toronto’s best wedding venues
Never had to organize a whole-day event for a big group? Unsure where to begin?
In some ways, wedding planning is like a game of chess: in the beginning everybody tends to follow the same thinking process. So, close your eyes and imagine. Start with the basics.
Choosing a venue can be a bit stressful. You only get one bet to create memories for years to come. It will be a big investment – and it should reflect who you are. What would you like to remember about your wedding? What would you like your guests to remember?
There are many options out there vying to define your special day. You will choose your wedding venue based on availability, season, theme, and convenience factor. Oh, and the price. Sigh. I know. Despite the multitude of options out there, you may find that it is not an easy choice. You may be drawn to smaller venues, which are out of question for your party of 200. You may like the location, but not the layout. You may find a perfect venue… just outside of your price range.
It helps to find something you like and zero in on similar venues. Don’t forget to check out different venues in each category!
Also, sometimes we have great ideas about choosing a wedding venue in our blog. Check back for more!
TOP tips for finding a wedding venue
When you find the right venue, you will feel a strong emotional connection to it. To help you think rationally, here is the list of questions you have to ask yourself:
- What events would you like to host at the venue? The list includes ceremony, pictures, cocktails/games, dinner, and the after party. Are you looking for a venue that can accommodate all the events of the day, or would you prefer to venue-hop? A venue is capable to accommodate all the events of the day if it is big enough and offers a variety of settings. Venue-hopping would work if all the venues you are considering are 20 minutes drive away from each other or less.
- What time will the venue be available? Ensure you and your guests don’t have to wait at the entrance door for the venue to set up, open the doors, or start serving drinks. Also, think about the end of the evening. Some venues close early. If the music goes off at 11 pm, do you need an afterparty location?
- Do you need access to a bridal suite at the venue? This will become important, for example, if you are looking to change into an evening dress for the dinner. The bridal suite should be lockable and secure. If the venue does not offer that, what options are there?
- How important is your privacy? If it is, ensure that the venue will be closed to the public and other wedding parties. Some venues schedule multiple weddings on the same day. Other venues, although they only schedule one wedding per day, may allow other wedding parties to come take pictures.
- If you do not mind sharing your wedding venue with other couples, ask how the venue separates different wedding parties. You don’t want your guests to accidentally go to another couple’s ceremony! Also, wedding receptions get loud. How does the venue address noise concerns?
- Cocktail hour space: all your guests should fit snugly but comfortably, allowing waitstaff to circulate, and leaving enough room for a band and any fun displays (guestbook, party favours, escort cards, photobooth).
- Dinner space: you’ll need space for food / snack / dessert stations and cake table. In order to keep everyone together, you will also want your bar and dancefloor to be in the same room.
- Lines of vision. Try to ensure that everyone will be able to see the guests of honour from their tables. Watch out for columns or odd-shapen spaces blocking the view.
- Setup and disassembly. Most venues will coordinate set-up and clean-up for you. However, you will want to clarify whether they expect you or your vendors to do any of that.
- Special effects. Some venues have limitations on open candle light, confetti, or availability of power supply. Many venues would not accommodate special performances requiring superior acoustics or high ceilings.
- Special needs. Many couples are concerned about wheelchair accessibility of the venue, availability of a quiet space for young children to sleep, or special menu. Can the venue accommodate those concerns?