Wedding planning is stressful. Wondering how to start wedding planning and where to start wedding planning? Here's our essential tips, advice and creative ideas to make your dream wedding a reality!













Choosing the Perfect Location






creating a memorable guest experience















Designing Your Wedding Dream

Designing your dream wedding is very exciting! It's all about figuring out what vibe, style, and feel you want for your big day. There are a lot of wedding planning tips online but customizing it is a plus to be close to your heart.

Start by chatting with your partner about what you both like and what makes your hearts sing. Think about stuff like:

  • colors you love
  • seasons you adore
  • and places you've always dreamed of tying the knot.

Once you've got your wedding vision down, it's time to bring it to life!

Get crafty with a vision board or Pinterest to gather inspo and cool visuals. Look for pictures, colors, and textures that match your dreamy style. This will help you share your vision with your planner, vendors, and anyone else in on the planning fun.

Remember, your wedding should reflect your love story! It's YOUR daydon't let everyone else's ideas and opinions affect your overall vision. Get creative and add personal touches that scream "you two."

Whether it's a hobby you both adore, a special spot you cherish, or a cute family tradition, adding personal flair will make your day extra special. If you love traditional wedding elements, incorporate those. If you don't understand why the couple does a first dance, cuts the cake, or tosses items to guests.....don't do those!

It's your day, your way. There's no rules.

Check out our Pinterest Boards for tons of ideas! Find beautiful bouquets, gorgeous dresses, guest outfits, invites, groom looks, bride and groom poses, and awesome themes.

Choosing the Perfect Location

Choosing the perfect location for your wedding is key. Start by thinking about your budget, travel preferences, and the vibe you're after. Do you dream of a sunny beach bash, a cozy mountain soiree, or a romantic European escape? Do a little research and narrow down your faves. Or, keep it local and have an intimate backyard wedding.

Note: All underlined texts will redirect you to the spot/venue's website mentioned upon clicking.

Local Gems in Canada

For those hailing from Ontario or seeking a picturesque wedding venue within or outside Muskoka, consider these charming spots!

Wedding Venue: Black Saddle Barn Wedding + Event Venue | Callander, ON

3 reasons why you need to get married here:

1. It's polished and beautiful.

This is not your common barn venue! There's a modern farmhouse, heated pavilion, and the beautiful 100+ year old barn.

2. You can have everything here!

Rehearsal, ceremony, reception, brunch. Plus, there's options for both of you to get ready here.

3. It's where your new beginning starts.

The property is breathtaking and the perfect mix of country and city.

Anyone and everyone is welcome!

Wedding gallery taken from Black Saddle Barn. Explore the barn's wedding gallery on its site and you'll be in awe!

Wedding Venue: The Northridge Inn | Muskoka, Ontario

For a picture-perfect wedding, look no further than The Northridge Inn. Surrounded by natural beauty and boasting elegant architecture, this venue offers dreamy settings for your ceremony. Whether you envision a lakeside exchange of vows or an intimate indoor affair, The Northridge Inn has you covered. And with attentive staff to assist with every detail, your day will be as seamless as it is beautiful.

If you're loving the location, click the title and be redirected to their Page: The Northridge Inn.

Don't forget to peek at Sierra + Peter's wedding blog for inspiration from The Northridge Inn.

About the Bride

Hairstyle and Make Up

Sierra and her bridesmaids looked absolutely stunning, thanks to Melissa Koprash's hairstyling skills and Ashley Joyes' makeup artistry. And let's not forget

About the Accessories

Sierra's fun earrings from Olivia + Piper were the perfect finishing touches to her bridal look.


Sierra's stunning wedding dress was sourced from Superior Bridal, designed by Ricca Sposa. The dress exuded sparkle and elegance, perfectly reflecting Sierra's vision for her special day.

Groom's Suit

Peter looked dashing in his suit from Calvin Klein, adding a touch of sophistication to his wedding ensemble. Paired with his tattoos, badass.

