So you’re engaged - Congrats! So now what?!
Now it's time to start planning your wedding; so where to start!?!
FINDING YOUR VENUE
Finding the right venue will alleviate a lot of the stress of planning a wedding, mostly because once you secure a venue, you also secure your date, and sometimes even a ceremony location. Once all that's done, it's time to put your feet up and start browsing photography instagram accounts.
SO HOW DO I PICK?
To pick the right venue, you have to consider what style of wedding you want. Is your sensibility modern, rustic, luxury, bohemian, urban or industrial etc. Picking a venue that matches your style & vision may even help lower the cost, as you might not need to have as much decor to create your dream theme. We’ve categorized some of our fave venues based on look, quality of food, professionalism, and convenience. We even show you "real wedding" photographs of these venues so you can see them through our eyes :)
There are a ton of venues to explore and we love shooting at all of them. It was difficult even for us to narrow down to our faves. But here's a list to get your planning juices flowing and maybe inspire some ideas.
Casa Loma, Toronto
Built in 1914, this 200,000 sq/ft castle in the heart of Toronto will make you feel like royalty on your big day. Gorgeous built-in decor, fantastic food, indoor and outdoor space for rain or shine, bridal suites, reception & ceremony locations all in one. The staff really know how to seamlessly create a one of a kind wedding and the photography & cinematography backdrop is stunning. In the summer there is air conditioning now in the library, making it super comfortable for all. Casa Loma is definitely one of our top places to shoot. Go for a site visit.
Eglinton Grand, Toronto
If the Art Deco charm of the 20's & 30's is your style, you really should see this former Famous Players movie theatre (now declared a National Historic Site). Retaining all the feels of a "007" movie, an Oscar Night or even a Lovecraftian speakeasy (for our fellow Cthulhu nerds!), the building is FULL of inherent, historic character. This space has room for a full reception, cocktails and in-house ceremony. We love that the theatre marquee in fully customizable, allowing for couples to have their names in lights! The poster boxes are available for those who want us to create a parody movie poster; a one of a kind creation. The venue and Eglinton Avenue provide for some amazing and unique photo opportunities. Awesome food… awesome vibes... red carpet... Seriously, go see it.
Photos & Poster Design: Little Blue Lemon
If you’re having a big wedding… and we mean a big cultural event, with hundreds of guests, there are two reasons to check out Universal. It’s modern, huge and it’s run by Peter & Paul's – one of the city’s best known event companies. They can do a wedding blindfolded, so why not sit back, party and let them take care of everything. Check it out!
Decor: Creations By Gitta
Cake: Nadia & Co.
There is a convenience to a good banquet hall: easy parking, plug & play, good food, good bar – just shut your brain off and let them take care of everything. Paradise has a fabulous European flair with an outdoor bridge and ceremony space that make for unforgettable photos. Send Nina an email to see the space and tell her we sent you.
Flowers: D'Vine Flowers and Gifts
BOUTIQUE EVENT SPACE
Grand Luxe, Toronto
If the sound of a banquet hall isn’t your thing, but you have a lot of guests and still want the undeniable convenience of a hall, you should check out Grand Luxe. It’s more of a unique event space and has a ton of room to customize to your liking. It's a space that is solely yours and you don't have to share with another wedding. They do a great fire show at the bar and the food is top notch. They can even arrange for a late night food truck. There is a park just south of the venue on Bayview that can be used for great, green space photos. Go see them.
Decor: Elite Decor & Linen Rental by S & S / The Grand Luxe
Flowers: Olivia at Broadview Flower Market
Do you like the look of a big farm with fields and trees as far as the eye can see? How about a beautiful outdoor ceremony spot, with set bench seating and an elevated platform so that everyone can witness your nuptials. The Bradford Barn really has it all! They even have a cool man-cave, separate bridal suite, and their reception barn is one of a kind with hands down, the most AWESOME band. To top that, imagine smoked brisket running all day ready for your BBQ dinner. We’ve got your answer right here! Email Jenn at the The Bradford Barn and tell her Little Blue Lemon sent you.
Decor: The Bradford Barn
Flowers: Mid-Valley Gardens
HISTORICAL WITH MODERN FLAIR
The Guild Inn Estate, Scarborough
If you love the feel of Harry Potter/Lord of the Rings/Game of Thrones, but still want all the modern convenience of a newly built event space, then Guild Inn may be your answer. Surrounded by an incredible green space full of doorways, columns, facades and an amphitheatre, this space is truly unique. The venue is backed by one of the city’s best hospitality pros, providing great food and bar service with spaces for reception and ceremony – your jaw will drop when you check out Guild Inn!
HISTORIC & ARTISTIC
Thomson Landry Gallery, Toronto Distillery District
Toronto's historic Distillery District is a spot like no other. You have to see the place to believe it; cobblestone streets, old clocks, beautiful architecture from days gone by – it’s dreamy and used in a ton of TV and movie settings. The gorgeous Thompson Landry Gallery is a must see space, where you can surround your guests with some of the most beautiful and interesting modern art the city has to offer. Being in the Distillery allows for a ton of great photo and video opportunities and incredible food.
OKANAGAN DESTINATION WEDDINGS
If getting out of town sounds like you, and your looking for something other than a Caribbean beach, you might want to consider the beautiful mountains of British Columbia. The Okanagan Valley is BC's wine region and the perfect backdrop for any wedding. Surrounded by mountains, and a lake the size of an ocean, the Okanagan has stellar weather year round and is perfect for spring, summer, fall and winter events. Home to some of the best wineries, as well as epic skiing, the Okanagan can accommodate those in love with heat and snow. This place is pretty much our favourite place in Canada.
Eldorado / Manteo Resort, Kelowna BC
Situated on the shore of beautiful Okanagan Lake, this is the place to host a weekend getaway with guests, family and friends. Imagine getting married overlooking the lake and mountains - truly breathtaking. The staff here are incredible and willing to take care of everything for you. This resort is actually two resorts in one: The Manteo is more modern and the Eldorado more historic. The choice is yours. Get in touch here.
Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Kelowna BC
If great, one-of-a-kind, organic BC wine is to your liking, we really can't say enough about Summerhill Pyramid. The food and drink are top notch and the grounds are gorgeous for photos and video. Summerhill is also one of the few places in Kelowna where you can host a big wedding of up to 220 guests comfortably. Definitely worth considering!
Ski and Snowboard Lovers, BC
If you love the snow as much as we do, and want to get married on a ski hill, then there are some venues that are a must see! Other than Whistler, check out Big White (epic powder snow all season long), Silver Star and SunPeaks.
We hope that helps get your wheels turning. No matter your venue choice, we would love to be the ones to capture this milestone event. Feel free to contact us if you want to discuss more ideas! Enjoy this crazy time of venue shopping! And remember, once your venue is booked - next step - booking your photographer!