Ultimate Pricing Comparison of the Top 5 Downtown Ottawa Wedding Venues

As an Ottawa based Wedding Planner for the past 15 years, who specializes in Downtown Ottawa wedding venues I feel like I really know the pros and cons of our beautiful city’s best venues.

When I venue shop with my Full Planning couples, I let the venues sales team do their tour, and then I go through all the pros and cons that aren’t usually covered in a standard venue tour.

There are many things to consider when choosing a venue, but the biggest question is usually around pricing. Since all venues have different packages and line items, it’s not easy to make a true comparison. For example, some include 3 courses, others 4 courses. Some serve additional canapes and include late night food and others don’t.

An experienced planner can identify the significant differences in options presented to couples and help simplify the many important decisions to be made. So, let’s get started with our venue price comparison!

National Arts Centre

Ottawa Westin - Venue TwentyTwo

Fairmont Chateau Laurier

National Gallery of Canada

Canadian Museum of Nature

Here are the main conditions I applied to all the venues:

  • Room rental fees (ceremony, cocktail, and reception)
  • Cocktail hour food (4 canapes per person)
  • Open bar for cocktail hour and after dinner
  • 4 course dinner
  • Wine with dinner (1/2 bottle per person)
  • Late night food
  • Cake cutting fee
  • Tax and tip (13% + 18%)

NOTE: The price per guest totals are based on each venue’s 2023 wedding packages. I used an average sized Ottawa wedding of 120 guests as a baseline. For those with larger guest counts, this per person pricing may go down since things like the room rental fee would be divided over more guests.

National Arts Centre (NAC)

$368 / guest

Bar is on consumption, so not a true “open bar”. I estimated 5 drinks per guest, but you are charged what your guests consume so it could be more or less.

Additional items were added to the base venue package for the purposes of this comparison

Ottawa Westin – Venue TwentyTwo

$371 / guest

Bar is on consumption, so not a true “open bar”. I estimated 5 drinks per guest, but you are charged what your guests consume so it could be more or less.

Additional items were added to the base venue package for the purposes of this comparison

Fairmont Chateau Laurier

$277 / guest

True open bar, not on consumption: 1 hour before dinner and 4 hours after dinner.

No additional items were required for the purposes of this comparison

National Gallery of Canada

$551 / guest

Bar is on consumption, so not a true “open bar”. I estimated 5 drinks per guest, but you are charged what your guests consume so it could be more or less. 

Additional items were added to the base venue package for the purposes of this comparison 

Catering with My Catering

Canadian Museum of Nature

$445 / guest

Bar is on consumption, so not a true “open bar”. I estimated 5 drinks per guest, but you are charged what your guests consume so it could be more or less. 

Additional items were added to the base venue package for the purposes of this comparison 

Catering with My Catering

Price is obviously a major decision factor when narrowing down venue options with most of my couples, and every venue has important and sometimes very unique things to consider when I make recommendations. Here are just few to give you an idea.

Both the Museum of Nature and the National Gallery of Canada have a rental fee for the rooms, but you also need a caterer to provide the food and bar as well as rentals for things like plates, silverware, glassware etc. For the NAC, their room rental fees fluctuate based on the time of year and the day of the week. At the Chateau Laurier, there is a room minimum which requires your food and beverage bill to meet a certain price otherwise you will be charged this minimum room fee. There are also other standard but unexpected fees like the “Landmark Fee”, which is applied to any wedding at a museum in Ottawa.

My couples obviously don’t need to be experts in any of this. It’s my job to be the expert, and to give expert advice.

Of course, we have other great venues in the downtown Ottawa core too! For example, Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG), Delta Hotel Ottawa and 50 Sussex, but the ones I included in the top 5 always seem to win the hearts of my couples! 

If you want to chat about your wedding and a specific venue you’ve had your heart set on, let’s set up a consultation and see if we are a fit!

Your exceptional wedding and planning experience starts here

Up Next!

In the next few posts, I’m going to stay with these five venues but move into some “pros and cons” style comparisons that answer questions you may have never thought of! For example, will the room or area I’m getting married in be open to the public? Does the venue provide a guest room or getting ready space? Are there access limitations?  Does my dance party need to end by a specific time?… and so much more!

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