Are you excited to plan your Manitoulin Island Elopement? Nestled in the serene waters of Lake Huron, Manitoulin Island beckons couples seeking an intimate and picturesque elopement. As the world’s largest freshwater island, Manitoulin offers a captivating blend of natural beauty, indigenous culture, and tranquility. Having explored this enchanting island, I’m you Ontario wedding photography expert and am delighted to guide you through planning your dream Manitoulin Island elopement.
THE BEST TIME TO ELOPE ON MANITOULIN ISLAND
TIME OF YEAR – LATE SUMMER | FALL
August, September, and October are the best months to visit for your Manitoulin Island Elopement. Temperatures become more comfortable in late August, and visitor numbers begin to dwindle at the close of Summer. Beautiful Fall colours pop up all throughout Manitoulin Island beginning in mid-September. During late Summer and Fall, plenty of activities are available, like hiking, kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, boating, Northern Light viewing, waterfall swimming and more! You and your partner will enjoy the nice weather, stunning views, and endless activity options in and around Manitoulin Island!
BEST TIME DURING THE WEEK
Opt for a weekday elopement to ensure a quieter and more private experience. Manitoulin Island attracts visitors on weekends, and choosing a weekday allows you to enjoy the island’s serene beauty with fewer distractions. As your local Ontario wedding photographer I highly recommend a weekday elopement.
TIME OF DAY – SUNRISE OR SUNSET?
Selecting between a sunrise or sunset elopement depends on your preferences and the atmosphere you envision. Manitoulin Island’s landscapes are bathed in golden hues during both times, offering breathtaking backdrops for your ceremony. Consider your desired lighting, activities, and the island’s weather conditions to make the perfect choice.
THE BEST PLACES TO ELOPE IN AND AROUND MANITOULIN ISLAND
Bridal Veil Falls, located near the town of Kagawong, provides a stunning natural setting for an intimate ceremony. The waterfall’s gentle cascade and surrounding forest create a romantic atmosphere, making it an ideal spot for couples seeking a tranquil elopement.
For couples who love hiking and desire a more adventurous ceremony, the Cup and Saucer Trail offers a scenic route through Manitoulin’s wilderness. Exchange vows in the heart of nature, surrounded by lush greenery and the sounds of birdsong. If you choose to elope in the fall, the colours are absolutely breathtaking on this trail!
Providence Bay Beach, with its sandy shores and panoramic views of Lake Huron, offers a picturesque setting for a beachfront elopement. Choose this location for a relaxed and romantic ceremony with the soothing sounds of the lake as your backdrop or visit for a swim!
THE BEST ACCOMMODATIONS ON MANITOULIN ISLAND
My top favourite accommodation on the island is Blue Heron House by Ten Mile Point Accommodations. Truly, all their accommodations are gorgeous, modern and on the water overlooking Georgian Bay. Blue Heron House holds 6 guests but their are other options available whether it’s just you two or if you’d like to rent a bunch of their Airbnb’s out for more guests! I also know an amazing caterer that provides private dinner options for couples at this accommodation!
The Manitoulin Hotel and Conference Centre, located in Little Current, provides a comfortable and modern accommodation option. Enjoy lakefront views, well-appointed rooms, and convenient amenities for a relaxing stay.
Nestled on a sprawling 12-acre property, this expansive bed and breakfast presents four distinctive and cozy guest rooms, each equipped with its own private attached bathroom. Conveniently located in the heart of Manitoulin, and in proximity to Mindemoya, Twin Peaks provides easy access to shopping, dining, and various attractions that highlight the charm of the world’s largest freshwater island. Our doors are open throughout the year, ensuring a welcoming retreat in all seasons.
THE BEST ACTIVITIES TO ENJOY AROUND MANITOULIN ISLAND
LATE SPRING | EARLY FALL ACTIVITIES
Explore the diverse activities that Manitoulin Island offers during late spring and early fall:
- Beach chillin and swimming
- Exploring Indigenous Culture
- Visiting Art Galleries
- Waterfall swimming
TRAVELING TO AND FROM MANITOULIN ISLAND
Manitoulin Island is accessible by ferry or bridge, with the Chi-Cheemaun ferry connecting Tobermory to South Baymouth. Alternatively, you can drive across the Little Current Swing Bridge. Plan your travel to ensure a seamless journey for your Ontario wedding to this island paradise.
