NithRidge Estate Weddings & Events

Past Review in The Ring | This page has been redirected to KW Reception Locations

Nestled on the river, NithRidge’s amphitheatre, gardens and tent allow for outdoor dream weddings

Nithridge Estate, owned by Terry and Marlene Schmidt, was already naturally beautiful on its own. But when you add in its renaissance ambiance, an amphitheatre for outdoor ceremonies, beautifully landscaped gardens and a horse drawn carriage, we knew that if this location wasn’t already booked solid, it would be shortly.

Just twenty to thirty minutes from Kitchener, NithRidge is an all-in-one location offering amenities for just about every aspect of your day from a bridal suite for you and your attendants to on-site hair and make-up, and picturesque photo locations to unique outdoor ceremony, tent reception spaces and terrace cocktails. There doesn’t seem to be much that Marlene and Terry won’t help you with on your wedding day – including providing shuttle service to and from hotels & major centres. So we sat down with this outgoing and enthusiastic couple to find out more about what they do and offer brides – here’s what we found out…

Personally speaking…

The 19th Century brick farmhouse on the NithRidge Estate property started to be built in 1879. Terry and Marlene purchased the thirty-three acre property from Terry’s parents in 2000 and have been busy turning it into their dream event location ever since.

While the estate was under construction, it attracted much media attention and created hype and anticipation among the awaiting bridal community, including an article in The K-W Record, which is where we learned that before brides came along, Terry ran a millwright business on the land and Marlene had a hairstyling salon in the brick farmhouse – which she still does and is quite useful for bridal clients.
Marlene’s clients often said, while Marlene primped them for their weddings, that they would love to get married in a place like NithRidge Estate and clients often had getting ready photos in the surrounding gardens.

So, after helping with weddings for Terry’s niece and stepdaughter, they both felt inspired to turn the property into a wedding venue, though they do also intend to bring music and theatre events to the outdoor amphitheatre. NithRidge Estate’s Grand Opening officially took place in June? and though some of the additions are brand new, Terry and Marlene say that they’ve been “Sharing their knowledge and experience of professional services for over thirty years.”

Today, the Estate has an almost endless list of options for couples getting married. You can hold your ceremony in the amphitheatre with a beautiful tent reception (the tent accommodates up to 300 people). You can book a carriage/carriageway that features two Percheron draft horses- you’ll get to know both McAllister (MAC) and Torino (TRINO). There’s also a beautiful old world terrace for cocktail hour after your ceremony.

The grounds also offer a full salon for the wedding party (no rushing to different locations all day!), washrooms in the silo and ample parking. Not to mention the breathtaking landscaping and gardens, scattered with gorgeous fountains, columns, statues and beautiful mature trees.

The Estate also has future plans for expansion, including an indoor reception hall in the renovated barn, a balcony that winds around to the silo, a second lower banquet hall for up to 70 guests and a microbrewery with fresh, on tap NithRidge beers!

Alyssa Hunter Kuhn held her summer wedding at NithRidge and says she would “100%” recommend the venue to other couples on their wedding day. Says Alyssa, “We live in Ayr so it was close for us, but most of all we knew we could make our wedding as personal as we wanted. We got married in a very large tent but once it was all decorated, it did not give the feel of a tent. We had decorated balls hanging from the ceiling, chandeliers and it felt like a garden type wedding. You could do whatever you wanted to make it personal for yourself, which was nice.”

All-in-one location…

In our research of NithRidge we also discovered that Terry and Marlene live at work – literally. With the trend towards conveniently having your ceremony and reception at the same venue, we wouldn’t be surprised if even more brides fall in love with NithRidge Estate. After primping, brides can have getting ready photos on-site among the exclusive and luxurious gardens and landscaped, picturesque river and the surrounding forest and nature trails. It’s hard to believe that these beautiful grounds are within thirty (and less in some places) minutes from the core of Kitchener-Waterloo and are tucked behind a seemingly everyday subdivision – it’s a hidden gem, that’s for sure.

Jill and Taylor Martin told The Ring that they were blown away but the detail and care that the team at NithRidge put into their wedding day. Jill explains, “When Taylor and I first stepped into the wedding tent, we were amazed at how awesome it looked. We wanted a vintage feel in the wedding tent since we decided to have a square dance (this was new for Marlene by the way, but she was willing to work with it!). Marlene brought in hay bales and created a nice little backdrop for the square dance caller. There were antique trunks, an old wagon wheel, a slate chalk board for the seating chart, and lanterns placed appropriately throughout the tent, along with tea lights set in mason jars. When we shared our ideas we were not even sure how it would all look and come together, but we trusted Marlene’s vision, and it came out better then we imagined.”

