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Dec 8, 2009 09:29 PM

Calgary Wedding

Looking for restaurant venues in Calgary for a wedding of about 150 people. Any thoughts? Alternatively, any suggestions on caterers....

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  1. Is there any particular cuisine you prefer for the big day? or quadrant of the city you'd rather be in? If you can narrow it down a bit I'm sure you'll get a lot of good suggestions.

    My first thought for food & location is The Ranche I know they could accomodate 150 total - I've been there for corporate parties and for dinner with my dear husband - but I'm not sure they'd be able to get that number in the main dining room.

    1. The Ranche is definitely a great suggestion. I have also been to large functions at Heritage Park. If you go with caterers...check out Simply Elegant. Great people to work with.

      1. We would prefer somewhere in the SW, closer to downtown, however, it does not really matter. We are also deciding whether to do a sit down dinner or more of a cocktail party with food stations and hors d'oeuvres.

        1. Shmates, I was looking for a restaurant for a 140-person corporate dinner earlier this year, and there aren't too many restaurants with that kind of capacity, especially if you need them to be able to see the head table (in fact, I'm certain there are no restaurants set up this way). However, if you just need to fit everyone into the same restaurant, and it doesnt' matter that some won't be able to see the head table live (maybe they can watch on screens), these are the places that I found:

          - Redwater Grille in Bow Valley Square (holds 190, but is J-shaped).
          - Sky 360 at the top of the Calgary Tower (I think it can hold up to 150, maybe a little less, but it is doughnut-shaped)
          - Velvet at the Grand; the restaurant/bistro is too small, but they do rent out the theatre if there aren't any productions running at the same time
          - Parkerhouse in the Lougheed Building (IIRC, it holds around 140, but the main area holds only about 80 - 90; rest of seating is in the lounge and the lounge's mezzanine)
          - Murrieta's can hold around 140 (IIRC) with 90 in the central "courtyard" area
          - Teatro holds about 110 in its main restaurant, another 60 or so in the Opera Room
          - Muse and Catch can only hold up to 100 people or so
          - Rush can hold 110, (combo of the main dining room and the private rooms)

          8 Replies
          1. re: aktivistin

            Velvet is a great suggestion! And i'm not just saying that because I got married there. Ok, well, maybe I am. Anyways, they can do a seated reception for 90ppl IIRC, or standing for 140-200, depending on if you only use downstairs, or use the upstairs too. The theatre itself will hold ~200+ also, depending on how the seats are layed out. There's also a smaller rehearsal theatre space upstairs which would be more intimate for the ceremony if your party's smaller.

            1. re: marcopolo

              Thanks marcopolo! Would you mind sharing some details about your wedding? Did you do a seated dinner or standing? Dance? How was the food?

              1. re: shmates

                We did things a little unconventionally with a seated dinner for 85ish ppl in Velvet (which was excellent -- typically good CRMR quality), then had the ceremony in the large theatre, then back out to velvet for a standing reception for about 130ppl. We had a pastry chef friend do a dessert table, and hired another friend for the DJing. Nadine, Velvet's event mgr, and Maria, Velvet's GM, are super friendly and great to deal with, as is the rest of the staff. Ditto for the folk on the theatre side.

                as a footnote, i should add that prior to my wedding i did do some contracting with Velvet, and my wife did some for the Grand, so obviously we were treated quite well. But I'm confident that the treatment is almost identical for any other party. In fact, I've witnessed it first hand at other corporate events at the Grand.

            2. re: aktivistin

              Thanks for the info aktivistin! I figured we would be out of luck due to numbers, but thought it was worth asking. Where did you end up for your dinner?

              1. re: shmates

                Budget cutbacks landed us at Italian Kitchen which can do a well-priced menu, but is also unable to accommodate everyone for a presentation-style event. We decided to go more casual (no presentation) and just get everyone into the same space. Penny Lane wasn't my first choice, but the lady has been very good to work with so far.

                1. re: aktivistin

                  Thought I would add a follow-up on our event at Italian Kitchen. While the restaurant could definitely fit us all in (about 110 people), it was very crowded. Also, I'd say that the level of "polish" or professionalism is just not enough for a wedding or a formal event, but may be okay for a large casual gathering. We encountered some hiccups (a couple of ornery staff, leaky ceiling in the centre of the room, maintenance guy repeatedly checking said leak during the event, etc). I don't recommend IK for large formal or corporate events.

              2. re: aktivistin

                I forgot to mention that Chinese restaurants do have capacity for 150 people. I'm pretty sure Forbidden City can hold 200, if not more, and I know that Regency Palace can definitely accommodate at least 250. So that's another option if you're looking for something different. I recommend the banquet menu at Forbidden City--it's a typical ten-/twelve-course Chinese banquet menu with a few twists here and there. Everything is very fresh and the quality is high despite having to serve such large quantities at the same time.

                Also, have you considered Hotel Arts? Though not a restaurant, its meeting space might be considered more restaurant-y (i.e. in the modern restaurant decor vein) than other hotels around the city.

                1. re: aktivistin

                  I think if you are ok without a plated/seated dinner, definitely go that way as it will significantly cut your costs down. Off the top of my head, I would definitely second the choice of the Ranche as it's food has always been one of the best in Calgary.

              3. I recently went to a very fancy food and wine event called "wine stage" held at Hoel Arts. It had booths from some of the best food and wine vendors in Calgary. We had some outstanding items from the RED TREE CATERING COMPANY. (I don't have events catered often so hadn't heard of them). Well I have to say, I made a note that if I EVER need a caterer I would use them - WOW!!!!

                As for restaurants that are beautiful with good food - Alloy has a special room - you could probably book out the place. It has a fantastic patio that would be great for pictures and an "outdoor" portion of the event. I stongly suggest you go there and have a look as it is quite lovely AND it meets your requirement of SW close to downtown.