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!

Behind the Scenes: Wedding Planners Styled Day

Aimee De La Lande Photography

Aimee De La Lande Photography

I am a HUGE believer in community over competition. The wedding industry is an interesting one because we all create so much - and that can make it very competitive and judgemental ("will that couple book with me or with them? This thing that I just made is total crap. This thing I just made is incredible and no one will ever beat it."). It can be hard to find the balance between viewing the other people in your industry as colleagues versus competitors.

So, for the last two years, one thing that I've really enjoyed putting together is a Styled Shoot day for a handful of wedding planners in the city. My goals are primarily to have fun (they have stressful jobs!), fostering community, creating connections, and building portfolios. But, I do it a little differently than other styled shoots which are usually planned down to the last detail. I do it as a surprise for them! I usually give them the overall colour palette, and that's it. When they show up on the day, they'll find tables full of options that they can pull from to create a look that they love. This includes dresses and accessories for their models, plenty of vase options for centrepieces, flatware and dishes, linens, chairs, stationery, and so on!

Here's a little behind the scenes from that day! It's pretty different than the behind the scenes for a wedding day, but it's still fun!

Video by Prairie Wedding Films

A HUGE thanks to everyone who took part! 
Venue: Alloway Hall, Manitoba Museum | Linens and Chairs: Planned Perfectly | Tabletop Rentals: C&T Rentals | Stationery: Jennifer Bianca Calligraphy | Makeup: Jessica Kmiec Artistry and Lidia Najera | Hair: Annette Wilkinson Designs and  @steph.wall | Dresses and Accessories: Bliss Bridal Boutique | Favours/Sweets: Jenna Rae Cakes and Bronuts | Video: Prairie Wedding Films

Esther Funk Photography

Tell you what, guys: designing on site with a limited amount of ingredients for a lineup of wedding planners is a little tricky (as you can see from that first pic! ha!).

We also had an amazing crew of photographers who volunteered their time and were each partnered with a planner. 

Reanne Berard Photography with Amanda Douglas Events
Victoria Anne Photography with White Ivy Weddings
Esther Funk Photography with Feast & Festivities
Aimee de la Lande Photography with Ashley Brooke Weddings
Casey Nolin Photography with Inspired Elegance Events

Below are some images from a demo table that I put together, photographed by Esther Funk Photography. With the warm fall tones in the flowers I thought the light blue linen would be a nice contrast. I was planning to do something completely differently, but I love how it turned out!

Fall Wedding Flowers - Orange Wedding Flower Ideas
How to Plan a Fall Wedding - Wedding Florists Winnipeg

And now for the finished design!

Blue and Orange Wedding Ideas - Wedding Florists in Winnipeg
Warm Fall Wedding Decor - Autumn Wedding Flowers

Below are some of the details from the tables that each of the planners put together! 
First up, Emily from Feast & Festivities. I have to give her major kudos for taking on the challenge of a chartreuse velvet linen. This woman is not afraid of colour and I love that she dubbed this an "Oscar the Grouch" wedding look! 😂

Vibrant Green Wedding Inspiration - Wedding Planning in Winnipeg

This feminine, pretty table was designed by Ashley at Ashley Brooke Weddings. She's a girly girl so I wasn't surprised when she chose a feminine palette. I love the gold accents and that deep hit of plum. And I love that photographer Aimee de la Lande chose that black wall to take photos in front of. Wooo!

Berry Tones Wedding Inspiration - Wedding Flowers winnipeg

Up next is Sheila from Inspired Elegance Events! It was funny to chat with her while she was putting this together. Her only thought coming into the shoot day (knowing that there was nothing she could do to prepare) was "I'm not going to do pink." ha! I liked this take on pink. Instead of the light, airy blush that has been going around for a few years (and let's be honest, is always beautiful), she added some serious depth with those dark wood crossback chairs and berry toned flowers. I also loved that she chose to go with a tall arrangement. I'm not usually a huge fan of tall centrepieces, but sometimes and in some spaces, tall arrangements are perfect.

Feminine Pink Wedding Inspiration - Wedding Florists in Winnipeg

This design was put together by Amanda Douglas Events. I like that it really plays off of natural tones as the base, and then layers in some of that brighter, richer warm tones. Those wood charger plates are such an awesome texture that's added in, and Amanda tucked in a few of her own details - the candles and black plates. 

Warm Fall Wedding Inspiration - Winnipeg Wedding Florists

And finally, we've got a newer planner: Ashley from White Ivy Weddings. Her favourite element from everything that was available to choose from was the rich, warm orange copper beech leaves, and she built her entire design around them. I LOVE the orange ranunculus paired with those golden mustard roses, the addition of the burgundy taper candles, and the warm brass coloured linen.

Manitoba Museum Weddings - Fall wEdding Flowers

How Much Do Wedding Flowers Cost in Manitoba? Part 1

I hear this question ALL the time. Literally, all the time. And while I can't give you an accurate blanket statement response, I wanted to at least give it a shot and explain some of the behind-the-scenes of wedding flower pricing for you.

