Story by TheWeddingRing.ca with reviewed experts in The Ring
The cities, villages, lakes and countryside of Southwestern Ontario are home to some of Canada’s most gorgeous events – especially weddings. Even with the growing popularity of destination weddings, for many couples, a home grown wedding is the only way to truly celebrate the beginning of a new life together. It’s where they grew up, fell in love and plan to settle down.
The history of Guelph and Cambridge, the scenic and surrounding countryside of London, the growing, modern areas of Kitchener-Waterloo and Brantford, and of course, Hamilton’s proximity to the escarpment, all come together to prove that Southwestern Ontario couples don’t have to look far for an incredible wedding day backdrop.
Guelph attracts a lot of people each year to attend the University of Guelph or the Ontario Veterinary College, according to Kurt Brown from Two Tone Studios. “After graduation, many students may venture to other cities and communities; but Guelph always seems to be a home away from home.”
If school is where the couple met, then Guelph certainly played a huge role in their relationship and their lives. Kurt says he has taken photos on a wall where the couple first kissed, and in the hall where they first set eyes on each other. “I have even taken photos at the Sculpture Garden at McDonald Steward Art Center because this is where the couple used to have lunch and hang out between classes.”
Cambridge is known for its historical architecture. Angela Kafadar of Willow Creek Studios suggests some unique areas in Cambridge, like Mill Race, Blair Village, Queens Square Canon, The Old Post Office, Gore Mutual building and the historic City Hall Building, to name a few. “All are very unique landmarks – great backdrops for both photo and video footage that Cambridge brides can use to show their heritage as Cambridge girls,” says Angela.
Anne Edgar, of Anne Edgar Photography (who’s photo can be seen above, left), says she loves Cambridge weddings because of the old buildings in downtown Galt. “The arched bridges and river views, the fountains, and stone mill ruins.”
The historical architecture is also contrasted with the newer, urban development. You can find modern architecture mixed with graffiti covered walls and then romantic pathways lined with trees. “It gives Cambridge a huge range in backdrops for photos, all within walking distance,” says Anne.
London brides also don’t have to go far to find incredible, picturesque scenery around their home town, according to Adrian Peters of A & M Sounds Disc Jockey Service. “The London area has incredible outdoor scenery for pictures and ceremonies, as well as beautiful venues that can orchestrate the whole event,” he says.
Phil de Lange from A&B Party & Tent Rentals says London is becoming a great place to get married, and that London couples are in step with some of the hottest wedding trends. Phil gets requests for square reception tables, high-end floor-length linens and high peeked tents – many being the makings of that overall décor wow-factor.
“I believe Kitchener-Waterloo can become a destination wedding location for couples from Ontario and beyond,” says Martti Pajunen, Officiant and Owner of Kettle Creek Weddings, Waterloo Regional Office. “We really have so much to offer… The world comes to Waterloo Region to attend university, to work, and to celebrate festivals. They should come here to get married as well.”
Variety is one reason that Martti thinks K-W weddings are so fabulous, with numerous venues, photo locations, and wedding service providers. “Whether they choose elegant, classic, simple, country, or chic – there are places and people to help them fulfill their wedding dreams.” He adds that K-W’s unique buildings, which range from beautiful to rustic to historic, are what give the city so much character.
“From modern architecture to pretty park benches we’ve got it all,” says Denise of Denise Belanger Photography about weddings in K-W. “Whether you want your backdrop to be bold, romantic, modern, funky or simple, there are endless possibilities in the tri-cities.”