Blush’s Venue of the Year 2018Venue of the Year: The Lake House

Posted by Blush Magazine Posted on September 10, 2018

Venue of the Year 2018: The Lake HouseThere is nothing more romantic than holding a rustic wedding in a secluded spot surrounded only by nature and your loved ones. Unfortunately, the logistics of planning and executing such a vision can burst your bubble well before you pop the champagne. Barriers to accessibility, lack of different options for accommodation, and high travel costs can all negatively impact your guest list—not to mention our notoriously unpredictable weather.

The Lake House in Calgary offers the quaint charm of a lakeside cottage with the conveniences that come with a big city. The full-service restaurant is perched directly over Lake Bonavista and has breathtaking scenery both inside and out. Ornate elk antler chandeliers cast a warm glow over the grand stone fireplace and the 21-foot antique bar. The bar dates back to the 1800’s and was previously housed in a mercantile shop in Montana. Large glass windows provide views of the lake from the comfort of your table, or you can savour the warm summer nights from the spacious patio.

Venue of the Year 2018: The Lake House

The Lake House is managed by Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts, so if you’ve ever dined at Cilantro in Calgary or Emerald Lake Lodge in B.C, you know the food and service will be exceptional. Chef Thomas Neukom and his award-winning team create inspired Western Canadian dishes sourced from local ingredients—most of the bison and elk meat come from CRMR’s own ranch just outside the city. You can view the extensive and diverse selection of wine from the stunning glass-encased cellar as you enter the restaurant. But it’s not all fine dining; there are fun options for midnight lunch such as mac and cheese, poutine, and pierogi stations.

The Lake House can accommodate weddings year-round for nearly any size and budget. The Private Dining Room holds 60 for a banquet-style dinner and the Bonavista Dining room can seat 130 (or 160 for a cocktail reception). For even the grandest of parties you can book the entire venue to accommodate 190 guests for dinner or 250 guests for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. If you really want to save some cash without skimping on quality, there are discounted rates for Sundays and weekdays.

Take a moment, breathe deeply, and let your dreams fly. Invite the nostalgia of a summer night at the family cabin watching the sun set over the serene waters to your wedding. Welcome the romance of a crisp autumn day as the backdrop of trees shimmer in shades of crimson and gold. Let love and a crackling fire keep you warm as snow envelops everything in a wonderland of white. Or delight in new beginnings with a sunny spring brunch affair. The possibilities are endless. Whatever your dream, hosting your wedding at The Lake House ensures you can share it with everyone—from your little old granny to your frugal aunt and uncle.

Venue of the Year 2018: The Lake House

Venue of the Year 2018: The Lake House

Venue of the Year 2018: The Lake House

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Gathered: Farm Weddings and Events

Posted by Blush Magazine Posted on June 7, 2018

We gather together to enjoy a good meal, to work towards common goals, and to celebrate life and love. In today’s digital age, spending time together is something we often take for granted. The Hauser family have perfected this seemingly lost art and have made it their mission to share their love of togetherness on their family farm and event space. Welcome to Gathered.

The family of seven had always dreamed of setting up a homestead and living off the bounty of their land, and one day they decided to just go for it. They moved to an acreage in Kathryn, Alberta in 2013 and immediately broke ground—literally. The eldest daughter, Alysa, was planning her wedding and wanted to get married under the open skies. The family planted gardens both for food and to turn the property into a naturally beautiful oasis. The wedding day was a success and sparked a new flame: the Hauser’s wanted to share the fruits of their labour with others.

Located just 30 minutes from downtown Calgary, Gathered is an idyllic spot for a rustic wedding. The transparent tent seats 140 and allows you to dine under the big prairie sky without worrying about unpredictable weather. There’s no pretentious or processed food here; expect a delicious, home-cooked meal with fresh local ingredients—many of which are organically grown on the farm. The gorgeous wood furniture, dishes, glassware and spectacular country views are all included so all you need to add is your personal touch for décor.