Groomsmen Outfit

Peter's crew of groomsmen rocked their suits from Moores with serious style! They looked sharp and ready to party, with suits that fit like a dream and added a touch of class to the whole affair. From the ceremony to the dance floor, these guys were the epitome of suave sophistication, standing tall and proud alongside Peter on his big day.

Bridesmaids Outfit

Sierra's squad of bridesmaids slayed the game in their dresses from Park and Fifth Co.! These dresses were all about fun and flair, with styles that flattered every figure and colors that popped like confetti. It was a bridal party for the books, with each bridesmaid shining as bright as Sierra herself!

Looking for Officiant and Wedding Vendors around Ontario?


The ceremony was officiated by Shawna Fournier, who guided Sierra and Peter through their vows with warmth and sincerity. With words that touched the hearts of everyone present, Shawna helped to create a ceremony that was truly personal and meaningful.


Jessicakes created a masterpiece of a cake that was almost too beautiful to eat! With layers of deliciousness and intricate detailing that matched the wedding decor perfectly, it was a feast for both the eyes and the taste buds. The cake was the sweetest ending to an already magical day.


Jessy Beck Design worked her floral magic, creating arrangements that were wild and whimsical, yet refined and elegant. From the bouquets to the centerpieces, every floral creation was a work of art that added a touch of natural beauty to the festivities. And let's not forget about the dried florals from Day Dream Dried Florals, which added a rustic charm to the dock aisle and completed the wedding's enchanting atmosphere.

Wedding Venue: The Morgan House / Timber Terrace | Huntsville, Ontario

Discover historic charm at The Morgan House, also known as Timber Terrace, in Huntsville. This hidden gem offers a unique and intimate setting for your wedding, with charming architecture and beautiful gardens. Whether you prefer a garden ceremony or an indoor celebration, The Morgan House provides personalized service and a warm ambiance that will make your wedding day truly memorable.

Curious about the venue? Link on their site here.

Brittany+ Pierce's Enchanting Wedding at The Morgan House

Wedding Venue: Heritage Estate Winery | Barrie, Ontario

Raise a glass to love at Heritage Estate Winery in Barrie. With rolling vineyards and award-winning wines, this picturesque venue combines natural beauty with delicious libations. Whether you exchange vows in the vineyard or celebrate indoors, Heritage Estate Winery promises a day filled with scenic views, delectable wines, and personalized service.

Heritage Estate Winery has a lot to offer. See in your own eyes by clicking this.

In picture: Jennifer and Peter's Beautiful Wedding at Heritage Estate Winery

Wedding Venue: Windermere House | Windermere, Ontario

Elegance meets enchantment at Windermere House in the quaint village of Windermere. With stunning views of Lake Rosseau, this historic hotel provides a sophisticated backdrop for your wedding festivities. Whether you choose an intimate indoor affair or a grand lakeside celebration, Windermere House ensures a day filled with romance and luxury.

Inquire at: Windermere House's website

Kristin + Jarrid's Wedding at Windermere House

Wedding Venue: Horseshoe Resort | Barrie, Ontario

Surrounded by nature's beauty, Horseshoe Resort in Barrie is the perfect setting for a wedding to remember. Nestled in Ontario's countryside, this venue offers lush greenery, serene lakes, and charming event spaces for your big day. Whether you dream of a garden ceremony, a rustic barn reception, or an elegant ballroom affair, Horseshoe Resort has the versatility and natural beauty to bring your vision to life.

To learn more, check Horseshoe Resort's site!

Lacy and Marco's Wedding shared with their precious family at Horeshoe Resort

Wedding Venue: Trillium Resort + Spa | Muskoka, Port Sydney, Ontario

Escape to tranquility at Trillium Resort + Spa in Muskoka. Surrounded by pristine forests and lakes, this hidden gem offers a serene setting for your wedding. Whether you choose a waterfront ceremony or a cozy lodge gathering, Trillium Resort + Spa ensures a day filled with natural beauty, luxury, and relaxation.

