My Top 5 Ontario Wedding Destinations


 

Drake Devonshire Wedding | beach wedding Ontario

Drake Devonshire Wedding, Photo Courtesy of Cait Lavoie

 

Destination weddings? Honestly? I’m not a fan. Yes, I can see the appeal for the bride and groom, but for your guests? Not so much. Asking family and friends to fly off to an exotic destination that they might otherwise have no interest in visiting is asking a lot. Not to mention the demands on their budgets and precious vacation time. Good News:  there are countless “destinations” close to home that will satisfy your desire to get away, but won’t annoy or bankrupt your guests. Join me on a little road trip as we visit my Top 5 Ontario wedding destinations.

Niagara-on-the-Lake

Why? Ontario’s Napa Valley is often called the prettiest region in the country. Dotted with lush vineyards, bursting with history and boasting more charming venue options per square foot than just about anywhere in the province, it might be the perfect location for your Destination Ontario wedding.

Venue: Ravine Vineyard A bucolic setting amongst 34 acres of vineyards. Delicious farm-to-table cuisine. Dancing under the stars. C’mon. Weddings don’t get much more perfect than this.

Prince Edward County

Why? This island destination mixes a laidback pastoral charm with high sophistication. And it boasts one of the best – OK, possibly THE best – beach in the entire province: Sandbanks. Here’s how travel writer Nikki Ekstein of Travel and Leisure Magazine describes PEC, “Cross Montauk, NY, with California’s Napa Valley circa 1970, and you get Prince Edward County.” The County (as the locals say) has been attracting chefs, artisans and wine makers for years now.

Venue:  The Drake Devonshire  Plan well in advance because The-Drake-on-the-Lake is quite possibly THE hippest venue in the province. The Drake became one of the province’s go-to venues almost from the instant it opened to ecstatic acclaim last summer. Perfect for an intimate, artsy celebration.

Muskoka

Why?  In Ontario, Muskoka is synonymous with summertime. Long the playground of the rich and famous (whoa, was that Kate Hudson I just saw at the LCBO?), Muskoka’s storied past that brings to mind hot hazy days by the lake, cedar strip canoes, and cozy evenings in a rustic cottage.

Venue: Bigwin Island Golf & Country Club Two words: vintage Muskoka. Bigwin Island is inextricably linked to the history of Muskoka, old Toronto money (remember the Eaton family?) and the earliest days of summer resort communities.

Bigwin Island Wedding | Muskoka Wedding

Bigwin Island, Photo Courtesy of K North Photography

Creemore

Why? The village with heart flies a bit under the radar but its reputation and delights are spreading. Creemore is so much more than its namesake brewery. With a thriving food culture, one of the prettiest main streets in Ontario, and an active community of foodies and artisans, Creemore is a short 90-minute drive north of Toronto, but a world away.

Venue: The Barn at Sequel Inn.  This one of the newer barn venues in Southern Ontario and is run with flair by seasoned Toronto caterers/restauranteurs, Lisa  Rutland and her husband, Chef Eric te Boekhorst. Set on 50 beautiful acres, you can exchange vows in a field overlooking the escarpment, enjoy a delicious dinner in the adjacent tent and party ’till the wee hours in their restored barn.

Kingston

Why? I fell in love with Kingston when my daughter was a student at Queen’s University. Nestled on the waterfront – where Lake Ontario meets the St. Lawrence River –  Kingston is the perfect small city. It boasts history, fabulous limestone architecture, and a thriving food scene. Beyond that, it’s a comfortable drive from Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal. Travel Tip:  Kingston has tons of hotels and B&Bs, but our go-to place is the historic Frontenac Club Inn.

Venue: Isabel Bader Centre. Sleek and contemporary, The Lobby provides spectacular views of Lake Ontario

Isabel Bader Centre | Queen's University Wedding | KIngston

The Isabel Bader Centre, Photo Courtesy of Laura Kelly Photography

A Destination Ontario wedding is the best of both worlds: an affordable and convenient option for your family and friends that provides a wonderful experience for you and your guests. Today I’ve introduced you to five unique venues: a vineyard in wine country, a hip artists’ haven in Prince Edward County, a classic Muskoka summer inn, a rustic yet elegant barn venue in Creemore, and a modern art space in historic Kingston. So tuck away that passport; your dream destination wedding might be right here in your backyard.

 

 

2 Responses to “My Top 5 Ontario Wedding Destinations”

  1. Officiant SARAH BUNNETT-GIBSON Says:

    You make it pretty easy for couples to find Ontario ” Destintion ” wedding venues for interesting experiences for their wedding guests . All without the added expense of plane tickets. A great post again !

  2. Christine March Says:

    Thanks Sarah. Always enjoy and appreciate your feedback!

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