Tag Archives: backyard wedding

Wedding Venue: We chose one but construction may send us back to square one!

The clock is officially ticking down to exactly one year until the wedding day! We’ve selected July 27, 2013 as our wedding date and we basically chose our venue back in January.

Back at that time we had secured the date with the Mayfield Inn. We chose the Mayfield because we felt they offered a lot of lovely and convenient things that we wanted for our special day. They offered an outdoor-style garden indoors – where we wanted to have our ceremony. They had a ballroom space big enough for the amount of guests we were planning on inviting. They offered discounted room rates that would be perfect for our out-of-town guests and guests who would want to stay there after the wedding. They set up and tear down and the price point was pretty fair.


Photo Courtesy: bride.ca

At that time it was still more than a year and a half until our wedding date so while we were able to put our names down for first dibs on the date, it wasn’t officially secured until at least one year in advance which is when they actually take deposits.

I emailed the Mayfield’s wedding coordinator this week to ask her when we could set up a time to get the ball rolling on official deposits, etc. since the one year away mark was quickly approaching. And that’s when I got the bad news!


Photo Courtesy: bride.ca

Apparently the Mayfield is planning construction/renovations for 2013 and they’re not sure exactly what the reno sechedule is looking like yet or what section of the hotel would be impacted, but it may or may not affect our booking but Mayfield can’t confirm any bookings until at least the end of August when the renovation/construction schedule comes out officially.

TRAGIC!!!! :(

Now I am almost 100% positive that they wouldn’t do constructions during popular summer wedding season so I feel like if it’s 2013 renovations, it’d be in the early months of the year.

Still … I am very worried.

I felt like we were ahead of the game having secured the date we wanted at the venue we wanted and now, even though it might not affect us, I feel like I have to look into backup options because it just wouldn’t be smart if I didn’t. Now I’m frazzled because there are only four Saturday’s in July and if I had already secured our July date with the Mayfield so far in advance, I imagine other brides-to-be would have done this as well so if we try to switch over to other venues I fear our date will already have been taken. It’s been such a busy week too so I haven’t even had time to look into other venue options except for a quick browse on my phone and that just got me feeling a bit more depressed because I was running into venue issues that I ran into back when I was searching in January!

On the bright side I feel like this is good because maybe we chose the Mayfield too quickly? Maybe this gives us the opportunity to explore more options and find something better. I have always wanted an outdoor wedding but wasn’t thrilled about risking weather, renting tents and setting up so much of it ourselves, but maybe we can take a closer look at the feasibility of the outdoor wedding now that this wrench has been thrown into our venue plans. Lisa, my maid of honour has a backyard big enough to accommodate an outdoor wedding, perhaps we should be seeing if that would work now?

Photo courtesy: joannagoddard.blogspot.com

I honestly hope the renovations don’t impact our date but we won’t know for sure until the end of August.

Until then I will look at back up options but I have to say I’m really disappointed that we’ve been sent back to square one for this when we thought we were super ahead of the game!

– Linda

Wedding Venue Options

Ah, wedding venues.
I have been thinking a lot about Edmonton (and area) wedding venue possibilities.

What venue should we choose for the wedding ceremony? What venue should we choose for the wedding reception? Should we choose a venue where we can have both ceremony and reception at the same place for convenience (and would this also be a money saver)? If we choose a venue for the reception, should we look for one where we have the option of providing our own caterer (would that be cheaper?) Does the reception venue allow for an open bar where we can provide the alcohol and don’t have to purchase it through the venue (because that would be way more expensive).  Should we choose a reception venue where we do have the ability to provide our own caterer and open bar but then we also will have to provide chairs and tables and all those other miscellaneous “rentals” that would start adding up (ie. if we chose a hall). If we choose an outdoor ceremony venue – what if the weather is bad that day? What will our backup be? How far away should the ceremony venue be from the reception venue? If we choose a venue that’s outside of Edmonton, is that making it too hard for certain guests to get to and from? Do my parents like or approve of the venue? How much of my parents’ opinion am I to take into account?! (That’s a whole other blog post in itself though, really). Those are the kind of thoughts that have been processing through my brain!

Did reading through it make your head hurt too? lol.

These are a couple options we’ve narrowed it down to, though this first one is pretty much not happening though I still wanted to include it in the list:

Eagle Rock Golf Resort

Photo courtesy: Eagle Rock Resort

I think this is a gorgeous venue for a ceremony and subsequent Wedding Day photos location. The rental cost for both ceremony and reception being held here is pretty reasonable I would say ($1,600). Whereas ceremony alone is a little ridiculous ($1,800). Plus you can only have your ceremony from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. if you just choose to do the ceremony there. That wouldn’t work for us given that we’re going to be having a Vietnamese wedding tea ceremony the morning of our wedding. So ideally if we chose this location we would do both ceremony and reception here which I am fine with, their food selection + price is reasonable, I think. Under $40 a person? Remember this is all new to me so I’m only starting to get an idea on how cheap or how expensive things can get.

However (and unfortunately) there are downsides to Eagle Rock (pouty face). Those downsides include:  it’s 45 minutes from Edmonton. It’s literally out in the country, away from anything else, so there would be no nearby hotels for people to stay in. Since it’s so far out, if people are drinking at our wedding (which I would assume the majority are) then it would be an extremely expensive cab ride back home and/or everyone would need to make designated driver plans. My parent’s don’t like the venue at all because of all those reasons. Eagle Rock also only allow you to have an open bar if you buy from them so that ups the alcohol costs up by a lot. And I’m sure there would be other costs that would arise if/when Mike and I went to meet with them and check out the site.  We are basing all of this current information from their online wedding information booklet.

