Thank you for the amazing 8 years here at A Baked Creation, we can't thank you enough for the memories! But we've decided to move over to a new site - Sincerely, Syl. Please join us there for future posts on all the things you loved here!


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Wedding Venue

Here's a blast from the past! I've been writing these posts since the beginning of the year by jotting down my thoughts in hopes of helping those who might be planning a wedding. So it's a combination of things I drafted months ago and thoughts from today.

I think choosing the venue was the hardest part of the wedding because everything else falls in place once it's decided. You might have read an earlier post where I was feeling the blues because we didn't know what to do. Did we want to do a destination wedding or a wedding in our city? There were so many pros and cons and we debated for a long time. In the end, we decided to have the wedding in our home city with the following requirements:
  1. We had to stay within a budget.
  2. There had to be good food (right? We have a food blog of goodness sake).
  3. Ideally, it could host the ceremony and the reception.
  4. Free parking for our guests.
  5. Someplace easy to get to.
One of our earlier plans was to go the route of a hall rental like everybody else. We wanted the ceremony and reception at the Toronto Botanical Garden because it was adjacent to Edwards Garden. This was when we thought we should continue our park theme (having met on the job while working for Toronto Parks and Rec and being engaged at Central Park in New York). But bringing in a caterer, renting furniture, and all the fees associated with the space meant we would be doubling our budget. *faint*

Another idea was to do a really simple wedding by getting married at City Hall and then having dinner at a restaurant. Then we found out that those wedding chambers at City Hall weren't included, there was a rental fee! And we'd have to pay for parking. If I was going to be spending money on renting a space for the ceremony, I might as well find a prettier spot!

And a prettier spot we did find! We were so happy to learn that Auberge du Pommier was available (do book ahead, we reserved it a year in advance). This charming French restaurant includes a terrace space for ceremonies. It's covered in case there's rain (which it did) and includes heaters if it gets a bit chilly (which it did). We also still get the greenery with the trees, shrubs, and plants - so we're still with the park theme here with it being airy with fresh air.
The lower terrace was transformed by the amazing staff who arranged the chairs in theatre setting and for hanging our decorative bunting at the front. Unlike other venues, you don't have to rent chairs or tables! The area is also completely private and not visible from the road or parking lot. Bonus, the aisle isn't too long so I didn't have to walk too far to get to the front (was seriously stressed about walking in heels in a gown. A simple thing like walking, geez)!
We wanted a small wedding, but we still ended up booking the largest private room that Auberge du Pommier had - which seats 48. The Oscar room had the perfect set up for us, there were six tables of eight, a fireplace, a cake table, and a hutch.
We had the option of reserving the second private room for late night dancing and food too, but they weren't next to each other so it felt disconnected and we declined the space. Another small wedding group was there that night, but we didn't see much of them since we were separated by the concierge. If you're wondering about the main dining room space, Auberge du Pommier doesn't offer full restaurant buyouts on Saturday evenings, only during lunch or on Sundays.
It was tricky narrowing down the guest list to 46, but we did it. You know what's trickier after? The seating chart! We actually had our head table split in two, so the ones in the middle were for us and our wedding party. Then Howard's family and friends on the left and my family and friends on the right.
Now that we've had our wedding, we only have praises and good things to say. The event specialists at Oliver & Bonacini are courteous, helpful, and so great to work with. We were so lucky to have Jessie along the way to answer our questions and organize our ceremony and reception schedule. The on-site manager and staff that day were also top notch. We felt that they went above and beyond with our requests and even on things we didn't ask for or think about. They were all truly professional and thoughtful in presentation and interacting with our guests.

If you're thinking about an event or reception at a restaurant, I highly recommend it. Auberge du Pommier included candles, linens, printed menus, cake knife and lifter, booster seats for kids, card vessel, bouquet vases, coat check, parking vouchers, and reserved signs. And if you have elders or children, they have accessible washrooms on the main floor. Not to mention all the charm of a rustic woodcutters' cottages!
Venue: Auberge du Pommier, Lower Terrace and Oscar Room | Photography: Ikonica | Bunting: Samantha Swenson

1 comment:

  1. This is the place for a beautiful wedding. The ceremony at DC wedding venues was held in the dining hall, which commands a breath-taking view of the city. I only wish I appreciated it more when I was there. Oh well. You live and learn.