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Introducing… Steve Gerrard Photography

Beautiful bride and grrom sunset portrait taken in North Wales

Montreal wedding photographer Steve Gerrard only moved to Canada 4 years ago but has already photographed a wide range of gorgeous weddings in the city and throughout Quebec.

Originally from the UK where he was voted Best UK Wedding Photographer, he met a Canadian girl, got married and decided to relocate to Montreal with their 3 young kids in 2014.

Check out the video clip below, created by the fantastic Love Lux Films, showing Steve in action shooting a couple shoot in a very cool location in Montreal.

bride & groom celebrate as the leave their wedding ceremony

Wedding portrait by unusual tree in Montreal park

Steve recently chatted to Junebug Weddings about his approach to wedding photography. You can read the full interview below.

An Interview with Montreal-based Destination Wedding Photographer Steve Gerrard

With an incredible array of music photography experience in his pocket, Montreal wedding photographer Steve Gerrard has tailored his talents and channelled his passions into the distinctive style of wedding photography he uses today. From touching and intimate to comical and whimsical, he has mastered the art of documenting the full range of emotions present at a wedding. It was such a pleasure to take a glimpse into the mind of Steve, learning of how he found photography and what he strives to achieve in the future. You can’t help but get swept away by the charm of this skilled family man, nor can you avoid getting lost in his vivid, creatively composed imagery. And in case of any future correspondence with him, just know to keep the Game of Thrones spoilers to a minimum.

Beautiful moment with bride and bridesmaids

bride & groom celebrate with guests at Montreal wedding

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m Steve. I’m originally from Chester in the UK but moved to Montreal in 2014 and have already survived one Canadian winter so I’m doing well. I live here with my wife Evelyne and three small humans that we made together. We call them Elliott, Isaac and Jonas and they make us smile every day. I’m a huge music fan. I also love scuba diving, direct flights, Jack Daniel’s, countryside pubs, funky hotels, dark chocolate and sushi. I photograph weddings, portraits and bands.

engagement photo with Superman street art in Montreal

What gets you up in the morning, literally and/or figuratively.

My wife’s annoying phone alarm! It’s my least favourite sound of the entire day. Once I’m awake though, I’m keen to make the most of the time I’m awake. I try hard not to waste time too much. I’m a very focused and driven person most of the time, but I also love just forgetting about work and spending time with the kids.

quirky bride & groom portrait from a wedding in Montreal

Candid wedding photo from a Montreal wedding

What really gets to you at weddings? Makes you emotional? Makes you laugh?

Since I’ve had kids I seem to have become stupidly emotional. I get choked up at The Simpsons sometimes! So if I’m shooting a wedding and see the emotions between family members or the couple I have to try to keep it together and hope nobody sees my eyes welling up. I can hide behind my camera at least! Speeches are usually the time that happens most. A really heartfelt and maybe unexpected line in a speech can really hit home. I’ve seen rooms where everyone is welling up, even the tough guys. But that’s what it’s all about right? People, relationships and love. That’s what counts.

What three photographers do you admire or who has inspired you, either in the past or right now?

1. Anton Corbijn
2. Rodney Smith
3. Joey L

Have you always wanted to be a photographer? If not, when do you remember knowing?

Not at all. Originally I wanted to be a rock star, but not being able to sing or play any instruments made that tricky, so I fell into DJing in clubs and that took me around the world for a few years. I’ve played to crowds of 50 people and to 93,000 people at Wembley Stadium, warming up for Oasis. So I kinda got close to being a rock star after all!

While I was doing all that travelling I wanted to really experience the places I was getting to visit. Places like China, Russia, Argentina and Indonesia that I may never get to go back to. I’ve always loved other people’s photography so I decided that if I bought a decent camera and taught myself how to use it properly I could explore the cities I was visiting and make photos as I went. Turns out, I was actually pretty good at that, and my love of music lead me towards photographing bands and concerts. From there, I started to see wedding photography develop into something truly creative and exciting, and I haven’t looked back.

Bridal party portrait from a wedding in Montreal, Quebec

Do you have any advice for beginning photographers, wedding or otherwise?

Trust your own eye. It’s ok to be inspired by other photographers, especially those outside of weddings, but then you need to almost forget all that and trust yourself. The only thing that makes you unique among a zillion other photographers is your own eye, your own brain and your own personality. If you don’t like shooting a certain way, don’t do it. Make images that excite you, even if you’re not quite sure why. There will be other people out there who feel the same way and those are your clients. Don’t be the cover band, be the original!

colourful wedding photo from Cornwall in England

Alternative bride and groom portrait by Steve Gerrard Photography

Favorite trick to capture images of reluctant subjects? (kids, grandparents, nervous-in-front-of-the-camera-types)

I tell kids (up to a certain age) that I have a goldfish that lives in my camera and keeps trying to get out. They look, wide-eyed into the lens as I click away and often tell me they saw the goldfish. With older kids, I tell them I think my camera’s broken and ask if they can check that the shutter opens when I press the shutter. I get my shot of them looking right into the lens, they say “yeah it’s what is working,” and I thank them and move on.

With adults, I just talk about any old crap to distract them, make them laugh, whatever. If I show people I’m not bothered about looking like an idiot, then hopefully they’ll realise they don’t need to take it too seriously and will relax and have fun. Most of my couple portraits are more about the couple being together and interacting rather than posing for the camera.

couple celebrate at a wedding at Manoir Hovey

Fun wedding portrait of bride and groom

Describe an average day for you.

Most days I’m up by 6:30 getting the kids ready for school. Once I’ve been Dad for an hour I open the computer and check my to-do list, usually starting with some editing. I’m terrible for being distracted by social media so often I’ll use an app called SelfControl that forces me to focus without being distracted. I’ll choose some great music (I have a few Spotify playlists designed to soundtrack my day), turn up my Sonos speakers and aim to check as many items off my to-do list as I can before the boys come home. I save emails, etc. for later in the day because that can become a never-ending circle that stops me from getting to the jobs that matter most. I prefer to be creative early in the day anyway.

I’ll have two half-hour breaks to eat, read, make tea (I am English, don’t forget!), and do some chores. I’m hoping to learn French this year too.

My wife works at a school so I usually make dinner for everyone which is something that would have made her laugh two years ago when I struggled to make anything beyond a poor spag bol.

Evenings are for chilling with my wife, Evelyne, and a good movie or Netflix series. We’re almost caught up on Game Of Thrones. I also try to get out to see bands regularly. Montreal has a great music scene.

Same sex wedding portrait from abandoned plane crash site in Iceland

Silhouette wedding photo with ferris wheel

Any advice for couples who are looking for their perfect wedding photographer?

