Stephanie & Mike

Stephanie & Mike

Stephanie & Mike

Luxury white wedding at Fairmont Chateau Laurier ballroom and Laurier room

Luxury white wedding at Fairmont Chateau Laurier ballroom and Laurier room

We now have the most beautiful memories of the most memorable day of our lives and we absolutely could not have done it without Erica.

Bride, groom with wedding planner in ballroom of Fairmont Chateau Laurier photo by Grey Loft Studio

There are no words that can be said to thank Erica enough for what she has done for us. I’m getting emotional while writing this because of the huge impact she has had on our lives over the past year. We now have the most beautiful memories of the most memorable day of our lives and we absolutely could not have done it without Erica. She was able to work literal miracles when we found out I was pregnant and had to change our wedding date days after signing all our major vendor contracts. Her knowledge, expertise, work ethic and reputation in the industry make her an invaluable asset you can’t plan a wedding without! She will make special moments for you as a couple and will make sure that all your loved ones have an amazing and memorable experience as well. We loved and looked forward to every interaction we had with her and we already miss our regularly scheduled zoom calls. All you need to do is have one conversation with her and you will know you are in good hands.

Stephanie & Mike

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Sophie & Andre

Sophie & Andre

Sophie & Andre

Luxury white summer wedding at Fairmont Chateau Laurier Adam room with ceremony at family church in Quyon

Luxury white summer wedding at Fairmont Chateau Laurier Adam room with ceremony at family church in Quyon

We could not have imagined a more perfect wedding day and no words can truly describe the happiness we felt.

Bride and groom in the Drawing Room at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier - photo by Grey Loft Studio

We had a vision for our wedding and Erica made it happen, she is truly exceptional! We could not have imagined a more perfect wedding day and no words can truly describe the happiness we felt. She exceeded our expectations and working with her was one of the best decisions we made! Erica is thoughtful, kind, affable, professional, organized, reliable and efficient. She has her clients best interest at heart and our family & friends loved her.

I personally initially was very hesitant to hire a wedding planner since I’m quite organized and wanted to be very involved in the decision making/planning. However, my husband encouraged me because we are so busy. Am I ever happy I listened to him!! I can say that Erica will seamlessly adapt to your style and cater to your individual needs. She knew when to ask our input and she knew when to make some decisions without us. She also knew how to triage the urgency of various decisions to make. She had various tools and timelines to keep our planning on track through out the process. She has a lot of experience so she knows when things aren’t feasible and doesn’t hesitate to reach out to other vendors when needed. She also has great recommendations for vendors that suit your vision. She is very well connected and respected within the wedding industry and can get replies very quickly. I had a last minute hiccup on the day before my wedding and Erica managed to solve it without any issues. She has an excellent team on her side which also offered behind the scenes help during the planning process and wedding day.

This goes without saying that we 110% recommend Erica and her team! Our wedding day would not have been the same without her. With her on board you can rest assured that you will be well taken care of, you will have an amazing day and any crisis you have will be solved!

Sophie & Andre

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Shirley & Stewart

Shirley & Stewart

Shirley & Stewart

White and blush summer wedding at Fairmont Chateau Laurier ceremony in the Canadian room with reception in the Laurier Room

White and blush summer wedding at Fairmont Chateau Laurier ceremony in the Canadian room with reception in the Laurier Room

Erica was our Fairy Godmother and choosing to work with her was the best decision we made when planning our wedding. She became someone we could truly trust and rely on. I knew that whenever Erica stepped in, everything would be okay.

Bride and groom in the Laurier Room at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier - photo by Grey Loft Studio

Erica was our Fairy Godmother and choosing to work with her was the best decision we made when planning our wedding.

Right from the start I knew Erica was different from other planners. She spent an hour on the phone with me talking through my vision, dream wedding, priorities/ how we’d want to spend our budget, and every other detail. After our initial call, Erica went ahead and booked a series of venue tours of our top picks JUST IN CASE we’d say yes to working with her! She was so organized and proactive that it made me feel like I could really lean on her (especially important since my husband and I do not live in Ottawa/ know anything about weddings/ vendors).

