How to do a Vancouver Wedding on a Budget: Picking a Venue

sequoia grill at the teahouse

For more tips check out the complete Vancouver Wedding on a Budget series.

You need two venues when you plan a wedding. One for the ceremony, one for the reception. The best way to save money is to pick a place that can do both or find a place where you can do one of them for free.

Initially Jen and I were planning on getting married along the Ambleside seawall. It’s a place we’ve gone for walks throughout our relationship, and it’s special to us. The District of West Vancouver has no issues with small wedding ceremonies in city parks, as long as you’re a small party and don’t get in anyone’s way.

You will, execute, with a witness, and deliver to the Parks and Community Services Administration Office, a copy of your licence agreement (i.e. the letter of permission) along with consideration in the amount of $100.00. Your letter of permission (signed licence agreement) must be available at the ceremony.
[West Vancouver]

When we started planning the wedding, we figured the ceremony would be there and then it came time to choose a place for a reception. I canvassed some photography and event planning pals and they came out with some great suggestions, but they all came out waay too expensive.

LET’S DO LUNCH

So we decided to plan a lunch wedding, instead of a dinner party. You save on menu, you save on alcohol, and since many of our guests are families with children, you don’t force them to keep their kids up past bedtime.

While we were brainstorming on venues, I kept coming back to the Sequoia Grill at the Teahouse in Stanley Park. Jen really wanted to keep everything on the North Shore, but I knew this would be the perfect place for a reception.

One day last week, Jen and I drove out and decided. That was it. Here’s the best part: we could have the wedding ceremony on the huge lawn at Ferguson Point, just across from the venue.

20091201 vancouver - 49

The wedding and reception would be at the same place. We’d be somewhere filled with many beautiful corners to do wedding photos, and we’d be in the same place as our guests, not worrying about out of towners getting lost, or others needing rides. One place for ceremony and reception.

The City of Vancouver is a little more lenient when it comes to having weddings in city parks. Here are the rules you need to remember:

Wedding ceremonies are held at various locations throughout Stanley Park including Ferguson Point, Rose Garden (maximum 25 people), Third Beach, Devonian Harbour Park, the wooden bridge area in Ceperley Meadow, as well as Lost Lagoon and Beaver Lake. (Please remember: no chairs, tents, awnings, tables, decorations, alcohol, rice or confetti and your group must be less than 50 people.) No bookings allowed in these areas.
[Vancouver Park Board]

In other words, it’s first come first served, keep it small, don’t get in anyone’s way and we won’t charge you a dime!

That’s how we picked a venue for a Vancouver Wedding on a Budget, what are your tips?

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