Jenna & Timothy’s rural Ontario wedding was romantic, elegant and had guests dancing into the night

{Reality Wedding Story} Jenna and Tim wanted their wedding to be elegant and romantic, close to home in rural Ontario, and have the option for guests to stay overnight. They kept it simple, relied entirely on their team of expert vendors, and celebrated their day with friends and family, dancing well into the night. With Hessenland Country Inn ( as the backdrop, Jenna and Timothy got the wedding they were dreaming of…

Bride & Groom: Jenna Beierling + Timothy Thornton

Wedding Date: August 19, 2017

Location: Hessenland Country Inn (

“We looked at Hessenland since it was close to both our home towns (Exeter and Zurich) which made it convenient, but the beautiful grounds, access to the beach, rooms on site for ourselves and traveling guests to stay without worrying about driving sold it for us. We’re so glad we went with Hessenland, the venue worked perfectly and the amazing staff was such a help in planning and organizing the day.” – J&T

Photographer: David and Kara Wedding Imagery ( were amazing. We came across them while wandering through a bridal show in London. Both David and Kara were fantastic, and how perfect having a husband and wife duo capture the love on your wedding day! We ended up going forward with them after comparing a lot of photographers photos from their websites. What sealed the deal was the unique style and artistic talent that came through in their photos. What these two can do with light is stunning!” – J&T

Colour Palette: Navy and Coral

Theme: “We had no real theme other than a vision of elegance and romance. We brought this out in having simple but radiant decorations such as flowers suspended in water for the centrepieces, accented simply by underlights and floating candles. The idea of “simply elegant” carried through to our other decoration choices and we were sure not to get caught up in over-decorating an already beautiful venue, keeping our own decorations to a minimum. Simple hints to our colours appear throughout such as the coral and blue flowers, linens, and carrying through to all of our signs and other paper materials.” – J&T

Flowers: “Shannon at The Garden Gate in Grand Bend ( took care of the flowers. Flowers were corals and blues with enough white to remind it’s a wedding. We had powder blue hydrangeas, coral and pink roses, coral gerbera daisies, white wax flowers, white freesia, coral hypercium berries, and greenery.” – J

DESIGN: “Liz at Hessenland was a terrific help. Since we were planning the wedding from Ottawa, we tried to keep most of our décor supplied by vendors. Other décor elements include signage by PaperStudio in Ottawa, navy linens with white napkins and white runner. The flowers on the walls of the reception were the same that lined the aisle during the ceremony. We also wanted to honour our grandparents (both those that are still with us and not) in some way so we had wedding pictures of our grandparents and parents on display near our guestbook. The guestbook itself was a Shutterfly album of our photographers engagement shoot with space for signing.” – J

“Our favourite décor element has to be the centerpieces done by Garden Gate. Each table had three cylindrical vases placed on a single mirror and each were filled with water with a flower submerged. The smallest vase had a floating candle, and the others had under-lighting. To us, this was perfectly simple and elegant.” – J&T

DIY: “The labels on the honey jar favours and the drink tickets were designed and printed by us. We started making our own Marquee letters, but the materials were not ideal and we ended up finding what we were looking for by accident at Chapters!” – J

Invitations/stationery: PaperStudio in Ottawa ( “The paper materials were ivory with navy text and coral floral outline patterns. The invitation came in a navy pocket fold.” – J

DJ:Music Central ( in London really kept the party going on the dance floor! We were very surprised by how many people were still going on the dance floor by the end of the night! DJ Adrian really rocked the night!” – T

Venue: Hessenland Country Inn | Photo: David+Kara Wedding Imagery
Venue: Hessenland Country Inn | Photo: David+Kara Wedding Imagery

Wedding favours:
“Hexagonal honey jars from Ferguson’s Apiaries ( in Hensall. Labeled with a J+T and the wedding date in a similar design to the stationary. We chose honey as a favour since a late grandfather of ours was an apiarist by hobby, so this was a way to honour him.” – T

Cake: Mandy Wilkinson from That Little Cake Place in Dashwood ( “The cake was three-tiered with vanilla on the top and bottom and chocolate in the middle in a simple ivory design with fondant flowers on top and light coral ribboning around the bottom of each tier.” – J

Groomsmen and Groom’s attire: “The groomsmen were in navy Bellissimo suits with slim black stripes accenting the lapel and pockets. The groom was in a navy wool sharkskin made to measure suit from Oliver Wicks ( with full black lapels and collar in wool satin and black lined pockets to match the groomsmen.” – T

Bridesmaids attire and accessories: “The bridesmaids were in a guava coloured chiffon strapless floor length dress from David’s Bridal ( The earrings and necklace were pearl. The bracelet they wore was a love-knot from Magnolia, which was given as their gift of appreciation.” – J

Bride’s dress and accessories: “I wore an ivory lace Impression gown. The dress was strapless and had a sweetheart neckline with tiny jewels all over. The crystal belt, and crystal beading around the edge of the veil really sparked in the sun. I also borrowed my great-grandmother’s pearl necklace which has been passed down to my mother, and matching earrings.” – J

Hair & make-up: “Lindsay Knight from NVus Hair Salon in Exeter (, did an amazing job with all the girls hair. My hair had a braid on the one side, with everything being tied up neatly in a low curly bun. Make-up was done by Amy Brown from Essence of Harmony Spa in Zurich. All of the girls looked beautiful!” – J

Liz from Hessenland was invaluable before and during the wedding day! – J&T

Biggest Challenge: “The biggest challenge for us was planning with some distance involved. We’re living in Ottawa, but we both grew up in Huron County so we wanted to get married there close to family. This meant we couldn’t just pop over to the venue or any other vendor for meetings, and were limited in what we could realistically bring with us for the day.” – J

Favourite memories: “We both really have two best memories. First is seeing each other down the aisle for the first time during the ceremony. We didn’t do a first look since we didn’t want to take away from this moment. Secondly, we had been practicing a secret choreographed dance for our first dance for quite a while before the wedding. We were in pretty decent shape, but I came home a week before Tim to get some things ready for the wedding, so it had been almost two weeks since we had done the dance together. We practiced quick the night before, just before our rehearsal, and we were a bit stumbly to say the least. So, when we (in our opinion) absolutely nailed it during the wedding, we were ecstatic! Listening to the reactions of everybody while we performed the dance was spectacular!” – J&T

ADVICE, One couple to another…
“For us, the biggest contributor to such a great day was in getting our vendors to do as much as possible. Many people told us before our wedding that it can be a pretty stressful day trying to keep the event going as planned. This wasn’t true for us at all, with our amazing vendors, and Liz and the rest of the Hessenland staff orchestrating the day, we were free to relax and enjoy every moment. We tried to sneak away a few times to reflect on the day so we could really enjoy and remember.” – J&T

Reaching out to Liz about weddings @ Hessenland…

The Inn is located on the shores of Lake Huron between Grand Bend and Bayfield, 45 minutes North of London. Liz her family and the staff at Hessanland welcome any questions or booking inquiries that you may have – whether it’s for the location, accommodation or off-site catering. You can reach them by email using the form below 🙂

David + Kara Wedding Imagery, David's Bridal, Ferguson's Apiaries, Hessenland Country Inn, Music Central Entertainment, NVus hair salon, Oliver wicks, Paperstudio, Real Wedding Stories, That little cake place, The Garden Gate