With the owners living right on the premises, it seems that Terry and Marlene are sure everything is taken care of and say that there’s nothing that they won’t help you with. And if they can’t do it all, they’ll find people who can. They can even hook you up with a photographer.

Chelsea Scarlett Howells and Karl Robert Howells say they truly appreciated the help and guidance of the team at NithRidge throughout the entire planning process. “Being a young couple we weren’t working on an extravagant budget, but no one would have known. They worked with us and everything fell exactly on budget. We gave them our numbers and they didn’t go a penny over our original pricing. There was no surprises and no cut backs. It was a beautiful day. We just loved being there and our guests had an amazing time…to this day people say we had the most beautiful wedding they had ever been to. That’s an amazing compliment to us”.

Stacy deBruyn had her September 17th ceremony, reception and cocktail hour at the Estate. She told us, “It was important to Jake and I to have a venue where we could do everything. One of my biggest pet peeves is big gaps in weddings (in between the ceremony and reception). Nithridge was perfect because it allowed us to do our ceremony, cocktail hour and reception meters away from one another but in very distinct beautiful spots on the property.”

After photos, you’re ready to walk down the aisle of the on-site amphitheatre, surrounded by multi-level concrete blocks with folding chairs (a great idea for guests in the back who would otherwise have trouble seeing). Plus, what better (natural) backdrop than the Nith River?

Stacy says that all any bride needs to do is visit Nithridge and they’ll be sold, “there is honestly nothing else like it. We went to a wedding there 3 years ago and the second I stepped foot onto the property I told my husband (then boyfriend) Jake, …OMG this is where we’re getting married. It’s the setting of a fairytale, every girls dream.”

After the ceremony, guests can explore the nature trails or head to the reception tent while you, your new husband and friends and family take photos or go for a ride in their Queen Victoria carriage with McAllister (MAC) and Torino (RINO). When you book the horse and carriage (for $1,000), you get them for the entire period, from ceremony until introductions at the reception. Marlene suggests that you and your new husband take a ride in the carriage alone so you can have the first 15-20 minutes of your marriage alone together in the carriage. It’s not only romantic but a very memorable way to start your new life together.

Oh, and you can book the amphitheatre, grounds for photos, reception tent and all amenities for other events and engagement photos.

For your entertainment needs, Terry and Marlene also have music and DJ services available at your convenience. They also have live music available, including bagpipes, quartets and harps, and guitarists.

One of the main reasons that Caylyn and Claudio Sa loved NithRidge was because they couldn’t find any other place that offered a ceremony site that’s like none you’ve ever seen before, as well as a place where you can get ready, have the ceremony, have amazing photo opportunities, and an amazing reception all in one place for the price that they charge. Caylyn and Claudio held all of their wedding day events at NithRidge in July 2010 and told us that “NithRidge didn’t just offer a good location, they offered an experience, and created an atmosphere you just can’t get anywhere else.”

Ken and Nora Shantz say that NithRidge offered a stress-free approach to their June wedding day, “The venue was beautiful and convenient. We discovered photos of the gorgeous location in a magazine, and as we both grew up in rural South Western Ontario, the setting made us both feel at home. Using this venue took a lot of stress away from the planning as the venue provided location for the ceremony and licensed reception, a kitchen, cook and staff, a DJ and sound system, basic décor, set-up and teardown, all chairs, tables, linens and items for centerpieces, and had a hair and make-up salon on site for the bride and bridesmaids to spend the morning getting ready.”

Food: local and customizable

Chef Paul Cummings is the executive in-house chef who will work alongside you in creating the perfect pallet for your special occasion.

Chef Paul graduated from Stratford Chefs School and has been working in the culinary industry for 8 years. He has worked in a variety of cafés, bistros and fine dining establishments, however his current focus is on his business at the Kitchener Famer’s Market – Indulge;  Natural and Organic Kitchen. It is here that he runs a café and catering business which enables him to have direct contact with local farmers in order to source out the freshest of ingredients for his dishes. His spectacularly prepared cuisine will be sure to impress your friends and family.

Terry and Marlene’s menu draws from a variety of banquet and catering feasts. They told us that they use local ingredients wherever possible and can create an organic menu upon request. Since menus are customizable, prices are dependent upon what you select and the number of guests.

