My Top 5 Favourite Unique Wedding Venues in Winnipeg

There are a lot of awesome options for gorgeous wedding venues within a half hour or so drive of Winnipeg…but most of those require a few more logistics than the convenience of a city wedding (you can find my top 5 best wedding venues in Manitoba here!). But, most of the wedding venue options within Winnipeg are hotel ballrooms - and while there’s nothing wrong with a hotel ballroom, I find that most of my clients are looking for something that’s a bit more interesting and less “ballroom.” So, here’s a roundup of my Top 5 Favourite Unique Wedding Venues in downtown Winnipeg!

SMITH Restaurant

 Photos by  Kamp Photography

First of all, I LOVE restaurant weddings - and SMITH is at the top of my list. Located on the main floor of the Inn at the Forks and recently renovated, it’s a really gorgeous and unique option for a wedding. I love the idea of seating your guests throughout the restaurant, and if you haven’t eaten there before, the menu is PHENOMENAL. If you have a smaller guest list, you can seat all of your guests in the main space, but there’s also a large solarium, and the lounge typically doubles as the dance floor area.


Eckhardt Hall at the WAG

I LOVE Eckhardt Hall, on the main floor at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. It’s not a new space or a hidden treasure by any means, but that doesn’t stop me from loving it. It’s just such a cool venue! Your guests will walk into the WAG and enter right into Eckhardt Hall. The natural stone floors and walls are neutral and have a lot of Manitoba character, the ceilings are incredibly high, and you might get lucky with a very cool art installation or paintings hung on the walls. I also love their rooftop, which is such a great place for your wedding ceremony, cocktail hour, etc.

View this entire, colourful wedding here! | For another look at weddings at the WAG, check out this modern rooftop wedding!


HUT K

 Photos by  ESther Funk Photography , Bottom middle an iphone shot from my less-than-awesome Photography skill set ;)

Photos by ESther Funk Photography, Bottom middle an iphone shot from my less-than-awesome Photography skill set ;)

Hut K is technically a furniture store, but they have a gallery space at the back that can be rented for smaller weddings and events - and it’s pretty cool! It lacks some of the amenities of a traditional wedding venue, so I recommend hiring at least a day-of wedding coordinator if you book your wedding here, but it makes up for this with style factor. White walls, open ceilings (AKA your florist can have fun with hanging floral installations!), and a long, rectangular shape make this a really unique space. You can’t seat a massive amount of people (I think it’s around 100 for a comfortably seated dinner) but if you’re going for a cocktail style reception, you can host up to 200 people.


Alloway Hall at the Manitoba Museum

 Above photo courtesy of Manitoba Museum, Below Photos by  Casey Nolin Photography

Above photo courtesy of Manitoba Museum, Below Photos by Casey Nolin Photography

Alloway Hall at the Manitoba Museum is a surprisingly large, newer space (it was opened in 2017) and it makes for a pretty great wedding space - if you can get in. Because it is primarily a museum, available wedding dates are slim as their priority is always exhibits, and rightfully so. But if you can squeak in a wedding date when they aren’t booked with an exhibit, you can do some pretty cool things design-wise. Here’s what I love about Alloway Hall:
-it fits a LOT of people - up to 600!
-it features tall ceilings, white walls, and dark floors with a gallery-style vibe, so it’s a great blank canvas for different styles
-one wall is entirely windows, with a gorgeous view of the Steinkopf Gardens between the museum and the Concert Hall
-built-in lighting options!


Canadian Human Rights Museum

 Photos by  Moore Photography

It’s nothing new to say that the Human Rights Museum is a great place for a wedding, and I suppose because it’s been popular for a few years now, it may not exactly be considered “unique.” But what I love is the different spaces that are available that you may not have thought of before. Buhler Hall is where most people host their receptions - it fits a lot of people well, but it’s really dark. There are, however, other spaces - I’m particularly excited for a wedding next summer where the reception is being held in the Garden of Contemplation (where a lot of couples will host their ceremonies). It’s open and airy, with beautiful light and is just a really unique setting.

