Blush’s Venue of the Year 2017Venue of the Year: The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald

Posted by Blush Magazine Posted on August 16, 2017

For Edmonton couples dreaming of starting their happily-ever-afters in a setting worthy of royalty, the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald has long been the gold standard. Situated on the high banks of the North Saskatchewan River, “The Mac” has been an iconic fixture of Edmonton’s skyline for over a century.

The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway first opened the hotel’s doors in 1915 to tune of $2.25 million (that’s over $35 million in today’s dollars!), and named it after Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. The design was adapted from 16th century French castles, or châteaus, and featured Indiana limestone facing and copper roofing. The hotel was the glamorous epicentre of Edmonton’s social scene for decades until it fell into disrepair and closed in 1983. In an effort to save the historic building from the wrecking ball, the city designated it as a Municipal Heritage Resource. The hotel underwent a massive restoration under new ownership until it was returned to its former glory but with modern amenities.

The Hotel Macdonald is renowned for its luxurious suites, exquisite catering and impeccable service—and let’s not forget Smudge, their beloved Canine Ambassador! Their dedicated team of professionals works closely with each couple to ensure everything from the room to the food is tailored to fit their vision for the day and surpasses their expectations.

Whether you are hosting an intimate reception or a grand fête, The Mac has a room to suit every style. The most popular options are the Empire Ballroom and the Wedgwood Room, both of which carry the heritage designation. The regal Empire Ballroom boasts 21-foot decorated ceilings, opulent chandeliers and a pillar-free space so all your guests will have an unobstructed view of the festivities—up to 250 of them! This room also includes access to a private terrace in the manicured gardens so you can soak in the spectacular view of the River Valley. The Wedgwood Room shares the intricate detailing of its namesake, Wedgwood China, within its domed structure. The soft, muted colour palette makes it a favourite for both ceremonies and romantic receptions for up to 110 guests. Couples who book either room also get a complimentary View Room for the wedding night.

There are also stunning options for cozier affairs for 30 to 60 guests; The Jasper Room features rich oak paneling and original stained glass windows, while the Drawing Room has an airier atmosphere with pale blue walls and white woodwork framing a trio of tall windows. During the brief yet beautiful summer months, the enclosed Gazebo is also available for garden receptions or even bridal showers.

The event coordinators at Fairmont Hotel Macdonald also have a specially selected list of recommended vendors to ensure you are treated like royalty from the first plans to the last dance. There really is no need to look further than The Mac, “where modern luxury meets historic, old-world grandeur.”

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Hudson: Downtown Calgary Wedding VenueCalgary's Newest Wedding Venue

Posted by Blush Magazine Posted on June 28, 2017

Blush had the pleasure of attending this year’s hottest unveiling of Calgary’s newest state-of-the-art event complex. Hudson is a one-of-a-kind venue located in the historic Hudson Bay building in downtown Calgary. The wedding and event room is situated on the sixth floor of the HBC flagship store, boasting sweeping city views like none-other.

You are greeted with a clean, contemporary feel with breathtaking chandeliers, exposed brick and posh interior design. Hudson is the perfect blank slate for your special event.

Hudson features two unique spaces to suit any soiree. The contemporary Hudson Loft featuring just over 10,000 square feet with seating capacity of 480 guests and the grand Hudson Flat with just over 7,000 square feet with seating capacity of 300. Looking to accommodate a really large event? Rent out the entire floor for up to 780 guests! One of the greatest features of Hudson is the choice of configuration for your event to customize based on size for a truly unique experience.

We cannot forget about the mouth-watering food catered by Oliver & Bonacini, one of Canada’s leading restaurant and event companies. You will not be disappointed with Hudson’s catering and top-notch service, just another feature of the spectacular venue.

If you are looking for something truly unique, with breathtaking views, exquisite food and impressive design then look no further than Hudson.

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Rocky Mountain Wedding Venue: Fairmont Banff SpringsBlush's Venue of the Year 2016

Posted by Blush Magazine Posted on July 28, 2016

Rocky Mountain Wedding Venue: Fairmont Banff Springs

“Destination wedding” typically conjures up images of barefoot ceremonies on white sand beaches, but with a weak Canadian dollar many couples are looking for more domestic getaway options. Fortunately we have one of the world’s most breathtaking landscapes in our backyard, with a spectacular venue to match.