Realise that photographers can vary greatly. Keep looking until you find the photographer that gets you excited about having them document your wedding in their own way. And once you’ve found that photographer, trust them to do what they do. If you feel confident in the photographer you choose, you won’t feel the need to send them your Pinterest board or a shot list. And you can relax and enjoy the wedding, safe in the knowledge you’re going to have wedding photographs you’ll love for the rest of your life.

What are your favorite destinations locations?

To be honest, my favourite destinations are anywhere I haven’t shot before. I love travelling, exploring, seeing new places and cultures. I know my photography is at its best when I’m somewhere new and inspiring. In the past year, I’ve shot weddings in Croatia, Italy, South Africa, Iceland, the US, Mexico, the UK and Canada. Iceland was obviously incredible. Whichever direction you look there’s something to take your breath away. The second night I was there I saw the Northern Lights which was something I’d always wanted to see. I managed to get a shot of the couple with the lights in the sky behind them. Pretty amazing.

Bride and grrom with double rainbow at a UK wedding

Where do you want to shoot next?

I’d love to shoot in Bali. Or India. Or California. Or the Rockies. Anywhere, really, though. Except maybe North Korea!

What changes/improvements have you observed within your photography over the years?

I think the best thing I’ve done is learned to shoot more and more for myself rather than always thinking about what the client expects. Of course there will be times during a wedding day that you’re taking photos purely for the client, but my philosophy is now that most of the images I take on the day are just myself trying to make the best images from the events happening in front of me, or in the way I’ve learned to anticipate images or to be creative with compositions. That keeps it interesting for me and encourages me to push myself to be creative throughout the day. And I know that if I continue to produce photographs that I’m excited about I’ll find the clients that are drawn to those types of images. I don’t need to appeal to every bride and groom looking for a photographer. I only want to shoot around 30 weddings each year, so I just need to find 30 couples who love what I do and are excited to have me capture their wedding for them.

Any direction you would like to take your photography?

I’d love to do more editorial portraiture. Maybe for magazines. I love the work of people like Anton Corbijn, Joey L, Annie Liebovitz, Rodney Smith, Danny Clinch, and Mark Seliger. I’d love to develop my own personal style a little more with those type of portraits. It’s something I’m hoping to push forward this year.

How do you know you’ve done a great job for your wedding clients?

I want my clients to be surprised when they see their wedding through my eyes. They will remember the day in a certain way already but then they’ll have a whole new perspective of it when they see my photos. As the years go by, their own memories will fade but their wedding photos remain and they slowly become more and more important. I also want them to remember how they felt, not just how things looked when they go through the images.

Manoir Hovey Wedding

A huge thank you to Steve for his time, insight, advice and of course, those awesome Spotify playlists. To see more of Steve’s work or to learn even more about this whiskey and Coke enthusiast, head over to his portfolio.

iphone bride and groom portrait

Steve also photographs personal branding photography, headshots and editorial portraits in Montreal and throughout Canada.

The Coeur Bohème Virtual Wedding Festival – 23-24 January 2021

With wedding shows all temporarily on hold thanks to a certain global pandemic you may have heard of, the good people at Le Coeur Bohème have come to the rescue with a one-of-a-kind festival not to be missed!

The Coeur Bohème Festival promises two days, two distinct conferences, two completely different schedules filled with activities, discussions, tips and a host of other interactions that focus on helping you plan your dream wedding. You’ll have the chance to meet and discuss with a wide list of local suppliers, passionate about their trades and who will help you stand out from the traditional weddings. 

The Coeur Bohème Festival sounds like it’s going to be a great event helping couples to answer their biggest questions regarding the organization of their wedding, and all from the comfort of their home! 

That’s not all, what is a wedding festival without a little excitement? Le Coeur Bohème tell us they also have a few surprises waiting for you!

Follow Le Coeur Bohème on Instagram for complete festival details including what you could expect as a virtual participant, as well as a chance to be amongst the first couples to qualify for our pre-sale!

Save the date January 23-24, 2021!

The 7 Best Wedding Dress Stores in Montreal

Montreal is a mecca for wedding dress shopping, with something for every bride, at every budget. Here’s where to find the best stores in and around the Montreal area

Finding the perfect wedding dress is a tricky task – but the sheer number of fantastic wedding dress stores in Montreal means you’re guaranteed to find the dress of your dreams.

From flagship designer stores to independent boutiques, from timeless classics to contemporary couture, and whatever your budget, there’s something for every bride.

If you’re after a beaded Jenny Packham gown that would make Kate Middleton envious to a vintage-inspired dress, we can help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

And not all wedding dresses are white! We’ve seen dresses in almost every colour. And what about this floral wedding dress that Briony wore for her day?! Beautiful, right?

Wedding Dress Shop Montreal
Photo by Steve Gerrard

Or this gorgeous dress that Dominique chose for her marriage to Matt?

Wedding Dresses Montreal
Photo by Ella Photography

This black wedding dress that Janis wore for her elopement with Ethan is also absolutely amazing and so unique. Doesn’t she look fantastic?

Alternative wedding dresses in Montreal
Photos by Isabella Kara

We also loved this stunning dress that Maud-Laure wore for her wedding at a private chalet in Bolton, Quebec.

Best Wedding Dress Stores Montreal
Ashley MacPhee Photography

We know that saying yes to a wedding dress can be both exciting and slightly terrifying. It’s going to be part of your big day, after all. And while most brides may have an idea of what they want their wedding dress to look like, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the options.

So, we asked brides which wedding dress stores they’d be happy to recommend to their friends. We then asked wedding vendors for the dress shops they thought were the best in the Montreal area, and we compiled a list of what we believe are the best wedding dress stores in Montreal.

We asked each store to tell us more about their services and, of course, to share their designs.

Photos – Ella Photography

Wedding Dress Stores Montreal

Dream It Yourself

Dream It Yourself is the first Quebecer concept store fully dedicated to unconventional, modern and creative weddings.

In our cozy space situated in the Old Port of Montreal, we will have the pleasure to welcome you and your family to present our fantastic collections of wedding gowns and accessories. Our unique gowns are ELEGANT, FEMININE & CONTEMPORARY.

We work with exclusive independent Canadian and French designers distributed for the first time in Quebec. Modern and Sophisticated, all the creations in our showroom aim to celebrate your personal style. We carefully selected our dresses to ensure that every bride finds something expressively her own.”

Website
Facebook
Instagram

Montreal wedding dress store
Dream It Yourself – Photo by Julia Garcia-Prat

Atelier Nüstyle

wedding dress shop in montreal

Atelier NüStyle strives to offer the perfect VIP experience. Our concept Bridal Boutique was established with the sole purpose of providing future brides a setting to feel beautiful and comfortable while choosing their dream dress.



