WEDDING VENUE SPOTLIGHT:
The Marriott Halifax Harbourfront
so you want a classy venue?
Of course you do! After all, we're only talking about planning the biggest day of your life! Your friends and family are going to be there to see you stand at the altar looking your best, throwing a party at one of the most sought after venues in Nova Scotia.
We've done the legwork
Recently we had the opportunity to sit down with Malcolm Fitzgerald, the de-facto wedding mastermind* of the Marriott Halifax Harbourfront. We talked about the state of the wedding industry, some changes he has noticed in his 16+ year career in the business and what the Harbourfront offers when you book it for your wedding. (*Not his actual title)
Coffee with the wedding coordinator
Hanging out with Malcolm
We had arranged to meet via email, which was super convenient and easy. I knew I wanted to interview a professional, someone who has been in the industry a heck of a lot longer than I have. I met Malcolm in the lobby of the Harbourfront after inquiring for him at the front desk. The staff were exceptionally friendly and let me know he would be right down.
A handshake and coffee
The first thing I noticed about Malcolm was that he walked with purpose. He is the type of person who get's stuff done. He's a tall person, though not imposing. He was very easy to talk to and offered me a coffee as we found a table to sit at. He talked with his staff by their first names, and they called him Malcolm. He is a people person. He has 16 years in the business. Perfect.
then and now; differences?
I asked him what he thought was the biggest difference in the industry today compared with back when he got into the business. His answer was quick, "The size of weddings had decreased, significantly. Weddings used to be 175-200 guests on average, now we see about 100"
He also told me that people were spending about the same, they were just inviting less people. This transition in the industry allows couples to have a more lavish wedding while still not breaking their banks. It makes sense; less people equals less plates of food, less tables, less centerpieces, chair covers and other rentals.
unique ways to wow your guests
Make your wedding shine
With so many options at your disposal, the hardest thing for you to do is going to be deciding on exactly how you want to wow your guests. Malcolm and the staff at the Harbourfront can help with that. Wrapping up our coffee chat I asked Malcolm what was the craziest event, or the biggest trainwreck he has witnessed in all of his years in the industry. It was a doozy:
want to make the most out of your wedding? Do what these people did
So less guests means more money for decor and entertainment. What are people spending their wedding budget on to make their wedding memorable? "Couples are going higher end. Bigger meals, late night food delivered to the party, entertainment for guests" I asked Malcolm some of the more interesting forms of entertainment he has seen brought in and he told me there were a few that stuck out. Indoor fireworks (I didn't even know those existed!) Belly dancers and just dancers in general are popular with East Asian, Indian and Lebanese weddings.
Fireworks exploding in the distance
It's not uncommon to see fireworks over the Halifax harbour on any Saturday throughout the summer, and it should be noted that the Harbourfront has spectacular harbour views! If you aren't getting married on a long weekend or holiday you can always hire someone to put on a fireworks display for your wedding. These are probably a lot less expensive than you think and they provide a real nice 'spark' to a wedding night.
"that time the wedding cake fell over"
5 tiers go down
It's every brides worst nightmare. Well, one of the many worst nightmares that can happen on a wedding day. The cake falling over at the reception. Malcolm described a scene he witnessed years ago, "I was watching the guests arrive and settle in for the reception. I saw the cake people bringing out this gigantic five tiered cake. It was just one of those times everything goes in slow motion, out of the corner of my eye I see it start to happen, and I think to myself, this cake is going to fall over"
And it did.
It was OK though, Malcolm had a very talented pastry chef who was able to make it, "a wedding cake." Of all the crazy things he has witnessed in all his year, that incident takes the 5 tiered gigantic cake.
It's something you can look at and think how crazy it would be to have your wedding cake topple over on your wedding day; but ask anyone in the industry, wedding's are dynamic, fluid events and there is so much that can happen that you can't possibly account for. This is why it's so important to surround yourself with professionals who have seen and can handle any situation. Even a falling cake.
SUMMER WEDDING? ENJOY THE SUNSHINE!
Something for your guests to do while you're busy getting photos.
It's something that can often be overlooked: what are your guests going to be doing after the ceremony and while you are out getting your photos taken? Sure, they can go to the reception area, but don't you want them to start showing up just in time for your grand entrance? This outdoor sitting area is to die for, it's completely redone and looks absolutely cozy. What else is awesome about it? It's included when you book!
Getting the best of both worlds is something that is not found at every wedding venue. With the weather we face in Halifax, and throughout Nova Scotia, one way to be prepared is to have your wedding at a place where you are able to offer both indoor and outdoor spaces. I love this new patio because it flows so well with waterfront and the nearby boardwalk. It just fits.
Interested in booking the Marriott Halifax Harboufront for your wedding? Check out this link for their wedding website. You can also contact Malcolm by email at
You can also check out some recent wedding's shot by One Blue Fish Photography here: