Ladies: what’s the first thing you started to plan once you got engaged? If you’re anything like me (and 95% of brides), booking the perfect wedding venue was my main priority. My wish list was simple… NOT!
[icon name=icon-heart] Vancouver
[icon name=icon-heart] Modern / Rustic feel
[icon name=icon-heart] Waterfront
[icon name=icon-heart] Open air with tables outside
[icon name=icon-heart] No Tent
[icon name=icon-heart] 200 people… in August
Good luck, right? Well my search started with some pretty stellar wedding venues, not all of them matching my wish list to a T. There were 8 in total on my radar and I was very excited to go see each and every one of them:
UBC Museum of Anthropology – This venue really spoke to my fiancee, Darren, and his inner carpenter. The beautiful wood accents and architecture won him over immediately, especially the inside hall… it has a great acoustic sound. I loved the fact that tours of the museum were included. Wedding entertainment? Check! I had two main concerns though; the party would have to wrap up by 10 pm and the catering had to be done in-house. Both very limiting for me.
UBC Farm – Want a forest setting while staying within the city? This is your place. The upsides: the rate was relatively inexpensive making it perfect for someone on a tight budget. It’s a complete blank canvas so decorate to your hearts desire (refer to Pinterest for inspirations). Downside? It’s a complete blank canvas… so you have to bring e-v-e-r-y-thing: tables, porta potties, chairs, decorations, food, etc. A lot of work, if you’re into that sorta thing.
UBC Boathouse – The waterfront view was what attracted me to the UBC Boathouse. Another huge plus: they allow outside alcohol. Unfortunately, they didn’t have much availability in the summer so I felt really limited. My friends are getting married there this year so I took this location off my list fairly quickly.
Vancouver Rowing Club – I could really feel the heritage vibe at this venue but the inside was a bit dated for my own personal style. I’m going for a rustic / modern feel and knew this venue was too traditional for me.
The Salt Building – Thankfully, I didn’t choose this venue. I’m saying “thankfully” because it has since been renovated into a restaurant. Great spot for beer… not so much for my wedding.
Vancouver Aquarium – The contemporary West Coast menu was what initially caught my attention, but it was the distinctive space that kept me interested in the Aquarium as a venue.
Painted Boat Resort – While out of the city and a short ferry ride away, this venue met almost all the requirements off my wish list. The food was phenomenal, like 5-star good, and I knew my guests would love all the other amenities: outdoor spa, hot tub, gorgeous villas, kayaking and paddle boarding, etc.
Camp Fircom – Also out of the city, this spot is a rustic wedding paradise. The wonderful thing about Camp Fircom (aside from its’ natural beauty) is that it’s a non-profit organization. All funds from hosting weddings go to charity, helping to fund summer camps for inner-city families. Since this venue is actually a camp, we would benefit from all the activities available: archery, kayaking, canoeing, etc. The sleeping quarters were rustic and cute with little wooden bunk beds, still big enough for our guests.
Camp Fircom actually was our final choice for our wedding venue but, the day we were going to finalize, a fire caused by lightening destroyed the main building. I took that as a sign that it wasn’t meant to be. The great news is that a new, more modern building is happening at Camp Fircom, but we just couldn’t wait.
Only one problem with my outdoor Vancouver Wedding: What if it rains?
Did you get married at any of the venues I checked out? Tell us about it by commenting below!