The Fairmont Empress is one of Victoria’s most beloved and iconic hotels. The hotel has an incredible history and is filled with a passionate staff team, delicious cocktails, a golden Labrador who will greet you in the lobby (hi, Winston!), and the best popcorn on the planet!
Sitting directly on the Inner Harbour, The Empress truly is the heart of downtown Victoria. For all of these reasons and more, The Fairmont Empress is one of British Columbia’s top wedding venues – they were even recently named as the Best Wedding Venue in Canada by Weddingbells Magazine!
There are so many beautiful spaces within the hotel to host your wedding – whether it’s a celebration for 25 or 250, there’s a spot for wedding couples looking for a something special! Over the past few years, we have had the privilege of working alongside some wonderful couples who have chosen this venue to host their best day ever so we decided to showcase how you can style the Fairmont five different ways!
(Photo credits: Myrtle & Moss Photography)
Intimate Library Ceremony + Long Table Dinner Celebration
The iconic Library Room at the Fairmont Empress boasts stunning views of the inner harbour, antique books, a gorgeous copper ceiling, dark ornate woodwork, and a large original fireplace. It’s the perfect mix of cozy and elegant, which is exactly why Dustin and Jeff chose this room for their intimate wedding ceremony and long table dinner party style reception!
Dustin and Jeff’s twelve guests gathered in the Library to watch them exchange vows in front of the floral filled fireplace. Afterwards, guests mingled in the comfortable lounges and were treated to a long table dinner. The details around the room – candles, lush greenery, personalized signage, and a soft palette of creams and pinks – were romantic, elegant and made such a visual impact.
The Library Room’s intimate layout makes it the perfect option for a small elopement style celebration.
After Dustin and Jeff’s ceremony, guests sipped champagne in the sunshine and visited the Q Bar for cocktails while we flipped the room. It’s amazing what a group of vendors can do in 35 minutes!
Sometimes the Library Room can feel a little masculine with all the dark wood and heavy fixtures, but with soft accent lounge pieces and gorgeous florals it’s possible to quickly bring the room to life!
Photography: Taylor Roades
Florals: Thorn & Thistle // Lounge Furniture: BASH Specialty // Decor Rentals: Trend Decor, Tabletop Curated Rentals,
Faire La Fete Linen // Custom Signage: Emma Allen // Hair & Makeup: Erin Bradley
Palm Court Ceremony & Bengal Lunch Reception
Amanda & Connor wanted to keep things simple for their wedding day and decided on a late morning ceremony in Palm Court followed by an afternoon lunch reception in the Bengal Room. Palm Court offers a stunning stained glass dome that brings tons of natural light into the space.
Amanda and Connor loved spring florals so our Lead Planner, Anouk, worked with Meagan from Botanica & Bloom to incorporate pops of colour in their florals as well the modern gold hoop ceremony backdrop. That circular floral installation was transitioned into the Bengal lounge when the guests moved there to enjoy the rest of their afternoon. The afternoon was spent laughing, dancing, and the large, yet intimate, Bengal Room worked perfectly for their guest group of fifty.
Photography: Secret Waters Photography
Florals: Botanica and Bloom // Rentals: Trend Decor Event Design, Tabletop Curated Rentals, Designer Weddings, Black and White Event Rentals // Makeup & Hair: Kreativ Beauty and Artistry by Alexa
Palm Court Ceremony & Shaughnessy Ballroom Reception
For their wedding day celebration, Naiomi and Bruce wanted classic and elegant, but with a fun modern twist! Just our style!
This design was timeless with a heavy focus on black and white; however we incorporated accents of gold, marble textures, and their love of the Empress in every way we could! Right from the invitations, guests knew they were in for an elegant affair!
On arrival, custom black and white welcome signage, including a custom illustration of the hotel, was prominently displayed. During the signing of the register champagne was passed by the service team along the rows of guests, and as everyone exited Palm Court they were treated to the Empress’ signature charcoal popcorn that we packed into mini popcorn boxes!
During the cocktail reception guests were able to indulge in the now world famous Empress 1908 gin & tonics – which were distributed through a custom ice sculpture designed to match the customized illustration from the invitation suite! The Shaughnessy ballroom was the perfect spot for their family style dinner and epic dance party! We love the Shaughnessy ballroom because it’s location on the lower level means couples and their guests can party later into the evening!
Photography: Pebble & Pine
Furniture: BASH Specialty // Custom Empress Illustration: Emma Allen // Custom Signage: Kody Dishlevoy – The Good Party //
Hair/Makeup: Erin Bradley & Hunt and Gather Hair Co. // Entertainment: Cascadia Quartet, DJ Pro Victoria, Pulse Radio Band // Decor Rentals: Faire la Fete, Trend Decor, Tabletop Curated Rentals, Designer Weddings
Bengal Lawn Ceremony & Long Table Reception in the Shaughnessy Ballroom
Aggie & Evan had a very specific vision for their wedding day – all the mercury glass & gold!!! We were so board with this design and our team, led by Dakota, had a blast being a part of this celebration!
Aggie & Evan took advantage of the gorgeous early June day and held their ceremony out on the lawn outside the Bengal Room. Guests were able to take in the views of the inner harbour as they arrived on the lawn and then watched as Aggie & Evan sealed the deal.
The Shaughnessy ballroom was again used, but this time for a long table dinner for the guests, while Aggie and Evan sat at a sweetheart table made for two. The decor was all sourced by Aggie and she did a fantastic job tying everything together and complementing the Shaughnessy ballroom. Fun fact: she is now offering to rent out all her mercury gold and glass decor and you can find her Instagram, Apeel Creative, here!
Photography: Myrtle and Moss Photography
Florals: Ingrid Rose Floral Artistry // Rentals: Party Mood // Hair & Makeup: Danielle Bennet & Mel Baird
Palm Court Ceremony & Crystal Ballroom Reception
Michele & Bryan wanted to honour Michele’s Chinese heritage while still having a unique and modern wedding that was special to them. We quickly coined the design and style: Shanghai Glam and we can’t think of a better way to describe the final vision that came together! We were obsessed with the transformation of Palm Court and the Crystal Ballroom! Ghost chairs, large bright florals, and candles highlighted the beauty of the room.
Traditional Chinese elements were present throughout the day: a large cherry blossom tree showed off pictures of Michele and Bryan and well wishes from their guests. Chinese fans and pottery were all incorporated into the decor to create a perfect blend of traditional elements and colour! It was so do something a little bit different for this one!
Look carefully and you’ll spot our favourite popcorn again… honestly, is it really a wedding at the Empress without the charcoal popcorn? We think not.
Photography: Rivkah Photography
Florals: Platinum Floral Designs // Decor & Design: Trend Decor // Videography: Modern Romance Weddings
Draping and Lighting: Designer Weddings Victoria // DJ: Hiway Productions
Hair & Makeup: Mandy Rogers for Hunt & Gather Hair Co & Makeup by Erica Harris