Wedding Planning from Afar

My fiance (who will now be referred to as Future Husband or FH for short) and I got engaged almost exactly one year ago and knew pretty much right away that we would be planning a far away wedding in order to avoid a guest list of 300-plus. (I’m from New York, but FH and I currently live in Connecticut…and I have an enormous family.) His family mostly lives in Wisconsin, so either way they would have had to travel. So we figured, why not make everyone travel? It has been proven that destination weddings help “trim the fat” off your guest list—which is hands down the number one way to save on wedding costs.

So after contemplating several locations spanning from California’s wine country to somewhere in the Caribbean, FH casually says one day, “What about Canada? We had such an amazing time in Montreal.” At that moment, I felt a light bulb go off in my brain—what a genius!! A year earlier, we had visited Montreal for a long weekend to celebrate our birthday (like I said in my intro post, we have the exact same birthday!) and had an incredible time. It was only a six-hour drive from where we live in Connecticut, so we had a nice mini road trip up north. The people in Montreal are wonderful, the food is divine, and Old Montreal (a charming part of town with cobblestone streets that’s near the Port) is basically North America’s version of Paris; our favorite band Arcade Fire is from there, and the best part…US currency is accepted pretty much everywhere!


Our birthday dinner at a great downtown Montreal restaurant called Europea—it was a 13-course meal! Incredibly delicious but we wanted to cry after dish seven, we were so stuffed!

After this conversation about Montreal as a potential location, I did some initial research to make sure there was a thriving wedding industry there and, needless to say, there is. I was hooked and we were psyched because our destination was finally determined. He scored major points there for being an involved groom—I was so proud! And so our journey of wedding planning from afar began…


Horse & carriages in Old Montreal


Notre Dame Cathedral in Old Montreal (Our ceremony will NOT be there—despite the fact that Celine Dion got married there, it costs $6,000, so it wasn’t even a consideration LOL. Still beautiful, though!)


Mrs. Mongoose

New Haven, CT
Wedding Date:
May 2013
A Foxy Fête: And So It Begins

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  1. Member
    desiree.0615 772 posts, Busy bee @ 8:54 am

    Sounds like a lovely location!! How exciting! :):)

  2. Member
    newfiebullet 2229 posts, Buzzing bee @ 9:06 am

    I loooove Montreal! It such a great city! I have gotten to visit lots because I have lots of family there!

  3. bat Member
    bat 285 posts, Helper bee @ 10:22 am

    I’ve never been to Montreal but your descriptions make me want to visit so much!! Seems like the perfect destination for you–can’t wait to hear how your plans unfold for it!!

  4. mswallaby Member
    mswallaby 2070 posts, Buzzing bee @ 11:05 am

    I think a destination wedding sounds fab – it’s a little vacation in and of itself! And Paris of North America = so dreamy. Can’t wait to see what venue you chose!

  5. Member
    futuremrsweston 433 posts, Helper bee @ 11:56 am

    Love Montreal! We’re having a mini-moon there since we’ll be getting married in Vermont and only have about 4 days to honeymoon. It’s like a little piece of Europe without having to travel too far from the US border.

  6. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 1:30 pm

    I’ve always wanted to go to Montreal, so I can’t wait to see all your wedding plans, it sounds dreamy :)

  7. Member
    cyclingchick 285 posts, Helper bee @ 1:36 pm

    Sounds divine! :)

  8. msmongoose Member
    msmongoose 264 posts, Helper bee @ 2:38 pm

    @desiree.0615: @Mrs. Wallaby: @Mrs. Pony: @cyclingchick: It’s really a special city–it’s amazing how two cultures (French and Canadian) are blended up there but how unique everything is, from the people to the cuisine.

    @NewfieBullet: That’s awesome! Do you speak French?

    @Miss Bat: It’s a great place to visit!

    @FutureMrsWeston: That’s fantastic! Very smart idea to take a mini-moon up there since you won’t be far from the city :) And congrats on your upcoming wedding!

  9. Member
    newfiebullet 2229 posts, Buzzing bee @ 5:16 pm

    @Miss Mongoose: Very, very limited. I lived in Quebec city for a while and picked some up there, but my job was English. A lot of my aunts and uncles moved away and ended up living in Montreal (and still not speaking French!)

