Opt for simple over excessive with a reception at one of these romantic restaurants
These five restaurants—scattered around the province—offer creative culinary options and settings that range from rural rustic to urban sophisticate. From dining to dancing, streamline your celebration with one of these options, often requiring nothing supplied but fresh flowers and game guests.
TEAHOUSE IN STANLEY PARK
The Teahouse—buried deep among the oasis of Stanley Park—offers an intimate, sophisticated experience. “We’re nestled among the trees…in a rainforest…at the waterfront. There is no location like it within the city,” says sales and marketing coordinator Gabrielle Lee. In fact, the awe-inspiring surroundings mean that wedding parties don’t have to walk more than a few feet from the front door to pose for photographs worthy of a postcard. “There are so many locations nearby that offer the perfect backdrop,” says Lee. “And the lighting on a fall or winter afternoon is perfect!”
For the post-photo soirée, the restaurant offers three options (or a combination thereof) depending on the size of your party. “Each room has its own charm, complete with fireplaces and ocean-facing windows,” says Lee.
Leanne Pedersen PhotographersLeanne Pedersen PhotographersLeanne Pedersen PhotographersLeanne Pedersen Photographers
Capacity: Three rooms varying from 40 seated to 70 seated (combinations also available)
Minimum spend: $1,000 to $11,500 depending on date/time
Lead time: Often one year in advance but last-minute bookings are welcome if space allows
Planning: Event coordinator will manage all details, though independent planners are welcome
A/V: In-house sound system, plus one room offers built-in projector and screen
Insider info: The Teahouse offers complimentary printing of menus, so make a personal splash by adding a special quote or image.
TIP: "Bring the outdoors in and continue the West Coast ambience by adding light greenery to the long guest tables. Utilize that amazing fireplace mantel as a focal point for a large floral arrangement; that one statement piece will be seen from anywhere in the venue,” says co-owner of Our Little Flower Company Erin Crowle
BRIX & MORTAR
Brix has changed shape over the years. The Yaletown, Vancouver, eatery absorbed its popular lounge space, George, in late 2015 and re-branded as Brix & Mortar. Despite the strategic move, one constant remains: it’s still the premier spot for boutique weddings in what remains one of the city’s trendiest neighbourhoods. More than 750 couples have said “I do” at the spot. “Our goal is to take care of the small details so that the hosts have the opportunity to actually enjoy their event,” says event director Jennifer Hannay.
Sara Rogers PhotographySara Rogers PhotographyThe classic look of the space—exposed brick, wood finishes, semi-private nooks—lends itself to minimalist decor and even the outdoor space keeps plans simple. “The courtyard is probably our most unique attribute,” admits Hannay. “The ‘outside’ space is glass covered and heated so we can host events all year round. The event does not have to change even if the weather does not cooperate.”
Sara Rogers Photography
Capacity: 90 seated, 120 standing (private room seats 26)
Minimum spend: $6,000 to $15,000 depending on date/time
Lead time: Two weeks to two years
Planning: Dedicated event manager on-site, though independent wedding planners are welcome
A/V: In-house audio available, space for DJ or small band (no drums permitted)
Insider info: To alleviate pressure on guests, Brix & Mortar can arrange for valet service—always a nice perk for busy Yaletown nights when parking can be a pain.
TIP: “The quaint courtyard is perfect for getting an outdoors look for both ceremonies and photos,
and the Yaletown location means amazing urban photo backdrops are within walking distance so you can get back to the party!” says Erin Gilmore of Erin Gilmore Photographers.
BURDOCK & CO
The heart of Vancouver’s Main Street has undergone a radical transformation in recent decades and Angela Carlson’s Burdock & Co. is perfectly representative of the area’s blend of laid-back sophistication and welcoming charm. Renowned for a menu highlighted by farm-fresh and locally foraged ingredients as well as an award-winning wine list, the spot is a local favourite among East Van denizens… for much more than brunch. Reclaimed wood finishes, stylish brick and restored furniture pieces salvaged from Vancouver landmarks come together to provide an ideal setting for a wedding that is both metropolitan and bucolic.
The space allows for just shy of three dozen seated guests but adds a sense of freedom and control not easily found at other city locations. Take advantage of available Bluetooth to master your playlist or offer guests a unique treat with a local wine tasting, guided by expert sommelier Jesse Walters. “Newlyweds-to-be can create a truly customized event, all centred around an exquisite culinary experience,” says Sopuck.
Leila Kwok Photography
Capacity: 34, including eight seats at the bar
Minimum spend: $2,500 to $5,000 depending on date, time and space required
Lead time: At least one month prior is recommended
Planning: Staff will assist but are happy to work with an event planner as well
A/V: Bluetooth and audio jack available, space for DJ, other items must be supplied
Insider info: “A seamless transition between ceremony and reception can take place on-site. After vows, consider a cocktail reception with an oyster bar in order to move guests toward a plated dinner service.”
