Muskoka is the heart of Ontario's cottage country that is home to 1,600 bodies of water, 17 unique historic towns and 14,000km of beautiful shoreline, windswept pines and some of the best places to host your elopement or small wedding. Some of the best places to elope in Muskoka are hidden gems that you may not even know exist and others are popular vacation spots that tourists and locals alike head to in all seasons. For those of you looking to host an intimate, small wedding or elopement in Muskoka this is the perfect place to start. I have put together a list of the best places to elope in Muskoka and the surrounding area for you!
- Best Time To Visit Muskoka:
- Weather in Muskoka:
- Things To Know About Muskoka While Preparing For Your Elopement/Wedding:
- Where To Get Your Marriage License in Muskoka:
- Landscapes in Muskoka:
- Getting to Muskoka:
- How To Get Legally Married in Muskoka
- Choosing Your Vendors For Your Elopement
- 01 Airbnb's Throughout Muskoka
- 02 Algonquin Provincial Park
- 03 Algonquin Eco-Lodge
- 04 Arrowhead Provincial Park
- 05 Hardy Lake Provincial Park
- 06 Muskoka Soul Muskoka Cottage Rentals
How To Elope in Muskoka
If you have just started to plan your incredible elopement and are thinking about choosing somewhere in Muskoka you may have a few questions or be a little unsure of what to do. Whether you are local to Muskoka or travelling here I have put together everything you need to know while planning your elopement in Muskoka. From the best time to visit, how to legally get married, choosing locations and more!
Best Time To Visit Muskoka:
Muskoka is a year round destination but the seasons are very different depending on what time of year you come. The most popular time of year to visit Muskoka is May-October when the temperatures have begun to warm up, the ice has left the lakes and nature becomes alive again. Depending on what kind of back drop and what kind of weather elements you would like for your elopement will be a deciding factor on what month you would like to elope in Muskoka.
Weather in Muskoka:
With Muskoka being located 2-3 hours north of Toronto makes a big different on what kind of weather you will see each season. Winters you can expect a lot of snow and temperatures around or below 0 C. Summer is everyones favourite time of year with the lakes warm enough to swim, temperatures make for the perfect day spent outside and most sunny days then not.
Things To Know About Muskoka While Preparing For Your Elopement/Wedding:
- Bug spray is good to keep with you during the spring through fall months as Muskoka sees a variety of bugs that you do not want to deter your special day
- Muskoka is a popular region in Ontario that many locals and tourists alike flock to in the warmer months. If you are planning to book a venue I would suggest doing this at least a few months in advance depending on how large your group to ensure you can get the rooms / space you want.
- Muskoka is a large region that covers many towns. Make sure while you are planning out where you would like to explore for your elopement day you check google maps and I will be happy to help you as well!
- Long weekends (Victoria Day, Canada Day, Civic Holiday & Labour Day) are very popular in Muskoka and see a high volume of traffic all throughout the region.
Where To Get Your Marriage License in Muskoka:
There are only three places in the Muskoka region to get your marriage license which are Gravenhurst, Bracebridge and Huntsville. You do not have to get your marriage in Muskoka you can get it anywhere in Ontario as your license is good for 90 days. You will receive your license the same day you apply for it, but I always suggest getting your license a few days in advance to be safe. Check out all the documents you are required to bring to apply for your license here. In order to get legally married an authorized official needs to marry you along with two witnesses (which I can be one of!)
Landscapes in Muskoka:
Muskoka's landscapes are one of the big reasons that makes the area so beautiful. Known for its rugged landscapes from the windswept pines, rocky shoes, sand beaches, fresh water lakes, old growth forests, the stunning Canadian Shield, and stunning waterfalls.
Getting to Muskoka:
Getting to Muskoka is fairly straight forward. If you are coming from outside of Ontario the most direct place to fly into Pearson International Airport located in Toronto and from there you can easily rent a car. It is about a 2-3 hour drive to Muskoka depending on where you are going within the region. If you would prefer to fly from Toronto to Muskoka your options are taking a charter plan from various airports or you can fly into Muskoka Airport. You will likely need to drive your your elopement spot once you have arrived at your destination so getting a rental car is one of the best options. Driving in Ontario is very easy and safe to do so.
How To Get Legally Married in Muskoka
For any legal elopement in Muskoka, and in Ontario as a whole, you will need the following:
- A Marriage License
- A Registered Officiant
- 2 Witnesses
You need to be at least 16 years old to get married in Ontario. For anyone under 18 years must have written consent from both parents. To get your marriage license check out the Ontario website here.
Choosing Your Vendors For Your Elopement
This is such an important piece of having an incredible experience on your elopement day. Choosing the right vendors that will support you and help you along the way both while planning your elopement as well as on your special day.
I am not just your photographer when it comes to your elopement, I am also your guide. I am here to help you find these vendors that fit both your vision as well as your budget. I help you find the perfect spot that feels special and memorable for the two of you and ensure that the day is stress free and your best adventure yet! Not only do I help you find your locations, help plan activities on what you would love to do, I also help you find accommodations, make recommendations on things to do if you are staying in the area for a while and so much more. I truly want your elopement day to be a once in a lifetime experience that you will never forget and that is why I am here to help you through every step of planning your dream day.
