Hotel Rooms make great sites for indoor winter weddings

It's cold out there. The Ice rink at City Hall, High Park, the island, cherry beach in winter - all COLD, people! Red noses! Brrr! Consider splurging on a great hotel room, in one of the icons: Park Hyatt has great suites (here's a pix from their website), and the Royal York is a bit tatty, but still has some good windows, or of course you might choose the hipper Gladstone or the Drake. Or try the Hilton, or one of the new boutique hotels like St Germain.
Make sure there is enough ROOM, tho - some of the boutique hotels only have room for that great bed, and nowhere to stand. So do your research, or ask the staff for a room with a VIEW or with room to entertain. Then hold your small wedding in your room, and sign the license on the fancy table and order room service. You can always arrange to go down and take wedding photos in the lobby and in the entrance afterwards. We had a nice little elopement wedding at Sutton Place this winter for a couple from out of the city (meaning they came in from Mississauga and survived the trip). Just order a few flowers, and bring a some gravlax and champagne, and have a wonderful winter wedding.


And here is a home wedding in Cabbagetown, with lots of good music (and perhaps too many candles!)  My dress got rather warm in the back. But it makes a very nice light, doesn't it.   The great photographer, Tobias Wang, has some wonderful hi-res shots, which I can't figure out how to edit. But check out his website. The soft glow is from oodles of tealights in mason jars on the floor.  The back of my skirt is VERY HOT!


Civil Marriage chamber in Italy

Here I am in the "Casa di Sposa Civile" or Civil Marriage House in Verona by the "Casa di Juliet".

Don't you wish that Toronto civil marriage chambers looked like this? Instead of being concrete block rooms in the basement?  

Weddings at the Multifaith Centre, UofT

There are several spaces at the MultiFaith Centre, which is in the Koffler Building at College and Spadina. The building is clean and modern, and I like the Multipurpose Room with great windows and the Main Activity Hall, which has a lovely 'light wall'.
This is a good location for a non-denominational, multicultural or non-religious wedding. ( Note, - in school season, a lot of students and other groups use the facility, so it gets booked early. Summers and school holidays, it's often quiet.You can ask me about the booking, There is a real kitchen, if you're having a small reception, but there are restrictions (no meat dishes above the 2nd floor), so it's good for light things like cake and coffee and canapes - though people do bring in caterers. There is an elevator, too, because it's a modern building.


More summer locations!

What a summer! From historic sites and museums - the Blue Barracks at Fort York, the Gardiner Museum, with a piper on the balcony, The ROM, the Design Exchange, and Artscape Wychwood barns, to the patio, again, at Le Select, 99 Sudbury, Globe Bistro (during Taste of the Danforth- eek!) and Globe Earth, and smaller cafes, including Balzac's coffee house, the Victory cafe (fun), the outdoor patio at Vertical, the rose garden in front of Allan Gardens as well as inside, Hart House courtyard, the cloister at Knox college, and quite a few backyards. Indoors, Rosewater, Park Hyatt and Royal York, Gladstone, then the CN tower again, this time in hi tourist time. We enjoyed both St Lawrence Hall and the fun Market Kitchen (during the busker's festival!), and returned often to the Arts and Letters club - where they are very nice indeed. Got to meet lots more photographers and musicians, as well as great couples. We're fitting in the Spherical Arts pool hall and the Berkeley and the Conservatory in the middle of Nuit Blanche and Culture Days - should be some interesting transportation problems. Last week, I think I was the only person to take the subway to the Old Mill, so I got there in plenty of time, while the wedding guests were stuck in rain traffic.
DO ENCOURAGE your guests and family to take TTC when parking problems! And you can get some great pix of the wedding party getting to the spot. Here's the groom's peeps in my own family....


Summer locations

Not much time to post - too busy!  But here are some recent locations:
Hart House, Enoch Turner, Le Select, Caffino, FieraMosca, Globe Bistro, Archaeo, the Berkeley, Graydon,  Allan Gardens, Canoe, Toronto Islands, Les Provences Delices, Trinity Bellwoods, Royal Conservatory (and Philosopher's walk), St. Lawrence Market Kitchen - lots of backyards and balconies - and even the Toronto Necropolis Chapel. Yes indeedy, that's us in the sunset, under the lynch gate (across from Riverdale farm). Must find links...


Heels on Wheels - the Day of Delight wedding

We had a fabulously wonderful wedding at Dufferin Grove Park today, in the Day of Delight Festival: Giant puppets, a tandem bike, a salsa band, and many other 'delights'. Pix to come soon, but here is a teaser...

