that do weddings, that 350- to 500-person capacity can only be rivaled by places like the Portland Art Museum.

The bottom line

At AVENUE, you’re going to get the most bang for your buck if you love to geek out on tech things or have the budget to let seasoned professionals geek out on your behalf.

Because that’s what you’re paying for here: Top-notch equipment and an even more top-notch team who actually knows how to use it.

So if want to bring your personal Eras Tour dreams to life on your wedding day, book a tour at AVENUE. Taylor Swift not included.

Excerpted from the original post on Elisabeth Kramer’s wedding consultant website.