Check out another Human Rights Museum wedding here!


Honourable Mentions: Hotel Fort Garry and The Kingshead Pub

Okay, I know the whole point of this post was to highlight unique, non-hotel wedding venues in downtown Winnipeg, and the Hotel Fort Garry has been hosting weddings in their ballrooms for over 100 years already. BUT it’s still one of my favourite wedding venues in downtown Winnipeg, and in particular, the Provencher Room (seen above). If you want your wedding to feel classic and elegant, there’s no better option for you. The benefits of being able to get ready in one of their suites, visit the spa, and simplify your out-of-town guests’ stay are obvious as well!

See more from this gorgeous, flower-filled wedding here!

I also did a wedding reception this fall at the Kingshead Pub! They have SUCH delish food and a cool atmosphere, so if you’re looking for something more laid-back with a hangout type of vibe, this could be a really good option for you. For this wedding, the entire second floor was rented (so you would have your own bar, your own bathrooms, your own dancefloor, etc) and then it opened to the general public around midnight.
Photos below by Brenna Faris


Looking for a Wedding Floral and Event Designer in Winnipeg?

My 2020 waitlist has already been started, and couples interested in full event and floral design will be contacted first about their dates. I offer a limited number of dates for event design each year, in order to allow me to work closely with each couple. Combining event and floral design is the perfect option for couples who live out of town, or couples who feel they need a little extra help in creating the visual plan for their wedding day. Click this link to learn more!

Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Wedding Flower Budget

Last December, I wrote a 3 part blog series about wedding flower budgets (links to those three posts are at the bottom of this one!) and it was incredibly popular, with both florists and wedding couples alike. I was thinking about that the other day, and with us entering planning season, I thought this would be the perfect time to dust it off - but I wanted to add a little more.

I'll be the first to admit that Stone House Creative is not a "budget" florist. I run a profitable business and I'm both proud and happy about that - I think all businesses deserve to be run profitably. If a business isn't profitable, it has no business being a business! But regardless of how much I charge for wedding flowers, something I hate seeing is when couples are over-promised and under-delivered. So, here are some of my top tips for getting the most of your wedding flower budget

Top Tips to get the Most of your Wedding Flower Budget - Stone House Creative

1) First, HAVE a wedding flower budget!
To start, you must understand that flowers are a luxury item. They are a perishable item, just like the food that you're serving to your guests, often having been flown from halfway around the world and perfectly timed in order to make it here in pristine condition (it's amazing how frequently people don't think about this fact of nature). With that comes a price tag. But simply walking into a florist shop and saying "I don't know how much wedding flowers cost" isn't always helpful - often because that comes along with an enormous gasp that makes a florist feel as though she's done something to personally insult you. 

Come prepared with a number that you are both comfortable spending on this luxury item, and one that makes sense for what you're asking for. Most likely, you'll have no idea what wedding flowers cost SO here you'll find a very helpful BUDGET BREAKDOWN of different price ranges associated with pictures to help you get a visual for the size of arrangements that you're interested in. There is absolutely no shame in not having a clue what things cost, and there aren't a lot of helpful resources out there that actually show you want flowers cost, particularly in Manitoba. That link will do so!

2) Discuss with your florist what your primary concerns are.
Is the overall budget your biggest thought? If so, then we (the florists) will make very specific suggestions for lower cost, readily available flower types for you in the colour palette that you want. Maybe your primary focus is your bridal bouquet, and everything else is just background. That's awesome - we'll use the premium flowers in your bouquet, and scale back on the rest of the arrangements. Maybe you couldn't care less what your bouquets look like but you REALLY want flowers on every guest table. Cool! Again, we'll make specific suggestions for the best way we can accomplish this! I might suggest going with a single-ingredient bouquet to keep the bouquet costs at a minimum and then have more fun with different varieties and textures in the reception flowers. The point is, tell us what your top priorities are and then see what we can come up with. It's a large part of our job to be able to create awesome designs that fit your wish list, and we LOVE whenever we get the chance to actually do this!

