Hello, there! I'm Lauren, small town girl, dreamer, and lead planner/owner of Sinclair & Co Design. I'm so thrilled you've joined me here! Take a look around and explore some of my favourite moments.

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Finding your dream wedding venue is such an exciting time but can also be a bit overwhelming! There are so many different options in terms of venues, especially in Ottawa!

One thing I will say is that it is important that you have narrowed down your desired venue style. Are you interested in a barn venue? Hotel venue? Tented wedding? Vineyard wedding? Destination wedding? We also know that availability is limited with more popular venues, so if you have a particular date in mind, the sooner you reach out the better.

If you have already booked your wedding planner, ask for their advice on certain venues, keeping in mind that guest satisfaction, food and beverage quality are very important. Plan venue viewings with your planner, so they can assist you with a vision for the blank, empty space. If you do not have a planner, try to only visit a few venues at a time, so it doesn’t become too overwhelming at once. Map out venues based on location and view the ones close by to each other on the same day. Make a cute little date day out of it and try a local restaurant nearby after your viewings!

-Visit venues within your budget. If you view a venue that is out of your budget and you fall in love with it, it will be more difficult to view other venues after that.

-Visit venues that can accommodate your guest count comfortably.

-Do you research and read reviews prior to booking site visits.


-Is the venue available on your desired date?

-How many guests can the venue accommodate?

-Does the venue include a ceremony space, cocktail hour space, and reception space?

-What are the wedding packages and what is included?

-How far in advance can I reserve my date?

-Are there different rates for different days of the week and different seasons?

-Are there guest count minimums for different days of the week?

-Are there multiple weddings/events happening on the same day?

-What time does the venue close?

-Is there a designated smoking area?

-Is the property accessible for disabled guests?

-Is the venue “kid friendly”?

-Is there a secure area to store wedding cards and gifts?

-Is there heat or air conditioning depending on the time of year?

-Is there security provided?

-Are there noise restrictions?

-Do they have a generator?

-Is it hard for guests to get a Cab or Uber home? If so, should the couple hire a shuttle service?

-What do they have for a sound system?

-Are any microphones or speakers included?

-Are there high-chairs available?

-Is there a day of coordinator on site for the venue?

-Does the venue have insurance?

-Does the venue require you and your vendors have insurance?

-What time can the couple/wedding party arrive on site?

-Is the couple able to arrive early to do a first look on site?


-Does the venue staff take care of set up and tear down?

-Are there round and long table options available?

-Does the venue provide the linens, napkins, glassware, cutlery, etc.?

-Does the venue provide ceremony and reception chairs?

-Are there multiple floor plan options based on guest count?

-Is there anything the venue does not provide?

-When can vendors arrive? Ex. Florists, decorators, planners, etc.

-What is included in a standard table setting?

-What décor does the venue provide?

-When do belongings/décor have to be out of the venue?

-Are you able to have real candle flame?


-Are the ceremony and reception held in the same space? If so, how long will the flip take?

-Does the cost include the ceremony and reception both being held at the venue?

-Do they offer a time for a rehearsal?

-Are pets able to take part in the ceremony?

-What is the rain plan for the ceremony and/or reception?

-Can you toss confetti, flower petals, etc. after your ceremony?

-Do they provide a signing table for the ceremony?


-Does the venue offer different styles to serve food? Ex. Buffet, Plated Dinner, Family Style

-Do they have an in-house caterer? If not, do they have preferred caterers?

-Is there a food and beverage minimum? If so, what happens if it is not met?

-Is a tasting included for the couple?

-Can they accommodate dietary restrictions and allergies?

-How many servers are there based on guest count?

-How many food choices are included to offer guests?

-Is there a cake cutting fee?

-Will they pack up your extra cake/desserts?

-Will they cut/serve your cake?

-Does the venue provide the alcohol or can it be sourced elsewhere?

-Is there a corkage fee?

-What are the bar package options?

-Are there different bar packages based on basic/premium alcohol?

-Do they serve wine during dinner or are there wine bottles on the tables?

-Does the venue provide the bartenders?

-Are there options for a kid’s meal?


-Do you have a preferred vendors list?

-What time can each vendor arrive?

-Can they bring in a band or DJ?

-Are there any vendor restrictions?

-How much does a vendor meal cost?

-Is there an area for the vendors to eat or are they included in the couple’s floor plan?


-Is there an area on site to get ready?

-Can hair and make-up be done on site?

-Are there overnight accommodations on site?

-Are there hotels/accommodations nearby?

-Do they partner with local hotels for discounted rates?


-Are there parking areas? If so, can guests leave their vehicles overnight?

-Does it cost to park?

-Is there a valet option?

-Is the parking lot a shared parking lot?


-How much is the deposit?

-How is the deposit paid? Cash, cheque, certified cheque, etc?

-How is the payment plan structured?

-What is included in the grand total? Are service charges, gratuity, sound fees, etc. included?

-What is the cancellation policy?

-Are you able to change your wedding date? If so, is there a fee?


I know that was a lot of information, but it is important to be aware of all of the details and information each venue has to offer. Ask all of the questions that come to mind during your tour! Take photos and videos during your venue visit as well, it is nice to have to look back at once you are home. After you have viewed your desired venues, sit with your fiancé and go through pricing and details of each venue to help narrow down your options. If you have absolutely fallen in love with a venue, make sure to follow up ASAP to get your contract done up and signed and your deposit paid to hold your date!


We would love to help you find your dream wedding venue in Ottawa. We have worked with many amazing venues in the Ottawa area and are more than happy to share our thoughts and expertise!

Take a look at our preferred venues list and let us know if you have any questions!



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