Balch Hotel
40 South Heimrich Street
Dufur, OR, 97021, USA
(541) 467-2277

Wedding & Event Planning Tips

Wedding & Event Planning Tips Fun Blog!

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I‘ve come across a blog I think I’m in love with.

Christina Safford, planner and head designer of Muse, an event planning company, writes the blogs and I’ve found them to be helpful for my brides and even my own party planning!

Her last blog on December 27th about the top 10 wedding trends for 2013 is super fun! It gives me all kinds of fun ideas and helps me to get even more excited about the different styles we might see at our Balch weddings in 2013.

Enjoy reading!

Bridal Tips from Columbia Laser Skin Center!

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Wedding Venue…..check

We know this list is only a tiny representation of what is on a Bride’s To Do list. As skincare experts we have seen over the years of working with brides that they put themselves (and their skin) last on the list – if at all.

We see it every year, a panic-stricken bride a week before her big day desperate for picture perfect skin. Yes, makeup can camouflage a lot. However, our philosophy is to start with healthy, radiant skin so that the makeup enhances your natural beauty rather than cover up what you are trying to hide.

Picture perfect skin should start a year before your wedding. To help our brides we, at Columbia Laser Skin Center, have created a time line to get you ready for your big day. (This time line is also perfect for the Mother of the Bride who may be experiencing some angst over having to face an ex-husband’s new partner at the up-coming wedding. Even though we know the Mother of the Bride is focused on graciously supporting her daughter during the planning process and on the big day, let’s be honest – mom wants to look smokin’!)

Six-twelve months before the wedding:

Complimentary consultation with skin care specialist.

Begin Treatments For: • Acne • Rosacea • Sun damaged skin • Excess brown pigment (melasma, sun & age spots) • Laser hair removal • Skin tightening procedures (Titan)

Four months before the wedding:

First Botox treatment to relax those fine lines and wrinkles

Laser facial and leg vein treatments

Begin Latisse treatment for longer, darker & thicker lashes

Two-Three Months Before The Wedding:

Juvederm: fills deep lines & wrinkles; enhances lip volume; corrects under eye circles

Begin series of 6 facials (includes microdermabrasion & chemical peels)

Brow wax, shape and tint

One Month Before The Wedding:

Pre-wedding Botox treatment

Two Weeks Before The Wedding:

Pre-wedding facial

Three- Four Days Before The Wedding:

Book final waxing and/or tint appointment

Massage and body polish

One-Two Days Before The Wedding:

NovaLash Lash Extensions

Mystic Spray-On Tan

Day After Your Wedding:

Relaxing couples massage for the Bride & Groom at the Balch!

Columbia Laser Skin Center is one of our fantastic local businesses that love serving your needs. Happy Planning!

Wedding Photography Style

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I just marvel at the creativity of wedding photographers. I mean, how many different ways are there to photograph your rings or your bouquet? It’s obvious that I am in the right part of the wedding scene because a photographer can easily show me the answer.

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I couldn’t resist posting the different ways that Bryan Rupp captured Alison’s bouquet on film. It’s difficult for me to choose a favorite. How about you?

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December 8th Special


There are SO many fun things happening this Saturday in Dufur! Home Town Christmas will be in full swing. HTC and the Threshing Bee are Dufur’s two signature events and you don’t want to miss out. I’m sure you have holiday parties and gift giving you need to do this season. The Bazaar, open from 9-3, is the perfect place to purchase home made jellies, jams, ornaments, and other unique treasures that are sure to be a hit.

I could re-list all the events but if you just click this link to the Chamber of Commerce’s site, you can see the complete billing.

One of my most favorite things is the Lighted Tractor Parade. Oh I am a sucker for a good parade! Too bad it’s at night so tossing candy is moot. I’ll just fill my own pockets and pretend. Here is a fun video to get you in the mood. (-:

To top off the evening’s festivities, we’ll be having live music and a wonderful Supper Club dinner by our own Jamie Snell, owner of the Lamb’s Table catering! Enjoy this tantalizing menu.

Room specials for this Saturday:
ANY room – 20% with your Balch dinner reservation!

Other dinner plans? You can still receive 10% off any room.

Call us right away!
Dinner reservations must be made in advance.
Let the merriment begin!

December 8th Supper Club

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Gladness and Joy
December 8th Supper Club
Jamie has whipped up another fabulous dinner just for the celebration of Home Town Christmas! We love getting to enjoy the fruits of her labor and creativity.

First Course:
Dungeness crab, shrimp and scallop cocktail with cherry tomato, horseradish, tangerine and cilantro. It’s served with Quicke’s mature cheddar cheese and spicy chile crackers. Whew!

