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Getting married in Victoria, BC

If you’re choosing to get married and have your wedding in Victoria, British Columbia, you’ve made a wise choice: it’s one of the most beautiful places in Canada. It is the capital city of British Columbia, and home to a population of about 300,000 people.

As one of the largest photography companies in Victoria, Arbutus knows this beautiful city. Our talented team ensures that having your wedding here is the perfect decision for your big day. We have access to the best venues, accommodations, caterers, florists, and everything in else available on the beautiful West Coast. We want to share your special day with us, and enjoy getting married here, too. And these are just some of the reasons why:

Known as the Garden City, Victoria has one of the most mildest climates all in Canada, making it a perfect option for outdoor weddings all year round. With an average of 2,183 hours of sunshine yearly, and an eight month frost free season, it’s the reason so many people flock here for exchanging their vows.

Found on the west coast in British Columbia, Victoria is right along the southern area of Vancouver Island, making it surrounded by the sea on three of its sides. It has the most sunshine in all of British Columbia, which, along with the warmer weather, boasts beautiful foliage, gardens, and flowers all throughout the year. In fact, about ten years ago, the small city broke a record with having a total of 8,521,514,876 flower blooms.

The mild climate is definitely one of the top attractions. It makes for a good overall vacation for those opting for a destination, with plenty to choose from for honeymoon options. Even better, guests to the wedding will appreciate so much to do while they are there. There are also plenty of surrounding activities, considering that both the Gulf Islands and Vancouver are just a ferry ride away.

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The natural beauty is surely something worth bragging about, but that isn’t the only thing that makes Victoria such a picturesque city. It is rich in culture, both stemming from a British colonial history and Native roots, with architecture as old as the 1800s, and many historic landmarks.

When you’re planning your wedding, the beauty of the city can enrich the experience, adding just the right amount of romantic flair to your time together. For example, there aren’t too many other places where you can live in such beauty, combined with the perfect climate, and take horse drawn carriage rides, go for tea in the afternoon in a castle, and take photos in beautiful, foliage-rich gardens.

Among these gardens is Beacon Hill Park, a top choice for both weddings, photography, engagement celebrations, and more. Beacon Hill Park is filled with a vast variety of birds and wildlife, as well as a petting animal farm, band pavilion, and the world’s tallest free-standing totem pole that has been carved from a single log. It also features water fountains, monuments, and other cultural features.

Another popular garden is Butchart Gardens. This garden is over one hundred years old, and every year, over one million visitors head here to see the wide variety of plants and natural life that exists. Its beauty makes it a popular choice for weddings and photography as well; in fact, it features fifty-five acres of gorgeous views covering pristine landscaping. It’s no question, then, that Butchart Gardens is a Victoria landmark and a National Historic Site of Canada.

Though not a garden, another popular destination is heading on over to Galloping Goose Trail. A fun setting for engagement photos, as well as a lovely afternoon out, it makes its way down a trail towards the sea, with whale watching ready when you are. (Okay, well, not always… but there is often an abundance out and about). And when you’re spending the day getting to know Victoria, there are definitely perks to exploring the inner city, too. For those who love architecture, you’ll love the Victorian-era Parliament Building in the Inner Harbour, especially for its elaborate stonework and, at night,  its 3,333 illuminating lights. There’s also Victoria’s Market Square, home to many restaurants and shops, as well as the Legislative Buildings, Royal British Columbia Museum, and Thunderbird Park. The Royal BC Museum, for example, showcases BC’s past, present, and future, with more than seven million antiques, objects, and unique items; history buffs can even opt for getting married there.

The city of Victoria has made a conscious effort to rebuild the city while maintaining its rich culture. An a great example of this is found in their Chinatown. The Chinatown in Victoria, BC is the oldest in Canada, and the second oldest in North America. It is a popular culture destination, filled with the same rich history, and bringing a unique change to the inner parts of the city.

While making your way through the city and exploring everything Victoria has to offer, visitors (or locals, alike) can take advantage of the double-decker buses, aforementioned carriage rides, bike rentals, or exploring it by foot–it’s very walkable and convenient.

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Once you’re here, it isn’t hard to choose a top place to get married–after all, they all offer something that every couple will love, and we honestly can’t say a bad thing about them. The Royal Colwood Golf Club, for example, is located right in the heart of the city. It is loaded with heritage and rolling parklands, and the greenery is outstanding. For something a little more intimate, visitors can explore Sleeping Dog Farm and Retreat Centre,  situated on five mountain and valley acres, with open views of their organic gardens and fruit trees. Others may be attracted to Amethyst Inn Bed and Breakfast, a beautiful, fully-restored historic mansion. Dating back to the 1890s, it includes thirteen-foot ceilings, antique and period furniture, and has a Victoria five star hotel rating,among many other awards. And if you’re looking for an oceanfront property, you’ll be covered at Brentwood Bay Resort and Spa–and you can even book all thirty-three of their luxurious ocean-view suites for your wedding’s visitors.

