Montréal is famously romantic, and it’s a go-to destination for couples getting engaged or getting married – especially thanks to the amazing exchange rate these days. But this city still has its secrets! For your Montréal marriage, think outside the box and get the local scoop on little-known, memory-making places that will make your special day the most extraordinary of all.
Let’s Make History, Baby
As one of Canada’s oldest cities, Montréal is neck deep in history. Its most famous neighbourhood is Old Montréal, replete with 18th century European charm – but how about taking it up a notch and tying the knot in a private chateau? The Pierre du Calvet private castle dates back to 1725, but today it’s a luxurious retreat complete with interior garden and gastronomic dining. You can not only hold your reception there, you can actually do the deed in the beautiful little chapel onsite! Other breathtaking spots include Château Ramezay and Château Dufresne, both historic private homes that can take you back in time in the most romantic way. An outstanding spot awaits discovery in the oldest chapel in the city, the Chapelle du Bonsecours (don’t miss the two paintings by famous artist Ozias Leduc on the back wall). The stunning Birks Chapel, within the School of Religious Studies and McGill itself, features carved wood and coloured marble floors. The Les Voûtes room in the Intercontinental Hotel’s wing in the historic Nordheimer house is an underground discovery: its three magnificent stone vaults date back to the 18th century. Auberge St-Gabriel, owned in part by Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté, is a stunning piece of history preserved and restored – and updated with a five-star restaurant.
Woods You Be Mine?
Nature inspires all sorts of life-affirming dreams, perfect for the first moments of your life together. Within this very city there are stunning green spaces, starting with the Botanical Garden’s greenhouses, full of exotic flora and alluring fragrance. (Who needs flower arrangements?) On Parc Jean-Drapeau, a mere metro ride away, you can rent out the Jamaican Pavilion or the Toundra, two architectural icons from Expo 67 set among the verdant Floralies Gardens. Further afield, just outside the city, get a true taste of Canadian tradition by holding your special day at a sugar shack: Sucrerie de la Montagne, a woodsman’s dream with luxury chalets you and your wedding party can stay at.
Modern Bride (and Groom)
Clean lines and shiny surfaces are more your thing? Rent out a hall at the (stunning) Loft Hôtel, in a refined art deco building steps away from trendy Rue Saint-Denis. At the luxurious Hotel le St-James, in Old Montréal, you can exchange vows in either the penthouse banquet halls or the grandiose XO restaurant, a space worthy of a modern ball. Sign up early enough and you can kick your City Hall wedding into high gear by getting the Mayor himself to marry you. In beautiful Old Montréal, the incredible Phi Centre awaits, with its sleek and technologically adapted spaces (in case your special day involves a movie projection). Hôtel Nelligan is a grey stone property that contrasts its historic heft with beautifully sleek interiors, while Le Place d’Armes Hotel Suites brings the celebration to new heights in either the rooftop terrasse with a view of the port or the beautiful halls. Right on the water in the Old Port, you can gaze out upon the water as you say “yes, a thousand times yes!” at one of the halls spaces at Montréal Science Centre, or, further west, at the architecturally striking history museum, Pointe-à-Callière. (The view from the restaurant is incredible.) Speaking of museums, the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts has one of the most grandiose spaces in town: the Glass Court, flooded with natural light thanks to the 30-feet-high sloped glass ceiling.
Our Love is Industrial Size!
Jaw-dropping, cavernous spaces are aplenty in Montreal, especially those with an industrial edge. Got a giant guest list? Check out Entrepôts Dominion – an industrial building steps away from the Atwater Market right on the Lachine Canal space, with huge spaces for rent – or Arsenal, a contemporary art gallery and cultural centre by day and ah-may-zing rental space by night set in a ginormous old metal plant. Scena is a huuuge glassed in hall right on the Old Port that rocks contemporary vibes to the max, while contemporary art gallery Parisian Laundry in Saint-Henri is a stunningly sunny two-storey space with windows on all sides.
Honey, You’re a Classic
You dream of an ivory dress with 10-foot train and a receiving line of 30? White linen tablecloths and centrepieces featuring white peonies? Get to the heart of classic glamour at the Ritz-Carlton Montréal, where the reception halls feature glittering chandeliers. Make the most iconic heritage address in Old Montréal your own by saying “I do” at Marché Bonsecours, whose large spaces with views on the St. Lawrence River date back to 1847. With its ceiling mouldings, crystal chandeliers and giant columns, the Windsor Ballrooms is a stupendous choice for a Disney-worthy wedding, and for a stunning environment complete with stage, step into the glorious Paradoxe Theatre in Côte-St-Paul.
The View from Up Here
Want to BE on top of the world in addition to feeling it? Has Montréal got options for you! Start with the most iconic building in the entire city: the Olympic Stadium, where you can rent the very tippy top of the Tower (and its 360-degree view) for small weddings. The newly revamped Summit space at Place Ville-Marie, on the top four floors of one of the tallest buildings in the centre of downtown, is a sight to behold with an observatory equipped with high-tech telescopes and four-season heated decks on every side. The terrasse at Hotel Nelligan in Old Montréal has one of the most extraordinary views in the city – imagine having it all to yourself! Hop over to Île Ste-Hélène to conquer the Game of Thrones worthy Tour de Lévis, where the observation desk boasts an all-around view of the islands, the river and downtown Montréal – and the fireworks at La Ronde, if you time your night right! Finally, among the most enchanting spaces of the city is the Chalet du Mont-Royal, right atop the city’s iconic mountain. The views of downtown will make a gorgeous backdrop no one will forget.
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