One-on-one service in a contemporary setting featuring high industrial ceilings, wine/coffee bar, and extra-large private dressing room. Our boutique allows the bride to bring numerous guests and family members to live this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Prior to each private appointment, dresses are carefully curated according to the bride’s preferred style and budget.

With its exclusive collection from celebrity designer Yaniv Persy and many more, Atelier NüStyle is steering away from the traditional bridal boutique by offering a wide variety of styles, sizes, and prices in a very comfortable and relaxed space.”

Website
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Pinterest

Galleria Della Sposa

“All of our gowns are handpicked with love to reflect the Galleria della Sposa bride. Looking for something unique? We also create our own Galleria della Sposa Privé Collection and offer made-to-measure haute couture wedding gown services, both of which are made in Canada. 

We believe that shopping for your wedding gown should be an intimate and memorable experience, one that is everything you’ve ever dreamed of. Dressing brides is our passion, and there is no greater joy for us than creating the perfect look for each bride. With that in mind, our boutique hours are always by appointment so that our talented bridal consultants can provide clients with a personalized experience. At Galleria della Sposa, our goal is to help the bride discover her personal style.

You are likely to meet Josie at your bridal consultation. Her warm smile and knowledge of bridal trends will guide you along your journey. And you will have the pleasure of working alongside Emanuele during your fittings. He will charm you not only with his Italian accent but also with his passion and attention to detail.  

It’s about personal experience.
It’s about attention to detail.
It’s about exceeding expectations.
It’s about luxury.
”  

Website
Facebook
Instagram
Pinterest

La Jolie Robe

La Jolie Robe is a new boutique that launched in April 2019 by owner Anne Marie Tabao. 

The concept started out solely as a dress rental service for formal evening wear in a small atelier in Vaudreuil. In February 2020, La Jolie Robe expanded into a storefront on 100 Harwood Blvd in Vaudreuil-Dorion and expanded in sales and rentals.

La Jolie Robe Vaudreuil

In September of this year, La Jolie Robe became the newest retailer of sought out wedding dress brands such as Essense of Australia, Stella York, Eddy K Italia and Christina Wu. The expansion goes further into catering to all women of different shapes and sizes and now the boutique has over 3000 dresses from wedding dresses, cocktail dresses, evening gowns, jumpsuits and children’s formalwear. The Boutique offers an amazing one on one experience with their clients and promotes a stress-free and fun experience for all.”

Website
Facebook
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TikTok

Ma Cherie Bleue

Ma Cherie Bleue is an intimate boutique designed to offer the best private, personalized wedding dress shopping experience. Established in 2015, the boutique is based in Rosemere just a short drive north of Montreal. Founder and owner Nathale is an expert at discovering what each bride wants and needs to feel beautiful on her special day.

Every designer (Canadian and international ) is hand-picked by Nathale for availability at the boutique. Due to this, Ma Cherie Bleue strives to showcase unique and feminine gowns at an affordable price for brides of all budgets.

Come experience a fun shopping experience at Ma Cherie Bleue. Certainly, our beautiful bridal collections will sweep you off your feet! In addition, we carry bridesmaids dresses, flower girl dresses, mother of the brides and grooms dresses, wedding shoes, jewelry and accessories! So much pretty awaits you!”

Read our feature on Ma Cherie Bleue

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Di Carlo Couture

Di Carlo Couture is an Haute Couture Bridal Shop located in Montreal’s Little Italy capturing the essence of elegance and femininity that women seek.

At Di Carlo Couture the experience begins with a one on one consultation with the designer herself, Antoinette Di Carlo. With her keen taste for perfection and sharp eye for detail, she and her team hand-crafts every design with exquisite fabrics and precious resources, giving everything that is created her own special touch. Her natural ability to evoke glamour and sophistication continues to capture the eyes of many.

Di Carlo Couture is a favourite among Canadian celebrities and notables including Jessica Mulroney, Cheryl Hickey, Vanessa Grimaldi, Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau and Country singer Meghan Patrick; a go-to for red carpet fashion during awards season. Antoinette’s work made the international stage on May 19, 2018 for the wedding of Prince Harry & Meghan Markle when Jessica Mulroney, Meghan’s best friend, wore a custom dress by Di Carlo.

Having been featured in publications such as Huffington Post, Vogue Italia, Wedding Bells, Dress to Kill, Canadian Press and Town & Country, Antoinette’s designs always leave clients confident and proud to be wearing the Di Carlo Couture label.”

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Bridalane

“Since 1970 Bridalane has been providing brides and bridal parties an unparalleled choice of gowns to suit their individual styles. From modern bohemian to classic elegance, we believe in the details – sparkling beadwork, floral appliqués, hand embroidery, dramatic backs and textured laces. 

Every woman deserves to be at her most beautiful on her wedding day, that’s why Bridalane’s wedding gowns are available in sizes 00 to 36 and a choice of colours, from classic white and ivory to a whisper of blush, champagne, or soft pastels the choice is yours. Accessorize your gown with a selection of veils in fingertip or cathedral length.

Bridalane’s bridal party collections capture the most current trends while keeping with the tradition of timeless design. Gowns for bridesmaids, mothers and flower girls are available in more than 115 gorgeous colours and sizes 00 to 30. This spectacular selection ensures every bride can find styles that complement the unique vision she has for her wedding.”

Website
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Photos – Steve Gerrard Photography

Other Montreal wedding dress stores you may want to check out:

Boutique 1861

Website
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Instagram
Pinterest

Leila Haute Couture

Website
Facebook
Instagram

Ivoire Connection

Website
Facebook
Instagram

Boutique J’adore

Website
Facebook

Bella Di Sera

Website
Facebook

Flower Song

Website
Facebook

Photos by Steve Gerrard Photography



Private Boathouse Event Styling

With large events being a rarity in 2020, many couples have been rethinking their wedding plans and looking at how to have a more intimate celebration without sacrificing the chance to create an elegant setting for their closest friends and family.

Our friends at Stori Events are experts in styling events both big and small and we were particularly impressed with what they managed to achieve on a limited budget at a private boathouse in a prime location on Lake Magog, in Quebec’s Eastern Townships.

The modern private boathouse was renovated and landscaped into a dream setting, where one could host an unforgettable elopement, engagement and/or intimate celebration. 

With the natural light flooding into the space & the still waters, guests have the opportunity to enjoy uninterrupted views and complete serenity.

Jessy from Stori Events tells us, “We had the privilege of working alongside White Bird Photography and Elle Aimes Les Fleurs, in creating a muted artful and sophisticated Ceremony and Dinner.

 Thinking beyond the ubiquitous dining, we instead incorporated seating that is both comfortable and unique. Used various florals; pampas grass, fried florals, and pops of white roses feeling cohesively tonal with the mood and decor. 

