This review is published in Kitchener-Waterloo Area

Concordia Club famous for Oktoberfest, and an old favourite for weddings

Reviewing Ruth Rajna, Banquet CoordinatorConcordia Club
Review is written by Staff @ The Ring and is based on •   Interviews with this vendor • Interviews with past brides • Our experiences
 
Concordia Club famous for Oktoberfest, and an old favourite for weddings

Everyone knows that the Concordia Club throws one of the biggest and most famous Oktoberfest parties every year. But what you may not know is that they can also host an elegant wedding reception, from small and intimate, to large and lavish. In fact, the word 'Concordia' is Latin for harmony, friendship and unity.

The Ring visited Concordia Club because it has been in Kitchener since 1873 (back when Kitchener was named 'Berlin'), and because they do weddings of nearly any size or budget, offering outdoor ceremony possibilities on their impressive patio, a variety of menus, a professional chef, and most importantly, that unique atmosphere created by their German-style architecture, dark wood, exposed beams, and high ceilings. Michael Smith of The Food Network's Chef at Large has even visited this distinct location. Let us explain...

Personally speaking...

We found Banquet Coordinator Ruth Rajna to be open, charming, and comfortable to talk to. She welcomed our questions, as she does with all brides and grooms, and did her best to paint a real picture of what Concordia does for their clients.

Ruth works to handle all of the details of the club itself, and the events they host. She has been there for over twenty-one years. Ruth says she takes weddings very seriously, "If your cake is falling over or your decorations are wilting, I am here to help." In fact, one wedding took place during the week of the blackout, and the bride and groom didn't know even half of the lengths Concordia went to make their event happen, until afterward. "Our parents let us in on the troubles you had due to the blackout, but your staff came through for us! Thanks so much!" said Greg & Annamae in the wake of August 2003's electrical upheaval.

Options & advantages

With two floors, multiple rooms, and prices you can't beat, Concordia Club has its advantages. "The food was awesome, the staff were helpful and the atmosphere was wonderful!" said Kevin and Heather, after their Concordia Club wedding reception. So, let's break down your various options at Concordia Club...

Accommodating Weddings | Concordia is, well, gigantic. It can hold from 100 to 450 guests at any given time, and it gives an old-world ambiance that is stunning - even moreso with subtle decorations. There is wheelchair access to the hall, tons of parking, and its location is accessible from just about anywhere, with the expressway visible from the parking lot.

Budget-Friendly Details | Concordia can do weddings within all budgets. The lowest they've ever done a wedding for was $1000; however, their average wedding is approximately $8000. A high-end budget with many guests would be about $15,000 or more. An example of this high-end wedding was a 'Christmas in July' wedding where the theme, the food, and the drinks were non-stop all evening! These prices include the hall rental and food. Menus start at $19/person. Concordia will allow you to operate a toonie bar with bar tickets. Your bartender is provided by the Concordia Club, and the club also holds the liquour license. Gratuities and taxes are extra.

Tons of Reception Options | Concordia Club has four separate wedding spaces to choose from. Smaller rooms for up to 50 to 100 people include the Weinstube ('Wine Room'), the Schenke ('Tavern'), and the Jägerstube ('Hunters Room'). The largest room is the Halle, or the main hall. The biggest option, this room offers ample space for up to 450, and is most commonly used for weddings. Coat check is also available.

Tons of Ceremony Options | If you are looking to host your ceremony in the outdoors, there is space on the grounds for an outdoor ceremony (which allows for approximately 60 guests), or on the club's patio. A cute garden suitable for your photo shoot is also available to make your entire day complete at the club. You also have the option of holding your ceremony in one of the banquet rooms and have your reception in another. The Halle can be used for both ceremony and reception also, with an easy transformation and some great decorating.

Menus | Concordia Club has their own professional chef on staff, and can give you Country Style Dinner service or Plated Dinner service, including everything from traditional Canadian food to authentic German food. You can dine at Concordia for anywhere between $19 per person and $40 per person. Portions are plentiful - for example, the Country Style menu gives you an appetizer, two meats, potato or rice, two vegetables, dessert, coffee, tea and milk. Best of all, the Country Style platters are brought right to the tables, so you and your guests can enjoy the meal without getting up!

