So you’ve got the ring! Congratulations! Now, it’s time to start planning the most important day of your life. The first step is to book a venue.
As Canada’s Capital, Ottawa provides the perfect cosmopolitan backdrop for a big city wedding. But did you know that Ottawa’s scenic surrounding regions offer wedding settings that are full of country-style warmth and charm? From the city’s downtown core – in all directions – you’ll find idyllic, rustic wedding venues that are sure to make your big day memorable. Also, as these venues are located at a reasonable drive from the downtown area, it’s easy to mix a little bit of city style with an intimate country wedding. Discover some of Ottawa’s fabulous rustic wedding venues below!
CLOSE to the downtown core:
Located at a 40-minute drive north of Ottawa’s downtown core, this new upscale wedding and event venue is set in the scenic and luscious Gatineau Park.
Exuding a rustic but sophisticated charm, Le Belvédère offers a unique ceremony and reception site perched high in the beautiful Gatineau Hills. Here, you’ll find a wood bench ceremony site, small bonfire pits and a state-of-the-art indoor reception area. Imagine getting married here when all of the leaves explode into a rhapsody of fall colours? Wow! The views are spectacular!
Canada Agriculture and Food Museum:
Located at just a short, 10-minute drive from Ottawa’s downtown core, this popular museum is well-versed in all things country!
Here, you’ll find a few unique reception buildings with modern amenities that are perfect for smaller weddings of 80 to 100 people. This venue also offers a scenic, outdoor ceremony location known as ‘The Meadow,’ which comes complete with white cloth-covered hay bales for your guests to sit on. This property also offers the beautiful Ornamental Gardens, which provide a lovely, colour-filled backdrop for summer wedding photos.
Billings Estate National Historic Site:
Located at 2100 Cabot St., about a 15-minute drive south of downtown Ottawa, this unique site provides the perfect setting for a rustic but sophisticated garden-style wedding.
Did you know that this expansive and beautifully landscaped estate is actually the oldest surviving house in Ottawa? It’s true! It was established in the early 1800’s.
Here, you’ll find a beautiful manor that is perfect for the bridal party to get ready in. Additionally, the white exterior of the home provides a lovely backdrop for an intimate garden wedding. There is also a charming white tent to hold your reception in.
SOUTH and EAST of Ottawa:
Located at about a 30-minute drive south of Ottawa in North Gower, Ont., this expansive, year-round venue offers a beautiful rural location with several rustic barns as well as a heritage home to choose from. Though it can accommodate more than one wedding at a time, each separate space is still intimate and relaxing.
Strathmere’s greatest strength is that it’s a one-stop shop. Here, you’ll find in-house, locally-based product catering, lovely event sites and charming overnight accommodation for your guests. Strathmere also recently opened its new Retreat & Spa, which is the perfect place to relax with your bridal party and get ready for your big day. You can even host your rehearsal dinner on the same property, if you wish.
Domaine Perrault Winery:
Located in the area of Prescott-Russell at 1000 Perrault Rd., about a 30-minute drive from downtown Ottawa, this small winery offers a quiet and unique country wedding venue.
Enjoy a charming ceremony site that is surrounded by luscious, rolling green fields and mature, romantic willows. Domaine Perrault offers a little bit of Southern charm in Canada’s Capital. The site also offers a high-roofed white tent for your reception and you can even organize a wine tasting for your guests. The wine here is delicious!
Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm:
Located at 2452 Yorks Corners Rd. in Edwards, Ont., about a 30-minute drive south of Ottawa’s downtown core, this charming sugar bush doubles as a year-round wedding venue.
Like Strathmere, the expansive Stanley’s property offers several beautiful ceremony sites as well as rustic reception buildings and a heritage home. There are also several lovely gardens, which offer beautiful backdrops for summer wedding photos. This property also becomes particularly charming in the fall season, as its many maple trees go from green to vibrant shades of orange, red and yellow.
And if you’ve always dreamed of arriving at your ceremony in a horse-drawn carriage, Stanley’s has you covered. You can even choose between a white or a black carriage!
WEST of Ottawa:
Stonefields Heritage Farm:
Located just outside of Carleton Place, Ont., this country wedding venue is set on the grounds of a 200-year-old heritage farm. Enjoy beautifully manicured grounds, heritage wooden barns, an old farm house as well as various idyllic ceremony sites and a little bonfire area.
And new this year, Stonefields has just put up a white-washed Loft reception barn, complete with luxurious crystal chandeliers and French-style doors. This upscale venue offers a country-chic atmosphere. Stonefields received the 2016 People’s Choice Award for the Best Outdoor Wedding Reception Venue at the Ottawa Wedding Awards.
Completed just last year, this country venue is located at 4960 Country Rd. No 29, just outside of the village of Almonte, Ont., at the childhood home of Dr. James Naismith, the inventor of basketball.
Enjoy rustic, wooden barns with white twinkle lights and chandeliers as well as luxurious outdoor bonfire areas, complete with comfortable couch seating. This charming, upscale wedding venue brings the indoors to the outdoors.
The Herb Garden:
This more rustic venue is also located just outside of the village of Almonte. Here, you’ll find a few air-conditioned areas as well as a big white tent that overlooks rolling green fields. And for dancing? Stroll into its heritage barn that’s complete with a rustic wood floor. A rustic barn and white twinkle lights are this venue’s specialty. The Herb Garden can accommodate intimate weddings of about 80 to 120 people.
Now, these are only a few charming venues to get your wedding plans started. It’s worth noting that not too far from the downtown core you’ll also find Saunders Farm; a rustic wedding venue that will entertain adult and child guests alike. Enjoy a lovely countryside ceremony, charming, rustic reception barns and entertaining features such as expansive hedge mazes and fun bouncing pillows!
For more information on some of these venues and on what there is to see and do in Ottawa, browse Ottawa Tourism’s website.