Kennedy School Weddings

Kennedy School Weddings

Are you looking for a wedding venue in Portland that allows your guests to stay on site, has multiple bars, restaurants, a soaking pool, and whimsical, quirky decor? The Kennedy School might be the perfect fit for you then!

The Kennedy School is perfect for couples who don’t take themselves too seriously and want a lighthearted wedding venue with lots of unique character, yummy food, and a relaxed vibe.

The Kennedy School is also great for couples who want an all-in-one wedding weekend. You and your guests can stay there, eat there, drink there, and of course, host your wedding there. McMenamins does it all so you can chill and focus on spending quality time with each other and with the people you love.

This post is to help you learn more about Kennedy School weddings, and see example images from recent weddings that I have photographed there! Have questions? Feel free to check out my Portland wedding venue guide, or contact me!



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Kennedy School Location

Kennedy School is located in Northeast Portland at NE 33rd and Jessup in the Concordia neighborhood. You can view it on Google Maps here.. The school is surrounded by lush landscaping and a beautiful neighborhood. Kennedy School is about 10 minutes west of Portland International Airport, and about 10 minutes northeast of Downtown.

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About Kennedy School

Kennedy School is a historic property. “The Kennedy School’s origins date to 1913, when John Daniel Kennedy sold a four-acre parcel of his “gentleman’s farm” to the Portland School District for a new elementary school,” says the Kennedy School Brochure. “Kennedy removed his barn, hen house and orchard to make room for the small, portable school buildings initially set up on the site. Construction of the present Italian Renaisance-style building was completed in 1915.”

“Over the decades, the school and surrounding neighborhood developed together. Initially, the school stood just nine blocks from the city limits and was enveloped by towering Douglas firs, dairy farms and orchards. In those days, city dwellers visited the area for weekend country retreats, and teachers came to work by street car. In time, as new shops and services were established, residents found relatively few reasons to go downtown. Today, even with the advent of recent transportation and commercial developments in Portland, the community retains a close-knit feel, making a most welcoming environment for guests of McMenamins Kennedy School.”

One of my clients said it best when I asked why she chose the venue for her son’s wedding:

“My favorite part about the venue was definitely the fact that we could all stay in one place and all the events were all there. No one had to get in a car all weekend if they didn’t want to. Our guests loved all the history of the Kennedy School. It’s character and distinctiveness were praised by everyone.”

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Kennedy School wedding venues

The Kennedy School has a whole bunch of rooms available to rent for events. You can read all about the different rooms here. However, most people getting married here end up renting the Gymnasium and the courtyard.

The Gymnasium

The Kennedy School Gymnasium is exactly that - an old gym! It’s now carpeted and covered with quirky art and paintings, with beautiful star-shaped chandeliers for added playfulness. There are tall ceilings and big windows located up high, allowing natural light in during the day. It’s not your average gym. The room is 40x60 and holds 112 guests for a buffet, or 160 for a reception.

The Gymnasium Courtyard

This beautiful courtyard is surrounded by lush greenery and plants, and it is a stunning place for a wedding ceremony, group photos, or a cocktail hour! Many people will rent out the courtyard for the ceremony and host their reception in the gym. If it’s raining, you may need to rent your own tent to keep your guests dry. You can see an example of a tented ceremony in the photos below.

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Kennedy School photo locations

There are a number of photo locations around Kennedy School that work great for group pictures and couples portraits. My top favorites are:

  • The front of the school. There is a nice lawn, some shaded trees, and the front of the school is really pretty too.
  • The courtyard.
  • The south side of the building. It’s easy to access this side from the courtyard during sunset to get some golden light filtering through the neighborhood greenery
  • The gym. If it’s raining, the gym is a great backup option for group photos.

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Staying at Kennedy School

Kennedy school has 57 guests rooms that include private baths, phones and free wifi. The guest rooms are old classrooms, which is so unique and fun for people to stay in! One note - they don’t have TVs, so just be aware of that if your guests are TV people.

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Getting Ready at Kennedy School

“The couple should request room 118. It is large, has a door that opens directly into the courtyard, and has big beautiful windows which looked gorgeous in the photos of the bride as she got ready,” said my past client Kelly.

That said, many of the rooms at Kennedy School have nice light, and its very easy to get ready there right before your wedding! Everything in one place makes things simple for everyone.

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Kennedy School Food

“The School provided a complete catering service including all the linens, tables, chairs,” said my past client Kelly. “I felt it was a good value compared to other vendors we met with.”

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More Kennedy School wedding photos

If you want to see more examples of Kennedy School wedding photos, here are a few more of my favorites!

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Learn more

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