Transforming an Outdoor Living Space into the Perfect Wedding Venue

January 03, 2023

Hillsboro Outdoor Wedding Venue Makeover: Form, Function, Elegance – Success

As far as outdoor wedding venues are concerned- the decorations, the reception areas, and of course the perfect place for the ceremony- are the biggest factors in your decision-making process. Landscape East & West took all of these factors into account during a 2018 project in Hillsboro where the clients were preparing to host their grandchild’s wedding. Long before guests were searching for what to wear to an outdoor wedding (cocktail and black tie are the most common for the summer), Landscape East & West was tasked with converting the client’s outdoor space into an elegant and functional venue for the big event.

The first step the client did right was to contact us well in advance to be sure everything would be ready in time. If transforming a yard or outdoor space, it’s best to plan at least 6-9 months in advance, especially for weddings. In this case, the Landscape East & West team even finished the project a full year before the wedding, giving them plenty of extra time to enjoy their new space before it served as the perfect backdrop for their grandkid’s big day.

Project Challenges and Features, and Creative Wedding Decoration Spaces:

Every outdoor landscaping project is unique and requires custom solutions. The expert team at Landscape East & West knows exactly how to assess and prioritize so each part of the process is completed in the right order to ensure a successful end result. With this project, the site was in a poor state and in need of extensive renovations. It was clear that simply adding common outdoor wedding decorations wouldn’t cut it!

Drainage was the first issue the team needed to address, and careful planning was key. French drains were added along pathways and a catch basin was added to collect water from the patio. French drains are perfect for wedding venues because the drainage pipe is buried in a trench, and the trench can be filled with stylish stone that looks like a normal part of the space’s elegant design. One hill was eroding and desperately needed to be shored up. Lastly, a drip irrigation system was installed. To save money, our landscaping team always tries to make use of clients’ existing materials whenever possible. We do this while expertly crafting outdoor wedding ideas on a budget so that the venue still maintains a certain level of class while staying on the budget plan.

The retaining walls needed to be upgraded, so we added a basalt ledgestone to support the structurally sound existing concrete walls.

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After Photo:

Patio and Path Upgrades Fit for Wedding Guests

The patio was completely rebuilt. It was originally laid with step pavers and outdated wood steps. We broke up the old patio into blocks, which were used to help halt the hillside erosion mentioned earlier. We constructed the patio with poured concrete featuring patterned stone—in this case, variegated bluestone that we set in a deliberately random pattern. The path was pre-existing, but we reset the stone into a charming pattern, again, reusing materials that the client already had.

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A Modern Outdoor Kitchen with Covered Structure

A main attraction of the design, the covered structure was built to match the architectural style of the home. Our design featured concrete roof tiles on the upper section, with the rest constructed of cedar. Recessed lighting brings out the warm tones in the beams. The stairs to the upper patio were re-positioned to sit into the wall rather than protrude, preventing a safety hazard that would take up too much room. The BBQ island was also set into the wall to save space. The grill makes use of propane from an onsite tank, and also featured a custom-built gas-burning fireplace. This covered structure also provided a perfect opportunity for creative wedding decorations to be added for the ceremony, such as string lights and floral arrangements. Landscape East & West worked with the client to build elements such as this covered structure with an outdoor wedding ceremony in mind, but we also designed the build in such a way that after decorations were removed the entire project remained functional year-round and for years to come. 

Upgrading an Outdoor Living Space Using Existing Materials

Landscape East & West worked with the client during all phases of the project to make good use of existing, onsite materials. By using materials that were readily available, we were able to save the client a good deal of money. In addition to reusing the old patio to help control the hillside erosion, the path to the forest also featured the use of reclaimed materials. Reclaimed materials and forest paths created a strong sense of celebration and pleasant ambiance, the perfect setting for the inauguration of a lifelong union. The use of reclaimed and existing materials allowed the grandparents to add more flair for the big day while they researched at-home wedding ideas on a budget.

A Typical Timeline for Designing and Building an Outdoor Landscaping Project

The design and build were planned and completed a full year before the wedding event. When hosting important soirées, it’s always a good idea to plan ahead so that we can do a better job of assisting you, and avoid the hassle of last-minute complications.

The Perfect Wedding Plan and Garden Design

The garden design was completed by Adriana Berry of Plant Passion Design. Adriana is an incredibly talented designer, and we are always thrilled to work with her and her company. She created the entire design with the exception of the BBQ island and structure, which we collaborated on. Adriana understands landscaping design on so many levels, including how to plan a landscape for an outdoor wedding on a tight budget. Typically the layout for the stonework is drawn on paper by our landscaping team, and the client is able to help pick sizes and colors of the stone used. It’s a fun and creative way to design!

Thinking of Upgrading Your Yard with a Modern Touch Worthy of a Wedding?

We love making your design/build dreams a reality. From hardscaping to event location design to erosion prevention features, Landscape East & West is ready to help you create the outdoor living area you’ve always wanted. Call us at (503) 256-5302 and let’s get started on your project today!