Also, taking cues from our location, we were able to create a tablescape display that featured various finds from our own personal homes. The entity of the setting at a minimal cost.”

Thanks to Jessy and Laurence at Stori Events for sharing their unique vision with us. If you’re planning an intimate event of your own sometime soon, make sure you get in touch with them to see if they can make it extra special.

Venue – Private Residence

Planners& Designers http://www.storievents.com/ | https://www.instagram.com/stori.events/

Photographer – https://www.whitebirdphotography.com/ | https://www.instagram.com/whitebirdphotography13/?hl=en

Florist – https://www.instagram.com/elle_aime_les_fleurs/

Acrylic Place Cards & Menu – https://www.instagram.com/storibk/

Best Wedding Venues in Montreal – *Updated for 2021*

Written by Steve Gerrard

Best Wedding Venues Montreal

How do you judge which are the best wedding venues in Montreal?

Each person’s taste will differ. Each couple’s requirements can be far different from the next.

So, we decided to ask the people most familiar with wedding venues – wedding vendors. In fact, we mostly asked wedding photographers who have seen a wide variety of weddings throughout our city and beyond.

The votes came in and the Top 20 venues are listed below. Thanks to all the vendors who voted and helped us compile this list…

1. Entrepôts Dominion

Entrepots Dominion

Based in St-Henri, Entrepôts Dominion easily beat out the competition for Best Wedding Venues in Montreal.

This adaptable space has a unique, contemporary vibe and can be a blank space waiting for you to add your own personal taste with decoration and detail.

The patio area outside is perfect for an urban ceremony with a difference. whereas the adaptable spaces indoors would suit both large or intimate weddings.

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Check out entrepotsdominion.ca for more information.

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Entrepôts Dominion Photos – Steve Gerrard Photography & Tim Chin

2. La Toundra

La Toundra

Located at the heart of the Floralies Gardens, La Toundra has a beautiful room with large windows overlooking the landscape and the city of Montreal. When we asked wedding vendors for their choice of Best Wedding Venues in Montreal, La Toundra was mentioned again and again. And for good reason.

This heritage-steeped building has many original frescoes from the former Pavillion du Canada at Expo 67, which are now designated as Heritage buildings.

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La Toundra Photos – Blushing Bride Studio

3. The Loft Hotel

Loft Hotel Montreal

The Loft Hotel is a boutique hotel at the crossroads of the famous Latin Quarters and trendy Plateau Mt-Royal. Its Espace Cormier provides a unique setting for a more intimate wedding.

Completed in 1920 by Montreal’s preeminent architect, Ernest Cormier, the building is one of the city’s enduring Art Deco landmarks.

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Loft Hotel Photos – Blushing Bride Studio

4. Montreal Science Centre

Montreal Science Centre weddings
Photo – Black Swan Foto

Montreal Science Centre, situated in the heart of the Old Port of Montreal, has four impressive reception halls with a panoramic view of the St. Lawrence River, downtown Montreal, and Old Montreal. These contemporary spaces were created in the Old Port’s old hangars, dating back to the early 20th century. The bright and spacious halls can accommodate 40 to 400 guests, and there are also three large terraces that are ideal for outdoor weddings as well as enjoying the city’s fireworks exhibitions.

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Photo – Tim Chin

5. Auberge St Gabriel

Auberge St Gabriel
Photo – Blushing Bride Studio

Auberge St Gabriel was built in 1688 by a French soldier and was the first “auberge” in North America to receive a liquor license, on March 4, 1754.

With rooms of varied sizes, this uniquely relaxed venue is able to accommodate up to 200 guests for cocktail parties or 112 seated guests.

6. Windsor Ballrooms

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For a more traditional and elegant wedding location, look no further than the impressive Windsor Ballrooms. With its exquisite ballrooms, this venue offers an array of packages to turn your dream into a reality.

With the help of their onsite coordinators, you can transform these large rooms into something to truly impress your guests.

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Photos – Blushing Bride Studio

7. Chateau Vaudreuil

Chateau Vaudreuil wedding photos
Photo – Steve Gerrard Photography

Set on 25 landscaped acres on the banks of Lac des Deux-Montagnes, Chateau Vaudreuil is an upscale, chalet-style, venue that is one of the true gems of the Montreal area.

For a quarter of a century, the hotel and reception halls have played host to weddings of every tradition.

Whether your wedding involves an intimate group of 20 or a large gathering of 500 people, this is a fantastically adaptable venue

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Photo – Prizma Productions

8. Scena

Scena Montreal Photos

With its unique architecture and views of the St-Lawrence, Old Port and downtown Montreal, Scena offers a modern twist on a reception room and is quickly becoming one of the most popular wedding venues in Montreal.

Suitable for banquet weddings of up to 200 guests or a cocktail reception for up to 450 guests, this is a unique setting that can also host ceremonies for up to 130 people.

Scena Montreal
Scena Photos – Steve Gerrard Photography

9. Ritz Carlton

Ritz Carlton Montreal

Another classic Montreal wedding venue, the Ritz Carlton is the epitome of luxury and elegance. With its historic oval room, this is one building sure to give your guests the wow factor.

Ritz Carlton Montreal wedding
Ritz Carlton Montreal photos
Ritz Carlton photos – Steve Gerrard Photography

10. Auberge Des Gallants

Auberge Des gallants photos
Photo – Steve Gerrard Photography

Located roughly 45 minutes from Montreal, Auberge Des Gallants has been hosting weddings for more than 40 years.

Auberge Des gallants
Photo – Steve Gerrard

A gorgeous location for an outdoor wedding surrounded by beautiful countryside, Auberge Des Gallants makes for a great reason to escape the city for a more relaxed vibe.

Emilie Olson Photography www.emilieolson.com
Photos – Emilie Olson

11. Manoir Hovey

Manoir Hovey Wedding photos

Located about 75 minutes from Montreal, Manoir Hovey is a 5-star property on the shores of Lake Massawippi just outside of North Hatley, one of Quebec’s most picturesque villages.

Overlooking the lake and surrounded by English gardens, the dining room has a tranquil setting with breathtaking views and can host up to 120 guests.

Check out Audrey & Lucius’s wedding at Manoir Hovey, photographed by Steve Gerrard Photography.

Manoir Hovey Wedding
Manoir Hovey Photos
Manoir Hovey Wedding Photos – Steve Gerrard Photography

12. Ristorante Beatrice

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Formerly BICE, Ristorante Beatrice is a wonderful restaurant in downtown Montreal. The open terrace is a great space to entertain your guests, with beautiful decor combined with excellent Italian food.

