Wedding FAQ

How does a wedding at the MacLaren work?
The MacLaren is the perfect venue for weddings up to 150 guests. Weather depending, you can choose between having your ceremony in our Massie Family Courtyard which seats up to 100 or in our Carnegie Room which seats up to 150. Following the ceremony, your guests will move to our main level for a cocktail reception for a minimum of one hour and then to the Carnegie Room for the remainder of the evening.
What does the MacLaren provide?
The MacLaren provides set up and tear down of MacLaren chairs and tables, including 150 black chivari chairs; 100 white courtyard chairs; 16 60-inch round tables; up to three rectangular tables measuring 5ft by 2.5ft; and up to 6 rectangular tables measuring 6ft by 2.5ft. Standard bar staff is included in the price of rental. The MacLaren does not provide anything on the tables, such as linens and tableware which are generally rented, and does not arrange rentals. Please note: the MacLaren does not provide a wedding coordinator.
What do I get for having my wedding at the MacLaren?
In addition to our beautiful facility, we invite you to enjoy all of the services the MacLaren has to offer. With your booking, we are pleased to offer you a complimentary one-year Family Membership to the MacLaren. All Gallery Members receive a 10% discount on Gallery Shop purchases, MacLaren Framing Services and art class registration.
When will I hear from the MacLaren?
Once your wedding is booked, you will likely not hear from the Facility Rental Coordinator until just over a month before your wedding when a “Month Before” meeting will be scheduled to go over details. The Facility Rental Coordinator can always be contacted by e-mail prior to the wedding and will meet in advance of your pre-scheduled meeting upon request.
What is the fee schedule?
In order to confirm your date, a 50% deposit must be placed. The remainder of the facility rental and any music licensing fees (RESound and SOCan) are due 5 days prior to the event. At this time, couples must also have a copy of their Party Alcohol Liability Insurance ready. The bar bill must be paid 15 minutes after the bar closes on the night of the event or by 12 noon the following morning.
Where do I get PAL (Party Alcohol Liability Insurance)?
Standard Party Alcohol Liability with a $5 million liability limit for 100 guests or more can be obtained through
When can my ceremony start/ how should I schedule the evening?
Your ceremony can start no sooner than 15 minutes after the Gallery closes to the public; on Fridays after 5:00 pm and on Saturdays after 4:00 pm. Ceremonies generally take 30 minutes and you must leave an hour minimum for the following cocktail reception before moving up to the Carnegie room for dinner.
What if my ceremony is in the courtyard and it rains?
On the day of the event, we will make the decision together by 2:00 pm at the latest, based on current weather conditions and statements made by the Weather Network. In case of inclement weather, we will move the ceremony upstairs to the Carnegie room. If a decision is not made by 2:00 pm, the ceremony will remain at its originally planned location, rain or shine.
Where can the bride enter the building so she is not seen?
The Facility Rental Coordinator will show you where the bride can enter the building during your “Month Before” meeting. This area is restricted from guests and the public, and may only be used for that purpose prior to the ceremony under supervision.
When can I begin setting up in the Carnegie Room?
You may begin setting up the Carnegie Room at 10:00 am on the day of your event. Please keep in mind the Gallery is still open to the public during this time and the entrance to the Carnegie Room must not be blocked. All set up outside of the Carnegie Room, including buffet set up in the hall, must begin after closing to the public, at 5:00 pm on weekdays and 4:00 pm on weekends.
Where do I unload my decorations?
At 10:00 am on the day of the event, you may unload your decorations, tableware, linens, etc. into our loading dock area at the back of the building (accessible by both Mulcaster and Collier). At the end of the evening, all items must be taken out of the Carnegie Room and can be put back into the loading dock area for pickup, either that night or 12 noon the following morning.
Can I use any kind of decorations?
The MacLaren does not permit any articles to be fastened onto the walls, electrical fixtures or floor. The use of tape, nails, tacks, screws or any tools which could mark the floors, walls or ceilings is prohibited. Absolutely no open flames, balloons, confetti or decorative glitter are permitted in the building and courtyard, or anywhere on the grounds. The Gallery does not permit any potted plants, only cut greenhouse flowers. Special effects must be approved by the MacLaren before the event. The use of fog or smoke machines, feathers, bubbles or projectiles is not permitted. Failure to adhere to these guidelines may result in a cleaning/repair charge established by the venue.
Can I bring my own alcohol?
All alcohol entering the building must be purchased under the Gallery’s liquor license by the Food and Beverage Manager. Special requests for table wine or changes to the bar menu must be made a minimum of six weeks prior to the event.
How does the bar operate?
You decide how your bar is to be run, whether open, cash ticket or toonie. Bar bills are calculated based on consumption as the MacLaren does not have bar packages. The bar closes no later than 1:00 am.
What is the prices per drink?
Drink prices range from $5 to $7 with HST included. Prices are subject to change.
Can I bring my own food?
The MacLaren Art Centre is an art museum that must adhere to industry standards of preservation and conservation. To protect the artwork in our Permanent Collection and on display in the galleries, we ask that you choose from our list of pre-approved caterers. These caterers know how to work in the space and have a proven track record of respect for our heritage building. Though we provide a room for caterers to use, we do not have a full-service kitchen onsite, nor do we provide any equipment. The caterers listed in our wedding package offer a variety of high-quality menu options along with great service.
What kind of dinner can I have?
The MacLaren can accommodate sit-down dinners, buffet dinners and cocktail receptions. Please discuss with your caterer for further information.
Where is the dance floor?
Depending on your chosen layout/ design, tables will be moved out of the way or taken down to make space for a dance floor.
Who is responsible for cleaning up?
You are responsible for organizing the clean-up of all decorations, rentals and equipment. These must be tidied up at the end of the evening, either removed from the premise or stored in the loading dock area overnight for pick up the following morning. No decorations or rentals may be left in the event space. The MacLaren staff is responsible for clearing MacLaren fixtures (tables, chairs and bar), but is not responsible for any decorations and/ or tableware rentals – fees may apply.
Where do my guests park?
There is public parking directly in front of the Gallery on Mulcaster Street as well as a small city lot across the street. Further parking is available along Collier Street on the North side of the building. Parking is free on weekends and evenings after 5:00 pm. There is also a parkade further down Collier Street; however, it is not included in the free weekend parking. The City of Barrie has a parking map on their website.
Does the Gallery Shop do gift registries?
Add to the memories of your special day by registering for some of the unique items we carry in the Gallery Shop. Our Gallery Shop Manager will take you through our artists and merchandise to create a personalized registry that can be accessed in person, over the phone or by email. While you’re at it, select the perfect gift to show your wedding party members they are truly appreciated! Also consider starting your journey together with a piece of art that speaks to the story of you. Our Art Rental and Sales programme offers limited edition prints, drawings and photographs by local, regional and national artists in a wide range of styles to suit any space and budget. 
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