Turquoise Événements’s 14 Things You Need To Know Before Getting Married At La Vieille Brasserie In Lachine!
Its been more than half a year since Alex and I tied the knot at Lachine’s La Vieille Brasserie. We got engaged about two years ago and that was when I started doing research on where I wanted to get married. It was a flustering and overwhelming time, as there are a lot of options and a lot of things to consider. In the end, we chose La Vieille Brasserie for multiple reasons (probably the same ones as you) : cost efficiency, style and location.
With that said, there are some important things to know about this venue, that you won’t find out until you start a conversation with them or ask the right questions. I’m not saying don’t rent the place lol; I’m just saying, there are things you need to know and should want to know, cause its not necessarily smooth sailing or the smoothest sailing option out there. Personally, I spent a good amount of time doing research on Google to try to find out everything I could about this place and not to show off, but I really wished I could have found a blog post like this to help me out with my wedding planning at La Vieille Brasserie. So, here are my Turquoise Événements’s 14 Things You Need To Know Before Getting Married At La Vieille Brasserie In Lachine!
1. You are literally renting out a venue with tables and chairs, that’s it
Let’s start with the big one here. When you rent La Vieille Brasserie, you are literally renting out a venue with tables and chairs, that’s it. No decor, no dinnerware (cutlery and dishes), no sound system, no liquor license, no nothing. Not even someone that will place the tables and chairs for you, so its important you assess what kind of staff you will need and then find them yourself (set-up/dismantle crew, waiters, bartenders, etc.). So, if this is not the experience you envisioned and are asking yourself omg where is my wedding planner provided by the venue? Forget about it lol. However, if you’re totally ok with this (like we were), because it will allow you to save money, then read on!
2. They will not help you with ANYTHING
Kind of on the same topic as #1, La Vieille Brasserie’s staff will not help you with anything. We asked for recommendations on vendors and the politically correct answer we received was basically no, because they don’t want to be accused of corruption, since the city of Montreal owns the venue. So, you’re on your own to find a caterer, DJ, MC, photographer, florist, etc etc.
The next few points are very straightforward, but important enough that they each deserved their own line.
3. Rental rates change every year
4. They charge a premium for certain dates
5. They charge more if you are not a Montreal resident & how to get around this
First, click here for their latest rates document, to get a better idea.
Second, the only way to get around the “non-Montreal” resident rate is to get someone with a valid Montreal address on their license to make the booking for you. From what I’ve heard, they aren’t too choosy on the subject, so as long as the person who is putting their name down for you trusts you, you’re golden.
What is implied by “non-Montreal” ? Well, anything that considers themselves their own city – so pretty much anything in the West Island (Kirkland, Pointe-Claire, Beaconsfield, etc.) – is not considered Montreal. There are only 19 boroughs in Montreal, click here and scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the list.
6. You can book years in advance now
I booked my date, May 25th 2019 at the beginning of January 2018, so 1.5 years in advance. Before, you could only book a year in advance, so the rules have changed! Best to call and check with them what dates are available and in what year, as you might be very disappointed if you get engaged in the spring of one year and looking to get married that very same summer and on a Saturday. How far in advance can you book though? No idea, best to call and ask, but I don’t see that you’d ever be booking more than 2 years in advance, which should be fine with the new rule.
7. You get the whole venue in your rental
Not all of the points on this list are negative! With the addition of an elevator in the building in 2019 – from the first to the second floor – this now means that when you rent La Vieille Brasserie, you have access to the whole venue. This means the main hall on the second floor, plus two smaller rooms on the first floor; we used one as storage and the second for our cocktail reception and sweets table – very useful! It also means nobody else but your wedding party will be using the venue.
8. The elevator doesn’t always work
Speaking of the elevator, it doesn’t always work… so don’t bank on it. Also, it is reserved for people with limited mobility and not for your vendors to use to bring materials up and down (there is a security person on-site who might stop you).
