The sun is shining, the gentle breeze is cutting the heat, and the soft waves are colliding against the shoreline behind you. This is it, the perfect spot to start a new beginning, a perfect spot to get married. Many people seek out the amazing backdrops of Ontario Parks to create unforgettable memories built upon laughter and smiles with family and friends while experiencing nature through camping, hiking, swimming, etc. So, why not have that perfect backdrop for one of the most important days of your life?
Michele & Tyson’s Story
‘On June 24th, 2013, we got married at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, exactly 17 years from the day we started dating at our grade 8 graduation dance. Our ceremony took place at the peak of the “Top of the Giant” trail overlooking Lake Superior.
A formal wedding was not something either of us ever pictured for ourselves…Tyson envisioned more of a “Braveheart” type of wedding away from prying eyes, minus the unfortunate ending lol. We wanted something simple, intimate, and outdoors. One of our first places as a couple was just a short walk to Hillcrest Park, in Thunder Bay, which has an amazing view of Lake Superior and the Sleeping Giant, and we realized it could be the perfect location for our wedding day.
We decided to take two close friends and were lucky enough to find a minister willing to make the trek to the top…we were keen on getting our $500 worth out of him (after the 20 +km hike).
It turned out to be a perfect sunny day, although very windy at the top of the trail!
We had an amazing day at the park, from the hike, to the ceremony, gourmet picnics, and the fire at Tee Harbour ….it was definitely a full day of adventure that we will both never forget!’ (Tyson and Michele Kan)
This is just one of the many happy beginnings we have seen in Ontario Parks. Here are a few more suggestions to consider:
Algonquin Provincial Park
There is no denying the amazing beauty of Algonquin Provincial Park; the same is true for this amazing wedding venue! The East Beach Picnic Pavilion fits 110 people and is equipped with two stone fireplaces, kitchen prep areas, heat and running water. Imagine saying ‘I do’ on the shores of Lake of Two Rivers. In addition to the East Bach Picnic Pavilion, Algonquin’s Outdoor Theatre is also available for the ceremony. This outdoor theatre may seat up to 500 people and has ample parking.
Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park
The overwhelming view of Kakabeka Falls, second highest to Niagara Falls, is a view that takes your breath away; imagine saying your vows in an intimate wedding on the platform overlooking this amazing view. If your taste requires a larger setting, there is also an amphitheatre near the falls. To see the falls in full action, make sure you check out the ‘Cool Things in Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park’ video.
Esker Lakes Provincial Park
Esker Lakes Provincial Park provides an amazing location for your nuptials, which allows for restricted access on Panagapa Lake. This day use area allows you to have access to your own private beach, with a gorgeous background of lush green trees and the beautiful Panagapa Lake. There is also a sheltered picnic pavilion and canopy tent available for rent. Esker Lakes also has a great plan B if the sunshine fades! Their Visitor Centre is also available.
Sandbanks Provincial Park
Along the limestone cliffs between Outlet and Sandbanks Beach is where people used to gather to dance around the terrazzo dance floor, play a friendly game of tennis or come relax at the Lakeshore Lodge. Although, only remains are left of this booming past, it is a perfect spot to recreate that atmosphere. The shady trees and cool breezes along the shores of Lake Ontario make Sandbanks Provincial Park a great wedding location.
Windy Lake Provincial Park
Windy Lake Provincial Park provides two different areas perfect for weddings, both offer a backdrop of grassy rolling hills and waterfront, and is only a short drive from Sudbury. With restricted access and ample parking you are able to choose from a quaint charming wedding to a grand romantic event. Both locations also offer a picnic shelter, a private sandy beach with swimming area and a fire pit.
Those are just some of the amazing options for getting married in Ontario Parks! But why stop there; are you proposing this Valentine’s Day? Why not find the picture-perfect proposal spot?
Kayla & David’s Story
‘I first started visiting Ontario Parks when I was four years old. Presqu’ile has always been my favourite; a place I looked forward to visiting every summer. When I grew older I had the privilege of working at Presqu’ile as a part of my many years as a summer student for Ontario Parks, and my love only grew as I discovered more, especially the lighthouse and its history. When I met David our first conversations were all about my love for Parks and the beauty of Ontario, especially Presqu’ile and the lighthouse. To have my proposal and wedding take place in a location so full of happy moments for myself and many others means that I can now share this wonderful spot with someone who means just as much to me.’ (Kayla Alexandropoulos)
‘When I was thinking of where to ask the biggest question of my life, I had only one place in mind to propose, it had to be there of that I was certain. One of the earliest things that came up when we started dating were the summers she spent working in the provincial parks of Ontario. I knew it was only a matter of time before I see the beauty with my own eyes. My heart pounding I got down of one knee in the shadow of the lighthouse at Presqu’ile Park in early August this year. A secret right up until the last minute, the only people that knew were my own parents, Kayla’s found out the night before. Happily she said yes. As I write this from our home in England, we are planning our nuptials to be in the same location. I know whatever the weather; Presqu’ile Provincial Park will look its best.’ (David Andrews)
Planning your weddings in Ontario Parks
As you have read, a number of Ontario Parks have the perfect setting and facilities to accommodate weddings. To inquire about opportunities for your dream wedding call the individual park directly.