If you’re looking for an elegant, refined winery location for your upcoming Niagara on the Lake wedding, look no further than Chateau des Charmes. With the most romantic stone Chateau as their winery, a brand new custom-sized tent that overlooks their large vineyard and their amazing wine, there are no doubts as to why weddings at Chateau des Charmes are often considered flawless. Chateau des Charmes is one of my favourite wedding venues to host a Niagara on the Lake wedding at, as the view as well as their staff are incredible.
niagara on the lake wedding

Here are the quick facts:

Capacity: 

The tent holds 250 people and can be modified to add more space as needed.

On-site ceremony space?

Yes, overlooking the vineyard!

Fees:

The current site fee for Chateau des Charmes is $5000 + HST. This includes exclusive use of the winery, round tables, white linen, chairs, tent with floor/ sides, etc., patio furniture, staff, bridal suite.

Ceremony Fees:

Included.

Average menu price per person:

 Uses the Vintage hotels as their catering service. Average food cost is $70 pp. The bar package is $40 ++ per person and wine is billed based on consumption which is estimated to be around $25++per person. Together you are looking at an average cost of $135 ++ per person.

Discounts:

No discounts offered.

Availability for 2017?

Some Fridays & Sundays.

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Pros:

  • Features a large tent with a solid floor that can be adjusted to your size when needed.
  • The view. A stone building, beautiful patio and so many rows of incredible vines.
  • The wine. Enough said.
  • Ability to choose from any of the Vintage Hotels as your caterer and flexibility in the food package you choose .
  • The site fee. This is one of the lowest priced venue fees for Niagara on the Lake wineries. It’s a great value for everything it includes which I mentioned above.

Cons:

  • Your exclusive rental time does not begin until 6:30 pm. The best way to plan around this is to plan on having a first look photo and then doing all of your photos before the ceremony. This way you can begin your ceremony as soon as you arrive on site, head into cocktails and then into dinner.
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As a Niagara wedding planner, designer and florist who focuses on simplicity, my designs are not by any means “over-the-top”. That doesn’t mean that I provide my clients with a bare-bones approach to designing their wedding, it just means that the small details I implement are ones that make a big impact. The even better part? The costs are usually pretty inexpensive.  Here are a few items that I factor into every one of my design proposals.

Specialty Linen

I can’t say enough about specialty linen. First off, all linen should always be floor length. Imagine spending all kinds of money on florals and other decor elements, only to have ugly table legs sticking out from underneath. Using specialty linen gives you so many options and choices. Essentially you can bring in any colour, texture, pattern and material when working with company who specializes in linen. When you have an overall theme or even just colour scheme you want to portray, using a linen that tells your design story is an easy add-on. From satin to sequin, real linen to the perfectly patterned lace overlay, it’s one of the best ways to make an impact on a budget.

Cost: Starting around $15 for basic satin (in any colour) to an upwards of $35 for higher quality material x the number of tables you need. An average sized wedding will spend about $250 on linen.

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Chairs

Yes, most venues supply chairs and usually you have to cover them. Using a chair cover creates a blockage around each table. For example: Imagine a chivari, crossback or sonoma chair. Each of these chairs have fairly open backs to them. When they are placed around the table, you can essentially see right through them allowing guests to see your entire design upon entry to the room. The chairs also come in an array of colours and wood types which allow you to pick the perfect chair for your design story. Both of those elements combined, allow you to make a huge impact on your guests from the moment they first walk in the room.

Cost: Chairs can definitely add a significant amount to the budget but it’s such a simple way to add the wow factor to your design, I always say it’s worth it! $6-8 per chair is what you are looking at. Based on 150 ppl you’d be looking at $900.

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Stationery

A really simple way to bring your theme into each place setting is to include a menu that portrays your theme or colour scheme. Matching table numbers work well for this also.

Cost: I would say to budget around $2 per person for this. $300 is what you would be looking at based on 150 people.

When you add up these non-floral ways to add touches of your theme to your wedding, you’re looking at roughly $1400. In the overall cost of your budget, it’s a small cost to make a huge design impact.

chateaux des charmes wedding planner

Florals

I also wanted to include florals as a way to make a big impact at your wedding. In my opinion, every wedding needs a big beautiful floral arrangement at every guest table.  Flowers make peoples hearts sing. Include an arrangement full of the loveliest blooms and you’ll be sure to capture your guests in the design.

Cost: Of course we all know that flowers aren’t cheap. For a medium-large statement piece, estimate $100 per table. Costs can go up or even down depending on the variety of flowers or size you decide on. Based on 15 tables you are looking at $1500.

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Another favourite venue featured in the Spotlight series, Ravine Vineyard located in St.Davids (Niagara on the Lake).

I love the atmosphere at Ravine. It’s casual and laid back, yet charming and elegant. Like all of the venues being featured, the food and staff are amazing. It also over looks the vineyard and has plenty of photo-worthy ops.

niagara on the lake wedidngHere are the quick facts:

Capacity: Currently, the tent holds 250 people. They are getting a new tent installed, so stay posted for capacity updates. They also host smaller weddings in their cellar, porch and patio.

