Our Wedding [General]

2008 Sep 24
We had a wonderful wedding at the Courtyard Restaurant on Saturday. It was a morning ceremony followed by reception and lunch.

The food at the Courtyard was excellent and we actually found the food the day of the Wedding to be better than our tasting menu. If you are thinking of doing a smaller wedding (we had 53 people which was perfect for the room), I would highly recommend the Courtyard. Their prices for lunch are very reasonable and we did not find that we were being nickled and dimed.

We got our cake from the Girl with the Most Cake. I will post pictures when we get them but in short: The cake looked awesome and tasted great! Beautiful icing made with butter cream - not fondant!

We had a lovely meal on our own at Domus that night and they treated us very well. A wonderful meal which we will get to repeat as one of our gifts was a gift certificate for Domus!


2008 Sep 24
Hey Medicinejar,

Congrats on your trip down Martimony Lane.

What a wonderful wedding present .. a Domus Gift certificate !!

Did they charge you a plating fee for the cake ?

2008 Sep 24
Thanks for your best wishes CC.

There was no plating fee for the cake which at some places can run you $4 a slice.

2008 Sep 24
Only 4 bucks a slice ?!?!?!? Ha Ha Ha !!!


.... and Juniper's charges 7 bucks per cake slice.

See interesting Ottawa Foodie posting here ---> www.ottawafoodies.com <---

2008 Sep 24
And here's our cake!

2008 Sep 24
And here is another shot from a different angle.

2008 Sep 24
Kewl Kake !!!

Any left-overs ???

Pretty Please ???

Pretty please ??? .... with icing on top !!

2008 Sep 24
A very tasty cake.... and there were leftovers but they were already demolished! Of course, the top layer is now in our freezer waiting for our first anniversary!

2008 Sep 24
Big congrats Medicinejar!

I got married last Oct 20th (first year coming up soon)

We did the very small reception at Amadeus Cafe in Kingston. No plating fee, great people, good Germanese (haha) food! www.amadeuscafe.ca/main.htm

2008 Sep 24
Juniper charges $7 for SERVING the cake? My word!

Although that was not a wedding, so I can kind of understand that.

MedicineJar, congratulations! Courtyard is lovely, from what I've heard, for smaller weddings. So glad that you enjoyed it.

2008 Sep 24
Medicine Jar - Congratulations!

Your day sounded wonderful, and if I recall the weather cooperated. And the food... yum, yum, nothing like a Foodie's Wedding to bring out the best. Bet you had a great time at Domus later that night... did they know you just tied the knot? And to think you get to go back as a wedding present... now these are A-List Guests!

The cake looks spectacular BTW, the Bride has excellent taste (but then we all knew that already... as she picked you).

Cheers to you both!

--- --- ---


It was only a matter of time til that old Cake Plating Post resurfaced.

2008 Sep 24
Congrats MedicineJar! I also attended a wedding reception at Courtyard many years ago and was quite pleased.

Just to be clear.. the $7 Juniper cake plating charge was not for a wedding, but was just for a group of people who reserved a table, and when it came to desert time, produced a Loblaws cake and asked for Juniper to serve it. I'm pretty sure that if you were reserving the whole place or some such, that something could be worked out with them.

2008 Sep 28
MedicineJar, your cake is so beautiful! I will have to bookmark The Girl With The Most Cake for our wedding in 2010. I hate fondant :) and LOVE buttercream.

We are thinking of (actually we are pretty much set on) having our reception at Juniper. The fee to rent the whole place is $9000, food only, and I can't imagine they will be charging a plating fee for our cake!!

2008 Sep 28
Eeeep! For $9000 I hope not!

2008 Sep 28
Me too, zymurgist - me too ;)

2008 Sep 29
Wow. $9000, food only? Let's hope there's no caking fee (sorry, I'm sure your wedding will be absolutely lovely, but my word, that's a lot over my overall wedding budget). You will probably want to confirm this with them, no?

2008 Sep 29
11 years ago we did our entire wedding and reception for $2000 exactly - and darned proud of it! I honestly can't imagine spending this much on a wedding, but to each their own. (Contrary to what's often said, it won't really be the most memorable day of your life)

For us :

The dress was a gift from a friend of my wife's family who is a professional seamstress. The general reception was right after the wedding at my wife's parents' place, and as per the tradition, all the old ladies from the community provided the food for it. Except for the cake which was made by my wife's mom and frosted by her father (long story, which I believe I've told on here before).

