As you are probably aware (since the majority of people who read this blog were probably there), Jess and I were married September 2013 in beautiful Fort Langley, BC.
Like most brides, I spent a great deal of time deciding on our wedding venue, starting very early on in our planning process. I was certain I wanted a vintage feel, and although my initial hopes were for a local barn (or similar), there were none available to us that fell within our budget. Next, we began researching heritage buildings throughout the Fraser Valley and set off on a tour that included Murrayville Hall, Old Clayburn School and the location we finally ended up choosing, the Fort Langley Heritage Hall.
During our initial visit, we took note of the typical things such as price, guest capacity, logistics of the kitchen/catering limitations and general table set up ideas. Since I’ve previously worked as a server for a mobile catering company, I am lucky enough to have seen various table set up options, and had even worked a wedding in this particular building.I thought I could easily replicate the layout that had been done here before, and call it a day.
Well, I quickly learned that every bridal party faces it’s own unique challenges when making plans for the lay of the land, and no two weddings are ever alike. There went my idea of simplicity!
After looking at all the venues we had shortlisted, the Fort Langley Heritage Hall was by far the best choice for us. We chose this venue for this primary reasons:
- It was centrally located. With so many of our relatives coming from out of town, we wanted to ensure they had something to do while we were off getting our photos taken. We knew many of them wouldn’t have cars to get around in, so Fort Langley provided the perfect opportunity for them to browse and entertain themselves while we did our thing.
- The price. Unlike other venues, which had additional fees such as the use of the kitchen, use of the tables, setting up the day before, the Fort Langley hall included everything in one convenient price. We used their commercial kitchen for the caterers, the bar kitchen upstairs for our bar, and were able to chose between the round or rectangle tables they had available for us to use.
- The blank slate. We loved the simplicity of the floor and walls in this building! Many older buildings are home to the infamous (and unsightly) wood paneling. Although the Fort Langley Hall does have panelling, it is painted white to give an appearance similar to wainscotting (which I adore). It created a perfect canvas for me to bring my ideas to life.
- It accommodated our desire to have both the ceremony & the reception in the same location. We used the front lawn as our ceremony location, and the inside for our reception. Should there be storm clouds on the horizon for our wedding day, we had intended to easily move the ceremony indoors.
Also during our initial visit, we had taken photos of the empty space, and I spent the next many (many!) months drawing up table & decor placement sketches like nobodies business. Since we were located in Chilliwack, which is a bit of a drive to Fort Langley, it was impossible for us to drive out to the venue to check for various things as they crossed my mind. How long was the far wall? Would it fit our head table and our cake table? How many people fit per table? How the heck are we going to hang all those lanterns from the ceiling? As you could imagine, almost every idea I had, required some sort of logistic confirmation before I felt ok with moving forward with it. Horrible, I know.
So – I took to the inter-webs to find inspiration, pictures that showed relative distances (like if that centre window really was centred), what the podium actually looked like, and how our band would fit up on the stage.
It took quite a bit of searching, and the use of my meticulous researching skills, to locate a handful of beautiful photos taken at the hall in previous years. In fact, I relied on these so much during the planning months that I almost felt the need to send thank you cards to the photographers for originally posting these.
I thought since I’d taken much time collecting inspiration for the hall, I thought I would share it with other brides-to-be! At the very least, it’s a semi-wedding post to hold us all off until I feel ready to start sharing my own special day with the rest of the world.
If you are considering using the hall for an upcoming event, and have questions about it, please leave me a message or shoot me an email!
Much love to you all,