Tips for transforming a banquet hall for a wedding that reflects you
Wedding venues such as chateaus, vineyards and even farmhouses offer fairy-tale appeal with their distinctive, storybook imagery. The flip side is that their aesthetics are so deeply entrenched in a specific style that there's very little wiggle room for your own personality to shine through. Their colour scheme has to match your colour scheme; their décor has to work with your décor.
If you have a vision of your wedding that doesn't include haystacks or turrets, one that guests will immediately recognize as distinctly you, don't overlook banquet spaces. These chameleons are the workhorses of the special events world because of their versatility and flexibility. Similar to how a nude lip works well to balance out dramatic smoky eyes or a colourful couture outfit, a neutral room can be the perfect canvas to your unique wedding.
Think outside the box
Event coordinator Joni Martinson of the University Golf Club (UGC), has seen their banquet spaces transformed nearly every weekend for the past 20 years — colour schemes that span Pantone's entire catalogue, almost every Pinterest DIY craft imaginable (and before then, everything Martha-inspired), and a gamut of themes as diverse as the couples themselves. The looks and themes have been successful because of the rooms' ability to completely support any artistic vision. "Couples are only limited by their creativity," stresses Martinson. "I always encourage outside-the-box-thinking. Anything's possible."
Cherry blossom tree by Harumi Signature Weddings & Events and Debut Event Design
Embrace your surroundings
Even though UGC isn't part of UBC (it's a privately-owned, public golf club), it is located on the University Endowment Lands, which means couples and their guests have easy access to other photo-worthy areas like beaches and cultivated gardens. Or, as Martinson points out, UGC is nestled between an old-growth forest on one side and a manicured golf course on the other.
Many banquet halls offer more than what is within four walls, so don't be afraid to ask if you can access the surrounding grounds. At UGC, for example, the two banquet rooms include access to an outdoor patio, and there's a gazebo garden and water feature on the property. "Couples are absolutely welcome to use the garden [if available]... It's a very intimate space, perfect for weddings. You'll feel like you're somewhere else entirely."
The key to customization
When it comes to customizing an event space, you just need to ask; the answer is usually yes. Need to bring in an army of ghost chairs to complete your look? Sounds cool. Want full pipe-and-draping? No problem. Do a few of your guests eat Halal, or vegan, or gluten-free? Even menus can be customized if you know to ask.
Let the venue handle the details
Another advantage to working with a professional banquet facility is that you get a team of experts under one roof that are experienced with all the above scenarios and more. The last thing you need when planning your wedding is to work with a venue that makes you feel like you're high maintenance simply for being detail-oriented. "It's all about those little details that make an event personal and unique," says Martinson.
So don't hold back when working with banquet venues like UGC. Go ahead and ask for a fresh oyster-shucking bar or an outdoor barbecue. You wouldn't be the first.
Presented by University Golf Club