Throughout the entire year and a half of working with Erica, not only did she allow us to actually enjoy our entire wedding planning process by taking on all the hours of planning and coordinating, but she did everything with our best interests in mind and had our backs throughout all the ups and downs. She became someone we could truly trust and rely on. I knew that whenever Erica stepped in, everything would be okay. To top it all off, she was so obviously amazing & on top of everything during our actual wedding weekend that so many of our friends and family even commented to us saying “WOW Erica is incredible!!”

All that being said, if you are on the fence about choosing Erica as your wedding planner, do yourself a favour AND SAY YES!! She is the best and I’m so sad we don’t get to spend more time with her now that our wedding has happened.

Shirley & Stewart

Your exceptional wedding and planning experience starts here

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Sabrina & Farhoud

Sabrina & Farhoud

Sabrina & Farhoud

Lebanese & Persian Fall wedding at Fairmont Chateau Laurier in the Laurier Room

Lebanese & Persian Fall wedding at Fairmont Chateau Laurier in the Laurier Room

Erica is so incredibly sweet, funny, positive, and knowledgeable about all things weddings.

Bride and groom with Ottawa Wedding Planner in the Laurier Room of the Fairmont Chateau Laurier - photo by Agatha Rowland

I 100% recommend Erica for helping plan your wedding. Erica is so incredibly sweet, funny, positive, and knowledgeable about all things weddings. She took care of the little details that I didn’t even think of, but those details are what made the day go seamlessly. The fact that I knew that the wedding day would go exactly according to plan and schedule helped ease my anxiety, so I could actually enjoy the day! Thank you to Erica and her team.

Sabrina & Farhoud

Your exceptional wedding and planning experience starts here

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Ottawa Westin TwentyTwo – Downtown venue with the best view

Ottawa Westin TwentyTwo – Downtown venue with the best view

Venue Review Part 2: Ottawa Westin TwentyTwo – Downtown venue with the best view

Picture this: You’re standing in TwentyTwo, holding a glass of champagne surrounded by everyone you love in the world with panoramic views of the city skyline, the historic Parliament buildings, and the beautiful Gatineau mountains. The sun is setting, there is a golden glow over our beautiful city and you are just soaking in this moment of your wedding day.

Choosing the perfect wedding venue is not an easy decision, but with TwentyTwo at the Ottawa Westin, your dream wedding can be breathtaking!

Ottawa Westin TwentyTwo - View of the City Skyline | Erica Irwin Weddings and Events

As your downtown Ottawa wedding venue expert, I’m here to ensure you consider the best options Ottawa has to offer, so you can select the perfect venue for your wedding. Let me take you through the pros and cons of this fantastic Ottawa venue, starting with the reasons why I think it’s a great choice.

The pros

First, the location is unbeatable. TwentyTwo is situated at the top of the Ottawa Westin, resembling a glass cube with breathtaking views of downtown, the Gatineau mountains, Parliament, Chateau Laurier, and the city skyline. Witnessing the sunset over the city is always a treat for your guests. They rush to that side of the room to capture stunning selfies, as it’s truly a magnificent sight.

Another added bonus to surprise your guests with is if you’re fortunate to book a wedding date coinciding with fireworks. Its undoubtedly the best place in the city to see them.

Fireworks view from Ottawa Westin TwentyTwo - Union Eleven | Erica Irwin Weddings and Events

Although you are surrounded mostly by beautiful windows, the room also manages to feature a media wall, essential if you’re planning to put all of your favourite memories on display in a photo montage. Not all venues can accommodate this option which is important to know if you are considering adding this moment to your day.

Next is the food; it’s exceptional, and the presentation of dishes makes you feel as though you’re indulging in a work of art. The staff is remarkable, from pre-sales through to the banquet, they’re dedicated to ensuring your event is a success. The event manager you worked with post-booking will be present on your wedding day and then transitions to the banquet manager for the reception, providing consistent support.

A big advantage of booking TwentyTwo is that you have all the amenties of the Westin hotel at your fingertips, most notably the Rideau Suite which is included in the wedding package. Located just down the hall from TwentyTwo, it’s a very large condo-like suite with sweeping views of downtown Ottawa. It serves as your “honeymoon suite,” but it’s also perfect as a getting-ready space since it provides enough room for your hair and makeup team to set up while still leaving room for bridesmaids and Moms to comfortably relax, eat, and enjoy a mimosa.

