Whenever I start chatting with couples about their wedding day plans, my first questions are usually about the date and the venue! Your venue is usually the very first thing you book in order to start checking the boxes on your planning list. Additionally your wedding venue plays a MASSIVE role in the overall feel, look and experience of your wedding day. It’s important to choose a venue that aesthetically matches the look you want for your wedding day(It’s really hard to create light and airy images if you choose a dark and moody venue like a bar or banquet hall without windows).
More importantly than aesthetics, the venue you choose plays a key role in how much additional work you have to put into your wedding day. Also, choosing a generic banquet hall may be less expensive at the outset, but will require a lot more time and money in finding caterers, bar service, decor and tablescape rentals and anything else you may need. You may also need to find additional accommodations for getting ready etc. Additionally, if it makes sense in your budget, choosing a more specialized wedding venue that provides everything you need right there may make your life much easier on the planning side of things.
Now I will say, of all the venues in the area I have photographed, the one I shoot at most often are actually private farm properties, so keep your eye out til the end for a few key tips about planning a wedding on your farm property! Full disclosure; private farm weddings do require the most amount of planning, but can also be the most meaningful!
If you love all things eclectic and vintage then this is the spot for you!
Willow and Ren is a private farm venue with an amazing bank barn, outdoor eating area and tent space. They have the cutest little vintage Bridal Suite Trailer, a stunning ceremony space beneath the willows and acres of green space for photography. They also offer all kinds of decor and tablescape rentals and the team at Willow and Ren always go above and beyond to make sure their guests are well taken care of. Any catering and serving staff will need to be outsourced for this venue, however they do provide bar services. If the visual aesthetic of your day is a priority then this is the spot for you!
If you are looking for a classic tent wedding venue that has an outdoor ceremony space with character then look no further than the Hanover Special Events Centre. This space has a gorgeous drystack stone barn as the backdrop to your ceremony. It also has a huge tent for your reception and multiple indoor spaces for getting ready. Not to mention the absolutely massive grounds for portraits throughout the property! You can bring in the caterer of your choice and use the bar service provided. Every part of this special space is wonderful, but the attention to detail throughout the gardens has to be my favourite!
Located in the heart of Brussels, this classic looking worn wood barn venue has everything you need for your farm wedding off the farm. With a separate interior ceremony and reception space as well as a large lower level for cocktail hour, this barn is a perfect option for any season. This Barn venue will really give your wedding that rustic vibe. It has warm yellow beams, iconic incandescent lighting and stone work. Although this venue has limited green space on it’s own property, it more than makes up for it with the grandness of the barn and stone work in the courtyard.
There is also a park along the river walking distance from the venue that can be used for photography. This venue does not provide it’s own caterer. They have a fantastic list of preferred caterers to choose from and they do provide gorgeous harvest tables and tableware. There is space on the lower level to get ready, or alternatively there is a rentable suite of rooms next door that can be used for getting ready at an additional cost.
Located just down the road from Brussels, Maple Lane Haven offers a slightly more modern barn vibe in their venue. With a gorgeous reception room inside and a beautiful pergola outside for ceremonies. This space offers a beautiful variety for outdoor portraits; including green space, stone work and a water feature. One of my favourite parts of this venue is the second story balcony. It’s covered portions give us the perfect rainy weather backup location. This venue is a one stop shop, including catering and bar service as well as all the needed tableware. This venue provides getting ready areas for everyone.
If you are looking to celebrate your wedding day with only your nearest and dearest, the Kincardine Rock Garden overlooking the beautiful Lake Huron is a perfect location. Say I do with the shores of our beautiful great lake as your backdrop. This spot is a ceremony location only and is perfect for groups of less than 60. There are tons of perfect photo locations along the beach nearby and Kincardine is full of lovely restaurants to choose from for celebrating afterwards.
Ok I promised I would come back to this! You want your wedding to be an incredible experience for both yourself and your guests. Here are my top 5 tips to have at your farm wedding:
Decor and Tablescape rentals are number one! If you are choosing to have your wedding at your farm, I strongly recommend some major rentals. You are going to need tables, chairs, linens tableware, barware, a dance floor, decor etc. The list goes on and on.
My fave places for rentals are:
Even if you are doing an open bar, for the safety of your guests, as well as to create a higher end feel, I recommend hiring a bar service. My fave bar services are Lemon and Lace Bartending and The Brew Barrel Mobile Bars.
My next tip is find caterers who bring everything already done. So, what I mean by this, is that caterers are required to do the food preparation in a commercial kitchen. So unless your farm has a commercial kitchen, you will need to find a caterer who doesn’t need to do their prep work on site, but rather brings it prepared. My fave caterers who can do this are T&M Barbecue and Country Style BBQ and Catering.
Additional Bonus tip: High End Portable Toilet Trailers. I don’t think this needs much explanation….
As always, I hope I was helpful in answering all your questions! Feel free to leave any comments if you have more questions about wedding albums! Thanks and enjoy your planning!