Jeanette Curnew, the resort’s owner, notes that with twenty-five on-site classic Muskoka cottages, bridal couples and their guests often stay on to enjoy the resort’s activities and the numerous attractions in the area. At The Briars on Lake Simcoe, brides and grooms can find rustic elegance in venues like the Summer House which is totally private from the rest of the resort and near the Wedding Lodge accommodations which has space for rehearsal dinners, after-wedding parties and even facilities for bonfires! Other options here for taking your vows are the Great Hall in the Main Inn, a garden overlooking sparkling Lake Simcoe or a nearby historic stone church. Alexis Hope, Catering Manager, notes that weddings in every season are memorable. “A recent winter wedding started with organized activities, including cross country ski and snow shoe clinics, followed by a buffet lunch and then afternoon team events of snow golf and snow broomball. An open fire pit provided a cozy setting for hot chocolate and mulled cider treats. The wedding ceremony took place the next day followed by cocktails and dinner.” Canada”, you will find Benmiller Inn & Spa, a short distance inland from the shores of Lake Huron. Winding country lanes lead to a 19th century hamlet where the buildings of the Inn, including an historic Woollen Mill, are located in a wooded setting by babbling Sharpe’s Creek. Couples marrying in winter usually choose a ceremony location near the fireplace, but Lori Carter, the Inn’s Sales Manager remembers “a Valentine’s Day wedding when a couple chose to get married outside in the snow beside the creek”. Whatever the season, members of the Inn staff pride themselves on customizing everything to each couple’s tastes and on their gourmet regional cuisine. BRIDE & GROOM: Moira & Brad PHOTO: BRIDE & GROOM: Crystal & Chris Pratt VENUE: Patterson-Kaye Lodge PHOTO: Liisa Sefton Images | NO RUN OF-THE-MILL WEDDINGS Ontario is blessed to have several historic mills for scenic and unique destination weddings. Many of these locations ensure a wedding is as stress-free as possible by offering many professional services in-house and sourcing other service suppliers to come to the site. Some mills are known for their sophisticated options, including fine dining using local ingredients; the mills offer elegance in a rural setting. Located in its namesake village near Hamilton, Ancaster Mill has been a favourite destination for couples for more than 30 years. Historic buildings, waterfalls and gardens provide wonderful photo op sites; an outdoor chapel is a charming setting for the ceremony. General Manager Kevin Marshall notes that because Ancaster Mill “is a restaurant first, that happens also to host special occasions like weddings, it focuses strongly on food quality”. In this peaceful and romantic setting, couples can make special dreams come true, such as the groom arriving for the ceremony on horseback or couples departing in a horsedrawn carriage. At one winter wedding guests enjoyed chestnuts roasting over an open fire. Near Goderich, a place that Queen Victoria once called “the prettiest town in ORCHARDS AND WINERIES, NIAGARA-STYLE If you could channel the spirit of Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother, Jerome, you could discover why he and his bride chose Niagara for their honeymoon destination. It took time, effort and courage to journey across the Atlantic from France; the voyage portion alone took more than a month in the early 1800s. After reaching New Orleans, the newlyweds traveled by stage to Niagara Falls. Today’s bridal couples can enjoy a destination wedding experience in under two hours from Toronto, yet light-years away from the urban settings of a metropolis. Savvy brides recognize that the appeal of a wine-country wedding isn’t limited to places in Italy or France. Outdoor ceremonies and receptions that pair fine dining with VQA wines are a draw for foodies and oenophiles alike. BRIDE & GROOM: Nicole & Dan PHOTO: Wedding Essentials 2013 107