Big Weddings Are Back — How to Celebrate in Style

With larger-than-life weddings making a grand return, explore how O&B can make your special day as seamless as possible

In the early days of the pandemic, micro-weddings, backyard ceremonies, and intimate nuptials became the norm due to health concerns and ever-changing restrictions. Today, couples are feeling more confident about hosting larger gatherings, with big celebrations and larger-than-life receptions making their triumphant return. As the ‘back and better than ever’ trend continues to gain momentum, here’s why some couples are choosing to go big ― and how our expert events team can help you do the same.

Why Are Big Weddings Back?

The story is all too familiar: a wedding venue was set, the invitations were mailed, and delay after delay took place, with travel restrictions and capacity limits causing major turmoil. After countless postponements, some people have been waiting to bring their nearest and dearest together for quite a while. Big weddings with over 120 guests (and sometimes well beyond) offer the perfect opportunity to reconnect with family and friends, rekindle old bonds, and celebrate life and love in a way that’s long overdue.

In many cultures, big weddings are traditional and important for family and community connections, bringing overseas relatives together after years apart. Jewish, Italian, Indian and Chinese weddings, for example, are often an occasion where large families can hold religious ceremonies, practice long-standing marriage rituals, and take part in multi-day celebrations.

Even if a large wedding isn’t traditional for your family, sometimes there’s just no cutting down the guest list. A larger venue allows you to host a ceremony, cocktail reception, seated dinner, and dance party all in one place. A big wedding also offers a sense of grandeur, providing a canvas for you to paint your dream day in all its glory. If there was ever a time for a little pomp and circumstance, your wedding day is it!

What Sets O&B Apart

If ‘the more the merrier’ is your MO, go all out and let Oliver & Bonacini’s unparalleled event venues help you make a major statement. Whether your special day calls for the coveted waterfront scenery of The Quay or the historic charm of the revitalized Arcadian Court, to the 1930s Art Moderne architecture of The Carlu or the sweeping CN Tower views of Malaparte’s rooftop terrace, our collection of large group venues boast more personality and potential than your average banquet hall. We have a space to suit every style, capacities that reach up to 1,500, and we’re ready to make your wedding day magic with luxurious decor, chef-driven cuisine with careful attention to dietary requirements, and stunning floral arrangements.

Leave the Logistics to the Pros

Even if you have exceptional organizational skills, hiring a wedding planner (even a day-of wedding planner) or working with an O&B event planner can save you a lot of stress. Planners have built rapport with preferred suppliers and trusted vendors who frequent venues across the city, and they know each space inside and out. They’ll also factor in and communicate all the backend details to ensure the show runs smoothly. Everything from staggering vendor arrivals at the loading dock to the amount of time required for setup and tear-down needs to be carefully planned ― and that’s the last thing you want on your plate.

Entertaining a big crowd is another unique challenge that planners can help you navigate. Ideas might include a proper dance floor, a live band, a photo booth, and more. “After the pandemic, incorporating entertainment of all kinds is seemingly very trendy,” says Rachel Jo, Event Specialist at Malaparte and Luma. “If couples are set on 360-degree photobooths, live event artists like illustrators and painters, live musicians, dancers, and so on, a large venue with multiple layout options is a big plus.” A planner will gladly help you make the most of the large space so that every single guest has a great time.

Focus on the Details

With the logistics taken care of, couples can focus on the small, important details to ensure the space feels personal despite its large size. “Concentrate on high-impact areas that will make a great first impression, like your entrance,” says Betty Little, Manager of Event Sales at Malaparte. “Weddings are full of emotion, so incorporating framed photos, sentimental objects, and décor elements that help tell a story can be a lovely personal touch.”

And don’t neglect the refreshments! “Sprinkle in some personality when it comes to dinner and drinks too,” remarks Little. “Signature cocktails and menus that celebrate cuisines from across the globe are another way to make things a little more personal and unique to the couple themselves.”

If you’re struggling to think of ways to make your big wedding more personal, O&B event planners are here to help. In Jo’s words: “When it comes to details big and small, our dedicated events coordinators work closely with couples to customize every aspect of their day to ensure it is a true reflection of their unique love story.”

Wedding guests toasting with drinks

The resurgence of big weddings post-COVID signifies a return to love, joy, and celebration on a grand scale. This is your chance to bring together the people who mean the most to you and indulge in the extravagance you’ve always dreamed of. Whether multi-day wedding madness or a one-night-only blowout bash is in the cards, celebrating in style is easier with Oliver & Bonacini.

Want to get started planning your wedding? Call 416.364.1211 or email

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Photos by 5ive5ifteen Wedding Photography, K Push Studios, Mango Studios, and Cindy La.