To start off, I just want to say that I have never shot at these venues before, but from my research, at a glance it seems like these locations would lend themselves for a photographer to create the most compelling images. I hope to shoot at all of these venues one day, and perhaps even have my own wedding at one of these fine locations. The four locations in no particular order are as follows.
Cecil Green Park House
Located at the University of British Columbia, I believe that the Cecil Green Park House is the perfect location for a wedding if there is an outdoor ceremony, followed by an indoor reception. The specious garden is an ideal setting for a wedding ceremony visually because of the forested area on one side with the house on the other. Either or makes a beautiful backdrop for photos and can also provide shade if needed so theres a lot less of a concern with harsh direct sunlight.
The house itself offers three specious rooms for a wedding reception as well as a library and boardroom which can potentially be used for posed pictures. My two favourite rooms are the Yorkeen Room and the Langara Room. The Yorkeen room has more of a classical style to it, while still being light and airy in terms of the colour palette. It’s also got some fairly large windows which would be good for some natural lighting as the sun is still up. As a direct contrast the Langara Room has a much more dynamic modern look to it. It looks to be better suited for flash photography for some editorial inspired photos.
Westwood Pleatau may very well be the best place to have a classic golf course wedding if you are looking to get married in Vancouver. Located in Coquitlam, about a 40 minute drive from central Vancouver, the golf course offers two spacious rooms for a reception as well as space for both an indoor and outdoor ceremony. Both the Gallery Room and the Panorama Room offers modern design and large windows which should work great for photos while the sun is up. The Panoramic room itself can hold up two 250 guests with room for a dance floor and a stage which makes it an ideal place to have a large reception.
The Vancouver Aquarium is probably one of the most unique places one can have a wedding reception at in Vancouver. Having only gone to the Aquarium to check out all the animals, I can only imagine what it would be like to have a wedding there. With the nature of the venue being an aquarium, one things for sure and that is that all the guest will be thoroughly entertained by all the animals that are there.
Photographing this venue would be a rather unique experience to say the least. Having next to no natural light, one would have to imagine that flash will have to be used and perhaps even strobes would have to be set up. I feel that some areas would be off limits to any sort of flash photography however in order to minimize the disturbance to the animals that are there. On the plus side, it does become a good opportunity to make use of the ambient light that is available, which when done right can surely create some compelling photographs.
The Vancouver Club, located in downtown Vancouver is prestigious and modern in its design, offering a mid sized space for a wedding reception. With the focus of the venue on one space, instead of multiple rooms, you can guarantee that the level of detail in there is perfect. The Grand Ballroom is nicely spaced and offers a good source of natural light while the sun is up while being close to ideal for flash photography due to the standard shape of the room and its white ceilings.
So there you have it! My top four picks for wedding venues in Vancouver. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this list change in the future as I shoot more and more venues, from grand hotels, to DIY pop ups on the back of a farm. I look forward to it all!