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!
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.
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
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
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.
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!
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
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