Other amenities are met as well, taking all the early guesswork out of planning your wedding. If you’re visiting, you’ll have nothing to bring with you, if you so choose, and can plan everything among the wide variety of services available right at your (temporary) doorstep.Some of the best caterers in Canada are here, each with menu designs that will meet and exceed your needs. If you’re looking for versatility, the Swans Hotel can accomodate anything, whether you’re looking for elegance or something a little more casual. For a place that focuses on local cuisine, Wit’s End Catering is definitely the one to choose. For a crew with an eco-friendly edge, Truffles Catering not only has been in the business for over 20 years, but they focus on sustainability , local ingredients, are Ocean Wise certified, and are members of the Island Chef’s Collaborative working with local producers. If you need something specifically unique, such as a fiesta, Melting Moments Catering will bring it to you, along with all of your other reception needs.

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And when it comes to the reception, there are so many choices that can be built around what you picture. For those who are looking for something stylish and sophisticated, the Hotel Grand Pacific specializes in elegant celebrations, and include packages for bridal treatments in their spas, golf for the groomsmen nearby, and rehearsal dinners in their award-winning, four-diamond private dining room. For something convenient and budget-friendly, The Best Western Plus Carlton Plaza Hotel is a three diamond, award winning heritage hotel located in the centre of downtown Victoria’s historical old town. Unassuming yet beautiful, it does the job, and it does it well. If you’re planning a huge wedding, your best option is likely Beaconsfield Inn, mostly because of their West Shore Ballroom, the largest facility of its kind in Victoria. It is 5,128 square feet in size, and can  accommodate 350 guests for a served meal, or up to 500 guests for a reception-style event, with catering available. And on the other side of things, those with a small wedding may love the tranquil setting of the English Inn, a small private venue surrounded by water that accommodates  75 seated, a courtyard garden for 10, and an intimate room for up to 25.

Getting to these destinations can be done with the many limousine rental companies in the area. Regent Limousine is Victoria’s largest rental, with over 25 experiences, and a wide variety of vehicles to choose from, including a fleet of Cadillac, Lincoln and stretched SUV limousines, sedans, and vans. Daimler Limousine offers the transportation and the help, ensuring all of the details and needs are met. Alpine Limousine Service features a fleet of value-based luxury rides. And if you’re looking for something a little different, Ascot Limousine Services rents comfortable, fancy Daimler limousines, and are known for these beautiful, vintage vehicles.

Taking care of the dress should also be on the to do list, and working with a dress maker in Victoria is an excellent way to stress less before you go. The few to choose from do a fantastic job, all ensuring the each individual bride’s needs are met. Alida’s Gowns offers Couture-quality gowns, along with gowns and suits for others, including mothers of the bride or groom. All beading is done by hand and use the finest silks and laces. They also offer accessories including veils, shoes, jewelry and purses. Elise Tonn Designs creates custom, affordable dresses  made specifically for you and your body. Finally, if you already have your own dress, Mary’s Tailoring is the place to take it, for over 20 years of experience in high quality alterations and sewing services to their clients. Alterations include length, repairs, resizing, and more.

When it comes to the groom, custom tux rentals are also available. If you’re outside the Victoria area, Western Tux has three locations, including Victoria, Vancouver and Langley, with high-quality tuxes, and group discounts available. Capital City Tuxedo offers fine formal wear with many styles to choose from, and a promotion that offers the groom a free tuxedo with the purchase of three others. For tuxedos and suits, Black and Lee is the place to check out, with over fifty years experience providing rentals, as well as purchase options on used suits and tuxes. Grooms receive a free tux rental with the rental with the purchase of four other tuxes, as well. And finally, a popular Canadian tuxedo destination Moores Clothing For Men has three locations in Victoria, offering many options for color coordinating and a unique deal: with five paid rentals, all renters save $30 each and the groom gets a free tux or suit.

Finally, when all is said and done, Victoria is known for its eclectic eats. If you’re looking for something you’ll be hard pressed to find elsewhere, try Ferris’ Oyster Bar, a restaurant that’s known for their vast menu of oyster based dishes, including baked, breaded, and raw options. They focus on unique creations that taste amazing, too, and are affordable, as well. If oysters aren’t your preference, head down to the classic steakhouse: Nautical Nellies. Dubbed as “world famous”, the restaurant serves only award winning Certified Angus steaks and fresh seafood, and can accomodate a group of people… with their cozy, 120-seat dining room or heated patio that will sit 38. Finally, a post wedding breakfast or brunch is recommended at the Blue Fox Cafe, a fun, popular destination suited for relaxation. Located on Antique Row in the heart of the city, its’ generous, comforting portions is what draws the crowd, with a focus on organic and local options.

Regardless of where the city takes you, Victoria is an amazing place for  wedding–destination or right in your own back yard. And what is featured here, of course, is certainly just the beginning of making all of your wedding day dreams come true.

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