Intimate Weddings at the Royal York!

The Fairmont Royal York Hotel can only be described as a jewel in the crown that is Toronto. Built in 1929 in Art Deco and Edwardian splendor it has served the city ever since in the most grand and luxurious way imaginable.

On the day the hotel opened it was not only the tallest building in Toronto, it was the tallest in Canada and the British Empire. Nothing at the time could compare!

Growing up in Toronto made for easy trips to the hotel when I was downtown, stopping in for a drink or afternoon tea. It is right across from Union Station so it makes the perfect meeting spot when friends and family were coming for a visit. It was where I went when I wanted to feel posh and practice for when I would one day build my own empire…or win the lottery.

Imagine my delight when I was asked to come to this magnificent building to perform a wedding in the hotel ballroom! THE BALLROOM! Of course I jumped at the opportunity and decided to document my experience as an Officiant at a Royal York Wedding.

When the Provincial Government raised the gathering limits to 10 for weddings, the Royal York opened their ballroom to couples who still want to get married with their Intimate Wedding Packages.

Their ceremony packages include:

– A beautifully designed ceremony backdrop by Frank Rea of Forget Me Not Flowers
– Your choice of gold Chivari or silver Louis ceremony chairs
– Signing table with white linen
– Sparkling toast
– 1-hour access pass to classic photo locations such as Front Street entrance, celestial lobby clock and Main Mezzanine balcony
– Complimentary parking for the couple
– 10% discount on our 2021 Wedding Packages so you can celebrate with all of your loved ones when the time is right

This package starts at $1000 and is currently available for new bookings for weddings taking place until September 6th though a little birdie told me they might extend it depending on how things go with Covid-19.

You just need to bring your Officiant and photographer and you are all set for a glorious wedding day with your loved ones, surrounded by opulence. The staff bend over backward to make sure your experience is perfect and enjoyable, and the photo ops are out of the this world! I have seen some of the pics from the wedding a few weeks ago and all I can say is…WOW!

You can enhance your Royal York Intimate Wedding package by adding:

– Live Stream Event Technology allowing your family & friends to take part
– Exclusive access to behind-the-scenes photo locations including: the hotel’s rooftop herb garden, a Fairmont Gold suite and the CLOCKWORK Champagne & Cocktails lobby bar
– Celebrate your wedding night with a 1-Night Stay in a Fairmont Signature Room with Breakfast in Bed

Please contact Anita.Gleeson@fairmont.com or call 416-368-2511 to chat about your wedding date and plans!

It is also important to mention that during the Covid-19 crisis, the Fairmont Royal York has donated over 7000 rooms to front line and essential workers so they could isolate from their families to keep them safe. They kept their doors open to provide this for the community and to help save lives where they can.

Now…let’s get on with the juicy stuff…the photos!

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Every inch of the Royal York is luxury. It starts the moment you walk in the front door (the only door open during Covid) with a beautiful lounge on the main floor. This gorgeous flowered logo is a popular photo op and while I was waiting for the elevator to be opened to get up to the ballroom I helped tourists take their photos in front of it!

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Nothing can compare to a logo and a crown! Don’t worry, I took lots of selfies here!

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The first lounge at the front of the hotel. Aren’t these lights gorgeous! I can imagine myself sitting here writing my novel while the world comes and goes!

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Even though there aren’t many people travelling or staying at the hotel, they have not lowered their standards! Look at these beautiful flowers in the middle of the foyer as you come in the building!

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The perfect spot for drinks, reading a book, meeting friends and associates, or simply taking a break from your downtown Toronto adventures!

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The elevators are like something from a movie! So beautifully finished and lots of mirror to check your lip gloss and hair!

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While waiting for the elevator I stared at this gorgeous painting! An aerial view!

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The elevator waiting area on the floor where all the ballrooms are!
I wish I could play piano!

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The lounge area for all of the ballrooms – I felt very tiny there!

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I checked out the washrooms as soon as I arrived – fab lighting and beautifully decorated! Do you check out the washrooms when you visit places? I think they tell a LOT about a company!

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There is a small lounge in the women’s washroom – perfect for taking a breather, having a private chat, nursing the littlest ones, or changing quickly before going from a wedding to a night club!

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The first thing you see when you come into the ballroom….the famous Royal York logo!

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I’m not going to lie…my heart started to flutter when I got into the ballroom and took it all in. To be in this fabulous place normally filled with the rich and famous was so exciting!