The Main Event:
Chicken and green chile tamales with chile rice, cucumber slaw and guacamole.

Finishing Touch:
Coconut Flan

$30 p.p. + Gratuity

Complimentary wine tasting prior to dinner.
Dinnertime will be approximately 5:30 or 6:00ish. Dinnertime is somewhat contingent on what time the lighted tractor parade ends. Can’t miss that!!

Call us for reservations. Only one seating. 541.467.2277

NYE 2012

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Join us for our third annual New Years Eve celebration! If you’re looking for a magical memorable NYE event look no further. It is an absolute blast.

Jamie Snell, owner of the Lamb’s Table, has already got me pining over this menu.

Appetizers 6:00-7:00
Triple Cream French Brie, Raisin Rosemary Crackers

Grapes Rolled in Rogue Oregon Blue Vein Cheese with Toasted Hazelnuts

Smoked Duck Skewers with Honey and Salt

Four Course Dinner 7:00-9ish
Curried Red Lentil and Carrot Soup

Arugula, Orange, Satsuma and Grapefruit Salad with Kalamata Olives, Feta and Shallot Vinaigrette

Moroccan Lamb Kabobs with Cilantro-Apple Slaw and Saffron Rice

Mango Panna Cotta to finish it off right!

Storytelling 9:30-midnight

This year’s theme for your story is “Firsts“. Have you listened to the Moth radio on NPR or Storycorps? Storytellers have practiced and tell a very well crafted story. Last year one of our guests practiced many times for her Toastmasters group. The bar has been set. (-:

Stories may be up to 5 minutes in length. No notes. No do-overs! We’ll record your great story so be sure to practice, practice, PRACTICE! We’ll have 36 Guests and we can have about 10 story tellers in the bunch. The rest of us will be rapt listeners. There will be a prize for the best story told!

Complimentary Champagne Toast with Creamy Wild Mushroom and Garlic Toasts!

45- p.p. + grat.

We have beer and wine for you here at the Balch! We carry some great local varieties from the Pines and Maryhill. We’ll have some complimentary wine tasting during hors d’oeuvres.

Corkage Fees apply – $10 per bottle for wine (limit one bottle) $5 per six pack beer (limit one six pack)

Guest seating is limited to 36 so call to get your reservations today! 541-467-2277

Winter Solstice Yoga Retreat December 21st



Sybil Nance, owner of Sukha Yoga Retreats, is hosting her 6th annual winter Solstice Yoga retreat this year with us at the Balch Hotel

The winter Solstice is the darkest day of the year and it is symbolically a time of transition from the end of one year and beginning of the next. We’ll let go of the darkness of last year and welcome in the light as the days begin to lengthen. We have exclusive private use of the hotel for our retreat!


Friday late afternoon/evening Yoga class and Fire Pit Ceremony aprox. 5pm-7pm
Light meal of hearty soup, bread and salad (additions fee of $12 to be paid that evening)
Saturday’s morning yoga class is from 8am-10am
Followed with a warm breakfast to fill our bellies, and send us on our way renewed for the new year!
Please join this spirited group of women who gather each year with laughter, friendship and ceremony.

Fee includes retreat, accommodations, and breakfast! – $150

To Register:

Contact Sybil at either 541-490-6082 or or the Balch Hotel at 541-467-2277.

There are only 5 more spaces so call today!

Sneaking Out of Work (Jeff)

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As summer is rapidly becoming only a memory, when the weather looks good, I go looking to sneak away from work. Monday Nov. 5th was one of those days. I only had about 4 hours that I could get away, so I went on familiar roads but even those are fun on this bike! (a Kawasaki Concours C14). These roads are fun on any bike. The wide open big sky areas similar to Montana, and the areas of great twisty corners that will keep even the most sport-bike enthusiast happy.

Here’s the google map link for the route.

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72 degrees = a good place to start. One of the nicest things about living “on the East Side” is the additional days of sunshine and warmer temps. This makes it possible to squeeze a few more comfortable riding days in each year.

Before I even made it out of town I had to do a quick stop just to enjoy some contrast in the fall colors. I think the red, yellow, orange and green leaves compliment the color of the bike nicely.

I like the capabilities of my iPhone, however this picture really required a Canon 5D Mark II. My phone camera does this shot no justice…oh well, looks like I’ll just have to come back and do it again…drats!

Next several shots are of the Cove Palisades overlooks. The river is the Metolius which is a tributary of the Deschutes. It must be 200-300 ft. down to the river. You could easily step right off the overlooks, that’s part of what makes them so breathtaking!

