Timber House Resort Ontario

The Harsh Realities of Wedding Planning

It’s been some time since I last updated you about my wedding! And since getting engaged to my love last October, a lot has happened in my life! I’ve been so busy with work, blogging and events that I’ve neglected wedding planning quite a bit. However, when I started getting really serious about finding a venue during April and May, I was suddenly faced with a few harsh truths: budget, and demand.

In spring this year, my fiancee Corey and I got the unexpected news that we’ll be moving to Manitoba in mid-July. He’s a search and rescue helicopter pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force, and having lived together since 2011 meant that we know ‘being posted’ and frequent moves are part of the deal. But we didn’t expect it to happen this year! With our wedding on the horizon, we both knew that this would be a hurdle.

Especially since my fiancee grew up in Nova Scotia, and I grew up here in Ontario. So we always knew that we wanted to get married in the eastern part of Canada. But when I started researching venues in my hometown of Ottawa and near where we live now, in Quinte West, I was shocked not only at how much venues cost, but how some were filling up for the entire 2018 wedding season 12 to 15 months out!

The Perfect Venue

As you can probably tell from the name of my blog, I already had an aesthetic vision of our wedding in mind that we’d discussed, and I’ve been pretty stubborn about keeping to that vision (ummm….that doesn’t make me a bridezilla, does it?). So with all these considerations, and because there are only a handful of sustainable venues in Ontario, I have to admit that sustainability was not one of my top considerations when choosing a venue.

Luckily, we did manage to find one that fulfilled all of our requirements. After researching dozens of venues and looking at over 10 in person, we’ve decided to get married next summer at a lakeside resort in Ontario!

It’s a gorgeous resort venue that does offer some sustainable options such as a vegan or vegetarian meal for any of our guests who want it. They also have room enough for our wedding party and both immediate families to stay the night, and allergy considerations for our families. I’m also happy to book a venue that’s a small, local business rather than an international hotel chain conglomerate.

In terms of aesthetics, this is exactly the type of venue we were looking for: something that is rustic, yet elegant. We didn’t want an overly formal feel, and we wanted our guests to feel comfortable – like a suited up outdoor party or a weekend at a cottage in formal wear. For me, it’s all about this ‘organic glam’ style that I’ve been obsessed with lately: exposed wood beams and Edison bulbs, woodsy details with chandeliers.

It’s also an all-in-one venue: we can have our ceremony outdoors beneath one of two different arches, against a backdrop of lush Ontario woods. Then there’s an indoor space perfect for our cocktail hour and dance floor, and a ‘glam tent’ for the dinner. And best of all, the venue is right on the waters of Lake Ontario, which will make for some amazing photos and give my fiancee that water element that reminds him of home.

It’s going to be somewhat logistically tough to fly back here for our wedding, but having seen this venue, it’s definitely going to be worth it. And bonus! It’s exactly within our budget.

Sustainable Details

Of course, now that the venue and date are finally pinned down, there are a million other details that I’ll have to think about, research and take care of over the next 12 months. And as of today, my biggest concerns are the dress and the decor. Both are elements that I want to go sustainable with. So with that in mind, hold on to your hats! This sustainable wedding series will include posts such:

  • How to find the perfect wedding dress, sustainably
  • How to DIY eco-friendly wedding decor
  • Sustainable wedding stationary and where to find it
  • Green beauty for the big day

My hope is that, whether you’re planning a wedding now or in the future, you’ll be able to use these posts as resources to help out and show you that you can have a wedding of your dreams that’s also ethical and sustainable. And if you want to follow along with all my inspiration and research, definitely check out my Wedding Ideas Pinterest Board (which may or may not have been on private until my engagement 😛 ).

Wedding Ideas

Are you planning a wedding this year? What details have you had a challenge with so far? I’d love to swap notes in the comments section!