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New matrimonial traditions continue to make Muskoka region the perfect place for your perfect day

A natural

wedding d e s t i n at i o n By KIM GOGGINS

T

raditionally, when people thought of destination weddings their minds would wander to tropical locales, palm trees and tranquil blue-green oceanscapes, but granite cliffs, towering pines, sun dancing on pristine lakes and yes, even crisp snow may just be taking over as backdrops to the perfect wedding getaway. “Many people from out of town, out of the country, east coast, west coast they want to come in and get married here,” says Holly Carney, owner of Holly Matrimony Wedding Coordination. “The scenery is obviously fantastic. If they’re choosing to come with us and do something cool, it’s because of the surroundings. A lot of that is the nature component.” Leah Leslie, director of sales and marketing at JW Marriott The Rosseau Resort & Spa agrees and says she is seeing a tendency for couples to extend their celebration over the course of a weekend so their guests feel as if they have gotten away, not just attended a wedding. “With a destination wedding you’re really thinking about how your guests are occupying and enjoying their time. It’s so much fun in the winter, just to go outdoors and skate. We had one wedding where the couple actually arranged a hockey game,” she notes, adding that winter in Muskoka can provide the most picturesque scenery. “We’ve had so many outdoor ceremonies. Everybody just bundles up and goes outside. It’s gorgeous. It sparkles … and there’s something about the outdoors in the winter that is quieter. The snow softens the sounds outdoors and that makes it seem so intimate when you’re outside for the ceremony.” She adds that more and more couples want 136 Wedding trends 2017

their guests to have a learning experience through the planned activities. “It’s all about a curated experience that’s facilitated by an expert and that’s a trend. What we’re seeing is that they want us to enrich their experience in some way that they can’t do themselves.” With so much to enjoy, it’s not surprising that many couples are ditching the impersonal city hall ceremony to elope to Muskoka for only a few more dollars. Carney says she is seeing a tendency towards eloping and adds her company’s campaign, “Forget city hall; elope in Muskoka” has really taken off because people want meaningful moments without the stress of planning a full wedding. “Why get married at city hall when for the same price or just a few dollars more you can get married on a rock face overlooking Lake Bernard or you can be in a canoe in the middle of a lake or in a cranberry marsh?” she enthuses. “There’s so many options for people to come up here as a small group and take advantage of the scenery and the restaurants up here.” Secret weddings also seem to be an emerging trend and not just for the rich and famous. Bringing friends together under the suggestion of a birthday or other nonwedding celebration adds an element of surprise that Carney often captures on a GoPro camera for her clients to enjoy later. The venues are getting more unique, as well. According to Cathy Dracup, owner of Pure Elegance Wedding & Event Décor, heritage centres and museums throughout Muskoka are becoming popular and offer an intimate setting. Whether the ceremony is at an iconic Muskoka landmark, world-class resort or

“The scenery is obviously fantastic. If they’re choosing to come with us and do something cool, it’s because of the surroundings.” family cottage, with 10 friends or 200, many couples are also looking at more casual dining options to allow guests to mingle. “Food elements range from fine dining, cook outs to food stations,” says Dracup. Food stations are a popular option for a nontraditional event reception and can consist of a variety of entrées, salads, a main course and even a dessert bar.” When it comes to dining, people are also seeking out local and organic food sources to share with their guests. “If we do our menus on a chalkboard, we really celebrate every aspect of that meal,” says Carney. “So, if the cranberries came from a local cranberry marsh or if the trout is from a local trout farm, we are making sure those details are in.” No matter what the trends of the day are, Muskoka is always a sought-after destination for weddings. What makes each celebration unique is how the personalities of the bride and groom are incorporated into the natural beauty of the area.

Profile for GoodLife Magazine - Simcoe County

Wedding Trends 2017  

Wedding Trends is a magazine published once a year featuring local weddings and resources as well as a 9 page planner to help future brides...

Wedding Trends 2017  

Wedding Trends is a magazine published once a year featuring local weddings and resources as well as a 9 page planner to help future brides...

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