ROYAL AMBASSADOR WEDDINGS
REVIEW FROM PROFESSIONAL AWARD WINNING WEDDING PLANNER & OFFICIANT
Caledon East, Ontario
By: Connie Butera
Event Planner & Wedding Officiant
The Royal Ambassador in Caledon East Ontario is a highly sought after event venue in the GTA. As a professional event planner and wedding officiant, I have had the privilege of working this venue MANY times. If you are considering the Royal Ambassador for your special day, here is what you need to know!
The Great Stuff!
The Royal Ambassador appeals to any nationality of wedding. Their menu offerings are tasty and high end. They do a great job with their food (albeit you pay for it!). I would not consider them an "affordable" venue by any means; however they are right in alignment with venues of similar offerings. My European clients LOVE the Royal Ambassador because it is also European owned and operated. I have also done Canadian and Indian weddings at the venue who were equally impressed by the food options and quality.
Overall, the food is Top Notch and your guests will not be disappointed. This is a HUGE selling point!
The #1 reason why people choose to marry at the Royal Ambassador is because of its rolling hills, beautiful Lake and lush gardens. You really get the best of all words in terms of ceremony sites, onsite reception venues and stunning grounds for photos. Clients looking for "all in one" venues - this is the place!
You have several options to choose from onsite the Royal Ambassador from your ceremony site to the reception. They offer several pergolas, gazebos and open green spaces by the lake and more that can be used for a ceremony.
In case of rain, there are also back up indoor options prepared for.
For reception - they have several indoor options from their various standard banquet hall rooms, to their Lakeside Gazebo and even White Tent Weddings on their Lawn.
Lots of options to choose from, pending your budget and personal taste.
The Not So Great
Location (ongoing Construction?)
The location of this venue can be a little challenging for people to find and get to. It is in a beautiful rural country setting sort of off the beaten path. There is a lot of road construction currently on the road to get to the venue and it is confusing to guests as many areas are marked "road closed"/ local traffic only and offer detours away from the venue. It is important to check for local construction and advise your guests the appropriate routes and access points to take. I have had many weddings run late due to people not being able to find the venue itself because of road closures. Tell your guests to ignore the road closure signs and access the venue from the main road the Google Maps will take you on. Although it says the road is closed, Royal Ambassador is local traffic to it and its the only way to get in easily.
Difficulty finding Your WAy Around the grounds
Along the same topic of location would be the accessibility of the venue itself. Although the grounds are expansive and lush and the onsite venue options are plentiful; it makes it VERY difficult for guests to find their way.
The Royal Ambassador does have signage on their various banquet hall doors to direct people to the appropriate location of the various events happening and they "claim" to also offer a doorman service to direct people; however I have actually never seen this into practice. Most weddings I do at the Royal Ambassador, the guests do not pay attention to the location noted on the invite and just show up and are not quite sure where to go.
I feel the Royal Ambassador could do a MUCH better job with onsite signage and directing of traffic and people. The little driveway over to the Lakeside Gazebo is quite hidden and unmarked in the back corner of their main parking lot. People often miss it or don't know about it. Guests end up parking in the main lot and WALKING FAR and all over the place looking for where to go.
Tip: If you are getting married at the Royal Ambassador, be sure to give your guests a map and be VERY CLEAR on your venue locations onsite the Royal Ambassador. I would also suggest you tell people to arrive early to allow for extra time to park, find the venue locations onsite and walk to it.
Loading Area Issues
Once again, because of the size of the venue and different location options, moving your items in and out / set up and tear down can be a challenge. The unloading / parking areas are quite far away from from the banquet and outdoor ceremony spaces. The venue requires a lot of "lugging" of items from far to be brought in from vehicles.
- inform your vendors
- hire a day of coordinator!!
- arrange to deliver your set up items in advance and / or
- allow extra time for set up / unloading etc.
*ExtrEme Overbooking Issues With Ceremony SiteS*
This would be my #1 issue with this venue. They are notoriously over booked! Especially with the onsite ceremony locations / gazebos. On summer Saturdays, the Pavilions are often booked BACK TO BACK with very little time in between. If one ceremony runs late, it throws off the entire date and greatly affects all other weddings. The Royal Ambassador does a horrible job of managing the ceremony outdoor gazebos. They do not have anyone on site truly keeping people on time.
If you you are having your wedding ceremony onsite the Royal Ambassador, I HIGHLY recommend that you :
- confirm what weddings are before and after you
- be VERY STRICT about your ceremony start and end times
- BE ON TIME
- BE RESPECTFUL OF YOUR TIME SLOT!
- Hire a day of Coordinator can assist with that!
- keep your ceremony decor and set up MINIMAL as there is not a lot of time to set up and take down
- if you hire a decorator, ensure that they are VERY TIMELY about set up / tear down
Be aware that you will likely cross paths with other weddings and Brides. Your guests may arrive to another wedding and have to wait before entering your own. Vice Versa, you may end up with people showing up at the end of your ceremony for the next wedding. I have had too many bad experiences at the Royal Ambassador showing up for my own clients' wedding; only to find out that the previous wedding is running behind schedule (with all of their decor still in the way) and no one tearing down / being mindful of the next wedding.
New! Major Staffing & Management ISSUES - for 2019 / 2020+? years
Previous to COVID-19 in all fairness I have to say that I never had any staffing issues with the venue. Staff was always super helpful and readily available. The Royal Ambassador was a great venue to work for and with. There were even weddings where I showed up and they had taken the initiative to start to set up some of the client-provided "extras" that I would normally handle.
Something has happened in 2019 / 2020!!! Between the loss of their key floor manager that I was accustomed to working with and COVID 19, the venue has gone REALLY DOWN HILL in management and staffing. You can see that the owners are doing their best to manage; but it is very clear that they are burnt out and struggling to find / pay for staff and communication / response times are lacking. There have been MANY issues with phone calls and emails going unanswered. Floor Managers are no where to be found and managing several events at once. They do not carry phones to be easily reached. No one gets back to you.
In recent Covid19 Weddings I've done at this venue, they have been a *real let down*. The "young kid staff" that they hire for general serving and help are just not cutting it! The others hardly speak any English. The front line workers need LEADERSHIP AND DIRECTION which they are just not getting. No one can really help you or do anything for you without their leader and the acting floor manager (if you even meet them!) are never around.
The Royal Ambassador needs to do something in the way of Management and staffing to fix this problem and go back to what they used to do.
As with all my blog posts, this is my professional and Candid opinion as a Professional and award-winning Event Planner & Officiant on the various venues I have the privledge of working. The goal of these blog posts is to shed light to couples so that they can make the most educated decision for their special day.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to CONTACT ME!
I offer various Day of Coordination & Wedding Officiating Packages and am happy to work the venues that I am most familiar with.
Event Planner & Wedding Officiant