Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a cozy winter wedding full of blush pink and cranberry red details! We especially love Danny and Craig’s fireside ceremony, the beautiful centerpieces, and the pre-wedding hockey game! Read on for all the details from this beautiful Canadian wedding at The Rousseau…
“We really wanted a fun winter activity filled weekend,” says Danny. “Craig plays hockey, as do a lot of our friends, so he planned a big game of shinny on the hotel rink. Most of our friends joined the game on the Saturday morning before the groom had to get ready for his day! It was a great way to get some fresh air and relax. Everyone was really into it too – we even had two fully padded goalies! So much fun!”
Why did you choose this location for your wedding? We fell in love with the JW Marriott, The Rousseau while touring Muskoka venues for our wedding. The high ceilings and fire blazing in the main floor as well as exposed wood, ontario granite and cabin furniture made us feel like we were up at a grand cottage. To top it off we could imagine just how beautiful the view of the frozen lake would be for our winter wedding. The resort offered endless winter activities for our guest to partake in during our wedding weekend. We wanted to share this with our family and friends as the location for our vows as the outdoors and nature is a big part of our lives and hobbies.
“We had a civil ceremony with traditional vows and exchanging of rings. We chose a prayer called ‘Blessing of the Hands’ that was very meaningful to us both. It was perfect and on cue for the day that the snow fell in the most enormous soft snowflakes during the ceremony!”
Your ceremony in three words. Beautiful, warm, unforgettable
How did you go about planning your ceremony? Our officiant, Jack Birtch, was one we found through the resorts’ preferred list for wedding vendors. After speaking with him over the phone we could instantly feel his kindness and heartfelt approach to wedding ceremonies. We spoke with Jack a few times for him to get to know us and he offered us a number of options for the different pieces of the ceremony. He spent a great deal of time with us to help us create a meaningful and unforgettable ceremony.
Processional: “You and I” by Ingrid Michealson
Recessional: “Lover of the Light” by Mumford and Sons
What were your vows like? Our vows were a unique combination of examples Jack Birtch had sent to us. We changed some words and combined parts to come up with meaningful words to each other.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? Craig: “Getting married! Also sharing it with our family and friends was really something special.” // Danny: “Also getting married! The room was just stunning with the fire and lit lanterns and flower arch. It was really special to say my vows to Craig with family and friends surrounding us.”
Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony? After our ceremony we went outdoors in the snow to take some amazing winter shots. It was snowing hard and after 10 or 15 minutes my hair was soaked and covered in snowflakes! I was so incredibly happy and on high from the ceremony that it didn’t phase me in the slightest. I slipped down to the hotel salon before heading to the cocktail hour and sat in a salon chair blow drying my hair! The photos from that outdoor session were incredible and some of my favorites! I loved it!
“Our reception was a mix of rustic and romantic. We wanted to keep the warm intimate cottage feel so with the long rectangular wood harvest tables, and endless candle light. The winter romance came with the cranberry and blush tones of the flowers. We also wanted to incorporate Craig’s Scottish heritage, so Crystal and Fiona added plaid to the printed items and band stage backdrop. It took our breath away when we walk into the room for our first peak (before the guests). Stunning!”
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? We tried to stay true to ourselves and focus on our family and friends, and our love of the outdoors. For guests, we wanted as many of our family and friends to join as possible which for us meant that if they wanted to bring their children that was just fine! We went with a winter cottage/après ski theme in the design aspects: our ceremony was held in front of the central fireplace; our welcome reception the night before featured s’mores; our welcome packages included maps of the resort grounds and hand warmers to promote outdoor fun, and s’more packages for people to use at any of the outdoor fire pits on site; the escort card display featured a wall of custom ski tags and vintage skis.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? The best advice I received was to stay close to my groom throughout the night. That this was our night and the more of it we experienced together, the better. It was great advice. We danced together all night and were rarely out of arms reach of each other for more than 5 minutes at a time. It was such a loving and special way to spend our wedding day.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Keep things simple where you can, and if at all possible I encourage a wedding planner to help with the details you might not think of – it took so much pressure off us which kept it fun and low-stress.
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? I would take a honeymoon right after the wedding! We took four days off and stayed up at the resort, but I could have used a few more days! We are doing our honeymoon now, celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary on a plane ride to Argentina to do some hiking in Patagonia. It’s special now, but taking more time off after the wedding is something I would do if I could go back!
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? We were introduced to The Caketress by our planner Crystal, and boy were we glad! She was so creative and excited to help us create our custom cake. We chose a pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing and dulce de leche filling. The cake featured a subtle white-on-white plaid pattern all over and was decorated with branches and sugar flowers of cranberry and blush tones.
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. My best friend is Jewish and we always joked that I wanted a Hora at my wedding which she assured me she would make happen! I had completely forgotten about it but early in the night before I knew what was happening there were two chairs on the dance floor and we were hoisted up by all of our friends! The band played a Scottish tune for the dance and we were all laughing and having a great time!
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? Craig: Our ultra high energy band began the party straight away with music between the dinner courses. It got people up and dancing from the get-go, which was just the fun party atmosphere we were hoping for! We got endless compliments on the band. They sounded incredible, from our Scottish Hora, our incognito first dance, and finally the night ending with our favorite song: Mumford and Sons’ “I Will Wait.” Loved every minute of the night! // Danny: I loved dancing the night away. The band was incredible and there wasn’t a song that night that the crowd wasn’t up dancing for! Our nephew’s 8th birthday was also the same day so after dinner we gave him a special birthday dessert with candles and all of our guests sang Happy Birthday. It was really nice!
Tell us about your special first dance. We opted to do things a little differently for our first dance. As we wanted people up dancing earlier in the night we chose an extended package for music that had the band playing between meal courses. We also didn’t feel it necessary for everyone to watch us have a special dance, but rather chose a song that we knew was our song and the band played it mid-way through the dinner dancing. We smiled and thanked them – it was like our own secret first dance.
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding? Craig and I are best friends and love and respect one another immensely. We had originally thought a traditional wedding wasn’t what we wanted, but as the planning developed and it became more and more our wedding, we started getting so excited for it all. It wasn’t just the wedding itself, but the whole weekend. It really was us.