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Fun Wedding reception.. Toronto Harbour Cruise boat?


My new fiance and I are wracking our brains to come up with FUN and unusual wedding reception ideas.

We are both in our early 40's and this is not a first wedding for either of us. Rather than a 'blending of families', our wedding is more a celebration with our friends.

One idea we have is to have the reception on a harbour cruise boat. Has anyone been to a wedding on one of these boats? If so, what was the food like?

Any one else have any unconventional reception ideas?? :)


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  1. ever been to a wedding that you just had to leave, just imagine walking out the front door and falling into a lake...don't do the floating party...it can be a real bad experience for some guests and given your age (and mine) a floating party ain't it

    1. I haven't heard good things about the food on those cruises.

      You may want to register with Frugal Bride www.frugalbride.com and ask for suggestions there -- it's a great resource and is mainly Toronto based.

      1. Congrats Ms. Susan.

        I agree the other posters re: boat cruise - stuck on a boat and terrible food...

        Not sure how unusual this is - but Vineland estates has a nice little space where you can have a tasting menu reception. (We wanted to do that, but the limit is about 50-60 ppl...)

        Alternatively, you could see about the academy for spherical arts and see about doing a a dinner and pool night reception

        2 Replies
        1. re: Apple

          what about a wine tasting with a 'wine guide' and a dinner by a 'private chef ' at a intimate place...or a party at the steam whistle brewery...i can feel your pain of wanting to do something special...the thing i always remember about a wedding is the food and drink....well ..of what i can remember..

          1. re: Apple

            Oh! I'd put the Academy's food at the same level as that of the boat.

            How about a Pig Roast. My bro did that for his wedding last month. Fab food and the people that catered it were great.

          2. I've only attended one boat cruise wedding reception, but it was enough for me to decline two other invites since then. Imagine being held hostage for 5 hours with a DJ who loves playing Living La Vida Loca, and the food at the buffet served in blue Coleman coolers. No joke.

            Oh and the bride "forgot" to tell us it was a cash bar. Longest 5 hours ever.

            1. I agree with other posters so far. I actually enjoyed the only wedding boat cruise I was on, it was very well done. But still, that feeling of being trapped is something that would bother me.

              While I did enjoy a touching evening on that cruise many years ago, this is what I remember most. The bride found out by accident that the boat tour company had deliberately double-booked her night. When she invited a friend to the reception, the friend responded, 'oh that's weird that's also the same night my company is having its staff company summer party (or whatever) on the exact same boat!'

              Well after the dust settled, the wedding reception went ahead.

              1. I would have to agree with everyone else here re: the boat. The company I used to work for did a boat cruise every summer and by the end we were begging them not to do it again. You're stuck circling the harbour for hours, with food I can best describe as poor.

                I've often thought if I was getting married again that something at one of the wineries might be nice, as suggested by Apple. I'm sure there you'll find a lot of other creative suggestions. Congratulations and good luck!

                1. Sometimes art galleries will rent out their spaces (morrow ave. in TO has a bunch) and you can use your favourite caterer.

                  1. My husband and I recently had our wedding reception at Panorama (top of the Manulife). It was a "wandering" meal with food stations (ie. it was cocktail party style, but with enough small plates to constitute a full meal, and no assigned seating, just tables that people could sit at if they wished).

                    It wasn't what I'd call an "unusual" wedding, but it was really fun and much more casual than a traditional reception. Our guests seemed to really enjoy the concept; we got a lot of positive feedback about how much fun they had.

                    As for the food at Panorama, we barely had time to eat at the wedding, but the food we had at the tasting was great, and our guests said the food at the reception was great too.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: torontofoodiegirl

                      My fiance and I currently have Panorama as our "first choice" for wedding venues for our wedding next July. I'd appreciate hearing any feedback from anyone who has had their wedding there or attended a wedding there. We haven't booked anything yet, so would appreciate any ideas for "different" venues (not typical banquet hall style) that can accommodate 200 guests.


                      1. re: torontofoodiegirl

                        That sounds amazing and exactly like what we're looking for. How many people did you have?

                      2. What about one of the various yacht clubs on the island? I think in this economy, many of them would likely rent out to non-members. Then you've got the boat ride, but guests can escape if necessary.

                        Another scenic thing would be to have it at the top of the Park Hyatt, or in one of the galleries at the ROM (though not in that horrid 'crystal' with aluminum siding).

                        1. I had my wedding a few years ago on the "Showboat" from Mariposa cruises. It ended up being a really great time ... but we did it more like a party, with open bar and no boring speeches or crappy wedding music. The food was okay but not fabulous ... it was buffet style ... I don't really remember it because I was too busy talking to guests, but my foodie relatives said it definitely passable although not obviously not like a gourmet restaurant. We brought our own wedding cake.
                          Yes people are trapped on the boat for a few hours, that's a lot better than a lot of weddings I've been to that turn into an all-day affair of church and then waiting and then long reception....
                          My main warning is that if the weather is not cooperating I think it could really be horrible. We lucked out with a really hot day so by the evening it was perfect, but if it was cold, or rainy, or very windy, I think it would be kinda horrible.