On-site ceremony space? Yes!

Fees: The current site fee for Ravine Vineyard is $7500. The fee includes the tent, ceremony location, harvest tables with white runners and napkins, wood oven pizza bar, bonfire pit, staffing fees (which means no additional gratuities added) and they limit seating in the restaurant to provide more exclusivity for the bride and groom.

Ceremony Fees: included.

Average menu price per person: $110-$120 PP + $50 beverage package.

Discounts: There are no minimum food and beverage requirements if you have your wedding on a Sunday. (Fridays, Saturdays and long weekend Sundays have a 100 person minimum requirement from May – October). Winter – Site fee decreases. Lower site fee for smaller weddings as well.

Availability for 2017? Yes, mostly Fridays & Sundays. October has Saturdays available.

winery wedding niagara on the lake

Pros:

  • Beautiful location/view
  • The food is always top notch.
  • Even their snacks are foodie-worthy… wood oven pizzas and homemade ice cream sandwiches anyone?
  • Some of the best wedding staff I’ve worked with from servers to management.
  • Incredible laid-back yet elegant atmosphere that will make your guests feel at ease.
  • Everything on site allows for less logistics to worry about.
  • Lot’s of on-site photo ops
  • Ravine let’s you work with a blank canvas and turn it into your vision.

Cons:

  • It’s an outdoor Niagara on the Lake location, which means they have to follow the 11:00 pm sound rule. (I’ve done many weddings at Ravine, and guests have never felt the party was ending too soon)
  • The site fee can eat up a lot of your budget. (Though it does include everything mentioned above so you should factor that in. PS. The cost to bring a basic tent with NO floor to a private residence isn’t a low cost. If you factor in that it’s roughly $6000 for a tent with a full floor, it puts the site fee into a new perspective along with everything else they include.)
  • It’s an all outdoor wedding, which while on beautiful days is amazing, it also means you have to prepare yourself for the chance of inclement weather. (A well prepared Plan B is an important element of an outdoor wedding.)

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In a personal challenge to not only blog more, but to also ensure I am providing valuable content to my readers, I’ve decided to start a new series. This series will walk you through some of my favourite venues in the Niagara region. We’ll talk about costs, additional fees, what’s included, pros and cons and look at past weddings in those locations.

To kick off the series, I’m spotlighting The Inn on the Twenty in Jordan Ontario.

head table

I can’t say enough great things about the Inn on the Twenty. The food is amazing, the staff is amazing, the view is amazing, and to top it off, it’s very affordable.

Here are the quick facts:

Capacity: 140 in the Windows room (pictured above), and 60 on the Vitners Cellar.

On-site ceremony space? The Inn on the Twenty has three options located at the Cave Springs Vineyard. The Escarpment Site, in the Vineyard, or the Newly Renovated Retreat building. This is located about 10-15 minutes away from the Inn.

*Capacity for the retreat building for ceremonies is 120 people + standing bridal party

Fees: There is no rental fee for the use of the reception space at the Inn on the Twenty. There is a minimum food and beverage requirement which differs depending on your date.

*MAY-OCTOBER—Windows On The Twenty: 75 adults for private evening functions on Friday, 50 adults from

Sunday through Thursday, and 100 adults for private functions on Saturday or the Sunday of a long weekend;

Vintner’s Cellar: minimum 30 adults Sunday through Saturday.

• NOVEMBER-APRIL—Windows On The Twenty: 50 adults for private evening functions on Sunday-Friday, 75

adults for private functions on Saturday or the Sunday of a long weekend; Vintner’s Cellar: minimum 30 adults

Sunday through Saturday.

Ceremony Fees: 2017 – $ 825.00 + HST or $ 875.00 with use of the golf cart.

Average menu price per person: $125++ pp (includes food and bar package)

Discounts: Friday and Sunday during summer months $115 ++ PP. Winter pricing $105 ++ pp.

Availability for 2017? Saturdays after Nov 25th and a a few Friday dates in the Windows room. Availability all year in the Vitners Cellar.

Niagara wedding planner

Escarpment Ceremony Site

Pros:

  • Incredible Staff
  • “foodie-worthy” meals
  • all-inclusive packages
  • Outdoor Vineyard ceremony space + back up location.
  • Accommodations for B&G and guests on site or close by.
  • Flexibility- staff is very willing to work with B&G and their wants/needs.

