Cover Photo Credit: Lucas T Photography
Madsens Greenhouse Weddings in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
Blog post by Perfectly Planned Parties by Connie Butera
York Region, Georgina Region & GTA Wedding & Event Planner
Written January 2017
Madsens Greenhouse, located at 160 Bayview Pkwy in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada is one of the most sough-after wedding & special event venues in North York Region! Its picturesque fairy garden-esque vibe is a crowd-pleaser for brides looking for photos that are lush in vegetation and flowers.
As a professional Wedding & Special Evening Planner, located in Newmarket, Ontario, Perfectly Planned Parties by Connie Berenguer has had the privilege of working with many clients at this facility on numerous occasions. Below I will share my personal accounts and experiences on planning your dream special wedding or event at Madsens Greenhouse.
***Please keep in mind with this blog post (as well as all of my others!) that this is based on my PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL experience as a York Region Wedding Planner with over 10+ years experience. It may not be representative of others’ experiences or personal taste. I trust that this blog post with aid potential couples and clients in their important decision making process.***
The Good News
Location, Location, LOCATION!
For clients’ wanting to stick close to Newmarket & area you can’t beat the location of Madsens Greenhouse! It is right in the heart of the city of Newmarket; close to hotels, restaurants, Fairy Lake park (and other awesome photo locations like The Tannery Mall!). It is very convenient for couples with out of town guests needing things to do and places to stay while in the area. The venue is easily accessible by transit and with Taxi services running in the area frequently.
O’Malleys catering is the EXCLUSIVE catering company for Madsens Greenhouse in Newmarket, Ontario. You can ONLY use O’Malleys for your event catering needs when you book this venue. With that said, O’Malley’s does a great job in my personal experience with countless catered events by them. They have a wide assortment of options in their menu and are great to deal with as a company. Their responses are fairly prompt to inquires and pricing is very clearly laid out. The pricing is pretty on point for typical event catering. Food is delicious! (Try their butternut squash soup for a fall wedding!). I am Italian and have a long-standing family tradition of big-fat-Italian weddings at “only Italian Banquet halls” and even my family was satisfied with O’Malley’s Catering’s food in Newmarket, Ontario :-) (See the NOT SO GREAT & TIPS section below for some additional information on this same note)
Photos taken at Madsens (with the right photographer!) are AMAZING! But note that I mentioned “the right photographer”. I have also had photographers complain about the lighting situation at Madsens. Once again, keep in mind that it is a greenhouse so it gets very dark at night and there are lots of twinkle lights and windows which equals reflection and difficultly with night-photography especially & glare. Brides who plan to get married onsite after dark should especially note the photography challenges that can be present at this facility. Do yourself a favour and get a GREAT photographer when booking this venue that can capture the beauty and knows how to work lighting and avoid the junky tired spots of the building in their work :)
The Not So Great News :-(
Tired Appearance & RANDOM JUNK
Sorry…. I said it :-( The location is TIRED looking (inside and out!). I just cant get beyond it personally, especially for Weddings. Driving up to Madsens Greenhouse you would think that maybe you were in the wrong place??? I’ve heard this time and time again that people don’t actually know that they are in the right location when they pull up because its so bad. It’s quite run down looking and an eye-sore through and through. They do have signage out the front to denote the location & post the happy couples’ names; but keep in mind that first impressions are important! I can’t get beyond the eye sores personally all over this place. The bathrooms are especially tired with peeling linoleum floors and fixtures right out of the 70s. The bare minimum has been done for upkeep on the facilities and amenities at this place. There is broken junk and items not needing to be where they are sitting around everywhere (especially in the back bathroom areas). The Madsens have done a great job of up-keeping their greenhouse florals, but the building is falling apart and NEEDS modernization. Brides wanting a venue that is pretty on the eyes needn’t look too closely at Madsens. Especially at the price point!
Given the above and below, the steep $10,000 bill for the FACILITY USE ONLY for a summer Saturday wedding at Madsens Greenhouse is way steep! Not to mention the additional +$1000 to use the chapel area. Food, DJ and any rentals you bring in are all EXTRA (and add up quick!). Couples looking for an affordable wedding option should steer clear of Madsens. Granted this is the going rate these days for unique wedding locations (i.e. something other than the typical banquet hall), but given the downfalls of Madsens my personal opinion is that it is overpriced. With some modernization to the facilities or some loosened rules I could justify it more. I was baffled to hear that they are mostly booked for Saturday Summer weekend weddings for almost 2 years in advance!
