Five new ways to host intimate, socially distanced weddings in Toronto at any budget
Local planner Rebecca Chan has come up with a fuss-free way to help couples have beautiful ceremonies at home, delivering everything you need to turn a tiny backyard ceremony into a beautifully classy affair—since Covid-19, she’s already had 17 couples use the service. It’s basically a wedding in a box: for $345, couples can get a hand-tied bouquet and boutonniere, a custom six-inch wedding cake and a piano recording of their favourite song from local musician Brent Miller. There’s also an option that includes a romantic three-course dinner for two ($455) from Elle Cuisine, which comes with a floral centrepiece, candles and matching menu and name cards. A third option is a symbolic celebration, for couples who want to keep their wedding date and have an officiant guide them through a faux ceremony over Zoom. Rebecca provides useful tips on subjects like how couples should arrange your dinner table and where they should pose for photos. She also arranges micro weddings at the location of the clients’ choice, which includes a day-of coordinator to make sure everything’s executed flawlessly.
If you’re still craving a grand to-do, even without too many guests, the Royal York is now letting couples get married in its historic 1929 ballroom, under crystal chandeliers and a frescoed ceiling. And while typical Royal York weddings can run couples well into the six figures, these socially distanced packages start at just $1,000. It includes a ceremony backdrop designed by Frank Rea of Forget Me Not Flowers, gold or silver ceremony chairs, a signing table decked out in white linen, sparkling wine and a one-hour access pass to classic hotel photo shoot locations, like the mezzanine balcony and celestial lobby clock. The hotel will currently allow a maximum of 30 guests for the ceremony (the $1,000 price is for five guests, and the cost increases by $25 per additional person). If you’re interested, we’d recommend moving quickly: the offer is only valid until September 6, 2020.
Lynzie Kent, of wedding planning company Love by Lynzie, has married over 100 couples in her popular pop-up chapel weddings, which have previously appeared at picturesque venues like the Drake Devonshire in Prince Edward County. She’s now partnering with her favourite vendors to offer mini wedding services for receptions of 50 people or less, which are now permitted in Ontario in outdoor settings. Compared to some socially distanced weddings, her micro weddings don’t seem so micro: there are two main packages, both of which include a legal officiant, custom florals, sweet and savoury charcuterie boards, ceremony decor, an open bar, hair and makeup and a digital invitation. A planner and day-of coordinator are also included. Prices start at $7,500 for 20 people, and go up to $12,000 if you want to add a three-course catered meal to the reception. They can be held at any venue and are most likely to resemble the plans you had before the world came crashing to a halt.
This art gallery in West Queen West is offering all-inclusive weddings in an easy-to-remember format: couples get a three-hour, 30-person service for $3,000. And, to support the arts community, all the nuptial elements—from the venue decor to the guest favours—are designed by local artists. Though the gallery has closed its physical space on Dovercourt, it’s hosting the events in various creative spots, like the photography studio on Queens Quay East pictured above. The package includes a half-hour ceremony with an officiant, followed by a two-and-a-half-hour reception for 10 of your friends and family (they’re hopeful couples booking into the fall will be able to have more guests). Live music for the ceremony and a DJ for the reception are included, as are a photographer, cake, free bubbly, a cash bar, custom favours and three passed canapés.
One of the industrial shipping containers inside Stackt Market at Front and Bathurst is getting a romantic makeover. Opening this July for a one-month pop-up, Love Shack will be a mini wedding venue for alternative Covid-approved celebrations under 10 people. The atmosphere is designed to be no-fuss, with disco-inspired influences. They offer three packages for couples, which range in price from $650 to $2,500. The most expensive, the “Full Monty,” grants couples access to the space for two hours with five friends, and includes a legal officiant, a celebratory sparkling toast, a roll of Polaroid photos, refreshments, florals and a professional photographer.