They even have cake services available (we told you this was an all-in-one location!) where you can have a cake customized dependent upon the complexity of the design.

NithRidge also has full bar services available with non- and alcoholic punches, pop, liquor, domestic and imported beers, coolers, cocktails and wine.

There’s more…

As if we haven’t already listed enough reasons to love NithRidge, we discovered even more ways that they make your wedding day convenient so you can just sit back and enjoy. Since parking can be a bit of a hike for larger affairs at NithRidge (it is 33 acres after all). They also have custom decorating and floral services available, with prices dependent on the décor and flower details you choose.

Plus, to make it even easier on you, Terry and Marlene offer wedding coordinator services, which can include planning themes and colours, table settings and floral arrangements, picking invitations, providing help with wedding gowns and looking for particular items, among other things you may need help with. This service costs 10% of the net cost of wedding services.

When Caylyn and Claudio first met with Marlene during the planning of their wedding, she immediately put their minds at ease. “Marlene was a pleasure to work with while planning.” We were told that ‘Above and beyond’ doesn’t even describe, for Caylyn and Claudio, what Terry and Marlene went through the day of their wedding. “They acted as though it was their own kids getting married, and wouldn’t stop until everything was perfect,” they told us. “Terry and Marlene made all of us feel like a part of the family, always had our best interest in mind, and no matter how big the request, wouldn’t think twice about getting it done.”

Chelsea Scarlett Howells and Karl Robert Howells recently told The Ring about their experiences meeting and working with Terry and Marlene, “They were strangers to us on our first visit to their home. We went in knowing nothing about planning a wedding but after leaving that day, Terry and Marlene didn’t just offer us a venue, they were a consistent support team for us throughout planning our big day. We were so happy to have Terry as our minister…he didn’t just look at us as clients, he was a huge influence on us and our future. He gave us both pre-marital counseling and advice that we have both used since being married. Their positivity, energy and personalities immediately drew us to not just want to get married there, but we knew we had to work with them.”

Walking you through it…

Email or call Terry or Marlene to book an appointment for a tour of the grounds and to discuss your wedding with them in further detail. Based on what you need, they will provide you with a quote, then the contract is signed if you want to book and a $1000 deposit is paid to reserve your wedding date.

Throughout their wedding night, Caylyn and Claudio say that Terry and Marlene made a point of making sure everything was to their liking and always asked if they needed anything. “The evening was unforgettable with Terry setting off the fireworks we had set out. Even all of our guests knew who he was by the end of the night, and mentioned how incredible he was, greeting guests, making sure everyone was taken care of, and always within sight if you needed something.”

Between booking and the wedding, you’ll meet with Terry and Marlene a few more times to select the menu, décor and other wedding day details. Then, on your wedding day, you just get to enjoy the ease and convenience of NithRidge’s all-in-one location.

Luis and Rachel say that they truly appreciate all of the work that Terry and Marlene put into their wedding day. “Without a doubt Nithridge is the best wedding location we can think of. Their team was excellent. However, Terry and Marlene are something beyond that. Their attention to detail, hard work, and expertise are only a small part of it. It is difficult to describe what sets them apart. It was their kind and genuine nature, their true desire to assist in whatever way they could to make our day a memorable one. We are truly grateful for their support and we often remember them fondly.

At first glance, Caylyn and Claudio were worried that they wouldn’t be able to afford NithRidge, but after discussing their budget with Marlene, she assured them that she could work within their budget. “When comparing NithRidge to the numerous other venues we were considering, for what you get out of NithRidge, it was BY FAR the best value. We definitely had a luxury wedding at fair prices.” The couple adds that they would definitely recommend NithRidge to anyone who wants to have an unforgettable wedding that their guests will talk about for years. “NithRidge is the opposite of every ‘same old’ wedding you’ve ever been to.”

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Details, details, details

• Book 8 to 12 months before your wedding to reserve your date. However, if you are interested in a closer date, give NithRidge a call to see if your date is still available.
• A $2500 deposit is required to book NithRidge Estate.
• Taxes and gratuities are extra.
• Friday and Sunday Weddings are available at a discounted rate.

Contacting NithRidge Estate Weddings & Events

Terry & Marlene Schmidt at NithRidge can be reached by email at or by phone at 519-632-1234. You can also visit NithRidge online at

fountains, horses, nature lovers, outdoor ceremonies, outdoor receptions, patio spaces, tent weddings