So far the tab is about $1100 including kilt rentals for me and the best man. The remaining $900 was spent on tickets to the Octoberfest at the local brew pub that night. We bought just over half the tickets and gave them out to anyone who wanted to attend.

That said, we still haven't taken a honeymoon and sure would like to some time. Though that becomes very difficult with kids :-)

2008 Sep 29
That sounds awesome Zym! We're planning for around $7500, for 100 people, if we're lucky. About $5000+ of that is dedicated to catering, so I do understand how catering could cost a fortune, if you wanted it to.

But yes, I am doing as much myself as I please---invitations, centrepieces, music.

Honeymoon will also come later, since SO is a painting contractor and doesn't really see much time off between mid-March and late-November.

2008 Sep 29
Hey Zym, I'd say there's nothing wrong with either spending little, or spending a lot on the wedding, as long as it stays within the means of the people celebrating. I've been to, and loved $1000 weddings at the local church hall, and $30,000 weddings at the Chateau Laurier and both were able to be quite special experiences. Of course, I might alienate myself from the ladies here, but when I had my own wedding, I didn't think of it as 'my special day', I thought of it as my responsibility (and pleasure) to make sure everyone who came to help celebrate our wedding, had as good a time as humanly possible. I wanted them all fed (hopefully good food), and happy, and generally ready to make fools of themselves on the dance floor.

2008 Sep 29
We did a small wedding, fall themes, 20 or guests and under $1500 including rings, dress and food. Parents paid for the booze :-)

2008 Sep 29
She got lucky, got had to work in LA for a month and a co-workers wife was a designer, she paid barely a thing for her dress (under $100) for one that retailed for.... way more than that :-)

2008 Sep 29
Oh, there's nothing wrong with it at all PiO - didn't mean to sound judgmental. Just said it most certainly isn't for me. We'd have gone even cheaper if we could have - we're both very frugal :-) But there were certain things considered "required" by some key family members :)

2008 Sep 29
Just for the photo op... I was driving us to our lakeside destination in Westport later that evening.

EDIT, my wife is correcting me to $2500... I guess we aren't *that* cheap, hah

2008 Sep 29
We got our bill from the Courtyard:

53 people for lunch. For about $3900, we got:

1) a champagne toast (i.e. 51 glasses of sparkling)
2) an open bar (you pay on the use and it was used but not insanely so)
3) wine with the meal
4) pate and cheese as well as about 4 or 5 types of hors d'oeuvres
5) choice of salad or soup (salad presentation was excellent
6) choice of steak, chicken or salmon
7) 2 truffles made by Stubbe for every guest
8) Our wedding cake sliced and served

The staff were very helpful. Would recommend them to anyone

2008 Sep 29
As an old-fashioned girl, I do believe that everyone should do it big once (and only once... more on that in a sec). I realize that some see it as a big waste of a lot a cash (like maybe a downpayment on a house) but for most women a wedding truly has been a fantasy their whole lives, the dress, the flowers, the rings, the vows, the kiss, the groom,... the whole nine yards.

I've always thought the Ceremony was the girl's territory, and the Reception the guys (like Pete mentioned, the guys really get into putting on a good event for the guests). And well the honeymoon is really the couples domain... and I see that as important too, because life crowds in soon enough... and then you find yourself in a situation... wanting to go on a special vacation together, but ya never seem to get around to it. (Zym... make time, life goes by too quick, your lovely wife & you deserve it... 11 years have zipped by already).

As for second weddings, now that I am of a certain age, and everyone I know seems to be doing it for the 2nd (or 3rd time around, and occasionally the 4th) that is another matter. I believe that if one of the couple hasn't been married previously (and it doesn't really matter if it is the bride or the groom) then by all means you can go big. But if this is your second walk down the aisle I think it should be more subtle. Not to say that one can't do a white dress... just not the 100 yards of taffeta and 12 bridesmaids, this tends to look ridiculous IMO. (There is ONE exception to this rule... If the couple is of a certain age so that they or their intended have adult children, and grandchildren, who have children... then there are no rules, because LOVE AFTER 80 IS GRAND)

For the rest of us... a nice quiet dignified affair, or perhaps that missed out elopement of our youth... Bahamas, Hawaii, Fiji... they are all a callin.

2008 Sep 29
We have all the time in the world F&T, just no money :-)

2008 Sep 29
Zym - I learned awhile ago that is the way the world is set up... when you have time you'll have no money (youth or retired for example) and when you have the money you'll have no time (middle aged). Ya just gotta plan for it.... otherwise the 3rd element comes into play, the one you'll have no control over -- health.