9. The kitchen is small and limited
Thinking of serving a 7 course meal? I would probably say forget about it, because your caterer just won’t have the space to do it. The kitchen only has one stove/oven, one fridge and one sink. On this note, if you plan on having a lot of things needing to be kept cold, you might have to rent an extra fridge or two, which are totally rentable from companies like La Nouvelle Tablée.
10. Don’t forget to get your liquor license!
One of the major pros of renting La Vieille Brasserie is that you can get a liquor license for like $60 from the RACJ and then buy your booze from the SAQ and the likes and pay a fraction of what alcohol would cost you in a venue/restaurant. With that said, you’ll have to take the steps yourself to contact the RACJ and get your liquor license. Its a pretty easy and simple process, that’s absolutely necessary if you don’t want to get in any trouble.
11. THERE IS NO AIR-CONDITIONING
Putting this one in caps cause if you were dreaming of a blissful July wedding, you’re going to get more of a sweaty July wedding. The easy alternative to this is to get married in the spring, fall or even in winter (in which case you might want to double-check what the heating is like). You can always rent portable AC machines, but that’s gonna cost you extra money.
12. You have to pay (per hour) for every hour you are there (set-up, wedding, dismantle) and cannot deliver/leave anything on-site & how to get around this
Your wedding day at the venue itself may only be a 10 hour ordeal, from 4pm to 2am, but you need to factor in set-up and dismantle times, and pay for those hours too. So its important to factor in those hours as well, when calculating the price of renting La Vieille Brasserie. Personally, my husband and a small “crew” went the morning of to do the set-up and they barely finished in time for the ceremony start at 4pm. The best is to rent La Vieille Brasserie a few hours the day before to get the set-up out of the way and then another few hours the next morning as well.
They also will not accept any deliveries for you, so if some things absolutely need to be delivered the day before or even picked up the next day, you’ll have to physically be there and rent the space too. The small caveat to this is that you can leave things overnight, but there are no guarantees. Basically, we rented a U-Haul truck and put all our rentals, booze, etc. in there to get them to the venue but also to get them out. The initial plan was to leave the U-Haul in the parking lot overnight and cross our fingers that nothing bad would happen. In the end, we drove home the same night so we’ll never know, but its a fairly safe thing to do.
13. They send someone at the end of your rental to kick you out / make sure you are well on your way out
In our case, we got lucky, as they sent some 15 year old looking kid who felt bad seeing us change from our wedding attire into work out clothes and proceed to emptying out our wedding venue ourselves. So he waited patiently till we were done and didn’t charge us extra for staying about half an hour later than our contract.
14. There is no wedding planner / day-of wedding coordinator / maître D / point person provided
Going back to my first point and to wrap this all up nicely with a sales pitch, your rental of La Vieille Brasserie includes no planner whatsoever. No wedding planner, no day-of wedding coordinator, no maître D and no point person provided. Based on my own personal experience, I would highly recommend hiring a wedding planner, or even just a day-of wedding coordinator.
Being an event planner myself (with a husband in the events industry too), even we had a day-of wedding coordinator so that they could handle the logistics and permit us to enjoy our day. I’m not going to go into much more detail, as you can read an entire blog post I wrote about the importance of having a day-of wedding coordinator. On the other hand, if planning isn’t your thing at all, then I really recommend you hire an actual wedding planner, that will help you from beginning to end (I also wrote a blog post about the importance of hiring a wedding planner). In either case, I would be more than happy to be your wedding planner or your day-of wedding coordinator (:
I may have only organized 1 wedding (my own) and been a day-of wedding coordinator once (a second experience coming up in 2020!), but I have more than 10 years of event planning experience (including 5 years of professional event planning experience in the corporate world and I’m the face behind all of Turquoise Blog’s Foodies & Bloggers Dinners and Insta Foodie Dinners), a Master’s Degree (M.Sc.) in marketing with a focus on event planning and a passion for events 🙂
My Wedding Planner rate starts at $600* and my Day-Of Wedding Coordinator rate starts at $300* – contact me today for a quote! The first meeting is always on the house!
*Pricing depends on how much time your wedding will take to plan, as well as any meetings (phone, in-person) and day-of wedding coordination you require