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Palais Royale - Worth the price?

Hi there,

I am considering having my wedding at Palais Royale which means we will be paying about $200 per person. Its one of the few venues in the city we could find for 300 people without going to a banquet hall. My question is whether anyone has been to a wedding there and whether they think its worth the price for what looks to be a great venue with great food.

Thanks!

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  1. A friend of mine got married there last winter. Great space, great service, just ok food IMO.

    1 Reply
    1. I wanted to get married there - but the logistics for 300 people were a little strange. The cockail hour was in question (because it was one main room) if it rained. It would have been cramped in the ballroom. The price for food was slightly higher than the Liberty Grand and they were less flexible. Plus it was further from public transportation than other venues. That said, it is stunning and unique - and maybe they've made changes in the last 3 years. We got married at the Liberty Grand and it felt like anything but a banquet facility. And the food was very very good.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MeMeMe

        I happened to go to a formal dinner at the Palais Royale with work the same year I went to a wedding at Liberty Grand. As others have noted Palais Royale is beautiful and unique, but the food was just so-so. The food at the wedding I went to at Liberty Grand was pretty good (as good as one can expect with that kind of venue with that many people). I agree Liberty Grand doesn't feel like a banquet facility.

      2. I went to a wedding there in August and the food was outstanding - everything was cooked properly and it was really great. No complaints at all.

        7 Replies
        1. re: canadianbeaver

          I went to an event at The Palais Royale and agree with the majority of Chowhounders--venue=good, food=bad.

          1. re: food_whiz

            Weird - but maybe the people I went to spent more than the base price? It was actually really good and above normal wedding food expectations - all the steak were cooked medium rare, even. Who knows....guess I lucked out!

            1. re: canadianbeaver

              I don't think you lucked out.

              I was at a wedding in April and the food was outstanding and plentiful. The bride mentioned that during her planning, she was able to voice her requirements to the chef who was flexible and willing to go above and beyond his normal menu and he even crafted some French Canadian dishes to go with the theme of the event.

              1. re: eller

                I didn't like Liberty grand's options for 300 people because the bar is WAY outside the room and the last wedding I went to there the dance floor was barren for most of it...

                It seemed to me that Palais Royale was the best food - venue combination for a wedding of this size.

                1. re: sheera1

                  Really? Which room?

                  We had 325 people in the Governor's Room. There are two huge bars situated in the room.

                  1. re: MeMeMe

                    Really? I don't know what room we were in then...our count would end up closer to 275 though - do you think it would look empty?

                    1. re: sheera1

                      Not sure - basically you would have 5 fewer tables than what we had. I don't think the other rooms fit 300 people. They are more in line with 200 I would think. We had a great cocktail reception upstairs (with amazing hors d'oevres), then dinner and dancing, then a dessert table by the windows. The place was very well set up for 325.

        2. Attended a wedding there about 3 years ago and thought the food was actually pretty good. My memory is a bit fuzzy, but I remember enjoying the steak and, like canadianbeaver said, it was actually cooked properly (i.e. not like gnawing on a shoe).

          1 Reply
          1. re: tinybites

            It could very well be the food choice that makes the difference here. I've never been to an event with steak there. Just fish, chicken, veggie option.

          2. I know this is an older topic but thought I'd post for anyone looking for updated info on Palais Royale...

            We booked the venue for our wedding next summer (2011) and recently had our dinner tasting. It was outstanding! Chef Steffan Howard and his staff are more than willing to work with couples to customize the perfect menu to suit their needs and family customs. In fact, we sensed he encourages it! We made a few special requests for off-the-menu hors d'oeuvres thinking we might be told to stick with their packaged suggestions, but he totally delivered and created exactly what we'd asked for. We chose mains (chicken and beef) from their menu package and both were delicious. Portions were generous. No one will go home hungry, that's for sure. And the famous dessert trios were to die for. We even met the pastry chef Sara who created the desserts! You can tell she loves what she does. We had a fairly lengthy discussion with Chef Howard about each menu element from the cocktail hour selections down to how well to cook the beef to garnishes on desserts. He was open to revisions and seems like a genuinely really nice guy to boot. We didn't want to leave!

            The front of house staff manager, Bruce, was also in attendance. He helped us with our wine tasting and walked us through how the service staff would present the meals to our guests, which is unique and hard to explain here but sounds efficient, innovative and cool to watch. Their in-house service and bar staff sound extremely well trained and because they are "in-house" we have zero concerns about them being complacent. They are passionate about the venue because it's their workplace. They're not subcontracted/outsourced as with some other venues. (Please note I'm not slagging other service staff/venues here as I have had positive experiences elsewhere with work events too. I'm just pointing out a unique benefit at PR. :)

            Jacqueline, our venue manager, has been helpful from day one. Considering how many events they host there a year, and considering how stressful we wedding clients can be, she always maintains her cool, poise and patience. I know we will be in excellent hands with her on our wedding day. I have no regrets booking Palais Royale.

            I can say these things with confidence as I worked in the events industry for nearly 6 years and understand many aspects of the business. Yes, booking this venue was a splurge and we will be making some financial sacrifices in other areas of our life to compensate, but considering we only plan on getting married once, we know it will be worth every cent. :) The value of the staff alone based on our tasting experience helps justify the cost! On top of that, included is a choice of a few premium-looking linens, fine cutlery, glasware and staffing. At more bare-bones venues those costs add up. And who's kidding who? A gorgeous building full of music history with a stellar patio and lake view? Priceless! (At least that's what we told ourselves when we wrote the recent cheque. LOL!)

            All I can say to close is so far so good! Prehaps we'll post an update after our wedding in the summer! I'm confident it will be another glowing review!

            I hope this helps anyone who's on the fence about booking here. And no, I don't work for the venue! LOL!

            1. We chose this place and although it was pricey, we had a buffet and that cut down the costs.

              If you are really into food, talk to the chef. We had things customized for us because we were sick of bad wedding food and not only did he order from the same CSA we belong to, he changed a lot of seasonings to be more aggressive. Just as an example, we got the duck confit poutine as an appetizer and we still didn't spend that much overall compared to other venues.

              Our coordinator there was excellent, we barely had to do anything. And we got a lot of stuff for free to be honest. It was a nice day in October and we got the tents outside for no charge and it looked gorgeous so we had the balcony, the ballroom and the side room. It was plenty of space.

              My advice about wedding food is take matters into your own hands! I had had so much bad wedding food at pretty much all the venues mentioned here and didn't want the same thing to happen. Plus, the chef is awesome, he will give you butchering tips too!