Steph MacDonald and Jeff Horn were married on Foote Lake, just north of Huntsville, Ontario. Steph and her sister own the cottage together, next to three other family cottages, which Steph says turned out to be "the perfect setting for the fun and relaxed wedding we wanted."
Steph says she and Jeff mutually decided on the cottage as the perfect place to be married. "For us, the cottage is always synonymous with love and happiness," she says.
While the challenges that come with a cottage wedding can seem endless, Steph says one of their main concerns was "making sure that the whole summer didn't revolve around the wedding and lead up to the big day."
With 75 people, including children, the couple kept their guest list as small as possible. "We needed to be aware of parking, sleeping, accomodations, and our tent space only allowed 75 people. Furthermore, we wanted the feeling of intimacy and closeness," Steph says. "We don't think we could have achieved the same feeling with more people."
Some family members were able to sleep in the cottages next door, while others camped or stayed in a hotel in nearby Huntsville. "People were given information about all of the options ahead of time and were asked to contact us for any more information," says Steph.
There were a lot of creative elements incorporated into the wedding decor. The "canoe-cooler," which was suggested by some friends who made one for their wedding, was put together by Steph's father. As for their Mason jar lanterns and birch bark cake? "We got many of our decorating ideas from talking with family members, and of course, Pinterest," says Steph.
Click here to see a full gallery of their DIY wedding decor.
Along with the bride arriving by boat, no head table, and the bride and groom running the mic, there was one other wedding tradition that was changed: "We chose to plant a ceremonial tree instead of exchanging rings," says Steph. "We wanted to give back to the land."
But the setting informed more than just the guest list, decor, and traditions that were followed. There was also the menu, which consisted of pulled pork, corn on the cob, mac and cheese, and caesar salad.
For music, they had a live show by the Kitgut Stringband, a bluegrass band based out of Toronto.
"We stated from the beginning that it was a casual affair," says Steph. "On the invitation, we asked guests to at least wear clean Crocs, but other than that, it was up to them."