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Photos – Tim Chin

13. Espace Reunion

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Espace Reunion is a multifunctional venue that gives you the opportunity to create the wedding of your dreams. With rooms and reception halls totalling more than 10 000 square feet, the venue can accommodate events for up to 1200 guests!

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Photos – Blushing Bride Studio

14. Marche Bonsecours

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Inaugurated in 1847, Marche Bonsecours is acknowledged as one of Canada’s finest heritage buildings and has become an essential stop on any visit to Old Montréal.

The multipurpose reception halls can handle groups of 100 to 975 guests. The Ballroom and the De la Commune Hall are both suitable for large groups, while the Vieux-Montréal and Ville-Marie halls are the perfect setting for more intimate events. The Ballroom and the Vieux-Montréal and Ville-Marie halls offer exceptional vistas of the St. Lawrence River and Old Montréal on either side.

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Photos – Blushing Bride Studio

15. Sucrerie de la Montagne

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Sucrerie de la Montagne is an authentic “sugar shack” and makes a truly unique venue for a wedding.

Designated an official “Site du Patrimoine Québécois” (Québec Heritage site), the sugar shack, located in the midst of a 120-acre forest of century-old maples atop Mont Rigaud, west of Montréal, transports its visitors back in time, providing them with a momentary glimpse of life as it truly was for Québec and Canadian pioneers.

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Sucrerie de la Montagne Photos – Ella Photography

16. Pavilion de la Jamaique

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Located in the heart of île Notre-Dame, in a wooded area of the magnificent Floralies Gardens, the former Pavilion de la Jamaique, which dates back to Expo 67, has been completely renovated to provide couples with a fantastic, modern wedding venue. Its window placement and design, along with its beautiful terrace framing the pavilion, provides you with everything you need for a truly memorable day, in a charming setting!

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Photos – Ella Photography
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17. Manoir Rouville Campbell

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Dating from 1832, this Tudor-style mansion, with gardens and views of the Richelieu River is 12 minutes walk from Les Jardins Panoramiques and 6 km from Mont Saint-Hilaire and the Gault Nature Reserve of McGill University.

There are reception halls or rooms that can accommodate between 10 and 160 people, as well as gorgeous gardens for your photos and a private terrace for your cocktail party.

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Manoir Rouville CampbellManoir Rouville Campbell Photos – Prizma Productions

18. Hotel Nelligan

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In a 19th-century building on a narrow street in Vieux-Montréal, the upscale Hotel Nelligan is within 5 minutes walk of the Basilique Notre Dame and the Promenade du Vieux-Port.

There is an upscale French restaurant, an atrium lounge, and a rooftop bar. This contemporary space can host up to 360 people.

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Hotel Nelligan Photos – Prizma Productions

19. Le Madison

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Le Madison has been a popular choice for Montreal brides looking for a little luxury for decades.

Its impressive reception room can seat up to 400 guests, making it the ideal choice for larger wedding celebrations.

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20. Le Wave

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Located on the Lachine Canal waterfront, Le Wave features oversized windows, hardwood floors and high ceilings.

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Photos – Black Swan Foto

Also, check out our list of the Best Montreal Wedding Photography.

Maria + Joseph – Engagement Session in Old Montreal

Cameron May is a wedding photographer from Calgary who recently relocated to Montreal. He kindly agreed to share some images from a shoot he did in Old Montreal ahead of Maria & Joseph’s wedding.

Maria says of the proposal, “I just returned from a 3ish week-long trip from the Philippines and anytime I go on an extensive trip Joseph always had a surprise for me waiting in our bedroom. One time it was rose petals and candles everywhere. Another time it was a bunch of balloons, streamers and a banner.

He said he wanted to show me something in our room so we went to go look and he didn’t decorate or anything so I thought he was teasing me and I was like “oh ok….” and left the room. I didn’t notice the ring box on our bed because it was the same colour as our duvet. So he picked it up and showed it to me and asked me if I wanted to marry him. To my disbelief and shock as to what was happening, I’m pretty sure I asked him like 10 times if he was actually proposing right then and there haha.”

It was also great to see the couple brought their dog along to the engagement shoot. The couple are from Edmonton so Maria explained why they chose Montreal for their photos.

“We wanted to take our photos in Montreal because we really enjoy the old architecture and cobble roads in the Old Montreal area. Being from Edmonton which is quite boring scenery wise, it was a trip we looked forward to.”

Thanks to Cameron for sharing these great photos with MTL Wedding Blog. And congrats to Maria & Joseph.

Check out more of Cameron’s work HERE

Introducing… Ma Cherie Bleue

Ma Cherie Bleue

Ma Cherie Bleue is an intimate boutique located in the heart of Rosemère, Quebec. Priding themselves on personalized customer service, they say they are experts at figuring out what our client needs, and giving it to them. We caught up with founder Nathale to find out more about this appointment only boutique.

Tell us a little about how Ma Cherie Bleue first started.

Six and a half years ago, I married my best friend, Maxime, who has not only loved me unconditionally, he has also encouraged me to fulfill my dreams.

Inspired by a shopping experience I had during our honeymoon in Paris the idea of Ma Chérie Bleue came into being. Paired with my 24+ years of combined expertise in retail business and creative fashion I was determined to create the superior shopping experience Montréal brides have been looking for in an intimate, charming setting. 

What were your goals for the company?

My goals for the company were to make it a “one appointment only” shopping experience. I didn’t want to just sell a dress and then ship the bride off, this is something you only plan to do once so I want to make sure we get it right for them the first time

How do you select which designers to stock?

Each designer is hand-selected by myself to join the Ma Cherie Bleue family. I look for designers that have a unique signature to their designs, a dress that is feminine and original as our brides who wear them. what is most important to me is that they be affordable and meet most budgets. Our wedding dresses start at $1390 with a few exceptions over $3800.

What are your personal favourite designers?

All the designers I carry are my favourites, each designer I carry has something special in their collection that makes them unique. We have something for everyone! We carry dresses for all types and shapes. Lis Simon is a Canadian designer that has built her line around today’s bride and affordability, Theia designed Meghan Markle’s gown, he caters to the non-traditional bride, Blush by Hayley Paige has a more whimsical, elegant feel, she uses tulle, lace, and delicate tones to fit a modern bride.

Allison Webb is the embodiment of elevated elegance. Alyssa Kristin is sleek and chic, Lillian Wild has beautiful separates that can be customized to your style, Ti Adora is beautiful, authentic and wanderlust, Sally Eagle is romantic and classic, Lena Meodyeff are handmade from all natural silk or one hundred percent cotton, coloured by natural vegetable and mineral dyes, and stitched by talented seamstresses, Anais Anette another Canadian, her dresses exude feminity, Astrid and Mercedes have a look of something old and something new. .. There are so many exquisite gowns and accessories by such talented designers it is impossible to choose only one. 