HOW TO FIND AN ONTARIO WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
Choosing the right photographer for your Manitoulin Island elopement is crucial. It comes down to finding someone you and your partner trust, bond with, and connect with. You’ll be spending most of your elopement day with your photographer, so choosing someone you’d love to share your most intimate, beautiful, and love-filled moments with that day is important.
I encourage you to sit down with your partner and list your must-haves for your elopement. Hop over to Instagram, Google, or Pinterest and start searching for photographers that travel to and are familiar with the location and style of photography you want for your dream elopement. Maybe one of those photographers is me!
After you inquire with a few photographers, schedule a phone consultation before booking.
IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR POTENTIAL ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER
- How would you describe your editing style?
- What values are important to you? (Quality, Inclusivity, and Passion are GREAT values)
- What packages do you offer?
- How would you describe your on-site photography style? (Directive, Interactive, Posed?)
- How many photos are delivered after our elopement?
- How and when do we receive sneak peek photos?
- Are your travel and accommodation costs included?
- What types of albums and prints are included in your packages?
- How do you integrate Leave No Trace guidelines into an elopement?
Ask as many questions as possible during your consultation with photographers! Your photos will be the most valuable investment you will make when planning your elopement. You want to make sure you make the most informed decision possible before booking. This will ensure that you not only walk away with nostalgic keepsakes but also have a beautiful experience that’ll make you and your partner happy for a lifetime.
If you like my style, vibe and feel like we could be friends, you won’t just get amazing photographs of your experience. You’ll also get a cheerleader, an adventure guide, and a friend. I’ll support you and your partner through the roller coaster of emotions that come with planning an elopement. On the big day, I’ll help you and your partner be fully present with one another. It’s my job to make sure you enjoy your elopement day, so I’ll take the itinerary, watch the clock, and guide you both through the big and small events of the day. I’ll also gently nudge you into better lighting, fix flyaways, and adjust your dress or tux. Lastly, I’ll give you and your partner the space to enjoy and soak up each and every moment with each other while still capturing the small, intimate intricacies of your love.
THE BEST VENDORS FOR YOUR MANITOULIN ISLAND ELOPEMENT
By choosing me as your Ontario elopement photographer, you gain access to a curated list of preferred, sustainable vendors. From florists to adventure guides, I prioritize vendors who align with eco-friendly practices and can enhance your Manitoulin Island elopement experience.
INCLUDING FAMILY, FRIENDS & PETS IN YOUR MANITOULIN ISLAND ELOPEMENT
Discuss with your partner how you’d like to involve family, friends, or pets in your elopement. Whether opting for an intimate ceremony or a celebration with loved ones afterward, I’ll help you plan an elopement that aligns with your vision.
DESIGNING YOUR MANITOULIN ISLAND ELOPEMENT
Personalize your elopement design to reflect your style and personalities. If you prefer assistance, consider hiring an elopement photographer & planner with experience on Manitoulin Island. Their local expertise will ensure a stress-free and uniquely tailored celebration. Luckily, that’s also what I do! I’m not just your Ontario wedding photographer but so much more! I’ll help you plan all the things and organize all those details so you don’t have to 🙂
CHOOSING THE PERFECT ELOPEMENT ATTIRE
Wear attire that makes you feel confident and comfortable. Consider the terrain and weather, but embrace the freedom to express your style. Manitoulin Island’s relaxed atmosphere allows for a range of attire options, from casual to elegant. The weather can be unpredictable on the island so as your Ontario elopement photography expert I always recommend bringing rain gear as well 🙂
HOW TO MAKE YOUR MANITOULIN ISLAND ELOPEMENT OFFICIAL
You’ll need to obtain a marriage license to get officially married in Ontario. This can be done by visiting a local municipality near Manitoulin Island. There, you’ll pay a fee and provide proof of identification. A marriage license is valid for three months from the date of issue. An officiant (who’s legally permitted to do so) needs to perform the marriage and then send a completed and signed marriage license to ServiceOntario. After the officiant registers the marriage, you can request a marriage certificate. Lastly, Ontario requires that two witnesses and your officiant be present for the ceremony.