Tips to get the Most out of your Wedding Flower Budget - Winnipeg Wedding Florists

3) Plan in advance how your arrangements can be re-purposed, and don't forget to let your florist in on this conversation.
I'm a big believer that anything you use at the ceremony should be something that can be re-purposed at the reception. Whether it's two large arrangements set on pedestals at your altar being moved to either side of your head table, or those gorgeous arrangements on your arch being re-purposed into your head table decor or as a backdrop for your cake table, it's great when you can get double-duty out of your ceremony flowers. This is why I'll almost never recommend that a couple opt for aisle bouquets: they're tricky to re-purpose and you'll get a bigger bang for your buck if you keep the focus up on the front. 16 small arrangements on the pews can cost just as much as 2 statement making pieces at the front! 

But, please don't make this plan without your florist's input. The reason for this is because we might need to build an arrangement in one way for your ceremony, but if we had known that it would be re-purposed on your sweetheart table, then we would have built it in a different way. It's our job to think about the mechanics behind the flowers, and it's also our expertise - so let us help and make it go as smoothly as possible!

4) Skip the boutonnieres and corsages altogether. 
This isn't always a popular opinion, but if you're on a tight flower budget, just don't order any boutonnieres or corsages. It's a similar argument to the aisle bouquets at your ceremony: they may be relatively inexpensive little things on their own, but anything multiplied by 3 moms and 2 grandmas, 6 groomsmen and 2 dads plus the ushers, emcee, special aunties, sponsors, etc. is going to add up really quickly! In fact, I'd go so far as to say that this is the biggest waste of money that is a part of wedding flower budgets and is often a trap that lower budget couples get stuck in. And think about it: if you're spending serious coin on a beautiful groom's suit, why would you want to stick pin-holes in it? Why would your mother want to shove a silly flower on her wrist when she's spent hours trying to find the perfect mother of the bride gown, when a piece of jewellery would look so much better? And truthfully, no matter how cute we florists make these little pieces, they're still fussy / uncomfortable / irritating / challenging to put on and make sure they stay put.

5) Don't just go for the lowest quote that you receive. 
I've seen this SO many times in my line of work. Couples shop around a few florists and choose the lowest budget one, without much comparison as to what is going into that quote. If there is a large price difference between quotes, then chances are REALLY good that you are not looking at comparable proposals in the slightest bit. A personal story:

Several years ago, I quoted a couple on the wedding of their dreams. We were slightly over their budget, but we had EVERYTHING included that they could have wanted, all of the little "extras" that they were hoping for. They were so happy with the quote, and I was astonished a few days later to find out that they decided to go with another shop. This shop wasn't known for doing weddings at all, let alone doing a nice job of weddings. They also weren't charging tax, which is a major red flag in my opinion (if a business isn't charging you tax, it means that they're not running their business legally. Is that really who you want to be dealing with? What other areas of their business are they running in a shady way?). That being said, I wasn't surprised to get a call 5 weeks before their wedding begging us to take their wedding again. Why? They had realized that the quote from this other shop, which was marginally less than what we had quoted, was not at ALL comparable to what we were proposing to them. A mock up of a $100 centrepiece that was a measly single white hydrangea and feather in a tall glass made them quickly realize that they hadn't done their proper research, and they'd just looked at the lower price tag. This is the perfect example of over-promising and under-delivering, which is totally unacceptable (and yes, we took their wedding on and did an awesome job of it - and there are lots of great, reputable shops in Winnipeg who would do their absolute best to help you if this is the situation you find yourself in).

When you're comparing different florists, it's much more important that you chose someone who you feel really understands the vision you have for your wedding, and will complement it with great floral designs. Choose the company who got you excited about the flower planning and whose work you love. That florist will be able to make the best suggestions to you on how to get the most of your wedding flower budget.

