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Jul 16, 2009 09:03 AM

Recession wedding!

We are looking for a wedding venue (ceremony + dining) suitable for up to 100 people, somewhere in Toronto (or GTA) for next summer. We don't need "posh"- just pleasant ambiance and great continental food. Hoping not to pay more than $10,000 total cost...Any suggestions?

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  1. Having researched a lot of venues, finding a place at that price (ie. including food, drinks, tax and gratuity) in Toronto may be difficult, if not impossible, at conventional venues (GTA/burbs may be another story, but I can't comment). Your best bet may be to pick a low-to-mid priced restaurant that you enjoy and ask if you can book the whole place on a Sunday evening (assuming they're closed on Sundays) -- they may be quite willing to accommodate, especially in this economy.

    1 Reply
    1. re: torontofoodiegirl

      I have to agree with TOFG here. To get good food for that many people at that budget, you should go to a restaurant. Wedding venues that you find for that price with food for that many people are not going to be good. I'm not quite sure what "great continental food" means to you but considering your on chowhound I assume you have high standards. My suggestion would be to find a restaurant ,otherwise cut the guest list, or increase the budget:) Congrats

    2. the recession should be well into recovery by next summer and shrewd operators will be careful about booking something more frugal now with that in mind. Also, be careful with deposits and the like because the economy now might mean that the operator may not be there for your special day.

      1. We did our wedding for around 90 people 4 years ago for around $5000. The thing is, we did a lot of the planning ourselves. We found a reasonably priced venue, got our own caterer and did our own decorations. If you're willing to put in the work, it can be done. We ended up renting the ballroom at the Gladstone Hotel as it was just finished being renovated, and had our wedding catered by Green Mango ( If by continental food you mean beef and mashed potatoes, well, I'm afraid that it will cost you, and may not be very good either for what you pay.

        6 Replies
        1. re: currycue

          $5000 sounds amazing . . . . I'm assuming you didn't have to rent any tables, chairs, place settings . . . or pay for servers . . . and did you have any alcohol???
          I'm in the same boat as Lani - planning for next summer, though I've come the realization that I'll likely have to spend something more like $15,000 (for the reception).
          Fyi: You can have Canoe for a min $14,000 (plus tax and gratuity) on a Saturday. They have other options for different days & different restaurants on their website.

          1. re: five.two

            Gladstone has probably gone up in price since then and they now have a full kitchen, so they may insist you use their kitchen. That said, GM provided servers (they also cater business functions) but it was buffet style (no one left hungry!) We gave out drink tickets and paid the tab at the bar (I think it was 2 drinks per) We were going to have Alligator provide place settings but the GM folks took care of it for us. I think their bill alone was around $3500-$4000 for the food and place settings. Very reasonable! (I also had a friend who worked in a cake shop make the cake for us as a gift)

            1. re: currycue

              As of last summer, the rental cost alone (ie. no food or drinks included) for the Gladstone ballroom was $3,000...lovely space though.

              1. re: torontofoodiegirl

                Most hotels waive rental fees if food and/or beverage is purchased through hotel, but most hotels don't allow outside food and/or beverage.

                Straight rental fees usually apply when someone holds a conference or meeting style of event without food and beverage attached.

                1. re: robgm

                  Can't comment on other hotels, but we looked at the Gladstone for our wedding and the rental fee was definitely on top of the cost of food and beverage to be purchased from them (that being said, I should note that their alcohol prices were more reasonable than at a lot of other places we looked at ). I'm not trying to dissuade anyone from choosing the Gladstone (because we really liked them) -- just pointing out that it can't be done as cheaply as the OP would like.

                2. re: torontofoodiegirl

                  Yikes! I guess we "swindled them". How about somewhere like Wychwood Barns? St. Lawrence Market kitchen, or maybe the Don Valley Brickworks site? Not sure if they have space to rent out but if they do, you'll probably do better than $2000+ for rentals. That's just robbery.

          2. Does George Brown College cater weddings? They would probably do a good job. I'm sure you could get a good deal on wedding cakes at their bakeshop.