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The Dockside Restaurant for the Budget Bride

December 26th, 2011 by Jeannine

The Dockside Restaurant for the Budget Bride

It’s no secret that Granville Island is an amazing location. It has everything… greenery, waterfront, industrial buildings, quaint little shops, and a public market filled with locally grown food. No doubt it’s one of the most popular choices to have engagement or wedding photos taken because of its diverse architecture. So why not have your wedding there too? Tucked away in the southeast corner of the island sits one of Vancouver’s hidden gems, the Dockside Restaurant and Brewing Company. Catering Manager Alexandra McKenzie gave me a tour and showed me what they had to offer for Vancouver’s budget brides.

The Dockside Restaurant has two venues, the Lounge and the Restaurant. Their restaurant (shown above) can fit parties of up to 200, where guests can look out the floor to ceiling windows at the picturesque water view as they dine on fine gourmet meals. Attached to it is a covered patio reserved just for your party. This is a beautiful room; however, for budget brides, I’d like to focus more on the Lounge.

Beautiful hardwood and modern furnishings greet you as you enter the Lounge. It seats up to 100 guests for dinner or 150 for a cocktail reception. Rectangular tables of 10 will be set up for guests, with the head table positioned in front of a section of booths which will be draped over so it looks like a wall. There will be lights shining through that drapery that will cause a sunburst effect (see below), which looks quite nice, says Alexandra.

The Lounge has its own full service bar and even a DJ booth complete with a mixer and built-in speakers throughout the room. All you have to do is bring an iPod, plug it in and voila! You just saved $500+ on a DJ! They also have a beautiful fireplace in the room, facing the head table, with TV’s on either side, perfect for slideshows! When booking the Lounge, you are also availing yourselves of the connecting patio, complete with contemporary armchairs, cocktail tables, and a gorgeous stone fireplace.

Minimum spends for the Lounge are reasonable at $8,000 on Saturdays and $5,000 on Sundays during peak season. It can even go as low as $3,000 depending on the day or time of the year the event is held. What’s great about the minimum spend amount is that it includes all event sales, including cash bar sales which your guests pay for. Included in the booking are the wait staff, white linens and tablecloths, personalized printed menus, tableware, china, glass, and silverware. Complimentary coat check and wheelchair accessible restrooms are also available. If you’ve got a seating chart, they can provide you with an easel at the entrance as well. The parking situation is plentiful. Lots of spots around the restaurant that are free after 7pm and there are pay lots nearby as well.

Menu prices are very reasonable. Cocktail receptions start at just $29.95 per person. A 3-course dinner from their “Build-a-Dinner” menu can be as low as $31 per person and includes coffee and tea service. There are two buffets options to choose from, the Harbour Light Dinner Buffet is $59.95 per person and the Dockside Grand Dinner Buffet is $69.95 per person, the main difference being the addition of a carving station and more selection for salads and platters.

Steps from the Dockside restaurant is the harbour and seawall and a possible ceremony location at the amphitheatre at Ron Basford Park. (See photos here.) It’s only $100 to rent, but the catch is, your date must work around any Granville Island events that involve that park. Since it is a public area, it can’t be sectioned off and the public must be allowed to pass. Contact the Granville Island Cultural Society 6 months prior to your date if you wish to book it, and keep in mind that they get final say on what decorations you can bring to the park. They also don’t allow chairs on the grass, so you’ll have to be okay with your guests standing during the ceremony. It’s such a convenient location because after the ceremony, your guests can head straight to the restaurant for cocktails while you and the bridal party take some fun photos around the island. Having the restaurant connected to the Granville Island Hotel is also handy for an easy trip “home” at the end of the night! No limo required!

How else can you save with the Dockside Restaurant? Many ways actually! If you prefer a daytime event, lunch options start at $20/person and minimum spends are half what they normally cost at night. In the off season, their Saturday minimum spends are reduced to $5,000, instead of $8,000. Their chairs are modern and beautiful that, in my opinion, chair covers are not necessary, which will save you hundreds. For speeches, you can avail of a microphone and podium free of charge. Their $1.50/person cake cutting fee is waived if you bring in cupcakes. Another thing to note is that the Dockside does not hold weddings at both the Lounge and Restaurant at the same time, to ensure the highest quality of service and attention they will provide to your event.

Check out the Dockside Restaurant sometime, especially in the summer when you can really experience what they call “one of Vancouver’s most dynamic patios.” Dine al fresco in their luxurious cabana while enjoying the beauty of the North Shore mountains and False Creek. If you’re interested in seeing the space, give Alexandra a call at 604-685-7070 or email her at alex[at]docksidebrewing[dot]com. A huge thank you goes out to Alexandra and Eugene Vassilev (Assistant Food & Beverage Director) for allowing me to cover such a wonderful Vancouver venue.

 Photos courtesy Pure Souls Photography and The Dockside Restaurant

Prices quoted are accurate to the posted date. Vendor prices are subject to change.

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  • December 31st, 2011 at 12:25 pm
    Lily says:

    thanks for the thorough article on this place I never even heard of! (granted, that’s not hard to do since I know very little about Vancouver) Sounds like a great option for the mid-budget bride. Will have to check this place out.

  • August 28th, 2013 at 11:49 pm
    Pixie says:

    Hi – Can you tell me if you have a Saturday open during November for an evening wedding of about 60-75 people in the lounge and what would it cost to rent.. and if not what dates do you have open for an evening wedding.

  • February 1st, 2015 at 1:34 pm
    Maggie Rediker says:

    could you give me a price range as I am on a strict budget for a sit down afternoon Wedding in alt August for about 60 people in the lounge. I would appreciate any and all advice and suggestion you can give( budget is -$ 7900.00). Thank You


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