Photographing a wedding at One King West Hotel in downtown Toronto is an opportunity to create beautiful imagery. I absolutely love this venue for its gorgeous spots that constitute perfect backgrounds for your photographs: The Grand Banking Hall, The Vault, The Austin Gallery, The Main Lobby, The Chairman's Boardroom, The King Gallery and The Fifteen Hundred.
According to One King West, the wedding associated cost is between $165 to $210 per person (plus HST and service charge). The packages include venue rental, a 4 to 6 hour standard bar, complimentary rehearsal space, valet parking for the couple and a wedding suite on your Big Day. January to March and Friday and Sunday weddings receive special pricing.
The establishment is a former a Dominion Bank building converted into a luxurious hotel that now hosts one of the most upscale and most photogenic wedding halls in downtown Toronto.
The Grand Banking Hall is a sumptuous venue that makes a perfect backdrop for your reception photos. Adorned with Corinthian columns supporting the 45 foot ceilings decorated with nine Canadian provinces emblems, this venue is one of the most beautiful in the financial district. The large cathedral windows provide a beautiful view of the King and Yonge intersection.
The room boasts 8,000 sq. ft of elegant space and on your wedding day can accommodate between 300 and 500 guests. It is one of the top 30 largest wedding banquet halls in Toronto. If you have a large wedding, this could be the place for your reception. The hall boasts the longest 100 ft bar in Canada (a former teller counter) and we can take the funniest photos by the bar.
The Vault is one of the most incredible and famous photography locations in Toronto. It is often used for fashion magazines photo shoots and was featured in movies such as Red, Max Payne and Jumper. I love photographing the bride and groom portraits as well as group photos at The Vault.
When it was built in 1913, over 100 years ago in the bedrock, the square vault, 33ft long and 33 ft wide with a 25 ft ceiling separated in two floors, was the largest in Canada. It took 19 horses to carry the steel door across Toronto and the door weighs over 40 tonnes. It is so well balanced that a weak person can close it. Anecdotal evidence tells us that if a needle is inserted in one of the grooves, the door will not close. It was never broken into and it had multiple security systems which made it impregnable. If you host a wedding party, you can be sure you will be safe in the vault and that nobody will crash your door. Your photos will be the most impressive comparable to a James Bond movie scene.
Located on the twelfth floor with 2,000 square feet available, Austin Gallery is capable of hosting 100+ guests and its balcony offers the perfect space for your cocktail hour. With its tall ceilings and classic look, this gallery is always camera ready!
The main lobby is ideal for a quick sneak out photo shoot and some of the best wedding photos can be achieved at the entrance of Grand Banking Hall. The broad marble staircase and lavish chandeliers towering over the Main Lobby give wedding images a warm look reminding of the turn of the 20th century era.
Smaller parties can be hosted in Chairman's Boardroom, which used to host the Dominion Bank board of directors meetings. This is also a popular room for formal photos such the one above.
With its European luxury look, its 45 foot ceilings and cathedral windows, The King Gallery is a great setting for your ceremony or for an intimate wedding.
Located on the fifteen floor of the building, Fifteen Hundred, with its floor to ceiling windows and private rooftop terrace, this is the perfect location for intimate weddings or for the bride preparation. The photos taken on the balcony will have the best backdrop in town especially at night: downtown Toronto.
The Fourteen Hundred is an appropriate room for your intimate wedding and if you need additional space, the Fourteen Hundred is connected through an internal staircase to the floor above, the Fifteen Hundred.
The hotel is located at 1 King St. W, Toronto. The hotel offers valet parking and you can find a conveniently located parking lot at Brookfield Place Parking.
Even though this hotel is one of the most incredible venues in Toronto, it poses some challenges and, as a photographer who covered many weddings here, I can provide advice on how to avoid issues on your Big Day.
Sanaz and Payam had a splendid One King West wedding. From laughters to tears and latin dancers this wedding had it all! This wedding occurred in January and we only photographed indoors. Still, the downtown hotel offered plenty of photographic opportunities. The Vault, The Grand Banking Hall are locations to die for. Also, the Main Lobby, The Fifteen Hundred are amazing locations to take photos. Finally, The Austin Gallery and Chairman's Boardroom are perfect spots for wedding shots.
Sanaz and Payam had their first look in the bridal suite on the 45-th floor of the hotel. The sumptuous apartment offers spectacular views of the downtown core. If you plan a One King West wedding, this is the perfect choice for your first look. The large windows allowed us to take architectural portraits and gave beautiful light.
Group Photos and Bride and Groom Weding Day Portraits
After the unveiling, we went to Chairman's Boardroom to take group photos. This is a room with wooden panel walls, appropriate for family photos. Finally, we shot the portraits of the bridal party and the bride and groom at The Vault. These shots look like high end bridal magazines or frames from movie scenes. The Vault is a perfect backdrop for photos. It was the scene in several Hollywood movies such as Red, The Hulk, Max Payne and Jumper. Because of its popularity, you need to book The Vault well in advance.
The ceremony took place in The Austin Gallery, a room that can accommodate 100 people. As a Toronto photographer, I shot several One King West weddings. The Vault or the Fifteen Hundred are appropriate for intimate ceremonies. Still, for larger ceremonies, I recommend the Austin Gallery for its size and beauty.
The reception took place in the Grand Banking Hall, a former Dominion Bank building, with a spectacular architecture. The most photogenic features of the venue are the Corinthian columns holding a 45 ft ceiling. and the 100 foot bar. Also, purple lighting accents, emphasised the decor and provided a splendid backdrop. To entertain the guests, a group of Latin dancers appeared out of nowhere. Another highlight of the evening was the Persian knife. The knife dance is a traditional Persian dance where the groom has to pay for the right to cut the wedding cake. During the knife dance, we took plenty of candid photos. Finally, the reception ended with an ad hoc session of family photos.
Venue: One King West
Cake: I Do! Wedding Cakes
Makeup: Fancy Face
Dancers: Afro Latino Dance Company