Photo: Martin Reisch / Unsplash
Guest Contributor Yana Yagupolsky takes a look at some of the best places in cottage country to elope to or to host a luxurious Muskoka micro wedding
The famous Canadian lake region of Muskoka has seen an immense increase in popularity of weddings, specifically elopements and micro weddings.
Practical matters aside, it is now trendy for couples to enjoy a very intimate wedding day or simply elope to cottage country. However, make no mistake, these are not simple and inconsequential ways of tying the knot. Elopements and micro weddings can be extremely luxurious and extravagant, fully bespoke, and perfectly tailored to the happy couple. In other words, a dream wedding!
Eloping or saying “I do” in an intimate wedding ceremony is a luxury on its own, as it allows the happy couple to do everything on their own terms and really make the day only about them and their love for each other.
According to Canadian Google Search Trends, the number of searches for ‘micro weddings’ have increased by 800 per cent since 2020. No wonder that the Muskoka District has seen an increased number of wedding planners, photographers, DJs, and other vendors ready to serve this ever-growing segment. Micro weddings might be here to stay, as of mid-2022 the search trends continue.
Micro Weddings are Trending in Canada… and Muskoka
Nothing says luxury like Muskoka, and therefore it is not surprising that some of the best elopement and intimate wedding venues are located in this magical lake region of Ontario. Muskoka’s natural beauty is unparalleled and provides an amazing elopement and intimate wedding backdrop from the start.
Cottage country has more than a thousand beautiful lakes, remarkable sunsets, enchanting forests, and mesmerizing waterfalls. Moreover, Muskoka is breathtaking in every season: think ice queen bride in the winter or the juxtaposition of the gorgeous amber and gold foliage of Fall with a crisp white wedding dress.
Coupled with its natural beauty, Muskoka also boasts world class hotels, luxurious waterfront homes and cottages, elegant spas, great restaurants, and so much more. It has been called the ‘Hamptons of the North’ and really is a luxury lovers paradise.
The possibilities for fun things to do in Muskoka are endless. Antique boats, boho chick canoes, state of the art speed boats, and helicopter rides can all be easily incorporated into an elopement or micro wedding celebration, making it extra stylish, luxurious, and special.
How To Plan a Muskoka Wedding
One of the many advantages of planning an elopement or a micro wedding over a traditional wedding is the shorter time frame needed to bring the event to life. With focus, a vision, and the right people to assist, it can be done in as little as six weeks.
Just as with any wedding, planning an elopement or micro wedding starts with setting the date, finding a wedding planner, and deciding on a venue. The difference is that the choices are endless and unique – have the ceremony in front of a beautiful waterfall followed by an intimate sunset dinner on the beach.
Since Muskoka already has an established wedding infrastructure, a quick Google search will yield many results for all wedding services and vendors available to make any vision a reality. Muskoka has a plethora of great local wedding planners, photographers, officiants, florists, hairstylists & makeup artists, dress makers, caterers, and more.
In addition, the wedding venue chosen by the couple will have great vendor recommendations based on their past experiences. However, a pro-tip is that the best vendors get booked quickly, so make sure to secure them as soon as you have reserved the venue.
Muskoka’s Perfect Venues for Elopements and Micro Weddings
To help you, here’s a curated list of some of the most elegant and unique venues to consider when planning an elopement or a micro wedding in Muskoka.
Muskoka Cottage, Lake Vernon
This private luxury cottage located on the shores of beautiful Lake Vernon tis perfect for elopements and small cottage weddings and is magnificent inside and out. The living room features three-story cathedral ceilings, custom wooden beams, a grand chandelier, fireplace, and spectacular views of Lake Vernon.
The jewel of the property is a custom crafted stone patio with unobstructed lake views, and the large dock provides a perfect setting for sunset viewing. This luxury rental has all the features for a quintessential Muskoka elopement.
Additional information and booking details of this luxury Muskoka cottage can be found at muskokacottage.com.
The Rockpine, Skeleton Lake
The cozy and stylish Rockpine property is available for rent on Airbnb and specializes in hosting dreamy elopements, small cottage weddings, and micro weddings.
It is located in Utterson on the shores of Skeleton Lake, one of the most beautiful lakes in Muskoka, and offers a very private and intimate setting.
Learn more about The Rockpine here.
Water’s Edge, Utterson
Water’s Edge is a gorgeous waterfront luxury “treehouse” property that’s also available for rent on Airbnb.
The setting is very romantic, and the property has many great features such as an outdoor fireplace and hot tub. This location is perfect for an elopement or a small cottage wedding.
Check them out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thewatersedgecottage/.
Muskoka Soul, Gravenhurst
This property in Gravenhurst has two lakefront cottages surrounded by beautiful forest making it a great venue choice for an intimate wedding, a cottage wedding, or an elopement.
Learn more about this luxury Muskoka property at muskokasoul.com.
Northridge Inn & Resort, Lake Bernard
This hotel in Sundridge, just north of Huntsville, is located on Lake Bernard and has an effortless cool vibe about it, and the variety of accommodations it offers reflect that.
The hotel specializes in hosting elopements and micro weddings and has the expertise to make sure the day is a success.
Reviews, Rates, & Reservations: Check out Northridge Inn & Resort for the latest reviews, rates, and reservation details.
Sherwood Inn, Lake Joseph
This classy boutique hotel located on the shores of coveted Lake Joseph is a popular wedding venue. They do, however, offer customizable elopement and micro wedding packages.
Reviews, Rates, & Reservations: Check out our affiliate partner for the latest reviews and rates for Sherwood Inn.
Luxury Muskoka Honeymoons
If you are not planning a wedding in Muskoka, there is always the possibility of a Muskoka honeymoon! In a recent survey by travel website Expedia, 86 per cent of honeymoon plans were postponed or impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey polled 2,000 Canadian couples. After being cooped up indoors, why not enjoy an activity filled honeymoon?
Muskoka honeymooners will quickly realize that the beautiful lake region has dozens of luxurious venues offering honeymoon packages and a plethora of activities such as boat rides, spa packages, yoga retreats, watersports, horseback riding, tree top trekking, hiking, helicopter tours, and much more.
Muskoka offers an abundance of choices for planning the most unforgettable elopement or micro wedding. Let your imagination run wild, make Muskoka your wedding destination, and it will surely surpass all your expectations.
Guest Contributor Yana Yagupolsky is a writer for muskokacottage.com and a lover of travel and design. Muskoka is one of her favourite places in the world, and she is passionate about sharing everything it has to offer with others.
The Top Things To Do in Muskoka at Christmas include Santa’s Village and a Muskoka Heritage Place Train Ride
Ah, those amazing Muskoka Fall colours! Guest Contributor Yana Yagupolsky shares her list of the best things to do in Huntsville this Fall
Contributor Kim Kerr puts on her boogie shoes in readiness for the stunning Bee Gees Now in Orillia at the Opera House this September 10th
Bryan Dearsley takes a look at the 2022 Muskoka Music Festival and the event’s much anticipated return to cottage country
Contributor Kim Kerr shares exciting news of the much-anticipated return of the Dockside Festival of the Arts in Gravenhurst