As the bride says: "Day of Delight is Clay & Paper Theatre’s annual celebration of love, courtship and desire. This festival is all about leaving cynicism behind, and celebrating love. What better place could you think of to hold a wedding? I’m not a big fan of traditional weddings. I’ve been to a million of them, and they’re all the same. Boring. Most ceremonies are constrained by outdated traditions and say very little about the people who are involved in them. Day of Delight has theatre, music, installation and participatory projects including Cardbordia (an entire land made of cardboard) and a musical bicycle parade! How cool is that? We want to say “Hey, this thing we’ve got here is pretty great. Let’s celebrate!”


Coping with rain and wedding locations.

In uncertain weather, you can try to book indoor greenhouses.  Here is another Allan Gardens wedding, when we were fortunate to have (almost) the entire place to ourselves.  Try for off-hours bookings, midweek or early or nearer closing. And expect crowds, who are not complying with the contract they signed with the City.
Pity, really.

The view of the Rose Garden from the St James Pavilion is lovely right now, tho.


Caffino - big windows in the rain

Here's a pix of Caffino, (Toronto Carpet Factory) down on King West at Dufferin, from a Groupon coupon today. We had a lovely wedding in this room, quickly moved inside from the private courtyard because of the rain, but the windows are so large they allow lots of natural light.  Good Italian food, nice big atmosphere - industrial detailing.
We've done a few weddings here, in the rain, inside, outside....


Candlelight wedding @ Mjolk gallery in Roncesvalles

Mjolk is a  stylish Scandinavian store in the west end @ Roncesvalles.  As a Danish granny myself, I was honoured to participate in the wedding of the owners of the gallery - who cleared out the space, added a retro 1950s fireplace, and served wonderful Scandinavian food for friends and family in the showroom - with a great jazz combo in the window space. The lovely pictures are by Danijela Pruginic


Can my (sister, dad, uncle, friend, neighbour) marry us?

We've been asked this a lot more lately.  We also often asked - "Can you just 'sign the papers' to make the wedding legal, while my friend marries us?

The answer is simple.  NO.  It is against the law.

Your friends and family can certainly be involved, and can do many of the NON-legal parts of a wedding.

If your friend is NOT a Registered Marriage Officiant, however, you need a legally registered Marriage Officiant to conduct the legal parts of the wedding ceremony. We cannot just 'sign the papers'.  A wedding is a legally witnessed contract between two parties. The Marriage Officiant must preside over required parts of the actual ceremony.  And the most important part is the VERBAL ceremony, which is what actually marries you.

Here are some choices:

1)  You can have a simple legal wedding ceremony before your family celebration, along with your two witnesses, and save the music and readings (and rings, which are not legally required) for another ceremonial wedding celebration. This is the same concept as having a legal wedding in Ontario before you fly off for a ceremonial resort wedding. It's the same as Prince Charles getting legally married at the Registry Office in the morning, before changing clothes and going to the Cathedral for a wedding blessing after lunch.

2)  You can invite your friend to participate in your wedding, and the legal officiant will say and do the legal bits, and your friend or relative can do the family bits. This takes a little planning, but it works quite well.  Family or friends can welcome guests, offer readings and best wishes, present the rings, and ask everyone to welcome the couple at the end, for example.

Here is the previous post on this topic, with a few more details. We can also send you examples of ceremonies with participation by others.  Happy planning!


Campbell House Wedding

We had a lovely afternoon family wedding today at Campbell House, Queen Street by Osgoode Hall. About 25 people sat in the parlour, and the couple came down the stairs together.  A lovely, intimate afternoon, and the guests were invited to enjoy the museum as well, and then everyone went off to celebrate.  A lovely Regency afternoon in the heart of the city.

Here is the brides room (ballroom) and the wonderful staircase, for entrances and pictures.


Winter elopement in High Park ~ and one in Leslieville

Most of the action was on the Ice Rink on Sunday, so the five of us walked into the Japanese garden, and stood on the bridge by the frozen waterfall.  Great shots from the bridge below by our photographer!  Our fingers got a bit frozen, but hearts were warm, and the chickadees came to comment on what we were doing.  After a short ceremony and some great pictures in the snow, we hiked back to the Grenadier cafe for hot chocolate and the signing of the Marriage License.   A memorable mid-day wedding to start the year.

and then - a wonderful wedding by the empty wading pool in a Leslieville Park.

 I did take my gloves off, and so did the couple, to exchange rings.  But we went inside to sign all the papers - I couldn't bend my fingers by then! I call this a red mitt wedding - where your nose matches your fingers! I think it would have been warmer with snow!