Here's Carly and Daniel's gallery for a fun wedding inspo!

Other Wedding Locations in Ontario:

Algonquin Park | Ontario

Algonquin Park in Ontario is a fantastic spot for tying the knot. It's cozy and private, making it just right for heartfelt ceremonies and celebrations. The park's natural charm gives weddings a beautiful setting, surrounded by trees, lakes, and breathtaking views.

Château Laurier | Ottawa, Ontario

The Château Laurier in Ottawa is a super popular place for weddings because it's so famous and looks like it's straight out of a fairy tale. Lots of couples and photographers love it.

This old building in downtown Ottawa has really fancy ballrooms with fancy ceilings, making weddings feel super elegant and posh.

If you choose to have your ceremony outside, there's a terrace where you can see amazing views of Parliament, the Ottawa River, Canal, and Major's Hill Park. It's like adding a bit of Ottawa's special feeling to your big day.

The staff here are great, and with the Peace Tower in the background, your wedding at the Château Laurier will be one to remember. It's a magical spot for couples who want their love story to start in an enchanting setting.

Whispering Springs | Grafton, Ontario

Whispering Springs Wilderness Retreat in Grafton, Ontario, is a really special place to get married. It's got a mix of beautiful nature and fancy stuff that makes it stand out.

This amazing spot for "glamping" weddings gives you a perfect setting. It's like being in the calm of nature but with all the nice things you need, making it feel like a magical place for couples and their guests.

There are so many amazing wedding venues both in Muskoka and outside of Muskoka that we couldn't possibly cover them all in one blog post. From charming cottages and rustic barns to elegant estates and waterfront resorts, there's a venue to suit every couple's style and budget. Whether you're dreaming of a lakeside ceremony, a forest retreat, or a chic urban setting, you're sure to find the perfect spot. Don't be afraid to explore different options and consider what speaks to your heart as you plan your special day.

Top 5 Destination Wedding Location

Do you dream of a sunny beach bash, a cozy mountain soiree, or a romantic European escape? Pick a place on our Top 5 Wedding Destinations of 2024 and see what they offer! Discover some amazing places to have your wedding that will make your big day really special.

Note: All underlined texts will redirect you to the spot/venue's website mentioned upon clicking.


Italy is famous for being really romantic, so it's perfect for a wedding. Whether you dream of getting married in a historic villa in Tuscany or a cute church in Rome, Italy has lots of beautiful spots for your special day.

And the food is amazing! You and your guests can eat all the pasta, pizza, and gelato you want while wandering around charming streets and checking out cool sights. From Venice's canals to the Amalfi Coast's stunning views, Italy is like a fairytale come to life.

Lake Cosmo, Italy

Orvieto, Italy

Venice, Italy

Rome, Italy

Perugia, Italy

Let's talk weddings in Perugia, Italy!

Imagine exchanging vows amidst the timeless beauty of this charming city. From cozy venues to stunning views, get ready for a wedding day filled with love, laughter, and unforgettable moments. Join us as we share the magic of saying 'forever together' in Perugia!

The pictures here are from Taylor and Bobby's Destination Wedding at the enchanting Relais Villa Monte Solare. View their gallery and fall in love with their dreamy wedding in Perugia, Italy!

About the dress

Taylor looked absolutely stunning in her elegant off-shoulder gown, exuding timeless sophistication and grace. Her beautiful gown was made by Helen's Bridal and Evening Wear in Barrie.

Wondering where to buy a wedding dress in Ontario? Helen's Bridal is a great place for wedding clothes with lots of different styles to choose from! They've been around for over 25 years and are really good at what they do. They have dresses for brides, bridesmaids, moms, and parties, so everyone can find something they like. Helen's Bridal is perfect for weddings because they give each bride personal attention and have lots of options to help them find the perfect dress for their big day.

See Helen Bridal's catalogue and check out your dream wedding dress!

