ByWard Market is a historical district known for its outdoor markets, eclectic mix of shops and trendy restaurants. And, guess what? It’s also good for taking care of all your Ottawa wedding details. That’s right! Your venue, your rehearsal dinner spot and almost everything in between can be found right inside the neighbourhood.
Here’s how to plan the ultimate Ottawa wedding in ByWard Market.
Venue: Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts (310 St. Patrick Street)
Make your way slightly north of the neighbourhood to the corner of St. Patrick and Cumberland and you’ll find Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts. This former Catholic-Irish church has been transformed from a place of worship to a cultural hub. Its chapel is still completely intact and makes for the perfect ceremony space - it’s even got its original pews, so you won’t need to rent seating. Its capacity is 699, so you can make your guest list on the longer side. Looking for a more intimate Ottawa wedding venue? Courtyard Restaurant on George Street has several stunning event spaces to host anywhere from 25 to 175 wedding guests.
Dress: MerryMarry Bridal Boutique (1 Nicolas Street)
Ready to start hunting for your fairytale gown? Head to Nicolas Street. Merrymarry works with big bridal designers like Sophia Tolli, L’amour by Calla Blanche, Mon Cheri and even has its own in-house label, so you’re bound to find something truly original for your big day. The studio also carries hairpieces and bridesmaids gowns, so you can kill a couple birds with one stone.
Suit: L’HEXAGONE Menswear (252 Dalhousie Street)
Every groom needs the perfect suit. Luckily for Byward Market residents, you won’t have to travel far from your front door the find “the one”. L’HEXAGONE Menswear stocks an array of dapper duds - modern charcoal checked suits, sleek and simple sport jackets, classic tuxedos and just about everything in between.
Flowers: Millennium Blossoms (345 Dalhousie Street)
Looking to get your wedding flowers in order? Make your way to Millennium Blossoms. This Dalhousie Street floral boutique can tackle everything from Blair Waldorf-worthy peony bouquets to massive multicoloured altar arrangements. You’re in good hands no matter what wedding style you’re going for, so feel free to get creative with your requests.
Cake: The Cupcake Lounge (6 Byward Market Square)
Obviously, traditional wedding cakes are stunning, but their handheld sibling is becoming more and more popular for Ottawa weddings. Head to The Cupcake Lounge to pick out the perfect flavours for your dessert table. The bakery offers just about every variety under the sun, from classic vanilla to more adventurous options, like apple dolce de leche. Bonus: they do offer standard multi-tier cakes if you want to stick to the status quo, plus a bevy of other sweet treats to stack your dessert table with.
Catering: Olive & Chili (51 York Street)
This York Street eatery specializes in gluten-free, homecooked eats. We know, a GF label can be scary, but the dishes here definitely aren’t lacking in the flavour department. You’ll find its menu stacked with everything from veal fricassee to tomato and eggplant tian. It offers its services for intimate elopements to massive receptions with hundreds of guests.
Rehearsal Dinner: Sidedoor (18b York Street)
A few doors down from Olive & Chili sits Sidedoor, one of the best rehearsal dinner spots in the city. It serves up eclectic eats like butter poached lobster, steamed pork dumplings and green papaya salad in its trendy modern space. The capacity here is 40-90 people (depending on which room you choose), so you can probably add a few plus ones to your guest list or even host an intimate Ottawa wedding here. Looking for another solid option? Its next-door neighbour, e18teen, is a safe bet. The swanky eatery specializes in local fare and has several event spaces available (the largest of which has a capacity of 62).
Registry: Hudson’s Bay (73 Rideau Street)
Right near the corner of Rideau Street and Sussex Drive you’ll find the Bay’s Rideau Centre location. While you may be used to perusing its clothing racks and hunting through its homeware section, it’s a totally different experience when you’re working on your registry. Yes, you can take care of your wedding gift wish list online, but seeing the goods IRL is so much better, plus you’ll get to use a registry consultant to help you build the best registry for you and your guests.
Photoshoot: Major’s Hill Park
Want to use some of Ottawa’s most beautiful buildings for your engagement and wedding photoshoots? Of course, you do! Head to Major’s Hill Park and you’ll see stellar sights like Parliament Hill, the Chateau Laurier, National Art Gallery and Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica. If you’d rather use some of Mother Nature’s work and skip the manmade structures, the Ottawa River and gardens are also good options. Bonus: these look amazing no matter what time of year it is.