I have had the privileged of working events during each season of the year at Madsens Greenhouse and each one has its challenges. In my opinion this is a HUGE deal breaker for me (or at least something for prospective clients to note!). In the summer it is HOT & MUGGY in the greenhouse. I have had melting & sweltering bridal parties which does not allow for a comfortable time. Try putting 100+ people in a greenhouse on a hot summers evening and see how they feel :-) In the winter the place is COLD. There is no insulation in the plastic walls of a greenhouse so heating it is a challenge. They do have some ceiling propane heaters in intermittent locations throughout the greenhouse; and if you are lucky enough to be seated directly under one you will be ok, but for the most-part I find FALL & WINTER WEDDINGS COLD in the Greenhouse and Summer weddings to be HOT HOT HOT! If you fall in love with this venue, just PLEASE note this for the sake of yourself and your guests! (See my TIPS section for more more info on this note!)
Might Be Time To Retire?
The Madsens couple who run the place (seniors) are LOVELY and they are doing a great job. But they are elderly and seemingly burt-out from my impressions. As an event planner I found that information often got lost in translation or the shuffle or that communication between the husband and wife couple on what was allowed vs. not allowed was sometimes different?? They have build a wonderful business and facility that Newmarket should be proud of and i’m sure this happens everywhere, but keep in mind that it is important to DOCUMENT EVERYTHING and put it in writing! Discuss ALL OF YOUR IDEAS (especially around rentals and decor) and ensure that both the Mr. & The Mrs. are ok with them :-)
Sole Catering option
As mentioned, O’Malleys catering is the EXCLUSIVE catering company for Madsens. You can ONLY use O’Malleys for your event catering needs when you book this venue.
Just "Meh" DJ!
Like the food, is restricted at Madsens to their in-house provider ONLY. Although the DJ is pleasant and professional and knows what he is doing, he is by-far not the best DJ or MC I’ve seen. Young couples getting married may struggle with the music and “party vibe” that the more mature Madsens in-house DJ service provides. I would suggest that you be clear on the SONGS and STYLE of music that you want played and just be prepared that the transitions between songs and mixing abilities and even the overall Vibe of the event will not be that party/club-type scene that I know many young couples today are looking for. A professional MC to really get the party going is a MUST im my opinion as well as a Day of Event Coordinator to keep everything on track the day of the wedding!
Important Tips When Booking This Venue
- DOCUMENT EVERYTHING DISCUSSED IN EMAIL WITH THE MADSENS AND GET IT IN WRITING! IF YOU PLAN TO BRING ANYTHING IN I.E. DECOR OR RENTALS, BE SURE THAT YOU HAVE WRITTEN PERMISSION. I HAVE HAD ISSUES WITH DISCREPANCY OVER WHAT WAS SAID WAS ALLOWED AND THEN WHAT WAS COMPLAINED ABOUT AFTER THE FACT :)
- WHEN ORDERING FOOD VIA O’MALLEYS CATERING, OPT FOR THE 4 COURSE MENU. I HAVE HAD GUESTS GO TO MCDONALDS AFTER THE 3 COURSE MENU BY LATE-NIGHT AS IT WAS JUST NOT ENOUGH :( NOTHING WORSE THAN THIS! PAY THE EXTRA MONEY AND DO A MORE PLENTIFUL MEAL FOR YOUR GUESTS OR AT LEAST HAVE A PLENTIFUL LATE-NIGHT SNACK OPTION FOR THEM. (NOTE THAT THE MAC AND CHEESE LATE NIGHT BAR OPTION IS AMAZING!)
- AS NOTED ABOVE – WITH THE TEMPERATURE CONTROL ISSUES AT MADSENS, IT IS ADVISABLE TO PROVIDE YOUR GUESTS WITH A PAPER HAND FAN FOR SUMMER WEDDINGS AND A SHAWL FOR WINTER ONES AT MADSENS. WOULD MAKE AN AWESOME WEDDING FAVOR IDEA!
I hope you enjoyed this candid review of weddings at Madsens Greenhouse in Newmarket, Ontario. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me! I welcome them!
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