Plan Your Fabulous Local Wedding

Kirstie and Kyle wanted a wedding day that was stress free and an event where their guests felt at home and comfortable. Hessenland Country Inn ( provided the perfect backdrop for this feeling. What they ended up with was a country style wedding with a touch of elegance and nostalgia…

Bride & Groom: Kirstie Ross and Kyle Griffiths

Wedding Date: July 7, 2018

Ceremony & Reception Location: Hessenland Country Inn ( “Kyle’s brother was married here and we absolutely loved the venue. It is a family owned hidden gem, and the staff are incredible. When we were seeking out venues, we looked at a handful of places across southern Ontario but agreed that they did not compare to Hessenland!” – K&K

Venue: Hessenland Country Inn | Photo: Alison Oliver Photography
Venue: Hessenland Country Inn | Photo: Alison Oliver Photography

Colour Palette: Navy blue, blush, and grey

Theme: “We wanted our wedding planning to be stress free, and we wanted our guests to feel at home and comfortable at our wedding. We didn’t project a specific theme but instead chose to trust our team to weave together our personalities and style with their expertise. I would say the result was something like “a country style wedding with a touch of elegance and a sprinkle of nostalgia.”” – K&K

Flowers: Two Lip Designs ( “Brittany Tiffin did an incredible job with our flowers. For the bouquets, we opted for a pastel arrangement of blush, grey, ivory and soft greens that featured lisianthus, hydrangea, import and spray roses, and some dusty miller and silver brunia for texture. For centrepieces we kept it simple and delicate with hydrangea, greens, and baby’s breath.” – K

Décor: “Liz’s team at Hessenland along with my husband and myself took on most of the décor. Hessenland with its stunning gardens and rustic chic interior coach house is naturally beautiful on its own. The addition of crisp linens and floral arrangements compliment the space perfectly. Kyle and I put together a feature table displaying the handmade wine box from our ceremony, and tied in some items from home including photographs, pearls, and candles that lent a personal touch to the décor.” K

Fav décor element: “I loved that most of our décor was either part and parcel of the venue, or items we had and brought from our home. It made the space feel cozy, clean up the next day was super easy, and it assisted in keeping our costs down.” – K

DIY: “I have heard many brides talk about DIY projects they take on while their fiancés remain relatively hands off, but our situation was reversed. Kyle owns a landscaping company and was off for the winter, affording time to put toward artistic and creative endeavours while I was busy in clinic completing my degree as a chiropractor. Kyle has a background in studio art and took on a meaningful role in creating some special keepsakes for our day. Early on, he designed the invitations using a painting he made as the backdrop. Leading up to the day, he built a couple of beautiful wood pieces. One was a wine box to be used as part of our wedding ceremony where we exchanged written letters and sealed them away in the box with a bottle of wine to be opened on an anniversary. Another was a treasure chest which housed our wedding favours, an assortment of things such as playing cards, glow sticks, candy, beach balls, etc. to spark the inner child in all of us. He also sculpted and painted our cake topper, Ellie and Carl’s chairs from one of my favourite movies “UP!” The seating chart was a large wooden structure that held interchangeable photo frames, each frame listing the seating at a particular table. Most of these ideas were dreamed up spontaneously over pillow talk during the course of our engagement, which made each of these elements more special.” – K

Hair & Make-up: “We had our incredible hair and makeup team from AlyCat Hair and Make-up Artistry ( travel to the venue and my maid of honour, bridesmaid, mom, and mother-in-law and I got ready in my parents room over a breakfast of mimosas, chocolate dipped fruit, and coffee. It was so laid back and enjoyable to spend that time together in the morning reminiscing on the past and anticipating the events that would follow.” K

Kyle and I did a first look in the vineyard and we are so glad we did – this was a great opportunity to connect before the wedding and remember why we were there in the first place. It was special to have that personal time before we stood in front of 130 people to recite our vows.

Invitations/stationery: Vistaprint (

Cake: That Little Cake Place (

Wedding favours: Dollarama

Musician: “We had the very talented Greg Gallello ( sing and play piano for our ceremony, providing interactive entertainment for our guests into cocktail hour.” – K

Groomsmen and Groom’s attire: Moore’s (, Raphael Edison Bespoke Shoes (, Tip Top Tailors (, Stars (

Bridesmaids attire and accessories: Crème Couture (, Zak’s Jewellers (

Bride’s dress and accessories: Taylor’s Bridal Boutique (, Raphael Edison Bespoke Shoes (, Budget Bridal Veils and Accessories ( “The night before the wedding, my mom presented me with a gold and diamond bracelet that my dad gave her the day she brought me home from the hospital. I had a custom headpiece made that incorporated tulle, birdcage veil, pearls and crystals. Little details came together to create my bridal look – my brother owns a shoe company and gifted Kyle and myself each with a pair of custom shoes for the wedding.” – K

DJ: Rob Aitken, Owner at Music Central Entertainment (

Wedding Coordinator and Catering: Liz Ihrig and Frank Ihrig of Hessenland Country Inn (

Photographer: Alison Oliver Photography (”We began our hunt by searching photographers in the Bayfield/Goderich area. We stumbled across Alison and were impressed with how affordable her services were. There was one wedding in particular that she photographed that completely drew me in to her work because the couple looked so happy and natural. Alison made the photography portion of the day extremely enjoyable. Following the wedding, Kyle and I agreed that we were both surprised there wasn’t more posing involved and awkward instructions on hand placement and head tilts and facial expressions. The photos entirely exceeded our initial expectations. At sunset, we were able to sneak out to the vineyard to capture some beautiful photos playing in the light, and when we returned we were surprised by our families with a slideshow of photos from our childhood and the 8 year growth of our relationship.  Alison captured the real moments, the truest emotions, and the honest nature of our relationship and the love of our family and friends without making one moment of the day feel staged. In our photos we look exactly how we felt on that day, and that is more than we could have asked for.” – K&K

Biggest challenge: “Managing people’s expectations about the guest list can be challenging. With large families, it can be difficult to accommodate for everyone when you are dealing with a set space. Our advice to couples on this topic is to be honest with your guests about the limitations, and to do your best to make it work without compromising your own values and wishes.” – K&K

Fav wedding memory: “There isn’t a specific moment that stands out for us, but we won’t soon forget the feeling we shared on that day. We both expected to be extremely nervous and I anticipated moments of stress overload for myself. Everything went smoothly, and when we met for the first time that day during our first look and I asked Kyle if he was nervous, he responded “not at all actually. It’s just you and me.” You can feel the love that existed in that space in the photographs and they are treasures that serve as reminders of the bliss we experienced on our wedding day.” – K&K

Advice from one couple to another: “It does not need to be stressful – be true to yourselves, and don’t be overwhelmed by the details that have the potential to spiral out of control. People respond well to good food, good music, and good company. The texture of the table runner won’t be what your guests remember.” – K&K

Venue: Hessenland Country Inn | Photo: Alison Oliver Photography
Venue: Hessenland Country Inn | Photo: Alison Oliver Photography

MORE ABOUT HESSENLAND COUNTRY INN | Hessenland Inn & Vineyard ( is the ultimate Ontario West Coast wedding destination offering gazebos, overnight accommodations, waterfalls, lake access and gorgeous in & outdoor wedding spaces. More details in their review in The Ring, here. To find out more, email Hessenland, directly using the form below. 🙂