The city of Richmond has worn many hats over the last few years. It's been an Olympic host city, a popular location for big budget films and home to one of the biggest annual Canada Day celebrations in B.C.
But during the summer, Lulu Island has become an increasingly popular destination for couples across the Lower Mainland to tie the knot.
"Richmond is a great way for couples to showcase B.C. for their out-of-town guests," said Sharon Bulger, facility manager at the UBC Boathouse.
"The location is quite central and there's a ton of accommodation because of the airport."
Geneve McNally, founding partner and principal planner at DreamGroup Productions, one of Vancouver's top wedding and event-planning companies, agrees with Bulger.
"The city has great locations, especially when you factor in the dykes. You're right on the edge of the city and you get that nature element as well."
Here are some of the best classic and unique wedding locations in Richmond:
The UBC Boathouse, Minoru Chapel, and London Heritage Farm are three of Richmond's most popular venues. Combined, the three venues host more than 230 weddings each year, despite the fact the Heritage Farm is only open on a seasonal basis.
The UBC Boathouse offers a waterfront dock space for outdoor ceremonies, and an indoor reception space surrounded by floor to ceiling windows. Flexibility is also a key factor, as the Boathouse allows couples to choose their own vendors and accommodates late end times.
Chad and Carlie Oyhenart got married at the London Heritage Farm in 2011, and raved about the convenience and beauty of the location.
"It had everything we needed in terms of parking, scenery, and open space," said the couple.
"The location allowed us to shoot our wedding pictures on site, which ended up being really important as it saved us a ton of time and cost. It's definitely one of the prettier spots in Richmond."
Minoru Chapel has been a staple location for Richmond weddings for generations. Much like the Heritage Farm, the chapel offers a great location for both the ceremony and photos, and is a very popular spot due to the beauty of the site and the all-inclusive services offered by The Chapel Group staff.
UNIQUE, OFFBEAT LOCATIONS
While the above locations are more traditional, that may not be what you want for your wedding day. Given Richmond's diverse landscape and cultural identity, the city is home to a few hidden gems where couples can tie the knot in a unique setting.
There's one location in Richmond that won't come to mind right away, even though it's the city's biggest building.
The airport. "You're going to laugh, but it's actually a pretty convenient spot if you have a large portion of your wedding coming in from out of town" said McNally.
"We did one wedding where we met a lot of the visitors with welcome champagne at the gate when they got off the plane. The wedding party and all the guests stayed together at the Fairmont. It's a modern and edgy idea and you can certainly have some fun with it if you want to."
McNally said there are some unique qualities an airport can provide, but did note that it's got to be for the right situation, and it can be a hard sell because people have a tough time getting past the fact the wedding is at the airport.
Lastly, a new wedding option has emerged in Richmond, and it comes courtesy of the city's newest landmark building. The Richmond Oval has jumped into the wedding space, and offers its Riverside Plaza that's located right on the water. The oval is currently working on expanding the service and providing a location for a reception as well.
There you have it. Whether you're looking for something traditional, or something a little more offbeat, Richmond has a variety of options at its disposal.
Being an accommodating host during a stressful wedding season is just another hat Richmond gets to wear.