Sunday, November 4, 2007

Venue Three - Centennial Lodge

After traipsing around from island to island, we soon realized that the logistics of using an island venue for our wedding might be more headache than its worth! As such, we decided to try our luck a bit closer to home.

Which is how we found ourselves exploring Queen's Park in New Westminster on a beautiful Saturday morning this past October.

Centennial Lodge is in the northern corner of the park, overlooking McBride Blvd, across from the band shell and very close to Rainbow Playland! I wasn't sure what to expect before visiting the venue, as I hadn't heard or even read much about it; considering the very affordable rental costs, I was prepared for the worst. Which made my surprise at finding such a lovely venue, all the more sweet.

The lodge works very well with our "outside in" theme, with it's rustic beams in a deep chocolaty brown, and it's huge double fireplace made entirely of stone. The mountains can be seen peeking up behind the trees from the window and balcony view, and the park itself has many many picture opportunities.

Better yet, the cost for renting the facility for the entire day (from 11am until 1am) is only $667.00, and one can bring in their own caterer and booze! The ceremony can be performed in the same area with tables and chairs switched around before dinner. Or there is a lovely rose garden a little way down the path that can be rented for another $199.00 with chairs and staff setup or $95.00 without.

The rental fee for the lodge includes tables (round or rectangle) and chairs, a portable bar, and use of the kitchen for warming food. Decorating happens the morning of as the venue is usually booked out the night before - especially in the busy summer months.

There are only a couple drawbacks about this venue. The park itself is a "community park" and as such, is more than likely very busy during the summer months. It was fairly quiet when we were there, but it was the second weekend in October. Considering the proximity of the venue to the picnic pavillions, playland, petting zoo, and kids water park, I think it's safe to assume that the area will be teeming with dogs, children, parents, and tourists on a warm sunny Saturday afternoon in July.

Although the view of the mountains is present, it's hard to miss the much closer view of the traffic on McBride Blvd.

And finally, the ability to bring in one's own caterer and booze is a bit of a double edged sword; money can be saved, but with savings comes much planning. More vendors to meet and hire, more items to rent (linens, dish ware, and flatware,sound system), and more things to organize! More planning equals more stress. So it's a bit of a trade off!

Needless to say, we were pretty excited about this venue possibility. It met almost all of our wants, and it is very affordably priced. We were pretty much sold, until we went to visit the last venue on the list - The Diamond Alumni Centre at SFU. Stay tuned...for the one! Or at least we believe it's the one for now! heh


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had an interesting search.
My name is Chris and we are searching for a reception site for our wedding we would like to have next June.
I was wondering which of the two sites you talked about you chose?
Also how was your experience?



Vancouer Vows said...

Hey Chris - congratulations on your engagement! Finding a venue can be tricky, but we were really happy with our choice - The Diamond Alumni Centre on SFU campus. Here is a link to my review of our wedding Hopefully that helps to answer some of your questions!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this's very helpful...