Here is a list of vendors you will likely need for your elopement day:
- Hair + Make Up
- Dress / Suit
Top Places to Elope in Muskoka:
01 Airbnb's Throughout Muskoka
If you love the idea of being able to wake up in a cozy cabin or cottage on one of the beautiful lakes in Muskoka or deep in the forest, have a really relaxing day with partner, say your vows anywhere you would love on the property, have an intimate party either indoors or outdoors either just the two of you or your closest family and friends then renting an Airbnb for your elopement in Muskoka is the perfect idea!
Here are some of our favourite Airbnb's in Muskoka for your elopement:
Eco Cabin Muskoka
02 Algonquin Provincial Park
An elopement in Algonquin Provincial Park gives you endless opportunities on where you can go and what you can do. From a multi-night canoe or backpacking trip through the backcountry of Algonquin, to a short hike with big views or a sunset or sunrise ceremony on one of the lakes possibly with a moose swimming on by in the background. Algonquin is an outdoor lovers dream and is a perfect place when thinking about where to elope in Muskoka.
03 Algonquin Eco-Lodge
Algonquin Eco-Lodge sits on the southern border of Algonquin Provincial Park and is the perfect place to call your home base or where you can spend your entire day for your elopement in Algonquin. Algonquin Wilderness Eco-Lodge is for those who want a place that minimizes their impact on the environment, green energy and as environmentally friendly as it comes! This is a really unique place and a great option when considering where to elope in Muskoka.
04 Arrowhead Provincial Park
Arrowhead Provincial Park is the often forgotten park due to its proximity to Algonquin Provincial Park, but it is equally as amazing. With rushing waterfalls, thick forests, hiking trails that go on forever and incredible lookout points there is so many great places if you chose to elope in Arrowhead Provincial Park. One of my favourite places in Arrowhead is Big Bend Lookout. This great trail is easy to hike and offers a really unique lookout point to a panoramic view of the Big East River.
05 Hardy Lake Provincial Park
Another incredible provincial park that sits in the Muskoka region, Hardy Lake Provincial Park is an excellent choice for an outdoor elopement. With multiple hiking trails to choose from that feature rocky outcrops, forested trails and nature shoreline to explore. Hardy Lake Provincial Park is considered a non-operating provincial park so there are no facilities which also means it is often less crowded than some of the larger parks in the area which makes for an excellent elopement spot in Muskoka.
06 Muskoka Soul Muskoka Cottage Rentals
Muskoka Soul Cottage has two different cottages to offer when it comes to choosing the perfect place to for your elopement in Muskoka. Both sitting on the water surrounded by forest it is the perfect place for an intimate wedding or elopement with all the amenities right there on the property.
Bigger Venues To Elope in Muskoka
If wilderness locations or cottages arn't quite what your looking for and your hoping for a big bigger of a guest list then why not consider some of these amazing venues located throughout Muskoka.
07 Sherwood Inn
Sitting on the shores of Lake Joseph, Sherwood Inn is a great place for an elopement as well as an intimate wedding. Offering many different options when it comes to ceremony locations you can truly get whatever your hearts desire if you choose to elope at Sherwood Inn!
08 Northridge Inn
Sitting up in northern Muskoka, in Sundridge, Northridge Inn & Resort is a really unique venue to Muskoka. Offering so many different options for both backdrop and accommodation this is a really cool venue. From glamping tents, airstreams, lakeside chalets and standard, but beautiful lodge rooms you will really be wowed. Northridge Inn specializes in offering both indoor and outdoor elopements and intimate weddings so you can have your pick based on season and preference.
09 Trillium Resort & Spa
Trillium Resort and Spa is an incredible venue where you get the cottage vibe with the resort feel. Make sure to check if the Falling Water Chalet is available as this is the perfect room for a couple eloping. It sits next to a beautiful waterfall that cascades down the rocks and is very peaceful. With over 80 acres of land, hiking trails, waterfront with a white sand beach and they are a pet friendly resort Trillium Resort is an a great option for your elopement or intimate wedding in Muskoka.
10 Arowhon Pines
Arowhon Pines located in beautiful Algonquin Provincial Park is one of my favourite places for intimate weddings and elopements in Muskoka. From beautiful accommodations, great options for ceremony spots, lots of activities including hiking, swimming and canoeing this is a great place to get married just the two of you or with a group of your closest family and friends.
Even though there are so many incredible places above to elope in Muskoka and the surrounding area your possibilities do not end there. There are many other options like a spot in a forest, a cozy airbnb on the water, a campsite in one of our many incredible provincial or national parks or even on a hiking trail the two of you love. I also have a few hidden gems that I would love to share with you! Your possibilities truly become endless when you are looking at having a small wedding or elopement and I am here to help you find the perfect spot. If the places above don't quite strike your interest I would love to help you find a spot that really feels like the two of you and checks off all the boxes for your special day.
My goal is to always make sure that your wedding day is truly about the two of you, who you are, what you love most and will be a day you will remember forever. Take a minute to sit down and write out everything you would love to have for your wedding day and then start from there. The most important thing is make sure you do you!
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