Service | Concordia really goes out of their way to serve up to their reputation. Tammy and John, a past bride and groom, were overly impressed with the service they received, "Our guests only had to mention within earshot of something they wanted or needed and steps were taken to fulfill this... We are so glad we chose Concordia Club for our reception location!"

Need-To-Know | You should book one year in advance if you're going to get your hands on this great find. To book, you'll be putting $1000 down. This is non-refundable, but can be transferred to a different date, if needed. Expect to pay 15% gratuities and GST & PST on top of your quoted prices, as per usual.

A menu sampling

Country Style Dinner:
1 Appetizer: Tossed garden salad, Caesar salad or soup of the day
2 Meats: Wiener schnitzel, grilled chicken breast, roast beef, stuffed pork loin, chicken cordon bleu, rouladen, roast turkey
1 Potato or Rice: Vegetable Rice, butter whipped potatoes, spaetzle, home-fried potatoes, mini roasted potatoes
2 Vegetables: green beans almondine, honey glazed baby carrots, broccoli carrots & cauliflower, bean medley, red cabbage & more
1 Dessert: Black Forest torte, English trifle, apple strudel with ice cream, lemon yogurt torte & more
Coffee, tea and milk

Plated Service:
Choose from a selection of appetizers, including butternut squash soup with roasted red pepper bisque or classic Caesar salad with bacon.
Choose from a selection of desserts, including homemade apple strudel, New York style cheesecake with wildberry compote or triple chocolate raspberry mousse torte.
Choose your entree & price (about $20 to $40 per person) from a wide selection, including:
Roast loin of beef with peppercorn reduction
Grilled Atlantic salmon fillet with white wine dill sauce
Duet: Grilled 5 oz. New York striploin and grilled 4 oz. chicken breast with wild mushroom demi-glaze
Duet: Grilled 5 oz. beef tenderloin and grilled skewer of garlic shrimp

Alfred and Heidi Lowrick say that the meal prepared for their son's June wedding was delicious, "The rouladen, schnitzel and banquet accompaniments were done to perfection and served hot and on a timely basis. Everything from the pre-dinner hors d'oeuvres to the midnight lunched was cooked and presented perfectly."

Details, details, details

• Ruth suggests booking Concordia Club for your wedding at least 1 year in advance for popular wedding dates as weekends between April and November fill quickly.
• To book your date on Concordia's calendar, you can pay the $1000 deposit by cheque or credit card.
• You will meet to sign a contract and iron out all of the details (including meal selections and table arrangements) 3 months prior to your wedding.
• 60% of the remaining amount (calculated using the contract details) is due 2 weeks before your wedding, along with confirmed guest numbers, vegetarian requests, etc..
• The remaining balance is due within 30 days of the wedding day.

In other words...

"I wanted to take a moment to thank you personally once again for your role in Nicole and Levent's wedding ceremony and reception this past weekend. Your support, guidance and concern for their wishes meant a lot to them and our families. As well, please pass on a well deserved thanks to all the staff who were part of the evening. So many people commented on the level of service, the personal touches, and last minute accommodations that were given. The hall looked wonderful, the food was fabulous, and the staff were courteous and efficient. Well done!" - Cathy S.

"...Everything was fantastic. The food was outstanding, especially the schnitzel and the cheesecake - WOW... it was like whipped cream!! I understand we have booked for next year, so that tells you how happy we are." - K. F.

"I just wanted to say Steve and I (and our guests) had a great time at our wedding reception. The hall was beautiful, the food was excellent, and the service was amazing. Please pass along a special thank you to all the staff that assisted in the emergency situation we had. Ruth, thank you for helping us to co-ordinate everything. Take care and all the best." - Lynn W.

"What can I say - it was fantastic! I don't know how to thank you for the brilliant job you did for Chantale and Andrew's wedding reception on Saturday. The Concordia Club hall is a beautiful room and many of our guests commented on its character and warmth. We want to say a huge 'thank you' to the staff at the Concordia Club. The servers and bar staff were extremely friendly and polite and they made sure that everyone was happy at all times. A big thanks to the Chef and kitchen staff - the food was incredible and all of our special dietary requests were handled perfectly. Our biggest thanks goes to you, Ruth. I hope that the Club knows what a wonderful asset you are! We couldn't have done it without you. You took care of our last minute panics and changes with ease and I always felt that everything was under control. The whole evening was perfect!" - Maureen