About the venue

Relais Villa Monte Solare is a romantic spot for weddings, set in the beautiful Umbrian countryside surrounded by olive groves, vineyards, and valleys. The venue offers stylish function rooms with stunning countryside views, creating a magical setting for weddings. With luxurious amenities including a wellness center, gourmet dining featuring local specialties, and activities like truffle hunting and wine tastings, Villa Monte Solare provides couples with a romantic and unforgettable experience for their special day.

The peaceful environment, high level of personal service, and beautiful gardens add to the romantic allure of this venue, making it an ideal choice for couples seeking a dreamy and intimate wedding celebration in the heart of Umbria. You can explore more about this stunning venue here: Relais Villa Monte Solare.


France is all about love, making it a super romantic place for a wedding. Whether you pick Paris, the French Riviera, or the countryside in Provence, France has tons of gorgeous places for weddings!

There are so many iconic spots for photos, like the Eiffel Tower and lavender fields in Provence. Plus, French culture adds an elegant touch to your celebrations. And don't forget about the delicious food and wine – it's all part of the experience!


Portugal might not be on everyone's radar for weddings, but it's a hidden gem. With its beautiful coastlines, historic castles, and charming cities, it's a unique and unforgettable place to tie the knot.

Whether you choose a cliffside ceremony or a palace wedding in Lisbon, Portugal sets a romantic scene for your big day. And the food and wine are top-notch – your guests will love exploring the streets and tasting all the delicious treats Portugal has to offer.

  • Popular Venues: Lisbon, Algarve region.
  • Unique Choices: Quinta do Torneiro near Lisbon for a historic estate wedding.


Greece provides a blend of ancient history, stunning views, and vibrant culture for a memorable wedding celebration.

  • Popular Venues: Santorini, Athens, Mykonos.
  • Unique Choices: Blue domed churches in Santorini, beachfront venues in Mykonos.
  • Wedding Venues: Santo Wines in Santorini, Cavo Tagoo in Mykonos.


Mexico is a fantastic place for a wedding. With its beautiful beaches, lively culture, and yummy food, it's got everything for a great celebration. Picture saying your vows with the ocean behind you and palm trees swaying in the breeze. Whether you pick a fancy resort in Cancun or a quiet beach in Tulum, Mexico will give you and your guests a day to remember.

And there's so much to do here! You can explore ancient Mayan ruins or swim in cool underground caves called cenotes. Plus, there's awesome nightlife and delicious street food to keep everyone happy and having fun.

Cancun, Mexico

  • Popular Venues: Riviera Maya

Baja California Sur, Mexico

  • Wedding Spot: Los Cabos located at the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula

Yucatan, Mexico

  • Unique Choices: Haciendas in Yucatan for a traditional Mexican wedding experience.
  • Wedding Venues: Hacienda Uayamon in Yucatan at Campeche, Mexico.

Tulum, Mexico

I had the privilege of shooting a wedding in Tulum, Mexico and you can take a peek for some inspiration! With its serene beauty and laid-back vibe, Tulum sets the stage for an unforgettable wedding. Whether you're exchanging vows on the beach or surrounded by swaying palm trees, Tulum promises to make your big day truly magical. Read more about it on Kim + Travis Wedding Blog!

About the Venue

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts in Mexico is where the party's at for your dream wedding! Imagine lush natural beauty, all-inclusive excitement, and services customized just for you. With its stunning surroundings, this resort isn't just a venue—it's an experience waiting to be had! Exchange vows amidst breathtaking landscapes, and let Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts handle the rest. From personalized details to round-the-clock entertainment, your wedding will be an unforgettable celebration for you and your guests!

About the Bride's Outfit and Hairstyle


Danielle, a super talented hairdresser from Toronto, worked her magic on Kim and her bridesmaids, giving them hairdos that were absolutely stunning! With her amazing skills, she made their hair look fancy and classy, adding a bit of sparkle to the whole bridal squad. From chic updos to intricate braids, Danielle made sure everyone looked and felt amazing on Kim's big day. Be sure to check out more of her fabulous work here!