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Last shot is of the very popular Metolius Laundry. Not sure why I even took this. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Possibly you may need to stop here if you got too close to the overlooks and scared yourself a bit?

Next spring my wife and I would love to host some RTE (ride to eat) and RTS (ride to stay) events at the Balch. I’ll be enlisting the help of some of the local (dare I say old timers?) riders to map out several rides that can be enjoyed while in our area. As well as put together some food options for a BBQ and or dinners as well as our traditional Balch Breakfasts.

Please stay tuned to this site and I’ll be posting an updated blog post sometime in the very early spring when we can solidify the date(s).



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November Special

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Relax, slow down, and take a moment for yourself this busy November. For our valued customers we are putting together a special to thank you and to help you connect with the ones you love during November. In light of recent life events of my own I’ve realized that now, not later, is the right time to take time out and connect with your loved ones. Do you and your sweetheart need a couple days away? How about a fun experience with your sister, mother, aunt, or close friend? We’ve designed this package with you in mind.

Here’s your deal!

• You receive two nights stay in our Traditional room at the Balch (can upgrade to private bath if you like). Of course breakfast, homemade malt hot chocolate, and chocolate chip cookies are included! Book Tue-Saturday nights now through December 1st. ($190 value)

• A bottle of Maryhill Winemakers Red: This is a popular wine enjoyed by many of our guests. “The aromas hearken to its predecessor with Caramel, a bit of dark berry and cherry and a hint of smoke and lilac. On the palate a medium to light acidity comes through as cranberry to compliment the caramel, coffee and bits of chocolate” ($24 value). If you don’t drink wine you’ve got your holiday party hostess gift!

• Two tickets to the new Reserve Room at Maryhill: Taste a selection of wine in our newly opened Reserve Room, featuring library wines, distinctive single vineyard wines, gorgeous views and a refurbished antique tasting bar. This special room is not just open to everyone! You have to be a wine club member, purchase an entry ticket, or have gotten this deal from the Balch ($40 value)

Be the Gift Table Game: Jeff and I love taking these cards out during road trips or dinner at home. They get our conversation beyond work and into each other’s thoughts! How many times do you sit down to dinner with family and or friends and the conversation is about work, gossip, or something non-productive? These table game cards get you thinking outside the box again and it’s GREAT! ($18 value)

Total retail value for this package: $276.

Special for our guests: $138

That’s ½ off!! We’re only open two more weekends in November for the season so get your get-a-way in before the holiday onslaught!

See you at the Balch. We’re looking forward to treating you right.

Guest List Woes & Wisdom

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Here’s what my older and wiser self would have said to Jeff and I during our making of our wedding guest list 12 years ago:

My oh my!! It’s an exciting time! Seems like everyone and their dog notices that shiny new ring on the finger and asks about the wedding date. Of course you’re so excited you say the date (this is OK!). However, thus ensues an awkward moment when you’re not sure if these people asking about the date are expecting to be invited. . . what if they weren’t on your list? Oh my. You don’t want to squelch your exuberance and excitement. You. Don’t. Have To!

Yes, there will be some awkward moments but just smile and keep on glowing. It’s a special time for you!

Your guest list. Ugh! It’s WAY too big! Between you, Jeff, your parents, and Jeff’s folks that list has gotten a bit out of hand. Besides you have a limit of 125 people that will fit into your chosen reception area. Par it down baby! Here’s my advice when seeing if people will make the cut.

Be sure to give some seats to your parents to invite their life long friends. Even if you don’t know or hang out with them there are probably some friends of your parents that have been with them through thick and thin. Maybe they saw you born, you and their kids grew up together, possibly they play bridge with your folks. Monumental life celebrations like weddings are what help to create memories that bind these people together even better. That’s important.

You’re having trouble deciding if you should give an open invitation to your new church and work? Think LONG TERM. Do you socialize with these people outside of work or church? If not, then maybe they should not be on your list. Sure, you love some of your co-workers but what if you change jobs? Are there people you work with that you’re willing to pursue a long term relationship with?

Other food for thought. If there are some folks at church or work that you really enjoy, why aren’t you socializing with them outside of that space? Sounds like a great reason for a dinner party.

All in all, remember it’s about you, your sweetie, and family. Loads of people might want to come to your party. After all everyone loves a party, right? Well, almost everyone. It’s OK to say you’re keeping the list little and wish you could invite everyone you wanted. Actually, don’t say anything at all! Most likely these well wishers simply want to share in your excitement. Let them. And just be excited.

Happy Planning!