Cottage wedding
Image By Design Events, Floral and Event Planning Studio

If you absolutely love cottage season in Canada, then say your "I dos" lakeside with a casual celebration with family and friends. We've got easy cottage wedding ideas to capture that relaxed summer feeling while making your event wedding-worthy and memorable. Whether you're planning a micro wedding in 2021 or a large post-pandemic party next year, we've got lots of inspiration for nature lovers.

Here are 29 awesome cottage wedding ideas.

Cottage wedding venue

Obviously, you're going to need a wedding venue. Many couple opting for a cottage wedding have a family property that's dear to their hearts (some with a party-worthy community clubhouse). If you don't, all is not lost. There are some amazing summer camps and resorts in cottage country that are well equipped for hosting a summer wedding and make it easy to plan. For a smaller guest count, a cottage rental is also a viable option, although this will take more careful planning. P.S. If you're looking for a cottage wedding venue in Ontario, here are 16 Muskoka wedding venues to consider.

Cottage wedding venue
Camp Nokomis Weddings

Cottage wedding invitations

Set the tone for your celebration with rustic wedding stationery. Adorn save-the dates and invitations with fun cottage motifs (as shown here) or a design based on local flora, fauna and wildlife. If your location is off the beaten trail, don't forget to include a map and detailed directions.

cottage wedding invitation
Alicia's Infinity

Directional signage

Speaking of directions, make sure your guests don't get lost on their way to your event by putting up some fun signage along the route.

Cottage wedding signage
Video Village

Bridal cottage

Many wedding venues offer use of a bridal suite, but we love the idea of gathering your squad in a cabin, bunkie, tent or trailer to get ready. Don't forget to take a photo of your gown hanging on the exterior for an on-theme gown portrait.

Wedding dress hanging on a cabin
Bayview Wildwood Resort

Boho bridal party

A boho wedding look for you and bridal party with simple flower crowns, loosely-tied bouquets and pale dresses looks beautiful in a forest setting. 

Boho bridal party
Max Wong Photo

Bridesmaid shorts

Here's another stylish cottage wedding idea: keep your bridesmaids cool and comfortable in shorts.

Bridesmaid shorts
Eleanor Dobbins Photography

Warm welcome

Greet your guests with a lovey-dovey message on a rustic sign on a lantern-lined path leading to your wedding ceremony spot to build anticipation. 

Cottage wedding decor
Eleanor Dobbins Photography

Water transportation

Make a grand entrance and arrive at your ceremony by boat. Decorate your canoe, paddleboat or row boat with flowers to make the moment extra special.

Bride arriving in a canoe
Colleen Anne Photography

Ceremony on the dock

The natural place to say your wedding vows at a cottage is on a dock with the beauty of the water and shoreline as your backdrop.

Wedding ceremony on a dock
Katie Langmuir

Outdoor minimony

If you have a small guest count to meet Covid guidelines, have your guests join you on the dock for an intimate outdoor ceremony. 

Cottage minimony
Tracy Biggar, Wedding Officiant

Ceremony seating

If your ceremony is going to be on the longer side, use logs, tree stumps, folding chairs or benches for your ceremony seating arrangement. Some cottage communities have an outdoor chapel or theatre for a turnkey option.

Forest wedding ceremony
Kawartha Weddings

Rustic chic vow booklets

We love the idea of including some fancier elements at a cottage wedding like these handmade-paper vow booklets tied with ribbon.

Wedding Vow Booklets
Molly Jane Photography

Cottage-y decor

You probably already have existing decor elements like cottage furniture, decorative driftwood and picnic tables, but elevate the scene with wedding lanterns, bouquets, cushions and throws.

Cottage wedding decor
Image By Design Events, Floral and Event Planning Studio

Guest book

Have your guests sign a paddle or wooden chairs for a keepsake guest book that you'll actually use at your cottage for years to come. Bonus: Here are 8 Unique Wedding Guest Book Ideas.

Paddle guest book
Jacaranda Events

Dog-friendly affair

If having your fur baby alongside you is a priority, a cottage wedding is ideal for including your pet. Pro tip: Here's everything you’ll need for a dog-friendly wedding if you want to open it up to your guests' dogs, too.

Bride and Groom's hands with their dog's paw
Darlington Studios

Boat rides

Enjoy a little private time during your wedding with a paddle in a canoe. You could also treat your guests to some time on the water with a boat cruise.

Same-sex newlywed couple paddling a canoe
Khi Photography

Grazing table

A long plank of charcuterie is an easy cottage wedding menu idea. Support nearby producers if you can to treat your guests to some local flavours.

Grazing table at cottage wedding
Wedding of Trevor & Jamie

Lawn games

Set up some outdoor wedding reception games to get your guests mixing, mingling and competing!

Lawn games at cottage wedding
Wedding of Trevor & Jamie

Watersports

And then there's the water sports! Forget about practicing a first dance routine for your cottage wedding. We love how this couple hopped on their wakeboards in their wedding gear to give their guests a demonstration of their skills with a first ride together as husband and wife.

Bride and groom on waterboards
Darlington Studios

Lakeside dining

For a cottage wedding, you can keep things super casual or get fancy with rustic chic table decorations

Cottage wedding reception
Image By Design Events

Natural resources

Use driftwood, wildflowers, greenery and moss to make eye-catching wedding centerpieces.

Cottage wedding table decorations
Meadows & Mountains

BBQ menu

We also love the idea of serving up cottage favourites off the BBQ. Corn on the cob, grilled meats and veggie skewers will satisfy guests of all ages.

BBQ food at cottage wedding
Wedding of Trevor & Jamie

Forest photo shoot

Sneak away with your photographer for a romantic photo shoot in the woods. Whether it's hot and sunny or more on the cloudy side, they'll be able to capture magical moments among the trees. Pro tip: Host your wedding in the woods with these 21 Awesome Forest Wedding Ideas.

Wedding portrait in forest
Heather Doughty Photography

Self-serve bar

Keep things casual, with a self-serve bar featuring local spirits and mixers to make your signature cocktail.

Cottage wedding bar
Wedding of Trevor & Jamie

Camp fire and s'mores

Gather your friends and family around a campfire for a s'mores session. Also have some cozy blankets available to cuddle up when it cools down.

Cottage wedding campfire
Image By Design Events, Floral and Event Planning Studio

Live music

From an acoustic wedding processional to a campfire singalong (including e few Tragically Hip tunes!), fill the fresh air with the sweet sound of live music. 

Live music
Nick & Benton

Guest cabins

If possible, reserve some nearby cabins for guest accommodations so your loved ones can get the full cottage experience and make it a mini-getaway.

Wedding guest cottages
Woods End Landing

Outdoorsy wedding gifts

Commemorate your wedding with outdoorsy wedding gifts like this couple did with custom paddles. P.S. Here are 10 Wedding Gift Ideas if You Love the Great Outdoors.

Custom paddles wedding gift
Molly Jane Photography

Getaway boat

Ride off into the sunset in a boat decorated with a "Just Married" sign. P.S. Don't forget to take a sweet photo of your wedding exit.

Newlywed getaway boat
Still Moments Photography

Find more cottage wedding ideas in our Real Wedding galleries »