Kim's dress, or should I say dresses, stole the show! First, the rehearsal outfit. Kim's Pearl Rehearsal Top is from Shein, adding a touch of elegance to her pre-wedding festivities.

Let me tell you about Kim – she's quite the thrifty shopper! Her gown was a thrift store find from North Bay, ON, and can you believe it? It only cost her $150! With just a few alterations, Kim transformed the dress into two stunning looks. She had the brilliant idea to remove the lace part after the ceremony, revealing a gorgeous silk dress for the reception. It was the perfect blend of style and savings!


Kim found her perfect wedding shoes at White Fox Boutique, adding a special touch to her bridal look. She decided to personalize them by adding pearls, giving them a touch of elegance and sophistication. These unique shoes were the perfect finishing touch to her ensemble, adding to the magic of her wedding day. Kim's attention to detail and personal style made her bridal look truly unforgettable.

Other links:

Once you've got a shortlist, think about the practical stuff.

  • Is the spot easy for your guests to get to?
  • Can it handle your wedding squad size?
  • What about legal stuff like marriage licenses?
  • Make sure your chosen spot checks all the boxes.

And hey, don't forget about the fun stuff too! Think about cool things to do and see around your wedding spot. Whether it's trying yummy local food, checking out landmarks, or diving into cultural adventures, adding extra fun will make your wedding trip even more unforgettable.

Creating a Memorable Guest Experience

Making sure your guests have a blast is super important for your big day to be a total hit! Start by planning out the flow of your day and thinking about how to make each moment special for your crew.

Add personal touches to make your guests feel extra loved. Write sweet notes or thank you cards for each guest – it'll make them feel super appreciated. You can also sprinkle in special details that tell your love story, like sharing cute anecdotes during speeches or showing off pics of your journey together.

Hospitality is key too! Make sure your guests know what's up with clear directions and helpful info. Consider hooking them up with welcome bags filled with goodies or local treats to make them feel extra special.

And don't forget the fun stuff! Set up cool activities like photo booths, games, or a special drink that screams "you two." By keeping your guests in mind, you'll create a wedding day they'll be talking about for ages.

In the picture: Travis and Kim's Destination Wedding in Mexico, and Taylor and Bobby's Destination Wedding in Italy.

Click title to view more pictures in the collection!

Personalizing Your Special Day

Adding your own flair to your special day is what makes it totally you! Start by thinking about what makes you and your partner unique. Whether it's shared hobbies, special memories, or inside jokes, these can all inspire personal touches throughout your wedding day.

Personalize your ceremony by writing your own vows – it'll make the moment extra meaningful. Get your loved ones involved too by giving them special roles, like readings or symbolic rituals. Sprinkle personal touches throughout your decor too! Display photos of your journey together or incorporate meaningful objects into your table centerpieces. These little details will make your day feel extra special and spark conversation among your guests. And hey, don't forget about celebrating your roots! Whether it's through music, food, or traditions, adding elements from your cultural backgrounds will add depth and meaning to your day.

Remember, your wedding day is all about celebrating your love story. So have fun, get creative, and make it a day you'll never forget!

As you plan your dream wedding, don't forget to add personal touches that reflect your unique love story. From picking the perfect spot to making guests feel special, every detail matters. Whether you're dreaming of a beach wedding in Tulum or a rustic celebration in Ontario, make sure your day is filled with love and memories. While I'll be capturing love stories in Iceland, Mexico, and British Columbia in 2024, I'm also dreaming of documenting weddings in Ireland, Scotland, Norway, and Newfoundland. There are SO many places around the world that I would love to see. If you're interested in eloping or having an intimate wedding, let's connect and get planning! Let's make your dream wedding a reality together.

Looking for a Photographer?

Hi, I'm Sara, your North Bay + Muskoka area Photographer for the nostalgic + unrefined.

I am offering my services for weddings, elopements, and destination weddings worldwide. 

If you're interested in eloping or having an intimate wedding, let's connect and get planning!

FOR travel plan updates, you can view it here