This is Part 1 in a 3 Part series on wedding flower budgets. I'll be back soon with more, including tips on how to maximize your floral budget and some common misconceptions about wedding flower pricing. If you have any questions or thoughts about these topics, send me an email to info@stonehouseweddings.com and I'll try my best to address it!

Figuring out how much to budget for your wedding flowers can be a major challenge - for most newly engaged couples, it's just going to be a major shot in the dark. Most of the online resources available are in American dollars, from very different markets than we are in, and are written by magazine editors - not florists - who haven't bothered to do their research on how much things actually cost, making their supposedly helpful suggestions to be completely unrealistic. Some of the big magazines and wedding planning sites offer "helpful" wedding budget breakdowns, with a suggestion for spending 10-20% of your overall budget on flowers, but there's a big difference between 10 and 20%!

So, before you even try to figure out a preliminary wedding flower budget, start here:

1) Figure out your priorities and what aspects of the flowers you really care about, and what aspects may be less important.
2) Understand that your budget needs to match your wants and needs list. If you don't want to spend a lot of money on flowers (which is perfectly fine! I was a budget bride, too!), you can't expect the world. 

Probably the worst part of my job is finding a way to delicately tell a couple that their wish list is just way too enormous for the amount of money they're comfortable spending. While I adjust some prices on my end, most of what I have to charge is set by the growers and the wholesalers. There are a LOT of hard costs in this industry, which means that as much as we would love to, your floral designers can't just give you everything you want without a price tag attached to them. If you take just one thing away from this entire post, please know this: we aren't trying to rip you off. Believe me, we don't make a lot of money, especially when compared to the intensive work we do. There are simply very definite hard costs in the floral industry, and that just kind of sucks, because it means that we can't necessarily give you as much as we would honestly love to!

There are many things to consider that contribute to the overall amount of money you're spending on wedding flowers, including:
-The flowers themselves (duh).
-The amount of items your florist needs to make (8 bridesmaid bouquets add up really quickly!).
-The time of year (sorry to everyone who wants to get married in February, but all growers increase wholesale flower pricing for the month of Valentine's!).
-What your style is (some design styles require a lot more or less floral than others).
-The supplies required to create a design (you'd be surprised at how much time floral designers spend in Rona!).
-There's also, unfortunately, the border crossing factor. While I love to use locally grown flowers as much as possible, there are many things that just don't grow here in Manitoba. Anytime a flower crosses the border, there are increased expenses. It's a bummer, but a simple reality. What a florist in California might pay $0.50 per stem for, I have to pay $1.50 for.
-You're also paying for the service that you receive and the experience and expertise of the floral designer you've chosen. Perhaps you've chosen to work with someone who's been working with flowers for 15 years. Their experience deserves a higher pay grade. You'd expect to pay an experienced accountant more than a brand new one, wouldn't you? Or maybe you've chosen someone based on their creativity and the unique designs they create. Part of what you're paying for is their brain, which no one else has - being able to access their creativity is a benefit to you! 
-Set up and delivery has a price tag attached to it, too (more on this coming in a future post!).


So, how much do wedding bouquets cost?

Click the graphic below to find out what makes the difference between a $150 bouquet and a $350 bouquet! This is one of my favourite resources to share with couples for a few reasons - mostly because it's a great visual comparison. For those of you who like a certain style but aren't so picky about the types of flowers that are used, be sure to take a closer look - this might give you some thoughts on how you can lower your overall budget! 

For reference, the average cost of the bridal bouquets you'll see in my portfolio range from $200 - $250 each.

Quill + Oak, a florist friend of mine in Ontario, recently put together this comparison on centrepiece sizing and pricing, and it's also a pretty good estimation on what you could expect to receive in Manitoba!

Floral designs by Quill + Oak | Photos by Olive Photography

Want some more resources to compare pricing on? See how different floral centrepieces compare on budget here, and get more details on how much a full wedding tablescape will cost with all of those extras added in (candles, table runners, rental pieces, and so on!).


So, let's get down to brass tacks. How much can you expect to spend on wedding flowers in Manitoba? 

For full service florals (bridal party and family flowers, ceremony decor, reception decor), my clients are spending an average of $3000 + taxes. That being said, you don't have to spend this much money, and costs can very quickly skyrocket past this point as well. For an average size wedding with 3 bridesmaids, 150 guests with smaller centrepieces and maybe a touch of something at the ceremony, I'd suggest that you will be spending in the realm of $2000 +, once set up and delivery are added in. If you have a larger guest list or a larger bridal party and want to keep your floral budget below $2000, then consider some alternatives - simpler bridesmaid bouquets, lower cost centrepieces or DIY options for some of the table centrepieces, and so on. And of course, if you want to have really lush and full arrangements and bouquets, then I'll be happy to oblige :) Just be prepared for a higher price point.


Here's what I offer to clients: 
-Full Service Floral Design (with a suggested minimum budget of $2000)
-The Intimate Wedding Package ($550 for a limited, stress-free floral package)
-Event Design (in addition to floral design, and you can find out more about that here!)