5) Be flexible. 
This probably should have been tip 1, because it's really the most important of them all. If you're concerned about your flower budget, whether it's $500 or $5000, the best thing that you can do to help yourself is to be flexible. Presenting a list of demands to your florist and requiring that he or she fits it into your budget will rarely work in your favour. Instead, I'd suggest that you tell your florist what you're drawn to and what you'd ideally love to see as a general style overview, and then allow her to create an overall plan for you. You might not see flowers filling every table, but you could end up with some of the tables having lush, gorgeous arrangements that make an enormous spotlight with scaled back designs on the other tables - and still within your budget.

 This wedding is the perfect example of "be flexib le." The bride, who lived out of town and wanted to minimize her planning stress, told me what her overall vision was, gave me a good idea of her style, and was clear on what budget she was comfortable spending. She knew exactly what she was comfortable spending (and it was a realistic number) but didn’t nitpick the details, which allowed me to make the best decisions for her budget. she let me come up with the entire design plan and we ended up with such a good setup!  Photos by  Kamp Photography  / Planning by  Soiree Event Planning  / Venue  Smith Restaurant

This wedding is the perfect example of "be flexib le." The bride, who lived out of town and wanted to minimize her planning stress, told me what her overall vision was, gave me a good idea of her style, and was clear on what budget she was comfortable spending. She knew exactly what she was comfortable spending (and it was a realistic number) but didn’t nitpick the details, which allowed me to make the best decisions for her budget. she let me come up with the entire design plan and we ended up with such a good setup!

Photos by Kamp Photography / Planning by Soiree Event Planning / Venue Smith Restaurant


Need more help? Here are some of my favourite budget posts that I mentioned earlier: 

Planning Your Wedding Long Distance

Planning your wedding long distance? A lot of couples get a little worried, thinking that planning their wedding, set in Winnipeg, from somewhere else is going to make it a lot harder on them. And here's the thing: it can be harder, but it doesn't have to be. And I'm happy to help! 

Sure, there will be differences in your planning, depending on where you're planning from and if you're able to travel back to Winnipeg at any point throughout your engagement process. You might not be able to visit your venue in person or have a menu tasting, you might not be able to interview your photographer in person, you might need to transport your dress! But the flowers? The flowers can still be easy! 

Wedding Florists in Winnipeg - Stone House Creative

I've worked with couples planning their Winnipeg weddings from around Canada and throughout the world! Along with living across Manitoba, some of my couples have hailed from: 
Nunavut
Saskatchewan
Alberta
British Columbia
Ontario
New Brunswick
Seattle, Washington
New York City
New Zealand
England
China
Ireland

How to Plan Your Wedding Flowers Long Distance

Whenever I get an inquiry from someone who is not local to me, the process changes a little bit, but not a ton. Here's how it goes: 

1) Instead of an in-person preliminary appointment, we'll schedule one for Skype or Facetime! We can also do it over the phone, but I prefer to be able to talk with you and look at you at the same time. It gives me a better feel for your personality and your style. For an in-person appointment, I'll ask you to prepare by bringing along colour swatches and inspiration photos. If we're meeting over Skype or Facetime, I'll ask for those things in advance, along with a general list of everything we'll be talking about. It helps me to be more prepared and get a good feel for what you're looking for - which is particularly important because Wifi connections can be a little spotty sometimes.

2) After we wrap up our conversation and I feel like I have a good understanding of your vision and your style, I'll move on to the proposal process. Usually during an in-person consultation, I like to show examples of different flower varieties that I think you'll love. I always include a digital flower board in my proposals so that you can get a visual for what I'm planning and I think this is helpful to ensure you understand how I'm suggesting we interpret your plans for the wedding. I'll also include a breakdown of everything that we discussed, as well as copy of my standard contract. If needed, I'll include pictures of vases and rentals to complete your look. 

3) From here on out, everything is basically the exact same as if you were planning in town! We'll communicate via email to make any necessary adjustments to your proposal, and you can sign your contract and make payments online. Easy! After your date is officially booked, unless there are major revisions that need to be made, you can consider me all good to go until 1 month prior to the wedding, at which point I'll follow up to confirm that everything is still correct. Once we're confirmed, I'll place your flower order and we'll be all set! 

