For many men, getting hitched isn’t something to which one gives serious consideration until it’s too late — at which point, scrambling to provide that picturesque dream wedding leans half-horror and half-Hangover. What with the demanding in-laws, guest list invitations and bachelor party planning, the groom always has a lot on his plate. (In the interests of decency, we won’t mention Bride-zilla.) Step up to said plate when the spotlight falls on you, and have the perfect location already top of mind. Here, the first in a series examining the best places to get hitched in Montreal.
Notre–Dame Basilica of Montreal
Revered as one of the city’s most beautiful Catholic churches, the Notre-Dame Basilica is what little girls dream of when they think of getting married (and, perhaps, what grown men think of as well once they realize the importance of matrimony). A number of noteworthy Canadians, including Celine Dion and Pierre Elliot Trudeau, have tied the knot in this church and while we’re not ones to bandwagon, the appeal is obvious. Since its construction in 1829, the Basilica has gained notoriety for its dramatic interior, exterior, and surrounding scenery — and even though it’s become a staple of the Montreal cityscape, it never fails to steal our attention. Guided tours are available if need to get familiar before committing; when you’re ready, you can go ahead and make reservations with the priest. 110 Notre-Dame St. W., 514-842-2925 x224.
Chapelle du Sacré-Coeur
Hidden behind the impressive Notre-Dame Basilica is the humble, more intimate Chapelle du Sacré-Coeur. Rebuilt after a 1978 arson incident, the church is a modernized version of what it used to be; still, the first two stories remain largely accurate to their original design. The space itself is exceptionally breathtaking; further, reservations come with floral décor, an organist and a soloist — all for a fairly reasonable price. Couples seeking a smaller wedding may be interested in meeting with the priests at Sacré-Coeur, as we always advise making sure all parties are on the same page. Stop in at your leisure, though hopefully it needn’t be said that you should avoid the Sunday rush. 426 St. Sulpice St.
L’Église Saint-Enfant-Jésus du Mile-End
If you’re seeking a spot a little more avant-garde than the Basilica, but want to keep that Old World charm, L’Église Saint-Enfant-Jésus is nothing short of perfect. Yet another of Montreal’s impressive historical buildings, this chapel became the first notable structure in what we now call the “Mile End.” The church boasts intricate stained glass and immaculate murals charting scenes from the good book, as is tradition for most Catholic churches. Again, we recommend meeting with the priests to get a sense of the twist on the ceremony. Confidently, you’ll only need to do this once — be sure to get it right. 5039 St. Dominique St.
Santa Cruz Portuguese Church
Significantly less WASP-y than the aforementioned “classics,” double quotes the Santa Cruz chapel is located in the heart of the Plateau, fitting in nicely with its relatively modern architecture. The church sits just outside little Portugal, but is well-known throughout adjacent neighborhoods because of the congregation’s regular parades. Santa Cruz’ reputation for being playful and festive shouldn’t dissuade “serious” couples from checking the place out — while solemnity may not be their forte, weddings don’t need to be so cut-and-dry. That’s right: It’s OK to live a little. 60 Rachel St. W.
Image courtesy of Geff Rossi.