For those of you who got engaged over Valentine’s Day and are starting to look at potential wedding venues, I put together a list of some of my favorite ceremony and reception spaces around the city. Here they are, (in no particular order)! Also, don’t forget to check out my earlier blog to brush up on your site visit skills and important questions to ask your potential wedding venue.
CANADIAN MUSEUM FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (Era Catering)
CAPACITY – 350
STYLE – Modern Minimalism
THE 411 - Since opening in the fall of 2014, the CMHR has been a huge hit with brides and corporate clients alike as groups continue to gravitate towards meaningful and interactive events. The space is breathtaking between the exposed cement walls, the contrast between dark and light and the open concept design which is also fully accessible. There are several room options available depending on your guest count, whether it be the patio with a view of the Provencher Bridge for cocktails, an intimate ceremony space in the Canadian Journeys Gallery or Era Bistro for corporate groups looking to mingle in the museum café and restaurant. If you are interested in the CMHR, you better hurry! The museum only has select Fridays left for special events in 2016.
STYLE – Chic and Rustic
THE 411 – Brought to you by the fine folks at D&M tent rentals, this is one of the newer wedding venues nestled in the charm of the country. 'Rustic' remains a strong trend for weddings, but what sets this venue apart is the interior of the space itself which has ultra-gorgeous lighting and draping. You are welcome to select a catering company of your choice which allows you to customize the perfect menu. An extra bonus: the entire yard is available for photos and includes your choice of beautiful outdoor vignettes plus a play structure for the little ones to stay occupied.
DESEO BISTRO (Executive Chef Scott Bagshaw)
Executive Chef Scott Bagshaw
STYLE- Warm and Intimate
THE 411 - I am a huge fan of small intimate celebrations and I think there is no better restaurant than a local gem like Deseo, the brain child of Chef Scott Bagshaw who is also behind Enoteca and the new Asian fusion restaurant Maque. Deseo specializes in the ‘unwedding’; couples looking to nosh on small plates with close friends and family in an unconventional setting. The space has upper and lower levels to suit both ceremony and reception and either floor is beautiful - accented by the timber poles and brick in the lower level or a beautiful birch booth backdrop with its own dedicated bar in the top level. This venue is perfect for any couple looking to wed before August.
THE ALT HOTEL (Merchant Kitchen)
STYLE- Ultra Modern
THE 411 – The Alt is an urban boutique hotel that boasts ‘affordable luxury,’so much so that it feels like a little getaway in your own city! With modern meeting rooms named after different colours, this is a great downtown space for smaller weddings, engagement parties or corporate groups looking for something a little different. All catering is supplied by Merchant Kitchen so your guests won’t leave hungry or unsatisfied. My fave is the red creative lounge which is perfect as a bridal suite with chic lounge furniture, floor to ceiling windows and a sweet flat screen. For added connectivity, check out the live instagram feed using #ALTEXPO in the main lobby which also boasts a great lounge and seating area.
INVESTORS GROUP STADIUM (Comcast Spector Food Services)
CAPACITY - 350
STYLE - Elegance on the turf
The 411 - For a unique and memorable experience, here’s your ‘something blue!’ The stadium may not be first on your list when planning for your wedding, but it might just be the perfect venue for couples hosting a large shin dig and wanting a departure from the ordinary – football fans or not. The ceremony, (including video board close ups) and photos go down on the turf and the two most recommended locations for dinner receptions are the Pinnacle Club which can accommodate up to 350 guests or the outdoor covered concourse for more intimate dinners accommodating up to 80 guests.
CAPACITY - 50
STYLE - Industrial and Open
The 411 - At Kitchen Sync, owner Sheila Bennett says you are only limited by your imagination. This heritage property was empty for 20 years before its restoration in 2014 as a ‘commercial kitchen for rent,’ ideal for chefs looking to refine their skills in a practice kitchen or for those hosting a private dinner party without making a mess in their own home. With an emphasis on eating local and eating healthy, this is a beautiful dining space with notable accents of timber pillars and stone. This venue is centrally located in the exchange district and is great for local businesses hosting meetings, breakfasts, lunches and features a ‘pop up restaurant’ on Saturday and Sunday nights called Sentruhl serving a set menu of Canadian Cuisine. For private parties you can even bring in your own personal chef (provided they have a food handlers certificate). I can’t wait to book an event here – the space is perfect for birthdays, engagements and small wedding receptions.
THE METROPOLITAN ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE (Canad Inns)
CAPACITY - 1000
STYLE - Grand opulence
The 411 - The Met first opened its doors as a cinema in 1919 until it closed in 1987. In 2012, Canad Inns reopened the venue and revealed the new Metropolitan Entertainment Centre while retaining the original look, feel and grandeur of the historic theatre. The venue features a variety of exquisite spaces and you can even host a movie night in the Grand Hall on the 35 ft.by 26 ft. screen, or reserve one of the balcony level private boxes for a smaller event. The roof-top patio provides an ideal spot for summer dining as well.
QUALICO CENTER (Chef Heiko Duehrsen)
CAPACITY - 180
STYLE – Beauty and Nature
THE 411 – Last but absolutely not least, I had to recognize the gorgeousness that is Qualico Centre at Assiniboine Park! It’s worth getting a permit to take a few wedding day pictures here but for those lucky enough to get married in the park, Qualico Centre is my top pic! Nestled in oak and pine and skirting the Duck Pond, the glass walls of the venue feature breathtaking views amidst the incomparable freshness of nature. It’s the ideal venue for one-of-a-kind wedding receptions, banquets, and flawless corporate functions.