Blush’s Venue of the Year for 2016, the historic Fairmont Banff Springs, is considered Canada’s “Castle in the Rockies.” First built in 1888, the luxury hotel has hosted British monarchs and Hollywood royalty alike, and features numerous rooms to suit weddings of any size and style.

The Ivor Petrak Room hosts intimate weddings for up to 60 guests and boasts a glittering crystal chandelier and stunning views of the Bow Valley. For an even smaller-scale soiree, seat up to 24 guests at a long table in the Angus room with its stained glass windows and historic décor.

For larger affairs, look no further than one of the Banff Springs’ elegant ballrooms and halls. The Alhambra Ballroom accommodates up to 220 guests and contains both huge windows for a sundrenched celebration and four Spanish Renaissance chandeliers for a romantic evening glow.

Fox Trot back to the roaring 20’s in the Cascade Ballroom; the hotel’s original ballroom has hosted stars such as Fred Astaire and Marilyn Monroe. The rich hardwood floors and colour scheme of powder blue, burgundy and gold provide a glamorous backdrop for a vintage wedding, and the adjacent Conservatory delivers panoramic views of the Bow Valley.

Mt. Stephen Hall truly reflects the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains, and is the most popular space for couples to start their happily-ever-afters. The stone floors, high ceilings with oak beams, and cathedral windows with stained glass crests create a castle-like atmosphere for ceremonies and receptions for up to 115.

Take advantage of the fresh mountain air with a picture-perfect ceremony on the Outdoor Terrace, which combines natural beauty with the convenience of hotel amenities.

With a team of on-site wedding planners and dozens of recommendations for local vendors, the Fairmont Banff Springs offers the ease of an all-inclusive destination wedding and unparalleled service for a worry-free day. Tantalizing menu options, fine wines, and the world-class Willow Stream Spa ensure that you and your guests will be pampered. For those looking for fun and adventure, the hotel also features a 27-hole championship golf course, a bowling and entertainment centre, and a plethora of outdoor activities.

Unlike most tropical destinations, there’s no need to worry about passports, vaccines or foreign marriage licence requirements. The Calgary International Airport is only a scenic 90-minute drive away, so it’s easy for far-off guests to fly in for the big day. The nearby town of Banff also offers nearly endless options for accommodations, dining and shopping to suit all styles and budgets.

Best of all, there’s never a bad time to head to the Rockies; the area is beautiful and accessible all year round. Whether you’re dreaming of a sunny summer, rustic fall or winter wonderland wedding, the Fairmont Banff Springs will bring your vision to life, and the stunning mountain vistas will take your breath away.

Blush's Venue of the Year 2013

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Alberta & British Columbia’s Top Mountain Wedding VenuesOur Top 6 Mountain Wedding Venues of 2016

Posted by Blush Magazine Posted on March 28, 2016

Some of the most stunning mountain wedding venues in the world are located right in our backyard. If you’re envisioning breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains or pristine lakes for your wedding day, we’ve selected the top 6 venues across Alberta and British Columbia for you.

THE FAIRMONT BANFF SPRINGS – BANFF, AB

Set amid the backdrop of majestic mountains, Fairmont Banff Springs is Canada’s Castle in the Rockies. This Scottish baronial castle provides the perfect combination of wonder and romance. Choose from a wide variety of venues. Imagine the sweeping views of the Bow Valley behind you while exchanging nuptials on the Outdoor Terrace.

Banquet spaces can accommodate up to 220 guests.

Alberta & British Columbia’s Top Mountain Wedding Venues

Photo: Carey Nash Photography

 

SILVERTIP RESORT – CANMORE, AB

Offering breathtaking Rocky Mountain scenery accompanied by an unmatched service team. Be it an elegant all out affair or a quiet time event, Silvertip’s superior facilities boast all of the amenities of a fairytale.

Banquet space can accommodate up to 250 guests.

Alberta & British Columbia’s Top Mountain Wedding Venues

 

HOTEL ELDORADO – OKANAGAN VALLEY, BC

The sunroof at Hotel Eldorado overlooking Okanagan Lake provides the most stunning setting to say “I do”. The second floor banquet space was expanded in 2011 to create the ultimate wedding reception venue!

