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Jan 23, 2013 08:07 AM

Alternative Wedding Venues & Caterers!

Hi Montrealers! We're planning our wedding for summer 2013 and our guestlist is bulging. I'm having a hard time finding alternative wedding venues (not the typical hotel or wedding hall). I've scoured through the past chowhound site and hoping to pick your brains!

We're hoping for a banquet style reception for 300some people. Food is important to us. Hoping to keep it moderately (?) priced around $150/person at most (incl taxes and alcohol). It'd be great if we could do a ceremony at the same place. Not sure if this is unreasonable in pricing since everywhere we've looked has so many other costs! Any recommendations for caterers? (If we can buy our own alcohol that'd be great too.) We're newbies to wedding planning, so any advice is great!

We've looked at: Navark Island
Marche Bonsecours
Science Museum

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  1. Oh wow, that sounds exactly like our wedding! We just got married in October at the Science Center. We had the ceremony and cocktails in the Passerelle and the reception in the Perspective. It was everything we wanted! The reception room comfortably fit up to 250 people, any more than that and it would have been too cramped.

    We had Robert Alexis cater everything. The food was absolutely fantastic, reasonably priced, but there were a few hiccups we weren't too happy with that night (the really large, quite expensive Ferrari shaped cake I got to surprise my husband was never put out on the sweet table as planned, and the sorbet was served melted, to name a few). Overall the food was great, but the service that night wasn't ideal. We also looked into Agnus Dei and Avocado, but they were significantly more expensive.

    We got all our own alcohol from the SAQ Depot to save a bit of money and delivered it to the caterer about a week before the wedding.

    We also looked into Bonsecours, but we felt the room wasn't as nice as the Science Center.

    Hope this helps, let me know if you have any questions!

    2 Replies
    1. re: chefjeannine

      Thanks so much! Sorry to hear about your cake and sorbet. :( Did you have a wedding planner or did you try and do it all yourself? The hard part is figuring out this whole budget -- so many times things aren't included...and it's all adding up! I tried looking into wedding package places (hotels, reception venues) and while it seems a whole lot easier to go that route, we're hoping for something a little different.

      Doing the venues where you have to supply everything - does it end up costing more? Harder to contain the budget?

      Thanks so much!!

      1. re: rueboteler

        We had a wedding planner and it would have been impossible planning the wedding without her. The great thing about these alternative venues is that they're unique and more interesting than the typical reception halls, but the downside is that there is no one on site to literally just get an empty room & have to plan the rest yourself.

        I think it was a little more than if we were to go the "normal" route. But we also come from big Italian families who expect lots of really good food, so we went a little crazy there. It also depends on what kind of decorations you would like.

        All in all, we were extremely satisfied with the whole thing and we couldn't have imagined having it anywhere else!

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        1. Thanks - we're going to check out Espace Reunion too. Griffintown seemed a little far from downtown. Most of our guests will be coming from out of town, so we thought to try and keep it central...

          1. re: rueboteler

            Oops disregard! I had mistaken griffentown w another venue! Looks like its just south. Thx for the tip- will check it out!

        2. Hi Montrealers! so we had our wedding last weekend and I just wanted to follow up on it. We went with Robert Alexis for our catering and it was amazing. The food was outstanding - the salmon was moist and not dry or doused in sauce! We had stuffed chicken - which could've been super boring and dry like most wedding chicken, but instead this was a hit. Really moist and flavorful. The appetizers were great - we had 8 different varieties. Roasted vegetables were great for a summer time wedding side dish. The staff were impeccable - well mannered, super attentive and everyone had a great time because they didn't have to worry about anything. Really great service and we didn't have to sweat a single thing. The Maitre D was super observant throughout the whole event and made sure everything was moving smoothly. Would definitely recommend them!

          1 Reply
          1. re: rueboteler

            Congratulations! Glad to hear you reported back. Also glad to hear you went with Robert Alexis! Despite the hiccups we had, we were very satisfied overall with the food and the fact that they were significantly cheaper than the other more popular caterers.