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Wedding Review - Liuna Gardens, Cullen Gardens

Has anyone been to Liuna Gardens in Stoney Creek or Cullen Gardens in Whitby for a wedding or other event?

I am debating between them for my wedding this summer (under the tent in Liuna and in the Loafing Barn/Ruins for Cullen Gardens) and would love to get feedback on their food, service, facilities, etc.

For Cullen Gardens, I am considering Bunny's Catering or Pillars Cafe and Catering just b/c their prices seem to be the most reasonable and we are on a tight budget.

Or does anyone know of similar venues in the GTA and surrounding area that are a bit "different" (not a "banquet hall") where the reception can be somewhat outdoors? Any info would be helpful!

Thanks!

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  1. I went to a wedding reception at Liuna Gardens about 10 years ago - if i recall correctly, the grounds were beautiful, right on the lake (?) and the food (italian) was phenomenal...friends and I still talk about it... service was good, but i think the room/hall we had, the dance floor was quite small. it did feel like a hall though. have not been to cullen gardens for wedding, tho the grounds are beautiful - i think it was bought by the city of oshawa some years ago.

    how about Heintzman House (http://www.heintzmanhouse.ca/index2.htm) in thornhill, went to a small wedding there years ago and it felt quite intimate, like someone's house on a country acreage. there is also The Doctor's House which felt much smaller than even Heintzman House (country cottage feel) and the service was very good, the food was good but not blow your mind, just sensible, downtoearth meat & potatoes food (that probably had to do more with the menu chosen by the bride).... i think Edward's Gardens also offers wedding venues

    1 Reply
    1. re: berbere

      Thanks for the feedback berbere! I will check out those places too.

    2. Graydon Hall, Don Mills Road just north of York Mills. I went to a wedding there last year in the summer and it was truly a delight. Good food too.

      http://www.graydonhall.com/

      1. We did the Estates of Sunnybrook (http://estatesofsunnybrook.com/) and had nothing but great things to say about it. Staff was excellent, food was excellent - they really took care of us. Haven't been there in 8 years - but I am sure it is still top notch.

        1. We've booked Cullen for 2010. So we haven't had it yet but I can tell you our experience so far.

          We're leaning towards King's Court for the caterer, although I know we're planning on spending more on food. I'd at least look into King's Court though, they do have some budget options were very friendly and have great staff. Had great food. They also don't charge the service charge and mandatory 15% tip most other places do. With that said, still be plan on tipping.

          Not as impressed with the other two caterers, each for various reasons. But especially with Bunny's that could very well just be limited to my experience.

          If trying to save on a budget you can always get a Special Occasion Permits and charge for the alcohol. Doing this will cover the costs of the bartenders and give you some extra. I know it can be done but I don't know the logistics of it all, we're just doing an open bar.

          You can also make a few batches at a brew your own winery such as BYOB in oshawa. Especially if you want to give a few bottles to each table at the reception.

          We liked Cullen because of the ability pick a caterer and being able to have all the different options open to use that a place like this(City owned) had.

          If you weren't aware of it, if you or one of your family members lives in Whitby you can also get a small discount.

          Not sure what else I can give you but if you have any other questions just ask.

          2 Replies
            1. re: DurhamPark

              Just curious why you wouldn't recommend Bunny's?

              I had a horrible experience with them and want to get input from others in my situation.

            2. Got married at Cullen Gardens two summers ago. It was fantastic. The facility staff were very accommodating and the option to bring in our own alcohol was a bonus.

              Had Pelican for the catering -- was not impressed AT ALL with Kingscourt and Bunny's. We did extensive research and Pelican was the most tasty and original of the three. We were very pleased with the end result.

              Best of luck!

              2 Replies
              1. re: geoprincess

                I had a horrible expereince with Bunny's and wish I would have done more research before hand. Why weren't you impressed with Bunny's?

                1. re: soldwithstacey

                  To tell you the truth it was three years ago now and I can't exactly remember why. We saw 4 caterers. Pelican the open house tasting they had was just bad, the service the food ect, then we talked with Bunnies and one other, one wanted to charge a rather large amount for a tasting and both were hard to communicate with and just didn't come off very professional.

                  Kings Court impressed us the most before the wedding and did a great job at our wedding. Our only minor complaint at the time was the buns/bread for the wedding were dry and seemed to be older than they should have been. But everything else was fantastic; the food and the service. Very easy to work with.

              2. Thanks everyone! That was some really useful advice and links.

                We've finally decided on Cullen Gardens and we're going to have both the ceremony and reception in The Ruins and move into the Loafing Barn if it rains. Anyone have experience with an outdoor reception at Cullen?

                There's a tasting at Pelican this week, so we'll see how that goes!

                1. We just got married at Cullen Gardens and it was beautiful! The staff there are excellent and will work with you so you get what you want. Unfortunately, we chose Bunny's for our caterer and they sent part of our meal to a different venue, gave us the wrong linens the day before the wedding and said there was nothing they could do to replace them (we had to rent from another vendor) and the staff was generally rude and unhelpful. I would never recommend them to anyone. They also charge for water and wine glasses and will only show up two hours before dinner to set-up, which sucks if you're having cocktails before dinner. The food was good, but did not make up for everything else that went wrong.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: teddyb

                    HI All -

                    I am trying to book with Cullen for a 2011 wedding and they are telling me they aren't able to book into 2011 yet. Anyone know the deal? It really isn't that far ahead (April2011).

                    Thanks!

                    kass.

                    1. re: Kassandy

                      I'm afraid that you can't get your hopes up. We went there last month for the same purpose. We asked some guests from the wedding that day about the property. They said that the property might be up for sale.

                      If you are from that area/ looking around that area. I would suggest you to try Parkwood Estate in Oshawa. It has an absolutely stunning ground with a history building as a backdrop. The garden is very well maintained and it has a fountain at the sunken level. I believe Kings Court is their caterer.