"Thank you for your help in making our wedding day memorable. Concordia Club is a beautiful hall and its wooden floors and ceilings and glowing chandeliers lent themselves with grace to our décor. In fact, we didn't hire a decorator, because we knew very little would be needed to create the warm, happy atmosphere we hoped for (and achieved!) for our ceremony and reception. Our guests were pleased with their food and the attentive service they experienced during dinner and otherwise. We all ate, drank and were merry! Keep up the great work and we know many future couples will be as delighted with Concordia Club for their wedding as we are!" -Mathew & Ryann

"We wish to express our sincere appreciation for the major part you played in making Amy and Daryl's wedding day perfect and memorable. You created an atmosphere that was both elegant and relaxed. You paid every attention to detail! It is abundantly obvious that the Club is maintained with pride and care. And it has such great structural character too. The food was delicious and plentiful. The country style service was pleasant and comfortably enjoyable. The staff was professional and courteous at all times. They were attentive and responsive to all requests. Each one of them impressed us with their considerate manner and sincere hospitality. You directed Amy and Daryl to Lori and Decorating Dreams as decorator and we couldn't have been more pleased with the beauty and elegance of her work. From our fist conversation, Ruth, you were warm and friendly and most accommodating. We have had countless compliments about the meal, the staff and the facility. And so, we thank you for your hard work, your expert advice and your overall dedication to helping to create a perfect day for Amy and Daryl. We are grateful for the genuine, warm welcome you extended to everyone. You have provided us with wonderful memories of a most special day in our lives. Thank you so much." - Tom & Cathy

"The word 'perfect' is an accurate descriptor of how you and your team handled our arrangements. From the initial contact to final account closure, your professionalism and ability to deal with every situation quickly exceeded our expectations. Your judgement and good taste was a terrific asset as we approached the planning of this special occasion. The Concordia Club can be rest assured that their clients are in good hands when they deal with you. You seemingly made things happen throughout our event and we are grateful for your attentiveness and focus to detail." - Alfred & Heidi

Everyone knows that the Concordia Club throws one of the biggest and most famous Oktoberfest parties every year. But what you may not know is that they can also host an elegant wedding reception, from small and intimate, to large and lavish. In fact, the word 'Concordia' is Latin for harmony, friendship and unity.

The Ring visited Concordia Club because it has been in Kitchener since 1873 (back when Kitchener was named 'Berlin'), and because they do weddings of nearly any size or budget, offering outdoor ceremony possibilities on their impressive patio, a variety of menus, a professional chef, and most importantly, that unique atmosphere created by their German-style architecture, dark wood, exposed beams, and high ceilings. Michael Smith of The Food Network's Chef at Large has even visited this distinct location. Let us explain...

Personally speaking...

We found Banquet Coordinator Ruth Rajna to be open, charming, and comfortable to talk to. She welcomed our questions, as she does with all brides and grooms, and did her best to paint a real picture of what Concordia does for their clients.

Ruth works to handle all of the details of the club itself, and the events they host. She has been there for over twenty-one years. Ruth says she takes weddings very seriously, "If your cake is falling over or your decorations are wilting, I am here to help." In fact, one wedding took place during the week of the blackout, and the bride and groom didn't know even half of the lengths Concordia went to make their event happen, until afterward. "Our parents let us in on the troubles you had due to the blackout, but your staff came through for us! Thanks so much!" said Greg & Annamae in the wake of August 2003's electrical upheaval.

Options & advantages

With two floors, multiple rooms, and prices you can't beat, Concordia Club has its advantages. "The food was awesome, the staff were helpful and the atmosphere was wonderful!" said Kevin and Heather, after their Concordia Club wedding reception. So, let's break down your various options at Concordia Club...

Accommodating Weddings | Concordia is, well, gigantic. It can hold from 100 to 450 guests at any given time, and it gives an old-world ambiance that is stunning - even moreso with subtle decorations. There is wheelchair access to the hall, tons of parking, and its location is accessible from just about anywhere, with the expressway visible from the parking lot.

Budget-Friendly Details | Concordia can do weddings within all budgets. The lowest they've ever done a wedding for was $1000; however, their average wedding is approximately $8000. A high-end budget with many guests would be about $15,000 or more. An example of this high-end wedding was a 'Christmas in July' wedding where the theme, the food, and the drinks were non-stop all evening! These prices include the hall rental and food. Menus start at $19/person. Concordia will allow you to operate a toonie bar with bar tickets. Your bartender is provided by the Concordia Club, and the club also holds the liquour license. Gratuities and taxes are extra.