If you want to celebrate love, food, family and land—and perhaps roast a few s’mores—on your wedding day, let the Hauser’s share their dream-come-true with you. Your wedding day is all about togetherness, and there’s no better place to get together than Gathered. As they say, there’s no place like home.

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Three Calgary Restaurants that make Great Wedding Venues

Posted by Blush Magazine Posted on April 9, 2018

More savvy couples are booking restaurants for their weddings, and for many great reasons. Food is the top priority for any successful restaurant, so expect that to be the case for your reception. Plus you can easily sample the menus before committing to a deposit. You’ll also save big on décor since restaurants will already have unique accoutrements, as opposed to standard banquet hall furniture—add a few flowers and creative centrepieces to make the space your own. Relive the romance of your wedding day for years to come by revisiting the restaurant for anniversaries and other special celebrations.

Here are three amazing Calgary restaurants to say “I do” to:

Cilantro offers an intimate setting in the heart of the city. The interior boasts wood paneling and stained-glass windows that let in lots of natural light, while the enclosed patio features lush greenery and heaters to keep the party private and comfortable. Cilantro can accommodate up to 60 guests for a sit-down dinner or 100 guests for a cocktail reception.

Photo: Grey Lily Photography

Looking for a rustic lodge within city limits? The Lake House sits above Lake Bonavista and offers breathtaking views both inside and out. The interior features elk antler chandeliers, a massive stone fireplace, glass-encased wine cellar, and a refurbished bar from the 1800’s. The patio offers a tranquil space to mingle and watch the sun set over the water. The Lake House has brunch, lunch and dinner options for up to 250 guests.

Photo: Shannon Yau Photography

The Loft Lounge at the new Granary Road Market offers an open, casual space just ten minutes south of Calgary. The lounge itself sits high above the main marketplace with spectacular views of the surrounding countryside—the perfect setting to dine on locally-sourced menu items and sip Alberta craft beer.

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Winter Weddings in the Rockies3 Reasons to Celebrate Winter Weddings in the Rockies

Posted by Blush Magazine Posted on January 31, 2018

We are so fortunate to have one of the world’s most spectacular settings right in our backyard—the Rocky Mountains. While the Rockies are gorgeous any time of year, winter is undoubtedly when they’re at their breathtaking best. Cozy up to your love and say “I do” to a wedding in your own winter wonderland.

1. Picture-Perfect Views (Carey Nash Photography)

Sparkling white snow, dramatic mountain peaks, and an indescribable stillness—the Rockies in the winter are a photographer’s dream and the perfect setting to capture the intimate moments after the vows. Plus, because most tourists prefer to explore in the summer, you’ll have the best locations all to yourself.

2. Rustic Venues (Barbara Rahal Photography)

Warm up with a cozy reception in a charming mountain lodge! Surrounded by nine acres of forest, Buffalo Mountain Lodge on Tunnel Mountain feels completely secluded yet is within walking distance of downtown Banff. The upper level of the Wapiti Longhouse boasts a high-beamed ceiling and a large stone fireplace, while the main-floor wine cellar is ideal for cocktail hour.

Originally built as a teahouse in 1923, Deer Lodge in Lake Louise retains much of its original hand-hewn log structure and décor. You can even book the whole lodge and all 71 guest rooms for a private mountain getaway for you and your guests.

If you’re looking for something even more intimate, you can rent your own island. Emerald Lake Lodge features three rooms that can hold weddings for up to 88 people or 150 when you rent the place just for yourselves.

3. Endless Adventure (Orange Girl Photos)

 There truly is something for everyone in the Rockies! Thrill-seekers can hit the slopes, ride high in a gondola, or take a fast-paced tour led by a team of huskies. Those who like to set their own pace can explore the region on cross-country skis or snowshoes. Even those averse to the cold can stay in and cuddle by the fireplace, relax in a hot tub, or bundle up together on a romantic sleigh ride.

***This is a sponsored post. Blush has been compensated to write and publish this post on the blog. We only publish content that aligns with our magazine and brand.

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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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