Ontario is home to some of the most beautiful cottage country in the world. Whether you call the Muskokas, Thousand Islands, Bruce Peninsula, or even Peele Island your home-away-from-home, you will know the beauty and wonder that cottaging in Canada offers. It is no wonder that people want to say “I do” in cottage country. If you’re going to be having a big, beautiful cottage wedding, here are some of our favourite must-haves to make the day extra special.
Leave No Trace
When you’re hosting your wedding in cottage country, you want to be mindful of preserving the beauty around you. So, what are you to do if you want a confetti toss? Tossing birdseed may accidentally introduce a non-native plant species to the area. Tossing rice, while biodegradable and not dangerous for birds (the grain does not hurt their tummies), is a slip and fall hazard after it is tossed.
What you can do is toss dried flower petals. Many companies sell small flower petals that are seed free and safe to use as confetti. These can be handed out in paper envelopes or cones to make sure that if anything does get left behind, it is biodegradable and safe for the environment.
Nothing says cottage country like roasting marshmallows over an open fire especially when it’s for s’mores! Instead of a sit-down dessert, you need to set up a smores bar for a real cottage experience. Have a variety of graham cracker and cookies available, different chocolates, toppings, and all sorts of ooey-gooey marshmallows for your guests to roast over a fire and enjoy!
Your Very Own Star
One of the best parts about being up in cottage country is getting to go out and stargaze. Most people who live in the city know that you’re lucky to spot Orion’s belt on any given night thanks to light pollution. When you get married, a beautiful thing you can do to commemorate the day is to name a star after your shared last name, your wedding date, or something important to the two of you. Make sure the star you purchased is viewable from the cottage and set up a telescope both to stargaze with and so that you can see your star shining bright.
Most cottages have a canoe or two kicking around. Line a canoe with a waterproof tarp and fill it with ice and your choice of beverages. It is a fun way to display drinks, keep your guests hydrated under the summer sun, and stay within the cottage theme.
Keep It Local
One of the things that make your cottage magical is the community that lives there year-round. These are the business owners who you frequent and befriend and who make your cottage town the place it is. When you’re planning a cottage wedding, use local vendors instead of schlepping everyone and everything up to the country. We know there has to be a local artisan in your cottage town who can create fabulous wedding favours just for you! From bakeries to breweries to olive oil companies, every small cottage town has something special you can use.
Canada in the summer can get a bit hot and humid. If your guests will be hanging around outside then a great way to keep everyone cool is to have freezies on hand. A summer staple, these nostalgic treats will be fun for guests of all ages! You can even get some alcoholic freezies (DIY or store bought) for your adult guests to enjoy.
Anyone who has survived a Canadian summer knows that bugs can threaten to ruin a good time. We highly recommend including bug spray in welcome bags for your guests or having bug spray available throughout the day for your guests to use. No one wants a good time ruined with mosquito and black fly bites, or for those bites to feature in your wedding photos!
Break out the oversized Jenga and lawn tic tac toe. There are a ton of fun games that you can set up for you and your guests on your wedding day. Whether you play cornhole, bocce ball, or horseshoes, everyone will have a blast, and you will be able to create some great photo ops. Many of these games can be DIY’d if you don’t have them on hand. To make a giant Jenga set, you only need 54 pieces of cut 2x4s!
We hope that you enjoy your beautiful cottage wedding and incorporate a few of these things into your big day.