Wedding Venues Part 1: 7 Types of Wedding Venues

Read about 7 different types of wedding venues

Hey everyone! I’m in the process of planning my wedding and I thought I’d share the research I’ve done so far. I had to research numerous different venues and locations to figure out what I wanted. There will be a series of wedding-related posts to reflect my progress. I have a Part 2 list of additional wedding venues here.

The first important decision in the wedding planning process is picking the venue. It is a crucial decision as it will affect the rest of your wedding in terms of the colours, the decorations and your wedding attire. For some people, they can picture exactly where they want to get married. But I, on the other hand was not one of those people. So, below is my list of 7 types wedding venues including traditional and modern choices. Also, I have list of questions to assist you in determining your wedding venue.

  1. Resorts

    Windermere House in Muskoka, Sherwood Inn in Muskoka, Skyloft Ski Resort in Uxbridge, Oakwood Resort in Grand Bend

Wedding packages include dinner, accommodations and an event planner. They can accommodate any size wedding, dependent on the resort size. There’ll be a minimum room requirement on the weekends. On Fridays and Sundays nights, the requirement is for half of the rooms to be booked by your guests. But for Saturday nights, all the rooms need to be booked. Additionally, some resorts offer packages to book the resort from Friday afternoon to Sunday brunch. Some resorts, like Taboo Muskoka have various minimum room requirements, depending on the wedding size. In addition, I found that resorts offer a specific range of dates for weddings as not all book weddings all year round. Most resorts will offer couples one free night stay on their wedding night or their first wedding anniversary. Resorts will have pre-set menus. They may charge a cake cutting fee if the wedding cake is from an outside vendor.

  1. Restaurants

    Berkeley Field House & Rosewater Room in Toronto, Saroca in Hamilton, Barangas on the Beach, Spencer’s at the Waterfront in Hamilton, Cambridge Mill, Tapagria in Markham, Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants

If you both have a favourite restaurant or one that has sentimental meaning then a restaurant could be a possible option. They can accommodate smaller wedding sizes. Restaurants can host both the ceremony and reception. Also, they generally have lower room rental fees. The packages include multiple pre-set menus and host bar options and could include a cake and late-night menu options as well. Package prices per person could range from $70/per person or up to $150/per person, depending on the type of restaurant. There may be an events coordinator who can assist you. As most restaurants are usually located near hotels, you can book off a number of hotel rooms for your guests at a nearby hotel. If it a fine dining restaurant, they could have valet parking as well.

  1. Banquet halls

    Woodbine Banquet and Convention Hall in Toronto, The Avenue Banquet Hall in Vaughan, Brookside Banquet Centre in London

Banquet halls are one of the most popular wedding venues. The package prices range based on venue, location and menu options. They can accommodate any size wedding ranging from 120 people to 1000 people and can host both your ceremony and reception. It may have lower special prices for Fridays and Sundays. In addition, banquet halls have their own in-house catering and multiple menu options you could choose from. The halls I’ve listed above have diverse menu options including Chinese, Indian and Mediterranean menus. Banquet halls will have multiple rooms which mean you can host your wedding even if another couple has booked a room prior to you.

  1. Botanical Gardens

    Toronto Botanical Garden, Royal Botanical Garden in Burlington, Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens

If you’re having a spring or summer wedding, it can hold it in a garden for a scenic, outdoor location. Botanical gardens hosts small to medium weddings sizes and are usually 200 guests and under. In fact, they have indoor rooms for receptions if you prefer that. In addition, the reception rooms will typically have big windows and high ceilings, allowing lots of light in. As a bonus, you can have the gardens as a backdrop for your photos. But as with any outdoor location, you’ll need to consider a contingency plan for the weather. There will be a rental fee and possibly a facility fee too. Wedding menu packages could include a late-night menus, dessert table and cake.

  1. Art galleries/Museums

    Canadian Museum of Nature, Art Gallery of Ontario, Art Gallery of Burlington, Waterloo Region Museum

They are modern and non-traditional choices for a venue. If your wedding is at an art gallery, your guests get a 2-in-1 deal. They can view art exhibits and attend your wedding. In addition, art exhibits are an interesting backdrop for your wedding photos. But, art galleries and museums won’t have a caterer in-house which provides you with the flexibility to pick your own caterer. A note on picking your caterer, you’ll want to ensure they or the museum will provide the tables, chairs and linens. That is, unless you’re not opting for a seat-down reception. Art galleries, like botanical gardens, can host small to medium wedding sizes and will have a rental fee. They may have an outdoor area for ceremonies. Also, they are likely to have a list of their preferred vendors, including caterers in the area.

  1. Cruises

    Yankee Lady Yacht Charters, Great Lakes Schooner, Mariposa Cruises

Cruises provide the feeling of being abroad without setting foot on an airplane and you and your guests can enjoy the city skyline. So, if you live near a city where there is a dock, look into cruises as potential wedding venue. Firstly, cruises are ideal for smaller weddings sizes but some can accommodate wedding sizes of 200-300 people. Secondly, weddings on cruises are shorter in length than the typical 8 hours+ wedding day. Most packages are for 5 hours including boarding and disembarking time. The prices per person are higher than most venues as it costs $250+ person for a Saturday evening wedding. Thirdly, packages can be all-inclusive with an officiant and DJ included and do not include a rental fee. They have event coordinators and cruise managers to assist you as well.

  1. Libraries

    Toronto Public Library

If you are both book lovers, a library may be the perfect place to married. There are many libraries, especially in the United States, that are popular wedding venues such as the New York Public Library, the George Peabody Library in Baltimore and the Boston Public Library. But, libraries will have a rental fee. They can accommodate various sizes depending on the library. The rental fees for larger libraries will be pricey being as high as $4000 or more. I found that not every library hosts weddings. As well, for those that do, they may only allow you to rent their space after hours. Similarly, like art galleries, neither venues typically have their own in-house caterers. But they will have a list of approved vendors including caterers and event planners.

Are there other wedding venues I should have included?

Where did you guys get married?

Be sure to check out Part 2: 4 Types of Venues for my continued list of wedding venues.