Ma Cherie Bleue bridal

Describe a Ma Cherie Bleue bride

 A Ma Cherie Bleue bride wants to celebrate her authentic self. She is stylish, playful, and daring. She encompasses the Bohemian, the classic, the romantic, with an element of sexy that is refined. A maverick who is not afraid to redefining her own wedding traditions. 

How early do you suggest brides begin looking for a dress?

When it comes to finding “the one,” timing is essential. There are definitely wedding dress deadlines you don’t want to miss. Our designer’s lead time is 4 months, with the exception of a few that might take 5-6 months. I suggest brides shop for their dress 6 to 8 months prior to their wedding date, this will allow the bride to have time for fittings and accessorizing. However, there are always some exceptions and rush options for wedding gowns under 3 months.

How do you work with brides to make sure they find the perfect dress?

When we work with our brides our intention for the first appointment is to discuss the details; location, theme, and vision for the wedding, gown budget and colour and fabric preferences. We then introduce them to our dresses. They then get to select a cross-section of dresses that they can try on (with the opportunity to revisit any of their favourites at the end of the appointment)

In all of our appointments we are driven by our 3 FIRST: Our clients, our personalized service, and our exceptional quality — Always!

What would you say are the common mistakes that brides make when choosing what to wear for their wedding?

They want to please everyone else, mother, father, groom, bridal party etc…obviously the bride wants everyone to love her dress but she is the one wearing it for ”her” big day. It is important that the gown is a perfect fit in terms of her personality and style.

What changes have you observed with wedding styles over the years?

Some of my favourite changes for 2019 we have been observing are;  

Ultra feminine details like bows and pearls are the new modern contemporary interpretation of old classic make new again. They are found on dresses, shoes, accessories like capes and veils. 

High low and mini is another trend that’s making its way in the bridal dress industry for the alternative bride who wants to stay away from more traditional shapes such as full skirts and long trains. They offer an informal and playful approach.  

Separates are still holding strong. It’s a great way for brides to be creative if wearing a traditional dress is not your thing. This would be a combination of tops, skirts and yes ladies trousers. 

Lace, in general, has always been a wedding staple, but 3-D applique lace or character laces make a stronger statement because it has an impact. Especially when it’s a part of a blush coloured dress that enhances the beauty of the details. 

Ma Cherie Bleue wedding dresses

How do you know you’ve done a great job for your clients?

My brides are so important to me and we always check in with them and ask for pictures of their wedding! When we receive their pictures and their praise I know my job is done! When our brides come back with their friends or family members, when they send us referrals it lets me know I have achieved my goal and makes me love my job even more. Each bride becomes part of our MCB family.

Any funny stories from your time in the business?

On January 15th, 2018 I launched a campaign giving brides the opportunity to share their personal love story in hopes of earning themselves a free wedding dress from designers such as Hayley Paige, Anais Anette, Anya Dionne, Astrid & Mercedes, and Lea-Ann Belter. One of the contest winners, Amanda Harvey was pregnant at the time of the dress selection and couldn’t try on her dress but came to the store just the same and we just hit it off! We chatted like we have known each other for years. We have now become great friends, she is now a part of the MCB family as my social media manager and brand ambassador.   Elegant Wedding played a part in the success of the giveaway and wrote a beautiful spotlight on the giveaway https://www.elegantwedding.ca/ma-cherie-bleue-bridal-giveaway/

Where can people find you online?

You can find us online at macheriebleue.com where you can book an appointment to shop all of our beautiful collections and soon you will be able to shop for your dress on our website as well…stay tuned

Big thanks to Amanda and Nathale at Ma Cherie Bleue for their time.

Photos:
Studio 55
Yanick Lesperance 
Narsete Photography
Emile Olson Photography 
Martine L
Judith Gautier Photography 
Catherine Deslauriers
Bachmann Photography 
Alexandre Couture
R Cassette Photo

Introducing… Le Wedding Mill

Le Wedding Mill wedding and event planner Montreal

Le Wedding Mill is a wedding planning company in Montreal and is aptly named after its founder Michelle Mill. We chatted with Michelle about her business and how she works with couples to create a flawless wedding.

When did le wedding mill first begin?
le wedding mill launched in 2017, but its roots dig a few years deeper than that. I have always been drawn to planning events, from bridal showers to retreats to galas. Over the years, I had had the privilege of being a bridesmaid several times and loved every minute of the experience. I was particularly excited about helping with the little design details. I also loved being able to take their stress away by quietly handling any logistical issue that arose.

Eventually, I dove into the corporate event world, learning the ins and outs of hospitality, client relations and logistics. At the same time, my bridesmaids duties escalated to planner duties at some of my friends’ weddings, then eventually I was helping friends of friends and so on. In 2017, my wedding season was shaping up to be a busy one and thus, I faced an exciting but frightening dilemma: Should I keep the security of my corporate job or whole heartedly pursue my dream of becoming a wedding planner? Needless to say, I took the leap and haven’t looked back for a minute. We are now a small but very mighty team of two, with a group of lovely helpers that lend a hand on event days.


How would you sum up your approach?
As our tagline aptly states, we offer a fresh and fun approach to wedding planning. It’s no secret that planning a wedding is stressful. There are so many moving parts to think about, not to mention the emotions involved. At le wedding mill, we are very aware that our clients are busy, which is why our planning process is streamlined and efficient. We take the stress out of the equation so that our couples can actually enjoy their engagement and focus on the fun parts of wedding planning.

Le Wedding Mill wedding and event planners Montreal

What challenges do you usually face during a wedding day?
As there are so many moving parts in a wedding, the biggest challenge that we face is keeping everyone and everything moving at the same pace! For example, if hair and makeup take longer than expected, we need to make that time up elsewhere to ensure that the ceremony isn’t delayed too much, leaving guests in their seats for an extended period. Fortunately, we tackle this challenge by padding our timelines with extra time at specific key moments.

Another classic challenge that we face, one that we have not yet figured out how to control, is weather. Many of our couples have an outdoor component to their wedding, be it the ceremony, cocktail or the entire event. We monitor weather closely and always have a solid plan for inclement weather. 

Le Wedding Mill wedding decor Montreal


What are the differences between a wedding planner, a coordinator, a designer, and a venue coordinator?
This is a very important topic as there is a lot of confusion about these roles. To summarize, a wedding planner is your guide throughout the entire planning process. He/she will typically be responsible for keeping the planning process running in a timely manner, recommending and contacting vendors that suit your style and budget, designing the event, and managing the logistics on-site. Essentially, the planner does all the legwork – you make the final decisions. At le wedding mill, we offer full planning as well as partial planning services to accommodate couples who want to some of the legwork, but not all. 