  10. Member
    nightcheese 1836 posts, Buzzing bee @ 5:54 pm

    what a great idea!!! i’ve never been to montreal, but i’ve been to quebec a few times and i absolutely love it. this is a way better idea than a tropical destination wedding, i think :)

  11. graywolf Member
    graywolf 725 posts, Busy bee @ 6:09 pm

    there’s so much possibility there!

  12. msmongoose Member
    msmongoose 264 posts, Helper bee @ 6:18 pm

    @NewfieBullet: My French is pretty weak too lol. Both my parents can speak fluent French and I took it in HS and college but for some reason it never stuck. Also I’ve heard amazing things about Quebec City and it’s definitely on our list of places to visit!

    @September29: You’ve got to visit Montreal when you get the chance! Another big reason I ultimately ruled out a tropical location is while I love tropical locales for vacation, I knew I would be extremely uncomfortable in a wedding dress (I get hot VERY VERY quickly. And sweaty. Which is fine in a bikini but in a white dress? Not a good look for me!)

    @Miss Gray Wolf: Indeed there is :)

  13. mssquirrel Member
    mssquirrel 276 posts, Helper bee @ 6:32 pm

    Wow, I had no idea…I’ve never been to Montreal but from your description, it sounds great. I think I’d also like Europea :)

  14. Member
    Miss Care Bear 193 posts, Blushing bee @ 7:10 pm

    I’m from Montreal :) getting married at Notre-Dame de Bonsecours Chapel!
    Glad you love MTL so much!

  15. msmongoose Member
    msmongoose 264 posts, Helper bee @ 7:04 am

    @Miss Squirrel: The food was divine! But overwhelming–it was probably the longest meal I’ve ever had!

    @Miss Care Bear: WOW that chapel is gorgeous!! Congratulations! Do you still currently live in Montreal?

  16. Member
    jennyinstereo 310 posts, Helper bee @ 7:36 am

    Montreal bee here, too! We’re still trying to decide on a venue (I know, we don’t have much time left) and can’t seem to find anything decently priced in Montreal (We were going to use the Rialto, but it was $4000 just to rent the theatre).

    Where is your venue, if you don’t mind me asking?

  17. msmongoose Member
    msmongoose 264 posts, Helper bee @ 8:06 am

    @jennyinstereo: Very cool! You have a fabulous city :) We decided on the Hotel Nelligan because we really liked the all-inclusive pricing (how everything including the reception space, dinner, alcohol, dinnerware, etc. comes with the package). That’s good for us since we’re coming from out of town and didn’t want to have to deal with finding different vendors for everything. Also the fact that it’s a hotel is great–we’re staying there and so far the majority of our guests have booked there. Which other venues have you checked out?

  18. Member
    Miss Care Bear 193 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:08 am

    @Miss Mongoose: Yup, still living in Mtl. Getting married a month after you :)

    We actually checked out Le Nelligan as well, but I think they couldn’t accomodate all of our guests. Also, beware of the cake cutting fee. I believe when we asked it was 5$ a slice.

    We’re doing our reception at Le Windsor, also all inclusive, so that’s such a time saver!

    Let me know if you need anything in Montreal Miss M, I can’t imagine wedding planning from afar :)

  19. msmongoose Member
    msmongoose 264 posts, Helper bee @ 9:21 am

    @Miss Care Bear: Ooh so exciting, Le Windsor is gorgeous but we actually didn’t have enough guests to have it there (I imagine you’re having a pretty big wedding!) We got the Nelligan to waive the cake cutting fee since we’re getting a cupcake tower from Les Glaceurs instead.

    Mr. M and I are planning on going to Montreal in March for our 3rd and final planning trip before the wedding and are always looking to try new restaurants, so I may reach out to you for some recommendations!

  20. Member
    Miss Care Bear 193 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:34 am

    @Miss Mongoose: Yes, please do! It will be my pleasure :) And good call on Les Glaceurs, definitely the best cupcakes in town! I could kill for a red velvet right now :)

  21. mstoadstool Member
    mstoadstool 2485 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:22 am

    I’ve heard it is beautiful, and those two pics show it.

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