Frequently Asked Questions

How do we reserve for our wedding?

Reservations can be made by contacting our Wedding and Event Planning staff. We will determine whether the dates you are looking for are available, and then take down your name, phone number and any other important details. Normally we will set up a viewing appointment with you so you can come by to see the space and talk in person with our Wedding Coordinator who can answer all of your questions.  A non-refundable deposit is required to confirm a booking, which may be paid by credit card, cheque, cash or debit. This deposit will be deducted from your bill.  A 2nd deposit will be required at the time of your wedding planning meeting, 1 to 2 months prior to your wedding, and a 3rd deposit 2 days prior to your wedding.

What makes a wedding at the Courtyard unique?

There are many factors that make the Courtyard unique, and by no means the least important is our heritage stone building setting right in the heart of downtown Ottawa. But the brides and grooms who have written us countless thank-you letters over the years always mention our wonderful food. Our signature “choice menus” allow your guests to choose between three different main courses from a personalized menu that we prepare. We understand how difficult it can be to choose only one item to please all of your guests so our “choice menus” were developed to give you the freedom to decide exactly what you would like, and to let your guests choose as well.

May we bring in our wedding cake?

Yes, you may bring in your wedding cake. We can also suggest excellent bakeries for you. We can serve your wedding cake as a dessert, or you may want to have it served later in the evening with coffee/tea. We also offer a complete selection of cupcakes, mini cupcakes (vegan and gluten-free available), cake pops, macaroons, cookies and sweets, etc, for those couples who wish to have a late-evening sweets table or to replace a traditional wedding cake.

Is it possible to have a cash bar?

Of course!  We are able to make many different arrangements for your bar service. You may want to pay for the entire evening, or simply offer a host bar for cocktails and wine with dinner, and a cash bar afterwards. Many different combinations are possible and our Wedding Coordinator can help you to plan the details.

May we bring our own wine?

Due to our liquor license we are not able to allow any alcoholic beverages to be brought in to the Courtyard other than those we supply ourselves. We would be more than happy to order in any special wines or spirits you require for your event, subject to our regular pricing policies.

May we hold our ceremony at the restaurant?

Yes, many of our couples choose to hold their wedding ceremony here. We can also help you to find an officiant, just contact us for more information.

What about decorating the rooms?

You are welcome to bring in your own decorations for your wedding. Although we do supply fresh flowers and candles for our tables, often couples wish to bring in their own flowers, candles or décor for the dining tables, as well as items such as a guest book, favours, envelope box or wishing well, and family mementos.  Our Wedding Coordinator can help to give you ideas for decorating the Courtyard and planning the logistics of setting up the rooms.  Normally our couples bring in their decor the day prior to the wedding, and our Wedding Coordinator sets it up for you on the day of the wedding.

How many staff members will be serving our party?

Depending on the type of event (cocktail reception / brunch / sit-down dinner or lunch) and it’s length, we usually schedule one server for every 20 guests. In addition to this, we generally have 1 server’s assistant for every 2 servers scheduled. Our Wedding Coordinator works closely with our serving staff prior to the event to ensure that everything is prepared for your guest’s arrival.

What time do we have to be finished?

Luncheon weddings end at 3:00 pm on Saturdays and 4:00 pm Sunday through Friday. For evening weddings, we usually stop serving alcohol at 1:00 am. Generally we request that your event be finished 1/2 an hour after last call.

Is it possible to use the patio for part of our reception?

If you are renting one of our dining rooms, or the Top Floor of the restaurant, unfortunately our outdoor patio would be reserved for the exclusive use of our dining guests, and is not available for rental.  The patio is available for rental when the entire restaurant is bought out for the evening.  If you are interested in this possibility, please inquire with our Events Staff.

Where would we have dancing after our meal?

Depending on the size of your wedding, we may be able to leave a dance floor area clear in your room for dancing, or we will remove one or two tables to create a dance area after your meal. We can also rent a tiled dance floor for your event if you wish.

Can we invite more guests after dinner?

Certainly! The maximum capacity for the McArthur Room & Bar Area is 120, for the Loft Room & Bar Area – 70, for the Dawson Room – 25, and for the Top Floor 170.

When do I meet with the wedding coordinator?

Our Events Staff will contact you approximately 2 months before your wedding to set up a Wedding Planning Meeting.  At this meeting we will discuss your menus, bar service, décor, table arrangements, time-line for events, etc, and a 2nd deposit will also be required.  You can anticipate this meeting to take between 1-½ to 2 hours. We suggest that you bring any names and telephone numbers of vendors you have hired such as florist, DJ, bakeries, etc. Our Weddings Checklist outlines the information we will discuss at this meeting. We are also happy to meet with you or answer questions by phone or email whenever you require assistance. General Office Hours for our Events Staff are from Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, and most Saturdays between 11:00 am and 5:00 pm (occasionally we do not have staff scheduled for Saturdays, depending on the reservations that day).  Please feel free to contact us at any time!