A coordinator will step in later on in the process and tie all loose ends. He/she will confirm all the responsibilities with the vendors you have booked and will usually create your timeline for you. On your wedding day, a coordinator will be there to set up and manage the logistics. In this case, you do all the legwork and he/she will make sure it all goes according to plan. 

A designer focuses strictly on the aesthetic and visual aspects of the day. He/she will relay with the vendors who impact the design, such as the florist or the rental company, and will set up the event so that it reflects what had been previously agreed upon. A designer will not; however, handle any logistics of the day and will usually sneak out well before the wedding starts!

A venue coordinator, though instrumental to the success of your wedding, is not the same as a planner, coordinator or designer. While every venue is different, a venue coordinator is usually responsible for ensuring that all-venue related tasks are being fulfilled. This can be anything from setting the tables to supervising the in-house caterer’s service times. In some cases, he/she will supervise the teardown of the event. However, there is a misconception that a venue coordinator will take on the responsibilities of one of the above-mentioned roles, which can lead to disappointment and frustration at the last minute. The best way to know for sure is to speak with your venue coordinator to find out exactly what they will and will not do on your big day.

What can brides do to help you to plan their wedding day in the best possible way?
Communication is key! We encourage couples to overshare so that we are aware of every detail, nuance and pet peeve. On the wedding day, we are the couples’ eyes and ears on the ground and want to make sure that their wedding dreams come true. Whatever information we have will help us run the day smoothly and manage expectations.

How early do brides need to think about booking their planner?
The sooner, the better! While all planners do their best to accommodate last minute requests, it’s not always possible on busier weekends. Our couples typically book us anywhere between 8 to 24 months in advance. 


Where can we find you online?
You can check out our website. We’re also on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest

Huge thanks to Michelle for sharing her insights with us here at MTL Wedding Blog.

Jacqueline + Rich | Pavillon de la Jamaique Wedding

Today we’re excited to share with you Jacqueline + Rich’s beautiful wedding photographed by Montreal photographer Annabelle Agnew. They chose Pavillon de la Jamaique as their wedding venue and, as you’ll see from the photographs, it was a stunning event full of fun, style, and relaxed charm.

We asked Jacqueline to share more details about the wedding day with us…

Pavillon de la Jamaique

Wedding Date: Friday August 31, 2018

The Proposal Story:
We both used to work in pubs downtown Montreal.  We met 12 years ago through mutual friends and were friends for a few years before dating. Rich proposed down on one knee on the beach at our favourite Mexican vacation spot at sunset.

The Vision for the Day:
Blush, Blue, Ivory and Gold.

I found the blush, ivory and blue colour combination to be elegant and romantic with gold for sparkle and pizzazz.  

The Venue:
Pavillon de la Jamaique 

Finding the Dress: 
BHLDN – I bought a bridesmaid dress as I wanted something simple that I would be comfortable in all night. I was really happy with it. 

Your Photographer: Annabelle Agnew Photography, Associate Photographer: Alex Jones www.annabelleagnew.com
Working with Annabelle was the best decision we made for our wedding.  She immediately understood what we were looking for and offered great advice as well.  I’m so pleased that we have such great photos from our wedding.

The Details + Decor:

I loved the cocktail menu that we had for cocktail hour; Aperol spritz, Pimm’s Cup, Tom Collins and Margaritas. We both love Aperol Spritz and Margaritas and then we wanted to include a couple of classic English cocktails for all of the English guests at our wedding.

Ice cream truck.  They served ice cream cones, ice cream sandwiches and espressos. This was a lot of fun for everyone I think.  We wanted people to be able to mingle while enjoying their dessert and again, we were trying to incorporate something that our guests from overseas would enjoy.  It’s not only the English who love ice cream, but I have teased my husband in the past about his family’s penchant for ice cream so we knew it would be well received.

Good Time Charlie wedding band Montreal

The band was a huge hit!  I knew right away which band I wanted to play at our wedding.  We have known these guys for over 10 years as they used to play in pubs that we both worked in. Initially we were going to split the party up with the band for the first half of the night after dinner and then follow it up with an iPod dj playlist but people were having so much fun with the band playing that they played for most of the night.  


It was important for us to be surrounded by friends and family for the day so we had a mutual good friend as the officiant, another friend as the MC, and two friends bartending.

Pavillon de la Jamaique wedding photo

We had craft beer and wine from Ontario to add a Canadian element

We had a photo guest book which turned out really well.  People took pictures with the instant camera, stuck it in the book and wrote us a note with it.

Most Memorable Moments:

  1. Walking down the aisle.  Leading up to the big day I was really nervous about walking down the aisle and having all eyes on me, but as I walked down the aisle and saw him, the nervousness left me.  I cry at all weddings so I was worried that I would be a sniffling mess the whole time at my own but I managed to keep it together.
  2. Having all of our friends and families from different cities, even continents, celebrating together. Having our friends from here make friends with our friends from England was really cool. Everyone mingled and the dance floor got pretty crazy!
  3. The speeches were just great.  Just minutes after my maid of honour told a story about how clumsy I am we both spilled our drinks.  Our guests had a pretty good laugh at that.
Pavillon de la Jamaique wedding photography

Vendor/Supplier List with links:

Hair and Makeup: Emily and Francine at Spa Annie Young        www.annieyoung.com
I was really pleased with my hair and makeup and this spa/salon has such a great team.

Cake: Le Casse-Glace.  www.lecasseglace.caWe skipped the traditional cake and opted for a food truck serving ice cream sandwiches, ice cream cones and specialty coffees.  It was a big hit with all of our guests!

Favours:  We donated money to The Snow Leopard Trust www.snowleopard.org , Wildcat Sanctuary www.wildcatsanctury.org and Four Paws International www.fourpaws.org

Groom’s Suit: Custom suit made at Espinosa Master Tailor        (416) 921 9931    

Limo: Marano Limousine      www.maranolimo.com

Rings: Brilliant Earth         www.brilliantearth.com

Caterer:    Las Olas Catering       www.lasolas.ca

Flowers: Costco – We bought bulk flowers from Costco and then I was lucky enough to have friends who are good at floral arrangements.

Band: Good Time Charlie

Stationery: Vista Print    www.vistaprint.com

Linens: Montreal Tablecloth Rental     www.locationdenappesmontreal.ca

Introducing… Montreal Wedding DJ & MC – Uptown Xpress

Dancefloor for a wedding in Montreal

Once you’ve exchanged vows, had some amazing food and had some beautiful wedding photos taken, it’s time for you and your guests to let your hair down and hit the dancefloor. Having an expert in charge of the music can have a huge effect on how great the party is and one of Montreal’s most-established DJ/MCs is Stefan Jez from Uptown Xpress.

