Monday, April 20, 2009

Venue Searching

More "Back to Basics"

Wade went with me to a wedding show in Ottawa. We were there from 10am - 3pm, and he didn't complain. He got treated to a yummy lunch as thanks. I went to a wedding show with a good friend of mine in Toronto. (I figured 2 wedding shows in one month was too much for Wade.) At the wedding shows, we looked at photographers and d.j.s, mostly for ideas. Since we live in Kingston, I thought it unpractical to hire a photographer or other vendor from Ottawa or Toronto.

I started searching for venues, mostly on-line at first.

Reception sites I looked at on-line:

Cataraqui Golf & Country Club

-Pros: good view of Lake Ontario, nice decor, convenient location and good food. My dad used to be a member and he has many friends who still are - so I have eaten there many, many times.
-Cons: not sure if a country club was what I was looking for.

Fort Frontenac Officers' Mess

-Pros: amazing food and amazing views. I couldn't find any good pictures of Fort Frontenac on-line, but my friends Jane & Matt had their reception there. This is Jane, demonstrating the lovely views from the grounds. The food was amazing, the site was amazing. Overall - amazing.
-Cons: The trouble is finding a sponsor for the event - this officers' mess is a prestigious mess with select membership. I was also very worried I would associate this location with Jane & Matt too much. They rocked it for their wedding! We didn't look for a sponsor, though the event coordinator was amazing and willing to work with us! But in the course of these conversations with her, our venue fell into our laps.

Fort Henry

-Pros: A popular venue for weddings, somewhat expensive, often having to be held outside. Gorgeous views and very good food in a unique atmosphere.
-Cons: I was worried this venue is a bit of a cliche in Kingston - silly, right? Plus, if it's a cool evening, a tent can only provide so much insulation, and early June is sometimes still cool


-Pros: Good pictures on-line.
-Cons: A new venue, so I would have been booking site unseen. I seriously thought about this venue, but the prices seemed a little high. There were no views (kind of a priority). Plus, it's literally stumbling distance from the "clubbing district" (aka 4 clubs) in Kingston - not exactly a good feature.

Waupoos Winery

-Pros: amazing food, amazing view of the lake, on a winery that looks like it belongs in the caribbean. (Swoon.)
-Cons: A bit of a drive in Prince Edward County, about 40 minutes away from Kingston. Totally worth the drive. However, for the size of our wedding, we'd need to rent porta-potties. And the prices were more expensive than Kingston.

Basically, at this point I had just started looking everywhere for possible venues.

All photographs from each venues' websites, except Fort Frontenac, which is courtesy of Jane's facebook.


The Professional Bridesmaid said...

I love the winery! Not so much the porta-potties. Although I hear 'porta-potties' can be more 'upscale' than those at your average festival/concert.

Cyd said...

Yeah, I agree...I ruled out porta potty venues, too!

Marie-Ève said...

Love the winery... but maybe that's just because my wedding will take place at an apple-cider producing orchard! ;-)

I'm with you on the porta-potties, the first thing I checked when we got there and I got so excited about the landscape was that indeed, they had actual bathrooms!

Jess said...

Not such a fan of the porta-potty idea, but the winery does look beautiful!

And 4 hours at a wedding show without complaint??! What a good hubby-to-be you have :)

Krista said...

Well, I did bribe him with dinner ... plus, there were some (though very few) samples - one was a chocolate dipped fountain, and once was little pieces of cake. And we did buy lunch when we were there.

Steph said...

Just wondering what venue you ended up chosing? I am basically going through the same processes as you did (but for May 2010), looking for absolutely anything in the Kingston/Prince Edward County areas that meets our criteria of: outdoorsy, can hold ~140 people with room to dance, accomodations on site or nearby, good food, decor that is not hideous and that can go with my "vision" of a color scheme. We're checking out the Cataraqui Golf and Country Club this week... I hope it works out because I'm tired of looking for our perfect place! :) (Great blog by the way, I came across it in a Google search while looking for venues)

Krista said...


We booked the Vimy Officers' Mess, which is on the base. Two other spots I really, really liked: Fort Frontenanc Officers' Mess, and the Queen's University Club.

Steph said...

Thanks Krista! I will check those out.
Good luck with the rest of your wedding plans. :)