It’s no secret that Muskoka is Ontario’s marquee wedding venue. But let’s face it, driving up from the GTA in the middle of winter for wedding planning isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
Now one local wedding planner has found a novel solution – bring Muskoka to the city.
On January 13, 2024, the first-ever Get Married in Muskoka show will take place at the Warehouse Venue in North York.
“I strongly believe that an annual Muskoka Wedding Show held in Toronto would benefit Muskoka wedding vendors and Muskoka wedding couples by getting the local suppliers in front of the engaged couples, where they are planning their weddings, when they are planning them,” says Holly Carney, the owner of Holly Matrimony and the organizer of the event.
Muskoka wedding engagements typically happen in the summer at the cottage or somewhere else during special occasions like Christmas, New Years or Valentine’s Day, says Carney.
“The wedding planning starts at home, not in Muskoka,” says Carney. “‘Local To You / Them’ vendors are so much more accessible in Muskoka’s ‘off-season’ than a local, Muskoka wedding vendor and they usually get first crack at the contracts for services needed up north for these weddings.”
Carney’s is hoping to convince as many Muskoka area vendors as possible to attend the show and put the full range of what the region has to offer on display.
With the seasonality of the region and many venues being partially or fully closed during the winter months, Carney says it can be challenging for couples from the city to plan their Muskoka weddings.
“Most of the time my bookings came to me as a result of the planning challenges couples were facing getting started,” says Carney, who’s been planning weddings in the area for more than a decade. “They knew they wanted to get married in Muskoka but they found it difficult to find the businesses they were looking for. Communication was slow at the time they were trying to establish their wedding plans, and many of the venues and businesses they hoped to connect with were closed in the winter.”
That ultimately led to the idea for the Get Married in Muskoka show.
“I was approaching the 10-year anniversary of my business when COVID hit and I actually had time to reflect on what it had been like planning all of those years,” she says. “I realized that my happiest times were when I was on the road doing site visits, meeting with businesses, and knowing all of the answers to the Muskoka wedding planning questions out there.”
However, as couples from out of Town would often use planners from their home communities out of a sheer desire to move the process forward, Carney felt there was an opportunity to get the entire Muskoka wedding industry working together for the common good.
“I didn’t like the feeling of losing touch with what Muskoka had to offer and though I had the pleasure of working with many talented wedding professionals from outside of the area I still felt that couples were making wedding planning decisions without knowing what was available to them,” she says. “Getting Muskoka-Based wedding vendors together under one roof at the Get Married in Muskoka wedding show in Toronto will make engaged couples feel taken care of.”
To find out more, register as a vendor or purchase tickets visit getmarriedinmuskoka.com.
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