As couples get more creative planning weddings in unique downtown locations, foodies are looking to restaurants to host their big day. Although restaurant receptions sometimes means a limited guest count (which can be a good or bad thing depending on if you're looking to make some tough cuts) what's sacrificed in seating is made up for in impeccable food. Meals are typically made to order, and the experienced in-house staff means flawless execution.
Here are some of my favourite restaurant venues I've had the pleasure to DJ weddings at...
5. George Restaurant - Queen St. East
If you're on Queen Street East this hidden gem is easy to miss if you're not paying attention. Unassuming from the outside, George's beautiful private dining room can accommodate up to 110 for a wedding reception. The menu emphasizes local, seasonable and sustainable ingredients, with an in-house sommelier to offer wine pairings. There's a central courtyard which can host ceremonies and cocktail hour and guest suites available upstairs. They've even got their own spa in the basement!
There's a few floorplan options for creating a dancefloor space, with sound and lighting being brought in by the DJ.
website: George Weddings
4. Canoe - Financial District
If your guests aren't afraid of heights, check out Oliver Bonacini's Canoe. Perched above the Financial District on the 54th floor of the TD Bank Tower, this power lunch locale can accommodate receptions of 140 seated guests or 250 standing. With stunning panoramic views of the city and an available ceremony space, it's one of Toronto's most unique wedding venues.
There's an elevated section in the middle of the room perfect for a dancefloor, with sound and lighting brought in by the DJ.
website: Oliver & Bonacini Events
3. Rosewater - Downtown Core
Looking at Rosewater from the street it's hard to picture how big this venue actually is. There's the elegant restaurant on the ground floor, but also supper club in the basement and a dedicated event space on the second floor.
Upstairs, The Rosewater Room does the classic banquet hall motif with a modern feel. It can hold large ceremonies then be reset for a seated dinner accommodating up to 200 people.
Lots of room for epic dance parties here, and the in-house A/V team offer support with sound and lighting design.
website: Rosewater Room
2. Archeo Trattoria - Distillery District
It's impossible to walk through Toronto's Distillery District on a weekend without photobombing a wedding party. Among the several heritage buildings turned event spaces, it's not uncommon to see 3 or 4 brides congregated on the main Trinity Street any given Saturday. But of the Distillery venues, Archeo remains my favourite.
Located in the Distillery's old carpentry shop, Archeo's brick and beam design is a perfect spot to host any cozy reception. The room can seat up to 118 guests, and has an adjacent courtyard for ceremony and cocktails. The food here is excellent -- with Chef Joshua Dyer crafting menus that focus on local and sustainable choices.
The dancefloor finds a perfect home right in front of the bar, where the guests' next drink are just an arms reach away. The in-house A/V team can take care of any sound or video setup requirement.
website: Distillery Events
1. Mildred's Temple Kitchen - Liberty Village
In the heart of Liberty Village, Mildred's Temple Kitchen is a beautiful restaurant with great food, exceptional staff and has the perfect layout for an intimate wedding reception... in fact, I recently had my own wedding reception here! Personal bias aside, it's one of the best venues in the city.
Typically known for their famous pancakes and epic brunch lineups (which can reach up to 2 hour waits), Mildred's is also quickly becoming one of Toronto's most popular restaurant wedding locations. The menu is fantastic and the food is made to order, skillfully executed right before your eyes in the open kitchen.
Mildred's can accommodate up to 100 seated guests, and up to 200 for a cocktail-style reception. There's a couple options for ceremony location if it's happening on site. Huge floor-to-ceiling windows and simple, modern design make it a bright space that looks great as-is, with or without added decor.
I've seen a lot of epic dance parties happen here; the elevated section next to the dining room makes for the perfect dancefloor, with the DJ bringing in all sound and lighting.
website: Mildred's Temple Kitchen
To find out more about Rich Sweet visit www.djrichsweet.com