Tons of Reception Options | Concordia Club has four separate wedding spaces to choose from. Smaller rooms for up to 50 to 100 people include the Weinstube ('Wine Room'), the Schenke ('Tavern'), and the Jägerstube ('Hunters Room'). The largest room is the Halle, or the main hall. The biggest option, this room offers ample space for up to 450, and is most commonly used for weddings. Coat check is also available.

Tons of Ceremony Options | If you are looking to host your ceremony in the outdoors, there is space on the grounds for an outdoor ceremony (which allows for approximately 60 guests), or on the club's patio. A cute garden suitable for your photo shoot is also available to make your entire day complete at the club. You also have the option of holding your ceremony in one of the banquet rooms and have your reception in another. The Halle can be used for both ceremony and reception also, with an easy transformation and some great decorating.

Menus | Concordia Club has their own professional chef on staff, and can give you Country Style Dinner service or Plated Dinner service, including everything from traditional Canadian food to authentic German food. You can dine at Concordia for anywhere between $19 per person and $40 per person. Portions are plentiful - for example, the Country Style menu gives you an appetizer, two meats, potato or rice, two vegetables, dessert, coffee, tea and milk. Best of all, the Country Style platters are brought right to the tables, so you and your guests can enjoy the meal without getting up!

Service | Concordia really goes out of their way to serve up to their reputation. Tammy and John, a past bride and groom, were overly impressed with the service they received, "Our guests only had to mention within earshot of something they wanted or needed and steps were taken to fulfill this... We are so glad we chose Concordia Club for our reception location!"

Need-To-Know | You should book one year in advance if you're going to get your hands on this great find. To book, you'll be putting $1000 down. This is non-refundable, but can be transferred to a different date, if needed. Expect to pay 15% gratuities and GST & PST on top of your quoted prices, as per usual.

A menu sampling

Country Style Dinner:
1 Appetizer: Tossed garden salad, Caesar salad or soup of the day
2 Meats: Wiener schnitzel, grilled chicken breast, roast beef, stuffed pork loin, chicken cordon bleu, rouladen, roast turkey
1 Potato or Rice: Vegetable Rice, butter whipped potatoes, spaetzle, home-fried potatoes, mini roasted potatoes
2 Vegetables: green beans almondine, honey glazed baby carrots, broccoli carrots & cauliflower, bean medley, red cabbage & more
1 Dessert: Black Forest torte, English trifle, apple strudel with ice cream, lemon yogurt torte & more
Coffee, tea and milk

Plated Service:
Choose from a selection of appetizers, including butternut squash soup with roasted red pepper bisque or classic Caesar salad with bacon.
Choose from a selection of desserts, including homemade apple strudel, New York style cheesecake with wildberry compote or triple chocolate raspberry mousse torte.
Choose your entree & price (about $20 to $40 per person) from a wide selection, including:
Roast loin of beef with peppercorn reduction
Grilled Atlantic salmon fillet with white wine dill sauce
Duet: Grilled 5 oz. New York striploin and grilled 4 oz. chicken breast with wild mushroom demi-glaze
Duet: Grilled 5 oz. beef tenderloin and grilled skewer of garlic shrimp

Alfred and Heidi Lowrick say that the meal prepared for their son's June wedding was delicious, "The rouladen, schnitzel and banquet accompaniments were done to perfection and served hot and on a timely basis. Everything from the pre-dinner hors d'oeuvres to the midnight lunched was cooked and presented perfectly."

Details, details, details

• Ruth suggests booking Concordia Club for your wedding at least 1 year in advance for popular wedding dates as weekends between April and November fill quickly.
• To book your date on Concordia's calendar, you can pay the $1000 deposit by cheque or credit card.
• You will meet to sign a contract and iron out all of the details (including meal selections and table arrangements) 3 months prior to your wedding.
• 60% of the remaining amount (calculated using the contract details) is due 2 weeks before your wedding, along with confirmed guest numbers, vegetarian requests, etc..
• The remaining balance is due within 30 days of the wedding day.

In other words...

