Translated, Lan Su Chinese Garden means ‘Garden of Awakening Orchids’. Changing with the seasons, their lush gardens are simply breathtaking. Winding pathways, a graceful pond (and occasional fowl), pavilions and outdoor patios create a stunning backdrop for weddings and other special events. Another advantage: it’s impossible to take a bad picture in such paradise so you’ll have plenty of mementos of your celebration.
Not only is Lan Su a city landmark, it truly is a one-of-a-kind venue. Lovingly constructed with traditional materials and practices by Chinese artisans, Lan Su is the most authentic Chinese garden outside of China. In comparison, ballrooms seem boring. So why not get hitched in a venue as unique as you are?
Heart of the City
Lan Su provides that delicate balance of urban and landscape. The Garden is located in the middle of downtown Portland. Towering modern buildings colored by the setting sun remind you that the bustling city is just beyond the protective walls. Lan Su is easily accessible from many of Portland’s top hotels, making it a convenient choice for out-of-town guests.
Lan Su was built following a 2,000-year-old tradition melding art, philosophy and nature. It is a sanctuary that encourages both literal and figurative reflection. ‘Lake Zither’ reflects the garden’s bounty, the architecture and the city’s tall buildings. Couples can easily find a private moment in one of Lan Su’s many pavilions or peaceful nooks to meditate on their love, their past, and their future together — a spiritual blessing as they embark on one of life’s most rewarding and challenging journeys.
The Garden’s innate beauty requires little extra adornment to ‘dress’ it for weddings and events. Rich details like the scrolling on a pavilion, moss-covered stones, peonies in bloom, and a cascading waterfall create all the mood you need. One essential extra, however, is lanterns for evening events in the courtyards and patios. Lanterns are affordable lighting options that complement Lan Su’s ambiance and offer pops of color.
Designed to change with the seasons, the Garden is beautiful year round. Although an outdoor venue, 70% is covered and further areas can be tented. Of course, party size and other event features will have to be considered when renting during cooler months, but Lan Su is available for weddings and special events any any time of the year.
catering & planning support
Vibrant Table is honored to be an exclusive caterer at Lan Su Chinese Garden. Voted ‘Best Caterer’ seven times (Oregon Bride Magazine 2006-2010, 2012, 2013), we help you personalize your menu, create an event plan, manage vendors and rentals. Our services include tailored menus, event planning*, floral and decor. On the day-of, an onsite Event Manager is there from start to finish. In short, you’ll have a team of event professionals to ensure your wedding runs seamlessly — allowing you to focus on what matters.
*Although Vibrant Table provides event planning, we do not offer wedding coordination. We work with many amazing local wedding coordinators and will gladly provide references upon request.
Things to Know
For good measure, we’ve added ‘Things to Know’ when renting Lan Su Chinese Garden for weddings and special events because eight is the luckiest number in China. Firstly, Lan Su is a popular tourist destination and can be rented for private events only after public operating hours. That means a modest start time of 7:00 p.m. during the summer months. Secondly, expect to rent all event equipment, including reception tables and chairs, and expect increased delivery charges as equipment needs to be hand carried over the delicate stone and tiled. Lastly, alcohol selections are limited to white wine, champagne, and sake cocktails — or saketinis — because red wine and liquor can cause irreparable damage to the Garden. Similarly, only acrylic or plastic serviceware can be used.
THE GOOD NEWS: Vibrant Table has catered hundreds of events at Lan Su and we will help you maneuver these conditions and realize your vision. For example, there are countless saketini recipes to provide festive options for the cocktail inclined. Likewise, there are so many elegant and creative alternatives to glassware you won’t even miss it.
To Learn More about Lan Su
- Visit Lan Su’s website
- Email their Site Manager for a tour
- Download a map showing capacities by pavilion
Photo Shout Out
Vibrant Table is indebted to the photographers who share their work. A huge thank you to these Portland photographers whose images in this post show you just how beautiful Lan Su is: Evrim Icoz Photography (image 1, 4-right, 8-right), Jessica Hill Photography (header image, 2-left, 6-left, 8-left), Peter Noebels Photography (2-right), Benjamin DiCaprio (3-right), One Bloom Photography (4-left), Derrek Becker Designs (6-right), and Sara Gray (7).