We asked Stefan a little about himself and his approach to DJing weddings and what advice he had for couples planning their own wedding.

Wedding DJ at a wedding in Montreal

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m married – 15 yrs this summer, we have a great 12-year-old son. I love animals, especially dogs! I am a huge Montreal Canadiens fan!

What made you want to become a wedding DJ?

I started DJing in high school. I have always loved music and lighting. As I got older I really found myself enjoying weddings more than any other type of party. Each wedding is always different and that is what I love about them. Especially in Montreal with our multicultural population, it’s really cool to see all the different traditions from so many places around the world. Also, at a wedding we can really focus on quality from an MC standpoint, making the reception be something special and unique that reflects the couple.

DJ setup for a wedding DJ Montreal

What do you think makes for a great wedding DJ?

My love and passion for what I do! Being a wedding DJ is very different than being a club DJ or a sweet 16 DJ. Weddings are a very different type of animal completely. What makes me different is that I have formal training in performance, staging, storytelling and being a Master of Ceremonies. In fact, I continually take performance workshops and attend industry conferences to keep learning and honing my craft. I care for each couple that I DJ for and want their wedding to be exactly what they imagined, and I will do anything to make that happen for them. My training and style are unique in Montreal, and because of that, the couples that choose me really get a different experience at their reception, something that is totally not cookie-cutter. I help extraordinary couples create extraordinary moments at their wedding.

Couple have their first dance at a wedding in Montreal

How would you sum up your DJ style?

Open format. Being a wedding DJ, I need to keep all options open all the time. I play all genres, all styles, but add a little flair to them by mixing everything live.

As a wedding MC, my style is formal and classy. I look to use my MC skills to create an engaging, romantic and fun receptions for the newlyweds and their guests.

A fun dancefloor at a wedding in Montreal, Quebec

How do you work with couples to create the perfect playlist for their reception?

Music is a part of the planning discussions I have with each couple. Sometimes couples just want a “mood”, sometimes couples really love a particular style or genre. I take that information from them to help me curate the playlist that I will use for them. But again, a great wedding DJ is able to read a room, set a tone, and depending on what the desired outcome is, can adjust the playlist to achieve that.

The service I provide is much more than just music though. I also act as a coordinator for each couple during the reception. During the planning process, we discuss all kinds of ideas, what is important to them, what types of special moments can we create. I help each couple create their reception timeline and then I take care of making it happen. Acting as the MC I then set the room for each moment we create. Getting the newlyweds ready, their parents, and any other people who are about to be involved, I also coordinate with the other vendors like the photographer and videographer, this way, everything goes smoothly and nobody misses anything.

DJ, MC setup for an Irish Mexican wedding in Montreal Canada

Describe a typical day for you when you’re booked for a wedding?

I start off with a really good breakfast! After that, pack the truck and head out to the venue to begin setup with my team around noon most days. Once our setup is done, we do all our testing and sound checks. We will then get changed into our suits and be fully ready at least one hour before guests arrive. During that time, we go over last minute details, coordinate with the maitre’d and anyone else we need to. During this time and throughout the entire day actually, we are taking pictures and video to post to social media too.

At the end of the reception which typically is anywhere from 1-3am, we then tear down all the gear, pack it back up and finally get home between 3-5am!

One thing that a lot of people don’t realize is that there is a lot of preparation that goes into every wedding I work. It is not just the hours of performance on the day. Because of the level of detail I get into with each couple, I spend anywhere from 20 to 25 hours preparing for each wedding. Writing scripts, working on their love story, making custom audio recordings and of course music preparation.

Fun party games thrown by a DJ/MC at a wedding in Montreal

What tricks do you have to motivate a crowd if nobody is dancing?

First step here is to be paying attention because even if they are not dancing, they still might be having an amazing time. There are moments during a wedding reception, like the midnight table when people want to take a small breather, get some more food, sit for a bit, then get back to dancing. You can’t always force the dance floor. But for those times when the crowd is a little bit shyer or reserved, I will get out onto the dance floor with the newlyweds, and start some sort of interactive dance. This way I can have the couple gather some people and create some momentum.

What’s your go-to song to really get the dancefloor rockin’?

Danza Kuduro by Don Omar

What’s your favourite first dance song?

From This Moment – Shania Twain and Bryan White

And what’s the craziest first dance song you’ve played?

Radiohead – Pyramid Song

What are your thoughts on song requests?

Bring them on! Of course, I take requests, it’s part of being interactive with the crowd! Weddings have the widest range of ages and musical tastes, taking requests helps us throughout the night to fine tune what they want to hear.

Here’s a trick I use as well, during dinner, I’ll go and ask some of the older couples for any song requests, this is because often they’ll tell me their wedding song, which is something I can then play during dinner or a slow dance segment.

What do you do if a song has explicit lyrics?

As a wedding DJ, I subscribe to several music services, these provide clean edits of most songs. I will not play songs with explicit lyrics at a wedding.

What advice would you give to couples who are considering a DJ for the wedding reception?

Don’t wait until 6 months before your wedding to book a DJ! 10-12 months out will increase your chances of booking your first choice!

Meet with the actual person who will be your DJ or MC. You need to be a good fit!

Look for proof! Videos, pictures, reviews, testimonials. As for videos, not just video of people partying, videos of the DJ or MC actually performing.

You should feel that the DJ cares as much as you do about your wedding.

Remember that a wedding DJ is not only there to play music. There are so many little things that happen behind the scenes throughout the night that a great DJ or MC can make or break the event.

A wedding DJ entertains a packed dancefloor in Montreal

Which are your favorite Montreal wedding venues to play at?

There are so many amazing venues in Montreal, but Riviera and Le Crystal are two of my top favorites.

How do you know when you’ve done a great job?

As an MC, I know I’m doing a good job when guests come up to me during dinner and ask me if I am related to the couple! Because of the work I put into getting to know each couple I collaborate with, and the storytelling skills I use during the reception, many guests assume I have known them for years!

As a DJ, I know when we’re doing a good job when people are happy, and enjoying themselves. And no, it doesn’t necessarily mean a full dance floor. Some weddings are more the drink, talk and a little bit of dancing type, but they are still having an amazing time. Of course, there are plenty of weddings where the dance floor is packed the entire night too!

Where can people find you online?

www.uptownxpress.com

www.upxvideos.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/uptownxpress

Instagram: @stefanjez

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/uptownxpress/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/uptownxpress

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stefanjez/

Big thanks to Stefan for taking the time to answer our questions. Also, check out Stefan’s super useful guide to wedding DJ pricing in Montreal.