The best Muskoka wedding venues for 2018
Knocking your wedding venue off your to-do list marks the official beginning of wedding planning festivities. I shoot weddings all over including the Caribbean, however being a Northern Ontario boy at heart – there’s something special and personal about shooting in Muskoka that feels like home. The woods, rocks and water in this region of Ontario are my favourite props as a wedding photographer.
So to help newly engaged brides, I’ve put together this quick list of the best Muskoka wedding venues that should be on every bride’s must-see list. These are in no particular order.
TRILLIUM RESORT & SPA – Port Sydney, ON
Nestled in the backwoods of Muskoka between Bracebridge and Huntsville you’ll find Trillium Resort. It’s home to 6kms of hiking trails, waterfall, natural rock wall, wood-fired Finnish sauna, outdoor pool & hot tub, tennis court, fitness centre, mountain bikes, canoes, kayaks, peddle boats, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and skating. Trillium has 17 Cottages & Chalets for a total of 23 bedrooms. Your wedding party has exclusive use of the resort for the duration of the wedding. What an experience having everyone on site that whole weekend. I shoot at Trillium often and am always blown away with their grounds, food and team. Robert, Milli and the entire Trillium team are top-shelf!
Pro Tip #1: I highly recommend you and your girls get ready in the spa the morning of your wedding. You can have hair and makeup done there along with putting your dress on etc. The Trillium Spa is beautiful, extremely spacious and has plenty of beautiful photo opportunities.
Pro Tip #2: Trillium is an intimate location with friends and family staying right there with you all weekend. Plan activities to get people socializing Friday night when everyone arrives ie. bonfire, cannonball competition in the pool, boat races etc.
NORTHBROOK FARM – Severn, ON
Built in 1852 and located in Severn Township, just outside of Orillia the country home is surrounded by established perennial gardens, sweeping lawns and water features. Beyond the manicured gardens is a backdrop of country fields and woodlands. If your wedding plans include a church ceremony, Northbrook is the perfect location for your reception and photos to be taken. Contact Laurie at Northbrook, she’s just the sweetest!
MUSKOKA BAY CLUB – Gravenhurst, ON
Gorgeous views of manicured lawns cut right out of the Muskoka hillside! Stay in a stunning, modern yet Muskoka-ish villa, home, or loft located beside the beautiful Doug Carrick designed 18-hole golf course. At the Clifftop Clubhouse you can play and relax – swim at the infinity pool, pamper yourself at the spa, and dine together. Your wedding guests can stay in the on-site villas or the hotels in the town of Gravenhurst just a minute down the road. Lori and her team do an amazing job with their wedding groups – it’s a must-see Muskoka wedding venue. Check out one of my recent weddings at Muskoka Bay Club here.
WINDERMERE HOUSE – Windermere, ON
The Victorian style Windermere House is a historic resort and hotel located in Windermere, Ontario in Muskoka. It’s known as The Lady of the Lakes and was built in 1870 originally as a boarding house, and overlooks Lake Rosseau. The House is a popular place for locals and tourists who visit during the summer months. It hosts cottages, 18-hole golf course, outdoor pool, tennis court, playground, church, marina, and a beach.
SHERWOOD INN – Port Carling, ON
Nestled among towering century-old pines at the very edge of Muskoka’s sparkling Lake Joseph, Sherwood Inn is a unique Muskoka retreat. Sherwood Inn is open for weddings and offers a variety of locations – both inside and out – for the ceremony and reception. As an option, the entire resort can book be booked exclusively for the wedding – turning the celebration into a mini-destination wedding getaway for your friends and family.
Bonus wedding venues to check out in Muskoka
At Arowhon Pines, you’ll find an Muskoka escape with just enough rough edges to be genuinely Canadian yet just enough cozy accommodation to provide the peace, relaxation and comfort you and your wedding guests will love. A small, summer resort nestled inside Algonquin Park, it’s a place where life becomes less complicated. Shaped naturally by the hills, lakes and streams of the surrounding wilderness, here you’ll enjoy simple pleasures- savory, fresh food in a beautifully natural setting and a warm friendly welcome. See a recent wedding of mine from Arowhon Pines here.
JW MARRIOTT – ROSSEAU MUSKOKA RESORT
Set on a granite bluff overlooking tranquil Lake Rosseau is where you’ll find JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa. Only two and a half hours north of Toronto, this exquisite resort offers a luxury retreat experience that sets it apart from ordinary hotel accommodations. Guests can enjoy Muskoka in whatever way suits them best – a swim in the year-round pool, a round of golf even a guided hike under the stars. For wedding receptions, there’s a 6,400 square foot pillar-free ballroom and a seasonal Lakeview Lawn and Rooftop Terrace.
Huntsville’s Deerhurst Resort is located deep in Muskoka along the edge of Algonquin Park. It was one of National Geographic Traveler Magazine’s 2012 “Best of the World” recommended places to visit. Deerhurst offers intimate wedding ceremony options like the beach as well as elegant ballroom receptions. The resort boasts a wide range of activities for your guests like golf , boating, treetop treks, horseback riding, skiing, sleigh rides, skating and dog-sledding. There’s plenty of room for all of your guests to stay right there with you at the resort. Here are a few shots from a recent wedding at Deerhurst.
Tip: Leave extra time for photos, this is a very large resort so allow time for moving about.
by Vaughn Barry – Let’s Connect on…