"I wanted to take a moment to thank you personally once again for your role in Nicole and Levent's wedding ceremony and reception this past weekend. Your support, guidance and concern for their wishes meant a lot to them and our families. As well, please pass on a well deserved thanks to all the staff who were part of the evening. So many people commented on the level of service, the personal touches, and last minute accommodations that were given. The hall looked wonderful, the food was fabulous, and the staff were courteous and efficient. Well done!" - Cathy S.

"...Everything was fantastic. The food was outstanding, especially the schnitzel and the cheesecake - WOW... it was like whipped cream!! I understand we have booked for next year, so that tells you how happy we are." - K. F.

"I just wanted to say Steve and I (and our guests) had a great time at our wedding reception. The hall was beautiful, the food was excellent, and the service was amazing. Please pass along a special thank you to all the staff that assisted in the emergency situation we had. Ruth, thank you for helping us to co-ordinate everything. Take care and all the best." - Lynn W.

"What can I say - it was fantastic! I don't know how to thank you for the brilliant job you did for Chantale and Andrew's wedding reception on Saturday. The Concordia Club hall is a beautiful room and many of our guests commented on its character and warmth. We want to say a huge 'thank you' to the staff at the Concordia Club. The servers and bar staff were extremely friendly and polite and they made sure that everyone was happy at all times. A big thanks to the Chef and kitchen staff - the food was incredible and all of our special dietary requests were handled perfectly. Our biggest thanks goes to you, Ruth. I hope that the Club knows what a wonderful asset you are! We couldn't have done it without you. You took care of our last minute panics and changes with ease and I always felt that everything was under control. The whole evening was perfect!" - Maureen

"Thank you for your help in making our wedding day memorable. Concordia Club is a beautiful hall and its wooden floors and ceilings and glowing chandeliers lent themselves with grace to our décor. In fact, we didn't hire a decorator, because we knew very little would be needed to create the warm, happy atmosphere we hoped for (and achieved!) for our ceremony and reception. Our guests were pleased with their food and the attentive service they experienced during dinner and otherwise. We all ate, drank and were merry! Keep up the great work and we know many future couples will be as delighted with Concordia Club for their wedding as we are!" -Mathew & Ryann

"We wish to express our sincere appreciation for the major part you played in making Amy and Daryl's wedding day perfect and memorable. You created an atmosphere that was both elegant and relaxed. You paid every attention to detail! It is abundantly obvious that the Club is maintained with pride and care. And it has such great structural character too. The food was delicious and plentiful. The country style service was pleasant and comfortably enjoyable. The staff was professional and courteous at all times. They were attentive and responsive to all requests. Each one of them impressed us with their considerate manner and sincere hospitality. You directed Amy and Daryl to Lori and Decorating Dreams as decorator and we couldn't have been more pleased with the beauty and elegance of her work. From our fist conversation, Ruth, you were warm and friendly and most accommodating. We have had countless compliments about the meal, the staff and the facility. And so, we thank you for your hard work, your expert advice and your overall dedication to helping to create a perfect day for Amy and Daryl. We are grateful for the genuine, warm welcome you extended to everyone. You have provided us with wonderful memories of a most special day in our lives. Thank you so much." - Tom & Cathy

"The word 'perfect' is an accurate descriptor of how you and your team handled our arrangements. From the initial contact to final account closure, your professionalism and ability to deal with every situation quickly exceeded our expectations. Your judgement and good taste was a terrific asset as we approached the planning of this special occasion. The Concordia Club can be rest assured that their clients are in good hands when they deal with you. You seemingly made things happen throughout our event and we are grateful for your attentiveness and focus to detail." - Alfred & Heidi

To see for yourself

Contact Ruth Rajna at the Concordia Club at 519-745-5617, extension 101, or by email at ruth.rajna@concordiaclub.ca. The Concordia Club is located at 429 Ottawa Street South in Kitchener, near the Homer Watson & Ottawa Street intersection. For a detailed map, click here. You can also visit them at www.concordiaclub.ca for more information on their services and community involvement. Don't forget to tell them you're from The Ring!

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Good to know: Prices are all approximate and are subject to change and verification by authorized staff and management of Concordia Club. Photo 2&6 courtesy of www.adamskytom.com, Photo 10 courtesy of Anne Edgar Photography Please contact Ruth Rajna at 519-745-5617 with any questions or concerns regarding the photos seen above.

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