“Lock it Down” at The Permanent with Brynn Belisle

 In Media

I’ve had the pleasure of planning many weddings at some of Vancouver’s most lovely and popular venues so when Genève asked us DreamGroup Planners to each do a little blog post on our favorite venue I had to think long and hard as I have so many favorites!  In the end I settled on The Permanent because last September I had the utmost pleasure in carrying out my first wedding in that space for my wonderful clients Felicia and Ryan.  The photos from that wedding are under wraps for the time being (soon to be released on a popular wedding blog – shh!) so in the meantime I have borrowed a few photos from other weddings held at The Permanent carried out by a couple of my fellow DreamGroup planners to help illustrate The Permanent story.

If you’re looking for a unique, romantic, historical venue to “lock down” your wedding at then The Permanent is the venue for you!  One of Vancouver’s newer private event spaces located downtown, The Permanent, was meticulously and thoughtfully restored offering Vancouverites a most beautiful and impressive landmark heritage venue in which to celebrate.  The space offers the perfect balance between cool and elegant and is in my opinion one of Vancouver’s most special venues.

The original Bank of Canada vault door still stands tall at the head of the main hall, with the stunningly beautiful stained-glass Tiffany-esque ceiling overhead. Other neo-classical elements are visible throughout – in the crown moldings, the bronze chandeliers, and the tile mosaics. State of the art equipment has been installed throughout as well as a custom 16-foot heritage bar in the hidden lounge behind the Vault.

Ceremonies at the Permanent are typically held in front of the Vault which provides a most unique and dramatic backdrop for the vow exchange.  Following the ceremony guests then head upstairs to the second floor for cocktails and canapes while the room below is prepared for the reception to follow.  You will want to allow a comfortable 1.5 hours to accommodate this room “flip”.  While this is going on it’s always a good idea to keep guests entertained with some activities like an interactive portrait station or a few fun and thoughtful games.  It’s also the perfect time to leave guestbook messages or check out the planned seating arrangements.

The space can comfortably accommodate up to 130 guests for dinner or up to 250 for a standing reception.  The rental fee will set you back $6000+ GST from Thursday – Sunday (all other days are $4000) however the privacy, perks (listed below), modernity, and uniqueness of the space makes it a most worthy investment for the right couple. The rental period is from 9:00am – 3:00am with all vendors requiring to set up and tear down within this time frame.  From an industry perspective this offers plenty of time to setup some pretty incredible floral and decor elements.  Many venues only offer 1-2 hours before and after your contracted time for set up and tear down which can often increase stress levels not to mention labour costs!

The reception room layout generally includes a 10-12 person one sided head table set with the Vault as the backdrop with up to 12 round tables of 8-10 people at each (note 12 is way too tight).  Note that with the maximum capacity setup you will need to be prepared to have 3-4 tables removed after dinner to open up space for dancing if that’s part of your party plan!  It’s a good idea to gives those particular guests a heads up beforehand so they know not to get too comfortable.  Better yet seat guests at these tables who you know to be the ones most likely to depart earlier than your later night partiers.

The venue exclusively promotes some of Vancouver’s most renowned and sought after catering partners including Savoury Chef, Cocktails & Canapes, Culinary Capers, Hawksworth Catering, Railtown Catering, Lazy Gourmet and Peake of Catering. For those that don’t wish to be locked in to working with the suggested caterers there is an option to bring in an outside caterer at the discretion of the venue. In such a case there will be a $650 Outside Catering Fee.

A minimum bar spend of $3000 (Sunday – Wednesday) and $5000 (Thursday – Saturday) is required and outside alcohol is not permitted on the premises much to many a groomsmen’s chagrin. The bonus here is that the client need not purchase a liquor license for the event as the liquor license is held by The Permanent.  You will however need to purchase event liability insurance which sounds more intimidating that it actually is and is made even easier by using an affordable online service like https://www.eventpolicy.ca.

For a small fee of $250 you have access to the venue’s inventory of furniture – including your choice of round, rectangular and/or tall cocktail tables as well as the ever popular gold Chiavari chairs. Note you will need to rent chair cushions which are easily obtained from any of Vancouver’s full service rental companies like A&B Partytime Rentals, Pedersen’s Rentals or Lonsdale Events.

Prior to the ceremony, the client will have access to a beautiful bridal room with a private washroom located upstairs with access through the back entrance via the outside stairwell. It’s a sweet place to relax and refresh before the ceremony and throughout the night and also a great place to store some of those personal items. There is limousine access to the venue via the front steps or back alley so the bride and bridal party can quickly and easily enter the venue without being seen. Once the ceremony begins, the bridal room will be locked so you will need the on-site manager to unlock the room anytime you require access.

Another awesome perk of the space is that all AV equipment is provided by the venue – an in-house speaker system, 2 wireless microphones and a projector which projects the images up on to the large white wall.

If you plan on having children be a part of your extra special day you should be aware that minors are not allowed on the premises after 10:00pm. This is a legal policy – as the space is a liquor primary licensed venue.  Also may be important to note that while the venue is wheelchair accessible, it is only on the main level. There is no wheelchair access to the upstairs or downstairs.

The venue has a coat check facility downstairs with coat racks and hangars provided for your guests to use. This can be either a self service setup or an attendant can be provided by the venue for an additional $25/hr.  It’s a nice option as it provides guests with a place to store their coats so they aren’t messily draped over the back of the beautiful chairs.

And finally, there are a few additional costs that may come into play pending what support services you may require.  Those include a SOCAN fee if any form of music is being played, bar staff labour if needed, additional satellite bars (other than the 2 provided), Genie Lift and rigging points (for spectacular décor), additional security however the one security guard provided is usually sufficient unless you’re planning on bringing your rubies and diamonds to the wedding that is!

Whether your wedding style is boho chic, vintage glam or romantic hidden garden, the Permanent offers the perfect setting to accommodate your stylish celebration!

Review by DreamGroup Planner Brynn Belisle

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