We absolutely live and breathe couples that are non-traditional and like to do things their own way! If you’re wanting to plan a wedding outside of the city in a place that’s magical, off the beaten path, and with so many opportunities to really make things authentically YOU, Prince Edward county is the perfect place for your wedding!Ω
Table of Contents
- What is PEC?
- Date, Location, Venue
- PEC Wedding Vendors
- Final Remarks
What is PEC?
Prince Edward county is an island (believe it or not, it really is an island!) south of Belleville on Lake Ontario. Just a few hours outside of both Toronto and Ottawa, it’s home to a growing and thriving scene of entrepreneurs, artists, and food and wine artisans. PEC is not just one place, it’s actually divided up into nine different regions; Ameliasburgh, Sophiasburgh, Hillier, Wellington, Bloomfield, Picton, Waupoos, Sandbanks, and South Shore. Each region has its own distinct towns, attractions, and offerings – there’s really something for everyone!
For more information, head to PEC’s official tourism website to learn more about the area!
Date, Location, Venue
When planning any wedding, the first thing to decide on is what time of year you want to get married in! Some prefer the freshness of spring and the heat of summer, while others prefer when things cool down a bit in the Autumn and the Holiday vibes of winter! There’s no wrong season – just what you prefer as the backdrop to your wedding day! Once you’ve decided on a season, we recommend selecting a few dates or date range instead of just one – it’s a good idea to have flexibility when looking for a venue!
Speaking of which, PEC has no shortage of stunning venues for your big day – from historic barns and wineries to beaches and lighthouses. Whether you want a more rustic vibe or something more modern and cool, there’s something for everyone and for every budget!
Securing your venue should be the first thing that you tick off of your to-do list because not only is it the place where everything will be happening, it also will be what solidifies the actual date of your wedding day! Prince Edward County is a popular destination for weddings in Ontario, so be sure to reach out and inquire with venues as far as in advance as you can to ensure that you get the wedding date within the range that you want!
Some of our favorite PEC Venues
Compass Rose Suites – @compassrosepec // compassrosesuites.ca
With two outdoor ceremony sites, a glass greenhouse, an elegant barn, and options for everything including intimate elopements all of the way to all-inclusive onsite options, Compass Rose is hard to beat! With a mix of rustic earthy charm as well as modern implements and facilities, you will feel lost in the wild and right at home all at the same time!
Drake Devonshire – @thedrake // thedrake.ca/drakedevonshire
A direct extension of Toronto’s Drake Hotel, the lakeside property of Drake Devonshire offers an atmosphere that is modern, cool and boutique complete with 13 tastefully appointed suites, award winning restaurant and bar, and incredible views of Lake Ontario. Food and drink is sourced from local farms and vendors, and the surrounding town is super cute and quaint with cozy small town vibes and stores to browse before or after your big day!
100 Acre Wood – @onehundredacrewood // 100acrewood.ca
Named after the fictional setting of Winnie the Pooh, 100 Acre Wood will transport you to a place of fantasy! With a perfect marriage of country charm and modern facilities, the husband and wife team of Mary and Kevin will make your big day perfect with their topnotch hospitality, amazing staff, and an incredible food program!
Sandbanks Provincal Park – southbrucepeninsula.com/en/explore-and-play/weddings
If you’re looking to forgo a large celebration and want to go it “solo” or with just a small group of your absolute closest friends and family, Sandbanks Provincial Park offers so many gems for spots right beside the water or just away from it that are private, secluded, and ready for you to make your own with anything from a minimalist or maximalist approach! Truly DIY and for couples that want nothing more than their own unique touch, treat Sandbanks as a blank canvas for whatever your wildest dreams are!
Whispering Springs – @whispering_springs // whisperingsprings.ca
While not exactly in PEC, Whispering Springs is too awesome of a place and close enough to it for us not to mention it! Situated between Cobourg and Belleville, Whispering Springs is a luxury wilderness retreat and glamping grounds that can be booked out for you and your guests for your wedding! This place is absolute magic and feels like you’re in the summer camp of your dreams with completely decked out safari tents, all of the amenities that you could want, as well as a indoor/outdoor reception area that comes alive as the night goes on!
While planning your wedding day getaway, keep in mind that time of year/season as that will affect travel times, attire, the appropriateness of your location, as well as accommodations! With that being said, the best time to get married in PEC is between May and October – though keep in mind that the weather can be unpredictable even during the warmer months, so it’s always a good idea to have a plan in place in case of inclement weather!
Prince Edward County is located about 2.5 hours east of Toronto, with the nearest major airport being Toronto Pearson International Airport. No matter where you live in the GTA or beyond, the best and most straightforward way to get to Prince Edward county is by driving – the 401 highway runs directly north of the island (yes, it’s technically an island!), with most routes taking you through Belleville.
As an alternative, guests that don’t want to bother with the drive and/or do not have access to a vehicle can also take the GO train or Via Rail into Belleville, and either a rideshare or local taxi service into PEC. Guests that choose to take the train into the County might need to arrive a day early depending on service availability and/or timing. Plan ahead!
