After 20 years together (16 of them living together as common-law), David and I decided to celebrate our anniversary on Saturday, September 24th by getting married.
When we first decided to finally (legally) tie the knot, we thought we would just have a civil ceremony at City Hall, and find a country club or something to that effect that could host our small reception afterward. While researching this option I stumbled across the Toronto Wedding Chapel.
After I checked out the website, David and I discussed our budget and looked at the various packages available.
First off, I was incredibly grateful that the pricing structure was listed on the website. I looked at so many country clubs and other smaller wedding venues, and only about 15% had their fees listed. I understand that this price that I'm looking at here will not be the actual cost. We booked the "Two Hearts" package, and after we added all the extras, we paid well over the starting price of $3000. But when you're first trying to figure out what you want for your ceremony and reception, and you're looking for a ballpark of what this thing will cost you, seeing actual numbers on the screen are a godsend.
After choosing the 'Two Hearts' package, I sent off an email to make sure that our date and preferred time slot was available. Obviously it was. After that, we booked an appointment and went to discuss the package and our options.
I know, it doesn't look like much from the outside. David and I were questioning our decision about this place when we first walked up to it. However, the inside definitely makes up for how simple the exterior is. With everything in life, you have to weigh the pros and cons and decide if the choice is worth it.
One of the pictures from the TWC website.
After speaking with Lara, we decided to go ahead and book our wedding. The inside was pretty, elegant, and looked perfect to host our small wedding. Since we had to go all or nothing so we wouldn't offend anyone, we decided ours would only include our immediate family members - all told, we had 18 guests.
At the initial meeting we discussed colours, what kind of food, flowers, etc. My mind was definitely at ease once I left, as they would take care of almost everything. Pretty much all David and I had to do was get our license, clothing, and the music. When I say they take care of everything, I mean everything!
Once we signed our contract and paid our deposit, we really didn't hear much until about two weeks before the date of the ceremony. To be honest, by this point I was starting to panic a little. Would everything be okay? How would it look? What are we supposed to do? With larger weddings at churches and the like there is a rehearsal so that everyone knows what's going on. That is not the case here. That's okay with us, as we live in Oshawa and I really didn't want to drive an hour into Toronto for a fifteen minute walkthrough just to turn around and drive back. Plus, that was a really busy couple of weeks at work and I really wouldn't have been able to find the time to go.
I didn't need to worry. Katherine called about a week and a half before and confirmed the colours, the guest list, the food, cake, decorations, pretty much everything I was stressing about. And when we walked in and got our first look at the space, it was magic. Everything was perfection. She had chosen the perfect colours and everything looked wonderful. Katherine had even planned for a maid of honor - I didn't have one, and she forgot to ask, so she planned for one just in case. This is the attention to detail that you receive at the TWC.
The officiant came up to see me before the ceremony, to find out a little about David and myself, so she could make the ceremony more personal. She did a wonderful job. After we signed the register, we went outside and took some pictures (we had a photographer for an hour included in the price!) while the crew set up the tables and food.
When we got back inside, everything was set up for our dinner. The food (we chose Italian) was so good! So much better than I expected. We enjoyed penne, lasagne, veal cutlets, and a salad. Red and white wine was also served, along with champagne. Unfortunately, dessert was only cake, fruit, and some cookies my mother-in-law brought. I would have preferred to also have some pastries and coffee, but truthfully, since everything else was so good, that is definitely something I can let go!
While we were discussing the menu, I totally forgot about my mother-in-law's cheese allergy. I know, I'm terrible. If it makes you feel any better, I also forgot to mention my own allergy to pineapple (which was on the fruit plate, so I couldn't touch that). However, when Katherine found out that Mary couldn't eat anything but the salad, she first offered to run across to St. Louis Bar & Grill and get her some chicken wings (we all found that hilarious!), and when Mary said she was okay, and not to worry about her, Katherine went and got her some grilled meat! No one was going hungry at my wedding, thanks to Katherine!
I only have two gripes. The first is the parking situation. This is totally out of TWC's hands, since they are right in downtown Toronto (off Yonge, just south of Eglinton). There was one parking spot for us, thank goodness, but our guests had to park on adjacent side streets. There is no space for them to create parking, so it's not really anything that can be changed, but I am putting it out there. We did inform our guests and emailed out maps with available parking areas about two weeks before so that everyone would be aware and prepared.
Finally, I just want to comment on the photographer. Firstly, as I mentioned, we had a photographer included in our package for one hour. That was incredible, because in less than a week after our event, we received almost 300 pictures! Unfortunately, a number of the pictures were either pixelated or blurry, which was disappointing. There were also a large number of pictures taken of the flowers, tables, decorations, etc., where I would have preferred fewer of those and more of the guests.
That being said - I want to repeat that we received almost 300 pictures! That is amazing. And to get them within a week is pretty incredible. Although I was disappointed with some of them, on the whole, I am extremely pleased with the photographer and the photos we received.
So there you have it! I found a fantastic little gem of a wedding chapel in downtown Toronto. For an incredible price, you can have the small-scale wedding of your dreams - I know I did!
Review also posted to Yelp - click here.
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