Rustic and romantic: Alan shares his favourite lodges that are ideal wedding venues

Dr. Alan Viau has been performing weddings and other life celebrations in Ottawa since 2004. On his own blog, he compiles useful tips on what’s gone well and what to watch for based on the hundreds of weddings he’s conducted in the National Capital Region. He’s also a part-time theatre buff!

Brides and grooms are always seeking out a wedding venue of their dreams.

One dream I see often is to have their wedding at a rustic lodge. Lodges are part of our romantic images of Canada like canoes and roaring fireplaces. They form the fabric of our heritage, just like weddings.

There are several lodge venues in Ottawa. I’ve enjoyed how the exposed wood adds warmth to their decor and consequently the ceremony. Usually, I am standing in front of a fireplace with the couple to perform the wedding ceremony. Occasionally, my buns get toasty by the flames.

Here is my list of lodges that I’ve experienced. They are listed by the number of people they can accommodate.

Econoniche: A rural conference and retreat centre located in the Gatineau Hills a mere 20 minutes from Parliament Hill in Cantley, Québec. It can accommodate about 20 people overnight and host up to 60 guests.

Canada Club: A gorgeous cottage near Perth on Big Rideau Lake, I’ve performed ceremonies on the dock. It is available by invitation only (you need to apply) but is worth it. It can hold 20 overnight guests. It features a huge common area overlooking the lake.

Stonefield’s Heritage Farm: Located in Beckwith/Carleton Place just 40 minutes from downtown Ottawa. The unique property features a historical stone farmhouse, picture-perfect log buildings and charming country gardens. Their capacity is 50-225 guests.

Strathmere: Strathmere’s Lodge is a imaginatively-renovated 100-year-old barn, with 3 fieldstone fireplaces, comfortable lounge, open loft, and large dance floor.  Overlooking rolling farm fields is a charming outdoor ceremony site, with arbor, bench seating and signing table. It is one of my popular spots in Ottawa for wedding ceremonies. The maximum capacity for the Lodge is 210 guests for dinner and 250 for a reception. Strathmere is located near North Gower which is within 25 minutes of most Ottawa locations.

Beantown Ranch: Nestled in the countryside, east of Ottawa, near Wendover it features a natural log hall with a capacity of 150 guests and spectacular lakeside terrace wich can accomodate another 75 guests. Make your wedding spectacular with your first dance on a small island with fireworks going off overhead.

Timber Run Golf Course: Sculpted from the rugged Lanark Highlands, along the banks of the Clyde River, Timber Run has been desribed as a true “rustic gem”. Timber Run’s clubhouse is one of the largest, most dramatic log structures found in Ontario and can easily host 230 guests.

Temple’s Sugar Camp: Located west of Ottawa, its two hundred seat timber frame building is surrounded by forests and gardens making it a lovely setting for a country wedding through all four seasons. It can host 240 guests for your reception.

Chateau Montebello: Inspired by the chateaux in the Swiss Alps, it was built in the 1930’s on the grounds of a Seigniorial estate. The stunning red cedar log cabin exudes a rustic elegance and a warm welcome. It can accommodate a variety of venue choices and can house 211 overnight guests.

Thanks Alan!