My couples have enjoyed being able to sneak away to their suite to use the washroom, freshen up, change into dancing outfits, change shoes, etc. Then, at the end of your wedding night, your room is only a few steps away – No transportation needed! 

I highly encourage my couples to book and enjoy the Rideau Suite the night before as well so that you have early access on your wedding day. This is important for starting your hair and makeup preparation time and not having to wait for the room to be turned over from the previous night’s guests. There is enough room for everyone to put on their dresses and for your photographer to do your “getting-ready photos” as you put on your gown. On rainy days, we have even used the room to take photos.

Rideau Suite Ottawa Westin TwentyTwo - Grey Loft Studio | Erica Irwin Weddings and Events

Another suggestion I make to my couples is to consider booking a similar space just one floor down called the Bonaventure suite. It’s a great place for the groom and groomsmen to get ready and do their photos. With it’s beautiful views of downtown Ottawa and a wrap-around terrace, it’s a perfect fit to host a rehearsal dinner or welcome drink the night before for close family and friends. You can bring in your own food, bar items, and there is plenty of room both inside or outside on the terrace.

The entire guest experience when all wedding events are hosted in the hotel is so wonderful. This is important to consider if you have a lot of out-of-town guests or even those who you know might enjoy a staycation. Friends and family meeting up meet in the lobby, eating at the restaurant, or going shopping in the attached Rideau Centre together simply adds to the wonderful wedding memories. Guests also appreciate the ease of accessing their rooms during the wedding to change shoes and freshen up. Those with small children book a babysitting service and can easily go and check in and return to the party!

Now let’s address some considerations before booking this space.

The cons

The primary complaint I hear when touring this space is regarding the carpeting in the ceremony and cocktail areas. The ceremony space is located on the 4th floor in one of the Governor-General spaces, and the carpet is in dire need of replacement. Though in most hotels, event space carpeting is typically heavily patterned. I’ve always wished they would install light wood flooring instead of hotel carpets!

Governor General ceremony space Ottawa Westin TwentyTwo | Erica Irwin Weddings and Events

After your ceremony, guests generally move to a space next door for the cocktail hour before transitioning upstairs to TwentyTwo for the reception. Hosting both the cocktail and reception in TwentyTwo can be tight unless your guest count is on the smaller end (under 100).

As the name suggests, TwentyTwo is on the 22nd floor, and the stunning view comes with complexities around moving items and people up and down in elevators. I highly recommend hiring a Planner if you’re considering this venue, especially one who is familiar with events in their spaces.

With everyone moving between ceremony, cocktail, and reception on multiple levels of the hotel, as well and the couple needing to slip in and out for things like photos, having a Planner to facilitate these transitions will be key to your day running smoothly. 

Your Planner will need to be familiar with the hotel to build a proper timeline and keep everything on track throughout the day. This includes coordination with vendors around the use of the loading dock and single elevator for movement of rentals and equipment. Some vendors charge an additional fee due to the extra time required to load in and out.

The final and possibly biggest drawback of this space is the noise restriction for music; they have a decibel level you need to stay under, and the music must stop at midnight due to the impact on hotel guests.

If you’re considering a band, this is not the venue for you. A great alternative after midnight would be to switch to silent beats, an offering some of our DJ partners provide, where guests can still dance with music coming through high-quality earphones.

Noise complaints have been heard all the way from the 6th floor, emphasizing the importance of keeping both hotel guests and wedding attendees happy.

Recap

R  Unparalleled views of Ottawa
R  Exceptional food
R  Dedicated staff
R  Rideau Suite
R  Westin hotel amenities
Q  Lacklustre ceremony space
Q  22nd floor logistical challenges
Q  Noise restrictions

As a seasoned Planner familiar with the intricacies of this venue, let me assist you in navigating these challenges and ensuring a seamless and unforgettable wedding day experience for you and your guests.

Please feel free to ask questions in the comments.

Your exceptional wedding and planning experience starts here

Up Next!

Next up on the blog, featuring Ottawa’s most iconic wedding venue, the Fairmont Chateau Laurier!

POST INFO AND CREDITS

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