For more information about travel to PEC, head on over to the official Prince Edward County website!
Accommodations and Getting Ready
While some venues like Compass Rose Suites and the Drake Devonshire have onsite accommodations for you and some guests, choosing a place to stay the night before and after your wedding for yourself and a place for your guests to rest after a day of celebration is very important!
For the couple getting married, the place(s) that you stay should be more than just where you’re storing your things and going to sleep – it should be an extension of your day so that you feel comfortable, rested, relaxed, and also a cute place to have your getting ready moments documented! Photography is important, so you want to make sure that your space is clear, clean, and has lots of natural light. With these things in mind, we’ve put together a list of AirBnBs in the county that are excellent options!
Hygge House – Cozy Boutique Guest House- https://abnb.me/sE2EUQt0Gwb
The Meadow House – https://abnb.me/7vggjcq0Gwb
Fitzroy Fieldhouse – https://abnb.me/ekeKV3u0Gwb
Sanctuary in the County – https://abnb.me/wU8aidw0Gwb
Lyttleton in Prince Edward County – https://abnb.me/XzpxUmx0Gwb
The Rose & Thistle – https://abnb.me/CBO1EWy0Gwb
The Ferg – https://www.thefergpec.com
Not only do you need a place to stay, so do your guests! We recommend sending your wedding guests a list of recommendations for accommodations when you send out invitations, and even going as far as contacting hotels to see if they offer deals on bookings for weddings – oftentimes they’ll cut you and your guests a deal! With that in mind, here are some of our recommendations to get you started!
Drake Devonshire – @thedrake // thedrake.ca/drakedevonshire
Drake Motor Inn – @thedrake // thedrake.ca/drakemotorinn
Picton Harbor Inn – @pictonharborinn // pictonharbourinn.com
Hilton Belleville – hilton.com
Whether you’re looking to apply for a marriage license, get a photography permit, or need a permit in general to be on the property/site, it’s important to get those taken care of ahead of time to account for any delays and to make sure that your wedding day goes off without a hitch! Prince Edward County has several registry offices where you can apply for your marriage license and where you can have your ceremony, but the best place to start is the PEC website where you can download the application form as well as contact the Clerk’s Office via email or phone! For general and photography permits for specific locations, be sure to visit the corresponding websites to see what is needed – some require permits, some don’t!
We can’t write a guide for getting married without mentioning photography! One of the best thighs about getting married in PEC is that virtually every venue that you can imagine has AMAZING options for first looks, family portraits, and couples sessions! Trust in your wedding planner and photographer to choose the best spots for photography – they’ll make sure that you’re happy!
However, maybe you want to leave the property for something different or are eloping and aren’t sure where to start looking for locations. Whatever the case, it’s a good idea to have a few locations selected and mapped out ahead of time so that not only do you have a stress free experience, but that you get the shots you want!
With over 800 kms of shoreline, PEC has unending options for locations that are on the water! If you’re wanting to take shots along the beach and really ham up free spirited and adventurous vibes, we can’t recommend Sandbanks Provincial Park enough! While photography permits are not needed, you will need to get a permit ahead of time for access to Sandbanks as well as parking!
Another amazing location is the PEC Lavender Field located in Wellington! Completely instagramable and totally magical, this Lavender farm is amazing for a fun and colorful session! To book a session here, contact the owner to schedule a time and pay a fee. Photography sessions are only booked in the evenings during golden hour, which is exactly what you want!
If you’re feeling spontaneous, another option is if you see an awesome field or side road when driving around, just stop and do an impromptu session right then and there! They make for incredible backdrops to any session, and you’re bound to find something unique that no one else has used!
If you really want to take a deep dive into some more unique locations and get some insp for your session, we recommend heading to shothotspot.com and take a look at the pins people have dropped. There are some truly amazing and hidden gems that you won’t find on Google!
PEC Wedding Vendors
Once you have your venue and date locked down, it’s time to start thinking about how the rest of your wedding day is going to look and the vendors that will help make that possible! While some venues are all-inclusive and provide everything from a wedding planner, catering, and linens, others are more blank canvases and you’ll need to source vendors on your own! Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are a few options for vendors that are local to and/or are experienced with weddings in Prince Edward County to get you started;
Hair & Makeup
Brittany Shannon – brittany-shannon.com
Royal Sugar Baking – @royalsugarbaking
Supersonic Hearts Band – @supersonicheartsband
With the right information, Prince Edward County doesn’t need to be stressful or challenging – quite the opposite actually! Take this as the opportunity that it is to do what makes you happy! Do what is authentic to you and what you actually want! Book that dream venue in the woods, elope barefoot on the beach at sunset, choose anything and everything that is special, unique, and that both you and your guests will remember for a lifetime!
Are you planning a wedding in Prince Edward County and are looking for wedding photographers? Are you picturing a day that is non-traditional? Want to surprise your significant other with a steamy session for date night? Or maybe you’re looking to add some zest to the adventure of your life and want to be third-wheeled to document everything as it happens? Drop us a line so that you can learn more about us and the services that we offer!