Cons:

  • No bands allowed. If you are someone hoping for a band at your wedding, this isn’t the venue for you. I believe it is due to all of the windows/glass in the room.
  • Blue Carpet… sorry y’all. I don’t see the blue carpet changing, but with all of the pros above, it’s definitely not a deal breaker. Use neutral colours like the wedding above or add a touch of navy into your colour scheme to blend your design in with the room instead of trying to fight it.
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Vitners Cellar, Inn on the Twenty

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Cave Spring Retreat Building

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  • Cathy Davis - Absolutely love working at this venue!  The vineyard is one of the most stunning backdrops for a ceremony in all of Niagara as well as the beautifiul retreat building as a back up.  The cellar is gorgeous for ceremonies and receptions filled with glowing candles!  Amazing staff and food! ReplyCancel

  • Backyard Barrel Company - Never imagined it would be so reasonable!!  GorgeousReplyCancel

    • Meagles13 - I know! It’s a fantastic venue for a great price!ReplyCancel

  • Dan Liakos - Definitely my favourite venue to play at. Working with the staff is always a pleasure as they are so accommodating to their clients. This is KEY when choosing a venue. And the Food….Second to none!ReplyCancel

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Lately, on more than one occasion, I’ve been asked how I set my fees. The current trend amongst the industry would be to respond with ” I don’t have to justify my pricing or my value.” but friends, it is my job to educate my (potential) clients. That’s the role I choose to take on, and it starts with helping to understanding the investment you will make while hiring your service-based wedding vendors and the return you will receive. Unlike product-based business’s where you can see exactly what you are getting in return for your money spent, understand the pricing for a service-based business can be a little tricky. When you invest in a service-based business you are getting time and value in return.

There are many variables that factor into the fee I charge.

1.Time & Client Experience

The most important piece of my service is the time that I dedicate to each client. I strive to provide an experience that leaves each client feeling like they are my only clients. To do this, I have to set and take on a limited number of clients per year. With that being said, in order to work full time as a wedding planner, with the ability me to give my full attention to one job, my pricing has to reflect that. The lower my pricing, the more clients I have to take on, the harder it becomes to give the degree of attention each client deserves.

2. Work Experience & Education

As Weddings Tied With Lace approaches it’s 5-year milestone I’m filled with stories, great ideas, unpredictable mishaps, and saved-the-day solutions. The best way to gain experience is to be out in the field taking action. My experience in planning a wedding and managing the day-of means my clients are hiring someone they know they can trust to handle anything that comes our way. Hiring someone with experience is like buying a “safety-net” for your wedding. As a WPIC wedding planner, I am educated in the field of wedding planning. Not only am I certified by WPIC but I continue to grow and expand my knowledge by attending workshops and conferences, and constantly reading and practicing what I do.

3. A Relationship

It’s important for me to establish a connection with my clients. I want to be fully invested not just physically but also emotionally in my client’s wedding day. Building a relationship means I get to know my clients on a deeper level. Not only does that mean I can do a better job by understanding my client’s wants and needs, but I also tend to work outside the scope of the package because of the friendship we have built.

4. Network & Business Building

When I’m not working specifically on a client project, I’m networking with other industry vendors. My work time outside of a specific wedding is still spent on bettering my business and my client experience. Taking the time to get to know other vendors means I have friends and colleagues who I’ve personally vetted for my clients. Clients don’t have to take on the task of trying to decide who is going to be a good vendor for them and for their budget because I will do it for them. Time spent behind the scenes means writing posts like this to inspire and educate couples, putting new systems into place to streamline the process for my clients, updating reviews and galleries so couples can see my recent work and not have to guess if I’m still in business or what my current style tends to be, etc. Every decision I make in my business is to better the client experience.

5. The Cost of Running a Business

While the above factors all contribute into client experience factors, this one is a huge one too. Running a business isn’t free. Hiring and training a staff (at no cost to our clients) that fits in perfectly with our brand also isn’t free. I’m not going to turn this into a “look at how much it costs to run a business post”. (If you’re reading this and you want to know the costs associated with running a business, and you want more detail, send me a message!) I have to be able to cover my costs and make a profit that I can live on. Lastly, I don’t even want to talk about how much I paid in taxes this year but it was enough for me to have questioned, is running a business really worth it? The answer, by the way, is yes.

At the end of the day, this is what I want to do for a living. I do want to run a business and I do want to plan weddings because it’s my passion. When you hire me at the fee I charge, you get a new friend, an advisor, and one heck of a dedicated planner.

Sound like the kind of Wedding Planner you want to hire? Get in touch to set up a free consultation by phone or in person.

Liked this post? You might also enjoy these!

Intentionally Living, in Work & Life

Full-Service Wedding Planning Deconstructed 

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  • Christine Kirby - A wedding planner is certainly worth the weight in gold!  I have been to weddings where there was a wedding planner and where there was not – the difference is night and day!  (And on the professional side, I enjoy working with wedding planners and their clients to incorporate my stationery & calligraphy into the big picture of the wedding.)  It is a seamless and enjoyable process!ReplyCancel

    • Meagles13 - Thanks so much for your comment! I’m glad you can clearly tell the difference, that’s important to us! xoReplyCancel

  • Christina - Love your high road approach of educating your clients and your post is very well written! Bravo!ReplyCancel

    • Meagles13 - Thanks so much Christina! xoxoReplyCancel

  • Kelly - Great information! As a brand new planner myself, I’m realizing how important it is to be able to educate potential clients on what they gain from investing in a planner, and I think that your advice is wonderful. It’s so clear that you put a lot of thought into writing this, and I can only imagine that you must put the same attention and care into your work with your clients. Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

    • Meagles13 - Thanks so much Kelly! I did take a lot of time and thought to write this out in hopes of helping potential clients to understand the value!

      Thank you for your wonderful comment! xoxoReplyCancel

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