If huge guest lists for big city reception halls and sleepless nights of juggling table plans seem a little daunting, step back for a minute and consider escaping for an Intimate Outdoor Wedding Weekend in the Ontario Countryside. Just a short drive up the Lake Ontario coast from Toronto, we've found a cozy little nook that's just perfect for a special open-air wedding ceremony with your family and closest friends.
Intimate Outdoor Wedding Location, Ontario
Innkeepers, Lynn and Randy Morrison, started Bowmanville's Willowpond Country Bed & Breakfast back in 2002. Since then, this gorgeous 50 acre country estate has matured into an inviting Weekend Wedding Getaway location. And being only an hour from Toronto makes it very accessible too, even as a day trip for guests of the wedding ceremony and reception.
Wedding Escapes generally begin on Friday evening shortly after the Wedding Party arrives. Take advantage of the complimentary rehearsal ceremony and rehearsal dinner because you can never be too prepared. Also, this gives you a chance to settle the nerves before the big day and relax in the outdoor setting before its crowded with wedding guests.
The Guest Room at Willowpond Country B&B
Elegant decor and warm light make the Pine Suite perfect for your first evening at the B&B while the Groom is 'banished' to the Oak Suite. Along with the Guest Room, which is generally reserved for out-of-town visitors all 3 Suites can be reserved for you and your guests so that the wedding party is separated until breakfast on Saturday morning.
When you're considering the size and scope of the day, the 'Elopement' package is ideal for an intimate ceremony. But being a comfortable day trip from Toronto, you might get more RSVPs than you bargained for. So just remember that the B&B specialises in a variety of Wedding Packages and can comfortably accommodate anywhere up to 120 guests for the reception. So there's no need to uninvite anyone just yet.
The surrounding gardens, perfect for Wedding Photos
The surrounding gardens are a picture-perfect setting for wedding photography. When the light softens, quiet spots along the many walking trails offer some great photo ops. As do the Grandmother Willow tress, twisting creeks and lush vegetation. Ask your photographer to scout out some hidden gems so that you're guaranteed memorable shots when the sun starts to set.
The Gazebo stands on a picturesque green field overlooking willowpond itself. It's a very tranquil spot and the romantic atmosphere of the surrounding gardens is perfect for vows. To make the best use of this outdoor space, talk to one of Willowpond's Wedding Co-ordinators. They can show you how best to use the many decor alternatives at the ceremony and the reception to get the mood just right.
Willowpond's Reception Venue, the Garden Pavillion
The B&B easily seats your 120 ceremony guests for reception dinner. But if the guest list starts to swell closer to the date consider changing to a cocktail-styled evening which can allow for up to 150 people. Both options are available and the menu is very flexible to accommodate. Just don't wait too long to decide.
Furniture, decor and chair rentals can all be arranged through Willowpond. Monthly booking specials may even mean that one is complimentary! To find out which, contact the B&B well ahead of time. DJs, performers and Custom Designed Wedding Cakes are also available so unless you have your heart set on something there's no need to go off-site for any of the wedding essentials.
First dance under Willowpond's Outdoor Pavillion
Willowpond also serves as the perfect location for newlyweds to stay-on after the reception and enjoy the gardens, perhaps before or as part of the Honeymoon. The estate has some great walks and relaxing spots to de-stress after the ceremony, or recover after the festive reception. Sunday brunch is also included as part of the package. But if you're still hooked on the estate you should consider staying on for the honeymoon too, check with Lynn and Randy and see about seasonal availability.
A market guide to the Top B&B Wedding and Honeymoon locations in Ontario is currently being researched so check back soon for more great alternatives to big city wedding venues. Or check out out complete list of ceremony and reception locations in Greater Toronto.