Category Archives: Central Oregon Weddings

Rustic Chic Weddings – What the Hell Does That Mean Anyway

One of the trendiest catch phrases country-style marriages today is “rustic chic weddings,” and it frankly has a lot of people scratching their heads. I thought it would be worth exploring, especially because here in Central Oregon, so many weddings fall under that category and there are an incredible plethora of venues that would be perfect for a couple looking to plan their own ceremony with a splash of rustic chic.

Let’s start with some tangible decorating themes indicative of a rustic chic weddings:

Old Barns


Wildflowers in Mason Jars

Fresh fruit and berries

Antique or western style dresses

Cowboy boots

French Influence

Pink Ribbon

Antique Silver


Lots of wood, sticks and stems

Tea Lights

I think the best way to describe a rustic chic wedding is one that has an element of the outdoors woven throughout, whether this is birch branch candle holders or twig incased signs labeling the dinner options. Textures are natural and organic, sweet and homey. There is homage paid to the days of yore when suspenders and cowboy boots and mason jars were just a way of life. The brides and bridesmaid’s dresses are often antique or vintage and the grooms and groomsmen also add a bit of country-whimsy to their style.

In the summer of 2014, I played the wedding of one of my best friend’s from high school, Annie Dubois in Bozeman, MT at the Big Yellow Barn. This wedding was quintessential rustic chic: big mountains in the distance, wildflowers everywhere, a big old barn with all kinds of noks and crannies… The catering was also done country southern style on the rehearsal dinner night and everyone raved about how it was better than the day of. The songs they picked were also perfect in this setting: “Wildflowers” by Tom Petty, “Annie’s Song” by John Denver (You Fill Up My Senses), and finally “Tennessee Waltz” for the groom and mother’s first dance.

Here are some really cool websites out there to aid in inspiration and ideas:


Rustic Chic Weddings in Central Oregon

If you are looking to plan your wedding with a rustic chic theme here in Oregon, the Central part of the state is where you want to come. The venues in Bend, Sunriver and Sisters mix country charm with class and elegance like no other place in the Oregon. Some other advantages include a very good chance the sun will be shining, and lots of photo opportunities with majestic mountain backdrops of the Three Sisters, Mt. Bachelor, Mt. Jefferson and Three Fingered Jack.

With the exception of a few indoor venues and churches, really all venues in Central Oregon could be considered rustic chic, but here are my top five from my own experiences playing weddings here in Bend and surrounding towns.

Brasada Ranch

The only venue that blatantly markets themselves as “rustic chic” in their copywriting, you can be assured this theme will define your wedding with almost no effort at all. Sweeping views of the Cascade Mountains are almost blindingly gorgeous at sunset. The employees that work there seems infused with some kind of higher cause that they are serving, and their pride in their work comes through in every interaction. This kind of experience is going to cost you, but if you want to go big, a wedding at Brasada Ranch is as good as it gets.



One of the most popular destinations for weddings in all of Oregon, Sunriver has endless accommodations for you and your guests and recreational opportunities are literally right out the front door. The Great Room where wedding parties often choose to have dinner, is the definition of rustic chic: exposed beams of gigantic old growth Oregon trees, magnificent fireplaces, room for 300… what more could you ask for?


Black Butte Ranch

During one particularly elaborate wedding we played at Black Butte Ranch there were actually what appeared to be wild horses running through the meadows in the distance during the recessional. I never did find out if this was a set up, that might give you some idea of what kind of magic lies ahead at Black Butte. Yes, the accommodations may be a bit 80s, but there is a feel to this place that the generations of repeat guests bring to it summer after summer, which makes it feel like an American Classic… like you just stepped onto the set of Dirty Dancing… but in Oregon.



The newest addition to Oregon’s list of rustic chic wedding venues, Tetherow combines world-class golf with ranch-style elegance. It needs to get guenunily roughed up a bit to shed it’s “theme park” like rustic-ness, but this top end venue just minutes from downtown Bend is sure to rise to prominence and it can accommodate many of your guests on location. And if golfing is your family’s sport of choice, the David McLay Kidd course is quite possibly one of the best in Oregon.


Aspen Hall

A rustic check wedding venue for the rest of us. This cozy event hall lies at the northern tip of one of Bend’s most beautiful forest trail systems, Shevlin Park. If you have an active group of guests, this five mile loop could be a fun pre-ceremony walk lasting about and hour and forty-five minutes and showcasing some of the most intimate views of Tumalo Creek in Bend. The inside of the hall it self has a wood burning fireplace, but other than that is nothing to write home about. Aspen Hall’s magic is all about the natural beauty that surrounds, from the cute fishing pond off the back deck, to birch trees that line the walkways and paths around the property. At a little over for $1K a day, this is a by far the best bang for the buck in Central Oregon.

Top Central Oregon Outdoor Wedding Venues

When you are planning your wedding in Central Oregon, it is more than likely that you’ll want to showcase the epic beauty that defines the area. The following Top Central Oregon Outdoor Wedding Venues are places that the Ashlings have recently performed that highlight the natural environment.

Skyliners Lodge near Tumalo Falls

One of my favorite “low-key” wedding venues in Bend, Skyliners lodge is about a fifteen minute drive from down out towards Tumalo Falls. A favorite with recovering raft guides, the backdrop for the ceremony is Tumalo Creek nearby and Tumalo Mountain in the distance. The lodge itself can seat about 100 or more, but ideally dinner would be outside under a tent in a hardened surface to the right of the lodge. The price is right on this one, and although the managers frown on it a bit, having a few friends set up tents in the surrounding woods could be one option for accommodations nearby, as well as three luxurious cabins nearby on Tumalo Lake.

Brasada Ranch

I can’t say enough about this place. You know when you walk into a business and everyone working there seems guenuily happy and well-cared for? This is the vibe here. It is the perfect place for couples who are willing to spend some money to have everything done right. Stunning views of the Cascade Mountains will create a great backdrop for photos, and the well-maintained grounds are just right for outdoor receptions.

Suttle Lake

Suttle Lake is quintessential Oregon at it’s best. Although it is just minutes off Highway 20, it still feels secluded. This is a great choice for those with friends and family in both Bend and Portland as it is in-between the two. These guys are pros at running weddings, and the large lawn overlooking the oval shaped lake looks like it was made for ceremonies and receptions.

Riverhouse on the Deschutes

Who doesn’t want to get married on the banks of the Deschutes River? The ceremony area is on lush green grass overlooking the river surrounded by old growth pine trees and volcanic rock. Then move the reception to one of the patios also overlooking the river or in one of the large conference rooms. There’s plenty of room for the whole family to stay at the resort.

Faith Hope and Charity Vineyards

Named for the Three Sisters Mountains in the distance, the vineyards also offer breathtaking views of Smith Rock. Accenting the perfectly manicured property is a pond and waterfall. A great spot for those looking for elegance and country charm.