Just over a year ago the Prince Edward Island Brewing Company was brand new – unknown and unique – and I had selected it as my wedding venue. I had a great deal of faith in this exciting new space and I can tell you that it was not displaced. My October 2014 wedding day went off without a hitch thanks to the fantastic folks at the Brewing Company.
I’m sure there are lots of future brides (and grooms) out there who are thinking about this venue, so I’ve thrown together my overall wedding experience in this review… along with some fantastic photos taken by James Cripps.
The Lay of the Land-
The PEI Brewing Company site features a large event space with show-kitchen, an atrium housing the main bar, an upstairs tasting room, a gift shop, and restrooms on the main and second floors. Their doors open as early as 9 for decorating and they are open throughout the day to the general public. In the months leading up to my big day, the brewery staff was always happy to allow my family and friends to peek at the event space.
Our Ceremony –
When last I spoke to the Brewing Company, it was looking like ceremonies would no longer be hosted on site. This is probably for the best, as the hum of the fans and various other equipment made our intimate little ceremony very hard to hear without bringing in a microphone.
Our ceremony was tucked in a corner of the event space; just in front of a glass door. I loved the industrial vibe of the street-lamp inspired lights and crisp white walls. The chiavari chairs and simple aisle runner kept the focal point on us, while the barrels and twinkle-light trees added just enough whimsy to evade blandness.
Cocktail Hour –
We chose to finish all of our photos before the ceremony, leaving us free to enjoy a cocktail hour and receiving line in the main atrium. The space is perfect for guests to enjoy a beer and catch up. Chairs and stools provided places for our guests to relax, while the general atmosphere was great for quick photos with the bride and groom.
Our Reception –
I loved the event space before it was even finished – the high ceilings, wood-paneled pillars, and massive chandeliers provide an urban grandeur to a simple, concrete-floored room. The best part about this space is that it requires very little decor to look fantastic. We went with the most basic decor that the brewery offered, which includes all of the lighted trees, barrel tables, and trees behind the head table. This was just enough decoration to satisfy my minimalist vision. We chose the chiavari chairs and white table settings, adding cheerful floral arrangements from Island Meadow Farms. It was simple and elegant.
Prior to my wedding I had heard only the worst reviews of the catering at PEI Brewing Company, but allow me to set the record straight – they’ve certainly got their act together! Our guests enjoyed prompt service of a delicious (and I will add – warm) three course meal over the course of an hour. The food tasted as we remembered from the complimentary tasting; we chose the beet and goat cheese salad, the BBQ Roasted chicken, and the heavenly blueberry cobbler. Overall, the food was fantastic and the service was excellent.
The Dance –
Our dance was held in the main atrium, which we chose because it would keep the party close together. There was lots of space to dance and chairs to rest weary feet. We waited to serve our wedding cake an hour into the dance – and to our surprise the staff had moved our cake, favours, and furniture into the corner where our ceremony was held. This created a bonus lounge area that was absolutely fantastic for our guests and allowed the staff to clean the main event space. It’s this extra attention to detail that really made my day feel magical.
There are a lot of extra details that I thought were fantastic about the PEI Brewing Company. Firstly, the staff really helped us out in so many ways. They watched the DJ equipment, arranged our favours, moved endless furniture, and shielded me from the view of our guests. Also, they didn’t even blink at the most requested song of the evening: Flight of the Conchords “Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor”. We ordered late night pizza, which was a huge hit with our guests and we had Growlers of beer available on each dining table. One thing I will note: following the dinner our guests were invited to finish these growlers at the bar, but without refrigerated storage they quickly went to waste.
Overall Experience Planning –
I have to be very honest: the PEI Brewing Company is not a great venue if you need hand holding or reassurance. In fact, we were blind-sided when the event coordinator suddenly left and our planning started back at stage one. We were not kept in the loop on things like when fees were due, who was in charge of booked events, or the change in fees to host privately.I was particularly enraged when the staff of the Murphy group suddenly changed their email addresses to @mhgpei.com, with no apparent email forwarding from their previous @peibrewingcompany.com.
But the frustration was short-lived and I was very pleased with how the event turned out.
The staff at the Brewing Company really came through in the end. I believe wholeheartedly that with this first year of weddings behind them, the staff are ready and more than capable of pulling of fantastic events. It truly is a one of a kind venue and I am so thankful to have had an amazing wedding day.