Step One: Pick Your Venue
There are many important parts of your wedding day, but it’s hard to say anything is more important than your venue! It’s where the whole event is going to be taking place, so it really should be the first thing you book. This will get the ball rolling and give you the official date to count down to, and everything can fall into place from there!
But it can be stressful finding your venue (believe me, I have been scrolling the pages of Ottawa venues just like you, looking for our own wedding!) We have been really lucky that our job singing for you has given us the chance to check out a lot of Ottawa venues already, and has given us some ideas on a list of the important things to consider when picking the perfect venue for you! So let's get into that.
First off, make a list of the things that are most important to you when it comes to your venue. Some great starting points can be:
Do you want an indoor or outdoor venue?
What kind of theme/decor vibe are you looking for?
Do you want overnight accommodations at the venue, or will you get a shuttle bus for guests?
What vibe are you looking for your pictures to have, and does the venue lend to that?
What season do you want your wedding to be in?
Would the venue have a backup option in case the ceremony location gets rained out?
Do you need accessibility?
Once you have answers to all these questions, you can eliminate some venues right away without having to see them. If you want a rustic vibe for your wedding, you probably don’t need to tour a modern restaurant!
Now that you have your must-haves in mind, here is a list of some great venues around Ottawa, and the kind of atmosphere you can expect!
For the Country Rustic Couple: Strathmere
If you’re looking for the perfect backdrop to a countryside, farm to table wedding atmosphere, Strathmere is your place! With three different location options, of The Farmhouse, The Lodge, and The Garden House, you will have your outdoor, rustic wedding daydreams met for sure!
You’ll get some great services here, like a bridal suite, catering/bar services if you don’t want to bring in your own, a designated event planner to help you along the way, and set up of your decor! With the space for 10-225 guests, and located only 30 minutes away from downtown Ottawa, Strathmere is great for any rustic couple! However, you may need a shuttle bus for guests to a nearby hotel for larger weddings, as accommodations here are limited!
For the Modern, Foodie Couple: The Courtyard Restaurant
With some of the best food in downtown Ottawa, the Courtyard Restaurant, located right in the Byward Market, is the perfect choice for any foodies out there, or anyone looking for a more casual, modern, lunchtime wedding! With a guest capacity of 4 - 175, the Courtyard restaurant provides lighting and sound, help with your event planning, a full bar, set up and clean up, as well as a location that lends to some lovely, cityscape photos!
Your guests will have ample options for accommodations should they want to stay at a hotel for the night, with multiple hotel options within walking distance, as well as being situated right beside a parking garage!
For the Out of the Box, Unique Couple: Aquatopia Water Garden Conservatory
Say your vows while surrounded by tropical plants at this stunning conservatory! This location is great for the couple who is looking for something a little different, and wants a stunning natural backdrop to their photos! Keep in mind this location would also require a shuttle bus for your guests if you have accommodations at a nearby hotel!
With a guest capacity of 75-150, here you will also get access to a bridal suite, benefit from their on-site catering and car, set up and clean up of your event, as well as some event planning help along the way!
For the Easy Going Couple: The Metcalfe Hotel
With its beautiful and modern design, you’ll have a great time at the Metcalfe Hotel, with a staff that will cover your catering, set and clean up, full bar, space for up to 100 guests, as well as a bridal suite! The best part? It’s a beautiful hotel located right in Downtown Ottawa, only a 5-minute walk from the Parliament building!
You’ll be able to get some beautiful indoor and outdoor photos here, and your guests won’t have to worry about getting to and from the wedding and their overnight accommodations (and trust us, having been to some hotel weddings recently, it’s so nice to be steps away from your bed for the night after a long night of dancing and drinks!)
These are just a few options to help you along your wedding planning journey, and hopefully, you’ll have some ideas about what you want from your wedding venue! And as the last tip, make sure you always have a list of questions for the venue before going to meet with them or get a tour! You don’t want to forget anything.