2008 Sep 29
We're going open bar at our wedding, too, and likely going to be doing the purchasing ourselves.

It'll be interesting to see how much people consume.

And also how many AirMiles I get ;)

The caterer we've got lined up is way on the affordable side, too, which helps fund the open bar!

2008 Sep 29
All this is reminding me of "I Do ... Let's Eat" !!

2008 Sep 29
We found that one of the key advantages of going with a lunch is dropped costs alot: no dj, no open bar all night, the menu was cheaper because it was lunch etc. As well, we were not exhausted until we were done photos at 5pm. Throughout our meal at Domus, we kept joking thank god were not doing YMCA right now!

So for me, lunch was a great way to do something nice but still keep it affordable and liveable but to each his or her own.


2008 Sep 29
Medicine Jar - I remember once upon a time doing some research on Wedding Customs... and about 100 years ago (the Victorian Age) most couples got married in the morning or middle of the day. Hence, the name of the coat that many of us associate with weddings (the morning coat) which in olden times was only worn prior to 5 PM. Of course now adays, this type is formal wear is usually considered the most formal of choices.

I personally think morning weddings are kind of trendy, a great way for a couple to save money, but also make a classy statement... plus this allows a couple to leave the reception at a reasonable time (afternoon) and still make flight connections to their honeymoon destination. (Which I also believe was part of the reason Victorian couples got married mid-day, so they could catch a train or a boat). The whole ideas is so much more civilized than so many couples I've known who've left a late night reception, only to have to get up at the crack of dawn to make a flight somewhere in the morning.... no fun!

2008 Sep 29
Oops, I'm sorry medicinejar, I didn't mean to hijack your thread!

lady who brunches - we haven't even called Juniper yet to inquire, but I have to admit I'd have an issue with a plating fee for cake! Of note, the $9000 is on a Friday or Saturday evening, so we feel it's a fair albeit steep price. I'm sure they make about that or more on a Friday/Saturday night in food.

Food is important to us and we love Juniper and can't think of a venue we'd rather have for our reception. A lunch without an open bar would be much more affordable but that's just not "us". Pete, like you we are thinking of it as we want to throw the biggest party of our lifetimes. It's probably one of the only times you can convince all of your friends and loved ones to gather in one spot and party up a storm :)

Hey Momomoto, when is your planned wedding? We are also hoping to stock our open bar ourselves (remains to be seen what Juniper will say). Let's hear it for funding the honeymoon with Air Miles :P

2008 Sep 29
Pam - Two things I'd be very surprised about:

1) If Juniper charges you a plating fee seeing as you are having the reception there. I have however heard of places that charge a prep / slicing fee (which I guess is technically the same thing, but it is usually quoted as a flat amount). Most places however are happy to do this for FREE.

2) If you'll be allowed to stock your own bar. Unless it is a private venue (like a hall) with hired caterers this doesn't happen very often. Usually you have to buy your booze thru the bar.

And I totally agree on the kick-@ss party... a reason I think everyone should do the Big Blow Out Wedding once... the only other occasions that will typically come up in life are:

1 - Christening of Babies (if you are religious / traditional)
2 - Your 25th
3 - A Child's University Graduation (and then it really is about them)
4 - A Child's Wedding (and then it really is about the Mother of the Bride -- just ask any MOB) ;-)
5 - Your Retirement Party

And trust me the last 4 will be years away from now.

So party hardy... this moment won't come around again, the majority of parties you'll have in the years to come will include, pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, loot bags, and screaming 3 year olds.... Savour your own youth while you can!

2008 Sep 29
Speaking of DJ I know one with probably more raw material and generational material than only a handful in town. He does our dojo's dances for free and is well known.

I was at a few good weddings and other parties recently where there was just a laptop with a whack load of MP3s on random - basically from everyone who was invited. Also a slideshow with pics from anyone who was invited though probably a good thing for the groom I didn't know that til after i was there ;-)

2008 Sep 30
Pam - We're getting hitched next October (i.e. 2009). In Hamilton, though, so it means that I won't be able to get The Girl With The Most Cake to do our wedding cake. Darn the luck!

I've done a bit of reading up on how to stock the bar, so I should be able to get a good grasp of what I'll need to spend by whipping out a calculator (or Excel or something) and adding the heck out of some numbers. For the 125 or so people that we want, it's going to be a fair chunk of change!

Especially because both sides of our family drink like champions ;)

2008 Sep 30
Medicine Jar, I love the decorating on your wedding cake! I know what you mean about Courtyard rocking when it comes to weddings. I went to one there last summer and they served Mariposa duck, mmm!