So Eagle Rock was originally my #1 preferred location for both ceremony and reception but I’m all iffy on it because of the downsides and my parents are completely not okay with it being so far out in the country, which brings us to option two (and the one that we will most likely end up choosing):

Mayfield Inn

Photo Courtesy: bride.ca

 I really do want an outdoor wedding but we really like the Mayfield Inn option for an outdoor-feeling/looking wedding, but held in indoors. If we book the Mayfield for both ceremony and reception then the ceremony rental of the Mayfield Garden Courtyard with Thai Pagoda is only $500. I am still checking with Mayfield to see how much renting the reception ballroom space would be, but I’m assuming it would equal out to about the same as – if not cheaper than – Eagle Rock. There are a bunch of benefits that go with booking at the Mayfield including the fact that we’d get cheaper rates for our out-of-town guests, we’d get a complimentary suite to stay in, inclusion of microphone and sound system equipment, we’re able to provide our own alcohol/open bar, and the food pricing is not to bad (under $50 a person, which is what we were expecting to pay had we decided to go with a reception at a Chinese restaurant). Plus it’s within the city – which would appease the parentals.

Photo Courtesy: bride.ca

The reception ballroom is also huge and gorgeous – and they have various sizes that could accommodate however many guests we end up having. That’s important because a lot of venues aren’t available to us because we expect to have quite a big wedding (200-250 people). We are meeting with someone with the Mayfield Inn later this month to check out everything in person and hopefully answer any other questions that we have so we’ll have a better idea towards the end of the month whether or not this is where we’d like our wedding to take place, but so far it’s looking like the top option at this point. Then there’s the next option:

Snow Valley (The Lodge)

Photo courtesy: snowvalley.ca

 Did you know you can get married at Snow Valley? When I first saw this option during my Internet searches, I was a bit skeptical because the first thing I think of when I hear Snow Valley is – obviously – snow, snowboarding, skiing – not exactly the kind of weather I want for my wedding. But when I checked out the site I saw that it looks to be a really cute venue for having both ceremony and reception! (Or just ceremony, which would cost about $450 to rent for three hours). Their food selection and prices look decent as well (about $35-$45 a person, depending). Some possible downsides is that the reception area can only hold 225 people, which should in theory be enough if we invite 250 people there’s a good chance 25 of them will RSVP that they can’t come. But that’s something to think about in the event that everyone we invite actually does want to come. I’m also not too sure what their policy is on open bar/us providing the alcohol is, but I have been in touch with them and am awaiting a reply on those answers and hopefully a chance to check out the site in person as well.

Photo courtesy: snowvalley.ca

But the lodge reception area itself (based on pictures) looks great, and the outside ceremony looks really cute too. Again we will need to meet with Snow Valley to see if this is where we’d like to have either ceremony or reception or both. At this point it is in second place, after the Mayfield.

Other possibilities

I’ve got a few emails in with independent caterers who have given me pretty decent quotes for catering if we were to hold the wedding reception at a hall (hall to be determined). Mike and I are also considering the Edmonton Police Association’s “Blue Meadows” hall/site. It apparently is only rentable through an EPS member (and Mike’s grandpa is a former cop and his cousin is a current cop so this would work). I just don’t know much about it/can’t find much information about it online (there’s only a teeny blurb about it on the police website) so that’s also tentative. But it looks like it would be so beautiful…

Blue Meadows. Photo courtesy: Instant Memories Wedding Photography

It may be too out-of-the-city for my parents though. Sigh. I didn’t realize this was going to be such a problem for my parents but it apparently is :(

I checked out some City of Edmonton park spaces where the ceremony could be held but a lot of places either don’t have enough capacity, can’t be closed to the public, or is too expensive if we did want it closed to the public. There’s a few other hotel wedding booklets I’ve downloaded as well but am not extremely attached or in love with any of them (and some of them are expensive, wow!) The Devonian Botanical Garden is also a beautiful, beautiful setting for a wedding ceremony – but forget about it as soon as you look at how much it costs. I was looking at Shalom Park as well, which is kind of like Eagle Rock-esque,  so it’s probably a no-go. If we go Chinese restaurant for the reception then it will likely be at Cha for Tea Palace.

Backyard Wedding

Photo courtesy: joannagoddard.blogspot.com

The above-listed venues aside, I really wouldn’t mind having just a lovely backyard wedding. I just really don’t know what backyard could house 200-250 people. :( Sad face. (If you know of a backyard that big that could be given to me for several hours on my wedding day, feel free to let me know!)

But anyway, these are some of the options and some of the thoughts that are rolling around in my mind that I wanted to jot down for this engagement adventure. Our budget is hopefully going to be around $20,000 because we’ve come to terms with the fact that food alone is likely going to be $10,000. There’s a lot of Do-it-Yourself stuff that I plan or hope to do (invitations, centre pieces, etc. That will be another blog post, lol), but wedding ceremony and reception venue-wise, I would like to choose somewhere that requires little labour on our end – so places like hotels are ideal for that. Also ideal for being in the city.

This will probably be one of the longest wedding blog posts I do because this is a big back and forth thinker. What are your thoughts? What do you think looks or sounds good? Have you been to any wedding ceremonies or receptions at any of the above mentioned places? And how much should I be taking my parent’s preferences into consideration? HM.

I think the next blog post will be far more light-hearted.
I’m thinking another wedding playlist post, lol.

– Linda