For our ceremony, since neither of us are very religious, we knew a church ceremony was out. Don't get me wrong, I think church weddings are gorgeous and love attending them, but the a church wedding just didn't fit Hub's and I's personality. We thought of having a beach ceremony, but the logistics of making one work, especially with our location wasn't feasible. In the end we decided on having an outdoor wedding in one of the many goreous parks here in Victoria. Once we decided on having a park wedding we had to choose our location. I did a quick google search to make a list of parks in our area and from there we narrowed down our choices based on the following criteria:
-Had to have some type of water around
-Area suitable for a ceremony
We narrowed our choices down to Saxe Point and Gorge Point Park. We loved the view of the ocean from Saxe Pointe, but the area to hold a ceremony was small. When we called to inquire about our date, it was booked until 5pm. Both Hubs and I felt that was much to late for our ceremony to start (we wanted an afternoon wedding). So we called and inquired about Gorge Park and they had an opening from 2-4pm on our date so we booked. This meant we could be the only wedding ceremony taking place at Gorge Park between 2-4pm on our wedding day. The fee for booking the park was $123.00 which was pretty reasonable. We couldn't imagine having had our ceremony anywhere else. The day of the wedding all the flowers were in bloom and the grass was green. We let our surroundings be our decor. Below are a couple pics of the Gorge Park:
For our reception we looked at numerous venues. We looked into hotel reception rooms, golf courses, outdoor tents, a castle. Since we were on a budget, the hotels were out of the question, the golf courses were to much of a hassle to try to arrange someone to sponsor us to have a reception there, and the outdoor tent and castle were way to much money. Some of the criteria we wanted for our reception venue included:
-Space (So many places we looked at were just way to tiny and cramped)
-Ability to provide our own alcohol and food (to cut back on expenses)
-Somewhere that looked somewhat classy but not too stuffy
-A view (which in the end we didn't get, but didn't matter)
-Wouldn't break the bank to rent
-Ability to hold our # of guests
Hubs was actually the one who found our reception site. I was talking with him one day saying how hard it was to find the perfect location and he suggested it. I know many of you ladies are like "A Fairground??" That was my exact thought too and I pictured a dusty field with attraction rides. Much to my surprise, when I googled the Saanich Fairgrounds I was quite suprised with what I found.
This is the outside of the Saanich Fairgrounds
A sideview of the Fairgrounds
Our reception room
I instantly knew this was where we were going to get married. There was just so much going for this venue. For $750, we got:
-The rental of this hall from noon the day before our wedding until 1am the day after our wedding.
-The use of the kitchen
-A side foyer for our cocktail hour as well as the outdoor patio
-All our round and square tables and chairs included
-A mic and podium
-The room was 4000 sq. feet
We were able to have our head table in front of the stage with our guest tables horshoe-ed around us, with the bar and buffet line towards the back of the room. Also, for an additional $100 fee, they cleaned up and moved all the tables and chairs for us after the wedding was over.