I would love to discuss your wedding flower needs. I can help you narrow down your style, determine what are the most important aspects of the flowers to you (and therefore, where you should focus your budget and where you can reduce your spending), and also come up with some great ideas for unique designs that your friends didn't all have at their weddings.

I'm still booking for 2018 weddings. Don't hesitate to reach out by clicking the button below!

Introducing the Intimate Wedding Package!

While I love being a large part of people's weddings, I know that not everyone either cares about flowers as much as I do, or wants to spend as much on flowers as another couple might. Things in the world of weddings are changing, too - couples are consistently choosing to prioritize the aspects of a wedding that are important to them, and forgetting about all the rest. In fact, there's a trend called "microweddings" that's starting to pop up - a microwedding retains some of the structure of a traditional wedding, except on a smaller scale.

So to take care of all of you who don't need quite as much, I'm super excited to launch a new offering just for you: 

The Intimate Wedding Package

Intimate Weddings in Winnipeg - Stone House Creative

Perfect for a couple who are eloping, who are planning an intimate wedding with a small guest list, or for those who just don't need flowers everywhere, the Intimate Wedding Package is something I've excited to offer. Here's what it includes: 

1 incredible bridal bouquet
1 corresponding groom's boutonniere
And your choice of either
- beautiful ceremony decor (including rentals)
OR
- 5 mid-sized table centrepieces

For just $550 + tax!

With the Intimate Wedding Package, a couple just needs to tell me what their colour palette is and if they have any flowers they love or hate. I'll take it from there, and make all of the decisions for you so you don't need to worry about anything! For more details, check out the full description here!


Planning an intimate wedding or elopement in the Winnipeg area?

Wedding Event Design 2.0 - The Reception (and the Frequently Made Mistakes by Brides & Wedding Planners)

When we talk about overall event design and decor planning for a wedding, most of our attention is focused on the reception. This is where you spend the most amount of time, and the most amount of money, so it makes sense to focus on the way your reception looks and feels!

Here are the two biggest mistakes I see brides make (and event wedding planners or decorators!) when it comes to planning their wedding decor: 

1) Not paying attention to the venue and what suits it. 
Every space has a particular style. The architect or interior designer have purposely made decisions to create an overall aesthetic, and when it comes to wedding venues, these aesthetic details are often VERY obvious, and sometimes "theme-y." This might be in style or in colour palette. For example: say you've chosen to have your wedding at a rustic barn. Guess what doesn't belong here? Mod white leather chairs. Crystals and bling. Formal linens and draping. It just doesn't GO. That doesn't meant that there isn't a place for those things; it just means that there isn't a place for these things at YOUR wedding. And that's okay!

Here's another example: we've all walked into venues with carpet, and thought, "what the heck were they thinking with this carpet!?" You know what's way worse than that gold-and-maroon patterned carpet? Textured coral table linens with whimsical light blue flowers on top of that gold and maroon carpet. Guys: pay attention to the space! Maybe gold and maroon aren't your favourite colours - but if you've chosen this venue for your wedding, then your overall event design is going to look the best if you find a way to incorporate the venue's colouring into your wedding's colour palette. 

In the same way, notice the most beautiful aspects of your venue and highlight them with your event design choices. Is there a gorgeous fireplace? Position your head table in front or beside it. Is there a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows that let in beautiful natural light? Don't ever think of covering those up with draping! 

Pay attention to the characteristics, limitations, and features of your venue. 

2) Paying too much attention to Pinterest. 
I recently sat down with a bride and her wedding planner to talk about her wedding flowers. Both the planner and I cringed (inwardly, of course!) when the bride mentioned one specific Pinterest trend that she thought she might like to incorporate (in this case, it was baby's breath - and lots of it). After we explained that it was becoming a very tired trend, nor did it really fit with her personal style in any way, she mentioned: "I guess I saw baby's breath on Pinterest a year ago when I first started planned my wedding, and I think it must have just been starting to be stylish then." This was really interesting to me, because baby's breath started to resurge in 2011! All this to say: remember that when you see something "new" on Pinterest or on wedding blogs, at least 10,000 other brides-to-be are seeing the EXACT SAME THING. That means that anything trending on Pinterest is not in the least bit unique or personalized to you and your style. That's not to say that Pinterest doesn't have its merits, though!

Here's the thing about those pretty little details and touches that you see on Pinterest or on wedding blogs: they're so pretty because they were first designed with one specific, incredible couple in mind. I very firmly believe that a unique design does not come from already completed weddings. If you hope to have a wedding that looks and feels unique to you, then we need to start fresh, WITHOUT Pinterest.  

So what next? If the way your wedding looks and feels is important to you, but you're struggling to figure out what to do or how to make it happen, connect with me. I'd love to help! I get a serious high from working alongside you to design a beautiful, personal, and fun wedding experience. 

PS I loved working with Prairie Film Co on this video. If you're looking for an amazing wedding videographer, contact them ASAP.