Canada-Ontario

Rant: No accomodation

Hello all;

I just wanted to find out if my situation is common at all. Planning my wedding for February and nothing in my area is cheaper in the "off" wedding season, seems that it doesn't apply.

I know most people don't do "dry" weddings, but we are planning to because I am allergic (as well as a few of my family members), both our families don't really drink (like at all), and we are planning to be done our day by 8pm. Because of these reasons, as well as not wanting to spend an entire downpayment on a house on this wedding, it is a great option for us... in theory.

So my situation is that venues that I am speaking with are telling me that they do not do "dry" weddings on Saturdays. So if I choose to limit my alcohol to just wine, I am subject to only being allowed to have my wedding on a Friday or Sunday (or Monday through Thursday - my guests will almost all be OOT, so get real - no weekday!) And icing on the cake is that "dry" weddings, on a day that I don't want, will also cost me upwards of $1300 for the room rental fee (which would not be charged if I was having a bar).

We will have dinner wine for those who would like wine, but we didn't want to pay for the small number of drinks that people would have and I am NOT making my guests pay cash bar. (Cash bar still has a sliding scale for room rental fee if people don't drink enough, and I know they won't.)

I feel forced into either having my wedding on a day that is inconveinient for my guests, or having unwanted alcohol; both which will cost me extra no matter what.

I guess I'm just annoyed because I can't seem to find a place that will let me have what I want, and I don't think I'm being unreasonable with my limited budget bc I was still going to be running at least $100pp.

Any ideas other than having my wedding in a backyard or the like? I know I am looking for something more formal  - a once in a lifetime event for me and my guests.

Thanks!
Jessi Wedding Countdown Ticker

Re: Rant: No accomodation

  • Jewel224Jewel224 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    You can try the Berkeley Church/Field House - you can provide your own alcohol, so if you're just serving wine and a few beers/mixed drinks, that would make it affordable for you.  They don't charge a corkage fee and it's around $7 or $8 per person for their soft drink package.
  • edited December 2011
    Yeah any place that you can bring your own alcohol will probably allow no alcohol.
  • LittlinLittlin member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Some venues do a "pay by the drink" bar - so its not an open bar as in you pay in advance a specific amount, whether you drink it or not, but instead you just pay the tab for those who purchase a drink.  If there are not going to be too many drinkers, perhaps this is a good way to go if the venue allows it?  This way your guests won't have to pay, and you only pay for what is used.  This was an option at the Royal York, although since our family likes the drinks, it was a better price to go with the set price and do a full open bar.

    PS - where is the area you are doing your wedding?  This is the Toronto board, so I just wondered how far you are away from the city, since you say there isn't a lot of option and an "off" wedding season.
  • blush64blush64 member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    EDITED

    Well, I don't know where you are but I am in Toronto (and the GTA) and almost everything has been WAY cheaper. Even hotel rooms downtown Toronto are cheaper in February. I am looking into the Westin Harbour Castle so I know that one is less expensive.  So is Delta Chelsea, The Sheraton Centre...lots more.

    As for a venue, it depends. Banquet halls are less expensive, many restaurants will be. Hotel rooms are cheaper but a lot of hotel banquet facilities aren't any cheaper.

    To have a "once in a lifetime" kind of day you are going to be paying close to $80-$90/person and that is a great deal. i get you don't like alcohol but it might make sense (if it's not a religious objection) to just have the alcohol but limit it.

    Maybe you have to look at what high season prices are in the first place. At the Terrace a package that is $90/person in February is a great deal because the same package could be $140/person during high season. If you are expecting something under $70/person in Toronto I'm not sure you'll find it. Closest thing I found like that is in Markham. (Cyrstal Fountain) (not a bad price but it does have an open bar)

    Hamilton has two places I know of that are nice and are much less than Toronto. Carmen's and the Grand Olympia. Both of those can go for anywhere from $60/person and up but include almost everything. so you could have the bar but not be out too much money.

    Have you looked at Fantasy Farm, you bring in your own alcohol there and so you can buy only what you want. (wine I guess)

    I think you should do what you think works for you but maybe loosen up on what you are planning. I don't want to spend a fortune on the wedding but my first focus was the guests. Make sure they are comfortable. Example, I hate beer, wine, whiskey, champange..I am still including all of those for the guests who do like them.

    Oh, I forgot about the Old Mill, they also do lunch weddings. I don't know where they stand on the bar.

    Also, not as fancy, you could get a community hall which is really cheap but then hire decorators to make it look great. Get a caterer and your own bar. (more control over everything)

    I am at Le Jardin and in the winter they are very reasonable. ( i have an open bar so I don't know their thoughts on no bar) They do have a beer and wine option. Give them a call, they negotiate and try to make you happy.
  • edited December 2011
    Can you try to go to a place where you would need to supply your own bar, then dont have one? Alot of commuity centers offer rooms for rent, my aunt rented one and they decorated it and it was beautiful. or go with a place you like and have a bar by consumption.
    Just a thought.
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks ladies for all of the ideas and information.

    It looks like I am going to have to branch out considerably.

    I posted on this board because it is the closest (thanks to US website) to me. I am in Collingwood, Ontario.
    I was hoping to do the wedding as close as possible to where I live (and its beautiful here in the winter) because it is easier to plan when you are in closer proximity to things.

    We aren't in a position to be able to spend all of our savings... and the alcohol was just something neither of us really need - and I checked over the guest list and there are only like 8 out of 65 people that would drink anything other than wine. So... not really worth the bar if I can get out of it somehow.

    I will look into some venues that allow you to BYOB, that may allow us to cut the bar all together. I asked a couple of places about consumption bar -- but there is always a minimum, and I know we won't reach that.

    I just feel like we are going to have to invite like 10 more people who will drink just so we don't waste money on the bar!  lol

    Unfortunately, there aren't a whole lot of options near Collingwood, especially in my choice season of winter, since I want to make sure that my guests will be able to make it there despite any snow.

    Lots of changes or things to think about I guess.

    Thanks again. All good input! : ) I really appreciate it.
    Jessi Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • LittlinLittlin member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    There is also a general Canada board with some Ontario brides out of the central city area - definitely introduce yourself on there - some girls check both that board and this one, and some only one! :)
  • Jewel224Jewel224 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Hi Ninja Queen,

    One of my friends just had her wedding at Falls Inn near Collingwood and she said that her guests loved it.  I'm not sure if that's your style or not but it may be worth checking out.
  • edited December 2011
    Oh its funny that you mention the Falls Inn, I believe you might be talking about the one in Walters Falls.... I had just checked out their website earlier today. It looks amazing. Thanks for the feedback about the good experience that your friend had!

    I'll check out the other board too.

    Thanks all, still great ideas and information. :)
    Jessi Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Meaghann17Meaghann17 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    One thought too is to try some non traditional venues, like some restaurents have large reception rooms or if you could shut down a restaurent for the night that might work

    i suspect you are finding there is no off season because the winter is a heavy tourist time in collingwood and there are a lot of people who go there for destination weddings when the snow is pretty
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