Banquet spaces can accommodate up to 150 guests.

Alberta & British Columbia’s Top Mountain Wedding Venues

 

THE FAIRMONT CHATEAU LAKE LOUISE– LAKE LOUISE, AB

Embraced by snow frosted mountains and a sparkling lake, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is naturally graced with all the elements for a magical celebration. The Chateau blends grandeur with a sense of ease, accented by fine cuisine and renowned service.

Banquet spaces can accommodate up to 350 guests.

Alberta & British Columbia’s Top Mountain Wedding Venues

 

EMERALD LAKE LODGE – FIELD, BC

With its century-old fireplaces and an oak bar salvaged from an 1890’s Yukon saloon, there is no shortage of history within these walls. There is also no shortage of comfort during your stay at Emerald Lake Lodge given the location’s award-winning dining opportunities and exceptional accommodations.

Banquet space can accommodate up to 88 guests.

bridesmaid dresses

 

CHERRY CREEK ESTATE – KIMBERLEY, BC

Surrounded by the Rocky and Purcell Mountains, the 320 acre private estate features a 13,000 sq ft. mansion and two reception barns. The property features a tranquil creek that winds through acres of natural forests. The estate was originally built in the mid 1990’s as a private residence and boasts traditional German craftsmanship. Combining a rustic barn look with the timeless charm of its European architecture.

Banquet spaces can accommodate up to 400 guests.

LACE WEDDING DRESSES

Photo: Justine Russo

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Edmonton Wedding Venue: The Enjoy CentreBlush's Venue of the Year 2015

Posted by Blush Magazine Posted on August 17, 2015

Blush's Venue of the Year 2015: The Enjoy Centre

Imagine walking through a room lined with trees, with the sun streaming down, and the scent of fresh garden blooms in the air. Imagine not worrying about the weather, because—at the first drop of rain—glass panels automatically close to save your big day.

The Enjoy Centre in St. Albert is the only venue of its kind in Canada, boasts Event Manager Laura Gadowsky. “We provide a true feeling of an outdoor wedding with none of the risk,” she says.

Their largest space, the Moonflower Room, is the crown jewel of event spaces. This 15,000 square foot room features 35 foot high glass ceilings, polished concrete floors, and moveable potted trees. The space can seat 500 guests for a ceremony and up to 600 for a reception. A mezzanine overlooks the room—every photographer’s dream for spectacular aerial shots—and can be used for smaller ceremonies, cocktail hours and even a kids’ area.

The high glass ceiling is truly the highlight; the panels are fitted with retractable shade cloth to adjust the amount of natural light. The uppermost panels open completely to allow air flow and are controlled by a weather station to automatically adjust to changing conditions.

If you’re looking for a more intimate setting, the Park Room seats up to 120 for a dinner reception. Three huge west-facing windows provide gorgeous views of the centre’s garden terraces and are equipped with shade cloth and blackout blinds. All the lights are on dimmer switches—from the funky yellow chandeliers to the backlights in the alcoves—to create the perfect ambience for your wedding. Gadowsky loves this room because it combines a fun modern aesthetic with the warmth of a traditional space.

While couples can choose from their selection of vendors, the Enjoy Centre offers the convenience of a one-stop shop: photos in and around the Centre plus the nearby Lois Hole Provincial Park just across the street, flowers from the Floral Studio at Hole’s, cake from Wild Earth Bakery, spa services from Wellness Within, and catering from the Glasshouse Bistro.

Chef Julia Kundera creates tailor-made menus with fresh, local ingredients—in late summer, with many of the vegetables come from Hole’s own garden. Couples can even rent the Glasshouse Bistro for sit down dinners up to 140 or stand-up receptions up to 250; enjoy cocktails with breathtaking views of Big Lake on the patio, dinner in the main restaurant, and dancing in the café area. The Bistro is also the perfect location for your rehearsal dinner or bridal shower.

Regardless which beautiful room you choose, the dedicated staff will do almost anything to fulfill your vision—from accommodating fire dancers to handling a horse in the parking lot. They also offer flexible set-up times and use of the Executive Boardroom for a bridal suite.

The Enjoy Centre is truly a breath of fresh air for those looking for an alternative to a cavernous banquet hall. Enjoy the light, enjoy the views, enjoy your day.

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