Thursday, August 12, 2010

I'm MIA, and reasons not to have a wedding under a tent in Ontario

My bridesmaid/"cousin" (You know those close friends of the family type people you call aunts and uncles and cousins? Ya, that's her. Funny thing is, I think I'm closer to them than some of my own family!) is visiting from Kansas right now. I don't get to see her often since Kansas is a heck of a long ways away, so we've been spending the week doing wedding related stuffs. She's been keeping me honest and making sure I work hard on wedding items. So far we've hunted for the big tall vases (a no go, as the only ones we found were $85 a piece, yikes!), made the place cards, make little accessories for the place cards (more to come on that), started cutting the menus on the Cricut, unpacked all my shower gifts, reorganized my kitchen to fit in all the shower gifts, gone to Michaels for supplies a million times, and picked up the liquor license and building permit. 

Building permit?! What in the world?! I know. Here's my rant as to why not to have a wedding under a tent in the province of Ontario. At first, you'll think "Oooh we'll have an outdoor wedding under a tent and it'll be beautiful and simple and cheap!". And then you'll book your $2000 tent and think, wow, that price stinks, but oh well, it'll be lovely. And then you'll realize "Oh no, wait, now I need tables and chairs and plates and glasses and linens and salt and pepper and bread baskets and every little thing on the face of the earth! This is not easier OR cheaper!!!". So you book all that. And then you realize you have to apply for a liquor license which in itself is easy enough. The not fun part is notifying the police department, health department, fire department, municipal clerk's office, and building department of said event by letter and having to drive around to all of these places (especially when your venue is an hour plus away in another municipality). And then you find out that you also need a building permit to erect your massive tent for 36 hours and need to pay them $125 for said permit, and give them a stack of paperwork an inch thick for your application. And don't forget to call the conservation authority because your tent extends 5' onto a floodplain and you need their clearance for your permit. AND THEN when you pick up said permit you find out that after the tent is erected and before the event, you have to have a building inspector come out to make sure that the tent is erected properly. If you've made it this far, congratulations. I assume you're headed to Vegas rather than going down this road?!

In all seriousness, it is a huge pain in the a$$, but I've muddled my way through all the bureaucracy and it's done. If I had to do it all over again, I perhaps might have gone down a different road, but I know our tented wedding will be gorgeous and worth every penny. Rules and regulations vary region by region, so perhaps where you live people aren't such killjoys ;)


  1. Wow that is insane! Geez. We aren't getting a tent unless it looks like rain, but maybe I should see if we need a building permit for that!

  2. We needed a permit because our tent was over 100 square feet (30 square metres). It depends on the building regulations where you are. Honestly, if our venue hadn't made us do it, we would have skipped it. Also though, because of having to notify the building department of the liquor license I had to play it safe. It's really silly to me to need a permit for a temporary structure that's going to be up for less than 48 hours and is being erected by a professional tent company. Sigh.

  3. Wow that's insane. I thought it was bad that we needed to pay $150 for a permit to take pictures in a public park in our own town! Crazy. I bet it'll be gorgeous though.

    Oh & friends who are just easier to explain as cousins = we call them "Fuzins" LOL

    P.S. - I passed an award onto you - check my post. ;)

  4. Thanks for the award Dancy! I'll award it myself in another posting ASAP! I'm just up to my ears in thank you cards and menus right now. Fuzin is currently putting tags on the pashminas. I don't know what I would have done without her...