TIP: "Have one high impact arrangement, nothing cloying but something that looks like it belongs there, almost like it might have grown there. Flowers breathe life and beauty into a space and, when that space is small, a natural elegance is important,” says Michele Philp, director and owner of Studio Full Bloom
THE BEACH HOUSE
Like Vancouver Island itself, Victoria’s The Beach House has a self-professed eclectic slant. Both the design and menu reflect West Coast roots and an appreciation for what nature provides, on the plate and for the eyes. “We really do have, at our doorstep, some of the best of what beautiful B.C. has to offer!” exclaims special events manager Lisa Cepeliauskas. “Beach, ocean and mountains surround us.”
Ophelia PhotographyWall-to-wall windows provide idyllic views and the waterfront locale offers wedding parties choice. “There is beach or grass but also the option to come indoors for the ceremony if the weather doesn’t cooperate. It is the West Coast after all. Good to have a back-up plan,” she laughs.
Owner Kate Phoenix and a dedicated “Event Squad” ensure that nuptials on-site can best be described with three words. “Fun, seamless and worry-free,” says Cepeliauskas.
Ophelia PhotographyOphelia Photography
Capacity: Ranges from intimate set ups of 30, for example, to larger at 175
Minimum spend: None, but food must be served due to liquor licensing
Lead time: At least one year in advance
Planning: Two dedicated event coordinators on-site, though independent wedding planners are welcome
A/V: In-house audio, microphone, projector with screen as well as TVs available Insider info: “After your shots on the beach, you really don’t have to go far for amazing photos: 10 minutes and you can find yourself either at the top of Mount Douglas or on the shores of Elk Lake.”
TIP: “Add half an hour to your schedule at
sunset to sneak away to nearby Mount Douglas
with your photo team. One-on-one time with the
person you just married and the views are spectacular,”
says Chelsea Kanstrup, founder/cinematographer/editor at Paper Heart Films.
Co-owner and operator Connie Decaire declares, “Small is good!” And the charming Brownstone— nestled in a historic 1904 Bank of Commerce building in Kamloops—fits the bill. Opened in 2004, the spot serves rustic, seasonal fare in an inviting, homey setting but it fell into the wedding business accidentally. “What started as a few wedding bookings for staff caught on quickly,” explains Decaire.
The welcoming spot is upscale but personal. “We definitely have a special affinity for our wedding couples,” admits Decaire. “The best part of having hosted so many weddings throughout the past 13 years is— without a doubt—welcoming them back year after year for anniversary celebrations, family dinners and date nights.”
Above all, Brownstone is adaptable. “We really enjoy customizing menu and decor,” says Decaire. “Over the years, we have seen everything: ‘rustic country’ themes incorporating burlap and Mason jars to sleek, contemporary affairs featuring opulently draped strands of pearls; and elegant, vintage winter luncheons where the falling snow provides the most dramatic of backdrops through our eight-foot-tall antique, stained glass windows.”
Rozalind Ewashina Photography
Capacity: 50 indoors, 20 on the outdoor patio
Minimum spend: $4,000
Lead time: Six months to a year
Planning: No planner on-site, independent wedding planners are welcome
A/V: Local suppliers can be
Insider info: Brownstone limits private wedding bookings to one per month so reserve early, especially for summer ceremonies on the brick-walled patio where the charming pergola and greenery pair for stunning photos.
TIP: “Brownstone is intimate and unique. Splurge on
beautiful candles to really enhance the warmth and ambience of the venue,” says Rozalind Ewashina, owner, Rozalind Ewashina Photography.
It’s a nice (winter’s) day for a white wedding at these three ski-friendly restaurants around the province
Photo Credit: Silver GrillSILVER GRILL OR THE DEN
Mark Lehmann, food and beverage manager at SilverStar Mountain Resort, puts it best: “It’s a magical winter wonderland boasting personality and charm like no other in the country.” And a reception at either the intimate 45-seat Silver Grill or the larger, more relaxed Den Bar and Bistro offers much more than just photo ops in front of the famously creative colours of the mid-mountain village. “Enhance the romance by arriving in a horse-drawn sleigh; a grand entrance on your special day,” suggests Lehmann.
Photo Credit: The Observatory RestaurantTHE OBSERVATORY
The Observatory high atop Grouse Mountain is a Lower Mainland classic, owing largely to sweeping views of the city below. The fine dining establishment pledges to take hospitality “to new heights” and—from 3,700 feet above, in the mountain’s Peak Chalet—it’s tough to argue.
Photo Credit: Alta BistroALTA BISTRO
Focus is key at Whistler’s Alta Bistro. With seating for up to 65, the restaurant offers a menu that changes routinely, reflecting the very best of seasonal crops, meats and wines. Come spring, a fully refurbished 1967 Airstream trailer will allow greater reach as their wedding offering goes mobile.