Top Wedding Florist in Winnipeg - Wedding Flowers Winnipeg

When it comes down to it, I really just want to make this process as easy and enjoyable for you - and if you're planning from afar, I think you'll find that a LOT of Winnipeggers are like this. Many of our local wedding industry business owners have fantastic reputations and we just want you to have an awesome wedding! Earlier this spring, I worked with a couple from BC who were planning a fairly last-minute wedding due to family health issues. They remarked that if they were getting married in BC, they thought that there was no chance they would have been able to pull together as great of a wedding with as great of an experience. Our city has some pretty good people in it!


Looking for a wedding florist in Winnipeg?

So, getting married in Manitoba? I might be biased, but flowers are the best way to make a statement at your wedding. No matter where you're planning from, I'm going to make this as easy and enjoyable as possible for you, culminating in a gorgeous floral experience for your wedding day!

Limited summer 2019 wedding dates remain available. Click below to check your date!

Top 5 Best Wedding Locations in Manitoba

If you live in or have ever lived in Manitoba, then you know that summers here are both a blessing and a curse: it's frequently GORGEOUS out, with long, sunny days and warm evenings. It's also frequently bug season: flies, mosquitoes, ticks. So when it comes to planning an outdoor wedding in Manitoba, we frequently choose a completely outdoor ceremony with an indoor or partially indoor reception. So, here's my list of the best wedding locations in Manitoba, which all combine the outdoors with the in!

Cielo's Garden

This one should come as no surprise to you. I work at Cielo's Garden all the time, and it's definitely one of my favourite places for a wedding. The little stone chapel in the woods is remarkably romantic, and the clear top tent itself is a blank canvas that you can do so much with.


Whitetail Meadow

Whitetail Meadow is a new venue just outside of Niverville that is going to top everyone's lists very quickly. I recently designed all the florals for their grand opening/open house and couldn't believe what a great job they did! The venue is a converted barn, which has been completely re-built on the interior. It features a gorgeous stone fireplace (which would be the perfect backdrop for a winter wedding ceremony and also is the dream place to put flowers!), a sweet loft space, and at least 3 different outdoor spaces where you could host a wedding ceremony, depending on what type of vibe you'd like: forest setting, the veranda with the stone fireplace in the background, or the grassy meadow with a creek in the background!

I can't wait to share more with you from this open house soon - the photos are gorgeous!


Hawthorn Estates

 Renderings from Hawthorn Estates / Wedding Photos by  Brittany Mahood

Renderings from Hawthorn Estates / Wedding Photos by Brittany Mahood

After a tragic fire in December 2016, Hawthorn Estates is re-building and is soon to be better than ever. I seriously CANNOT WAIT for the grand unveiling of the all-new barn venue just about 25 minutes north east of Winnipeg. This rendering of the new exterior shows you some of the focal points: a gorgeous green space (including a lovely area for wedding ceremonies), and tons of windows. Indoors, they're planning for rough-hewn timbers from BC and a large fireplace. 

Stay up to date with their re-build progress on their Instagram! I drove past it just before Christmas and it was looking incredible. They're now booking for 2018 and 2019 weddings.


Clear Lake - Elkhorn and Danceland

I've only been up to Clear Lake once, and it was this past summer for a wedding that was awesome. The ceremony was outdoors, at Elkhorn Manor (just off the golf course) and then the reception was right in the downtown of the Clear Lake village at Dance Land. Truth be told, the directions to get the Elkhorn Manor were a little confusing, but the location was wonderful for a ceremony: it was peaceful, quiet, overlooking the water in the background with lush green grounds all around. Dance Land is just a couple of minutes away. It's a really neat wood building (unfortunately, pretty much no natural light) with a cool history. 

See more from that summer wedding here!