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I walked around and took photo from every angle so I would be able to remember this day forever! These trees are huge and create a beautiful canopy over the ceremony!

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Everywhere you look, this room is majestic! These urns are massive and make for incredible photo ops!

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The signing table and ceremony spot – I opted to have the podium taken away as I prefer to hold my book at a height I can see it – I am tiny and often podiums are too tall for me!

Eddie (the RY staff person working with us this day) was so awesome and she quickly got the podium out of the way and helped everyone get ready!

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My Royal York office! I would love to work here every day! I bet this room could tell A LOT of stories! Just imagine all of the famous people who have been in this room…actors, politicians, royalty!

This couple had 12 guests and the chairs were spaced out to abide by the social distancing protocols to keep everyone safe.

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The view from the urns. Next time I will bring my selfie stick to do a few more styled photos with me in them! Look at how big the trees are!

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I am pixie sized, the ballroom is ginormous! I felt rather Lilliputian in there…and I loved it! Compare me to the size of those chandeliers!

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Don’t forget to look up! Every inch of the ceilings is adorned with the most beautiful artwork much like all the real life castles and chateaus I have visited over the years. No expense has been spared on this building.

Fun fact…the unicorn is Scotland’s national animal! This painting reminded me a lot of Stirling Castle where there are unicorns painted everywhere.

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Another part of the ceiling. The colours are so rich and lush and the paintings tell such a great story!

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Any guesses how tall this chandelier is? I should ask the staff when I am there for the next wedding!

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And now…the reason we were all there! The ceremony! The bride made her grand entrance and met her groom under the trees…

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I felt like we were in a magical forest! I love these photos because they really show how it feels to be there in the middle of the trees.

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This couple is so cute – they could be wedding models!

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It was pure joy that day! Their wedding had been bumped around because of Covid-19 and when the province raised the gathering numbers they jumped at the chance to have their dream wedding at the Royal York!

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I wrote them a beautiful custom ceremony with nods to how we all got here and the journey we have been on. Fun Fact – the groom’s parents used to live right across from my in-laws on a cul-de-sac and knew each other for years. When I was speaking with the mother of the groom I mentioned my in-laws (I knew they lived in the same town) and it turns out they and my in-laws had gone to each others parties for as long as they all lived on the same street. The mother of the groom knew all kinds of people that my family knows and many of them we are my own wedding! It’s a small world!

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So many perfect details…even the urn for the fern is gorgeous!

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Saying their vows and making those promises! I love this moment when they just focus on each other and speak their hearts.

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Signing the paperwork to make everything legal! I love that Eddie (the staff person for the Royal York) put 2 chairs at the signing table so the bride and groom could both sit down together to sign the licence and marriage register.

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All done and finished for the day! I had such a great time living out my dream of a Royal York wedding! I can’t wait to come back and do it again. Thanks so much to my couple for inviting me and also to Eddie who took my phone and snapped pics for me during the ceremony (she also made sure I found my car again!).

A few things to note:

– Google maps did not realize the exit I needed on the Lakeshore is actually closed so I ended up having to go to the next one and make my way back. It might be easier to exit the 404/DVP at Richmond Street and make your way across to Front Street.

– The valet parking isn’t offered right now as they can’t have their staff getting in and out of cars so be prepared to park underground behind the hotel and come up to street level through the TD building. Give yourself extra time for this as it is a bit of a maze to get out of the parking garage – there is NO access into the hotel from there. Parking is $30 – take your parking ticket with you and pay at the machine in the parking garage before exiting. Everyone is doing the best they can under the Covid rules so please allow extra time and bring a little extra patience.

– The only entrance to the Royal York is the front street entrance so you do need to go to Front Street to get in. Don’t forget to snap some pics and selfies before you come in!

– The staff bends over backwards to make everyone comfortable so if it’s a hot day, don’t be afraid to ask for water. Someone ran to get me some as soon as I arrived!

– Masks are now mandatory in Toronto when inside buildings. Bring your fanciest ones for weddings! I have a mask maker if you need them.

– You need to bring your own Officiant (Me!) and your own photographer. The total for my services at the Royal York is $530 and that includes your custom ceremony, legal paperwork at your ceremony and after, travel, parking, and tax. Please feel free to use the form below to start chatting about me performing your ceremony for you…

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