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Former Victoria church transports guests to new world with themed events

Greg Anderson and his wife, Marly, dare to do something different this year with a line-up of whimsical themed events at the Grand Victorian wedding and events venue, located in Victoria-by-the-Sea.
Greg Anderson and his wife, Marly, dare to do something different this year with a line-up of whimsical themed events at the Grand Victorian wedding and events venue, located in Victoria-by-the-Sea. - Desiree Anstey

Greg and Marly Anderson daring to do something different this year

Victoria-by-the-Sea, P.E.I. - From masquerade balls, to all out consumed festivals of love, a husband and wife duo hatched an idea to transport their guests to a whole new world of wedding and special occasion inspiration.

Greg and Marly Anderson dare to do something different this year with a line-up of whimsical themed events at the Grand Victorian wedding and events venue, located in Victoria-by-the-Sea.

“We feel when you walk through the doors it’s like a step back in time, so when we did our last event (New Year’s Eve with a Black and White theme) it was amazing. People were coming dressed in tuxes,” said Marly.

“So with the next event we want to do a masquerade ball and supply the masks.”

Crystal chandeliers hang from a towering purple painted ceiling, which overlooks the old world charm and grandeur of the main hall, decorated with elegant antique furnishings.

Greg and Marly Anderson fell in love with the iconic 19th century church in June 2016, and knew when they finally got the keys it would be something special.
Greg and Marly Anderson fell in love with the iconic 19th century church in June 2016, and knew when they finally got the keys it would be something special.

​​​​“We want to provide a service that’s different,” added Greg, who is also a marriage commissioner. “Even though this was a church, it’s not anymore. If someone wanted to have a Great Gatsby themed wedding or Alice in Wonderland style event, then they can.”

He continued, “Themed weddings are really becoming a thing, and we want to offer this to our guests. We will find the centrepieces, the right décor, and really pull it off.”

The former Victoria United Church, which opened its doors in June 2017 after a 12 year vacancy, will soon welcome guests to a ‘high tea’ experience – where nothing is quite what it seems.

“I think we’re going to kick off the high tea on Mother’s Day weekend (Sunday, May. 13.), and end in October,” said Marly. “But it’s not going to be traditional.”

High tea is traditionally served as a late afternoon treat, with dainty finger sandwiches, scones and cake.

“We’re going to do chicken wings, meat pies, and stuff that a guy could like as well. So instead of tea, they could add a beer, and this modern twist appeals to everyone.”

Looking back, the couple faced their fair share of challenges since opening.

“It was tough at the start, but now that we’re over the hump and with several weddings under our belt we know how we want to run those events,” they shared. “And with the renovations of the 141-year-old church behind us, we can see the light through the clouds and, we feel this is going to be a great year.

“Our biggest learning curve was that we can’t do it all ourselves, but after many long nights we hired a chef and a helper or assistant, and she’s amazing.”

They both concluded, “We’re growing, and it’s amazing.”

For more information, visit www.grandvictorianpei.com

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