Pineridge Hollow

 Photos by  Megan Steen

Photos by Megan Steen

Pineridge Hollow has to be included on this list! It's highly recommended, features an incredible menu, and has plenty of charm wrapped up into this simple tent venue in the heart of Birds Hill Park. Pineridge Hollow offers several different outdoor ceremony locations (including this clearing in the woods, as seen below), and the seating in the tent can be configured in several different ways for your reception, with your choice of long rectangular tables or round tables. They also offer a great selection of decor rentals - cute candle holders, table numbers, backdrops or seating charts, and so on. 

I've loved being able to personalize the decor at Pineridge Hollow - one of my favourites featured a greenery installation hanging above the guests from the tent ceiling. 


Hire a talented wedding floral and event designer for your wedding in Winnipeg.

Along with designing florals, Stone House Creative also offers full event design to a limited number of wedding clients each year. If you want your wedding to really look and feel like you while creating a unique ambiance unlike what your friends have had at their weddings, then reach out to me today! 

2018's Top Wedding Colours

Trying to narrow down your wedding colour palette? Maybe you've got an idea of one main tone you like or what colour you want your bridesmaids to wear, but can't decide on accent colours. Well, I'm here to help with my predictions for the top wedding colours of 2018.

Forget ultra-violet (to be honest, I don't usually like the "colour of the year" that Pantone chooses). The top wedding colours for 2018 will be all in the dusty tones. Dusty rose, mauve, cornflower blue, even a butter yellow. Here are some of my favourite go-to dusty toned flowers! 


Dusty Rose

Dusty rose is probably the most commonly requested colour I'm seeing for 2018 weddings. It's a bit deeper than the blush palettes of the past few wedding seasons, but still very much in line with the romantic trends we've been working with. The good news? For those of you want dusty rose, there are PLENTY of really good floral options. 

Above, we've got cafe latte roses (not easy to get here in Winnipeg, but the perfect unique rose gold tone when we can get them!), faith roses, and rice flower. Below, a combination of quicksand roses, rice flower, earl grey roses, and astrantia. And at the bottom, an antique toned hydrangea with a classic blush ranunculus. 

Dusty Rose Wedding Flowers - Wedding Trends for 2018

Mauve

Mauve Wedding Flowers - 2018 Wedding Trends

I am seeing a LOT of mauve being used an accent colour for 2018 weddings, and my favourite go-to is the amnesia rose. It's unique and has a really one-of-a-kind colour. I can't think of anything better for mauve! 

You can also see the amnesia rose in action below on the left - it pairs gorgeously with those soft peach roses and fresh green buds on the white ranunculus. And on the right, we have fritillaria. It's a very unique shape and bloom, and to be honest, kind of smells like skunk, but they're pretty cool nonetheless!


Cornflower Blue

Cornflower blue (aka dusty light blue) is another great tone that is a beautiful accent. There aren't a lot of naturally blue flowers, so if you're wanting a lot of blues at your wedding, then I would suggest choosing a dusty blue linen to play centre stage at your reception while tucking in some of these flowers into your bouquets! On the left, we've got muscari, which is a personal favourite of mine. It's got a short stem and a small bloom so this is definitely an accent flowers, but seriously, can you get any cuter? And then in the middle, delphinium - one of my favourite natural blue flowers. You can see it working its magic in the bouquet on the right! 


Still trying to figure out your wedding colour palette? Here are some more tips: 

-I love the way that a few well-placed bold accent tones can enliven an otherwise neutral palette. Click that link to see some seriously gorgeous flowers!
-Looking for a way to modernize the traditional blush wedding palette? Pair it with peach and mauve for a modern, feminine take.
-Don't forget to take into account these 7 things you HAVE to think about when choosing your wedding colour palette
-Finally, avoid making any of these mistakes that brides make when selecting their wedding palettes!


Work with a wedding event designer who loves creative colour palettes!

Along with floral design, Stone House Creative offers full Event Design Services to a limited number of wedding clients each year. This process allows me to go deeper with you, designing beyond the flowers, to help you create a celebration that truly looks and feels like you.