WITH AN OFFICIANT AT YOUR ELOPEMENT CEREMONY
If you choose to include an officiant in your actual elopement day ceremony, I can help you find and coordinate an officiant to ensure your elopement is as stress-free as possible! Don’t forget that you’ll need two witnesses as well. This can be family/friends or myself and an additional person. The officiant and witnesses only need to be present during the ceremony. If you’d like the rest of your elopement experience to be private, we can include that wish into your elopement day plans!
WITHOUT AN OFFICIANT AT YOUR ELOPEMENT CEREMONY
If you and your partner only want to experience your elopement with a photographer, you may want to do the “official” legal tying of the knot separately. This can be done at a courthouse or town hall on another day, before or after the elopement day. Having a symbolic Ontario wedding is a fun way to get around this if you’d like! Either way I’m here to help you arrange whichever you prefer 🙂
PACKING FOR YOUR MANITOULIN ISLAND ELOPEMENT
If you and your partner choose to wear a dress or suit on your Ontario wedding day, here is one of my favorite travel tips to make transporting important wedding attire hassle and risk-free.
Transport your dress or suit using a garment bag. The Green Garmento is one of my favourite companies that sell sustainable garment bags. It’s also a women-owned business!
Airlines like Delta have hanging closets at the front of the plane. If you let a flight attendant know you have your wedding attire in a garment bag as you board, they can assist in hanging it in a closet on the plane for you. Just make sure to grab it on the way off! I always advise clients never to put wedding attire in checked luggage. Elopement dresses or tuxes packed in checked luggage risk getting lost, delayed, or damaged. Sure, you may have to carry the garment bag through the airport, but better safe than sorry!
If you’re driving or taking a train to your Ontario elopement location, you can hang or lie your garment bag flat in your backseat, trunk, or sleeping cabin.
ELOPEMENT ESSENTIALS PACKING LIST
- Passport / ID / Credit Cards
- Elopement Attire
- Garment Bags
- Vow Books
- Base Layers
- Hiking boots
- Long + Short Sleeved Shirts
- Adaptors + Chargers
- First Aid Kit + Medications + Toiletries
- Hiking Packs
- Reusable Water Bottles
- Bear Spray (however this is a very low bear activity island)
- Rain boots
- Rain pants/jacket/poncho
MANITOULIN ISLAND ELOPEMENT TIMELINE
Consider a sample timeline for your elopement day:
1:00 PM: Get Ready at Sandhill House Airbnb
3:00 PM: Reveal at Airbnb
3:30 PM Drive to Bridal Veil Falls
4:30 PM: Walk down to the falls and exchange your vows!
5:30 PM: Explore along the Bridal veil falls hike to take pictures in the forest
6:30 PM: Enjoy an ice cream cone at the Buttercup Ice Creamery
7:00 PM: Sunset portraits along the water and celebrate with a champagne toast!
8:00 PM: Drive back to your accommodation for a private catered dinner
9:00 PM: Watch the Northern Lights on the shores of Georgian Bay for your first dance
MANITOULIN ISLAND ENTRY & ELOPEMENT PERMIT GUIDELINES
Manitoulin Island may have specific entry fees, reservations, and photography permit requirements. With my expertise, I’ll assist you in navigating these guidelines and ensuring all necessary permits are secured. As your Ontario elopement photographer I’ll guide you through all of these details!
LEAVE NO TRACE
The beauty of eloping lies not just in the simplicity and intimacy of the experience but also within the location where it’s celebrated. We want to keep that scenery beautiful during your Ontario elopement, so generations to come can also enjoy Mother Nature and all her amazing wonders. Leave No Trace is an organization that focuses on educating people on sustainability, and I’m proud to be a Leave No Trace Aware Photographer. I’m proud to practice the seven principles of Leave No Trace and want to encourage you to do the same!
THE 7 PRINCIPLES:
- Plan Ahead & Prepare
- Travel & Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Dispose of Waste Properly
- Leave What You Find
- Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Respect Wildlife
- Be Considerate of Others
You can learn more about Leave No Trace on their website.
READY TO PLAN YOUR ADVENTUROUS MANITOULIN ISLAND ELOPEMENT?
If Manitoulin Island captures your imagination for an intimate and adventurous elopement, let’s begin planning! Share your preferences, love story, and vision with me by filling out my contact form here. I’m excited to assist you and your partner in creating a meaningful and intentional elopement experience on the captivating Manitoulin Island!