Address: 77 Mill St W, Elora, ON N0B 1S0
There are few places in Ontario that will transport you back in time like Elora Mill. The main street is like something out of a movie with each little shop and restaurant still proudly adorned with original stone work, ornate windows and the chime of the doorbell. Handpainted signs advertising locally made wares sit out in the sidewalk surrounded by planters of floral embellishments. It's truly quite a sight.
When it comes to iconic places within this charming town most residents will direct you straight to Elora Mill. Built at the edge of the Elora Gorge atop a hill with a view it was among the first structures on the land back in the mid-1800s. At the time it functioned as a grain mill and distillery before being converted to an inn around a century later. Today the Elora Mill Hotel & Spa operates as a relaxing tourist destination for young and old to experience a piece of history while being relaxed and pampered. What better place for a wedding than that?
Looking for a ceremony with a view? The Riverside Chapel is Elora Mill's outdoor piece of paradise with a something special to look at in every direction. Tucked away from the busy street but still with sightlines to the main Inn & Spa building and the Elora Gorge this is the perfect spot to say I Do. After your ceremony we can take family portraits against the industrial ruins of the Walser building with its exposed brick and timber wood arbour, or just steps away take advantage of a totally different "look" with mature evergreens along a boardwalk path. When your family heads to cocktail hour I'll take the two of you on a stroll, stopping every several times for wedding portraits in front of the Foundry Chapel (more on that below!), the bridge over the gorge, the path along shops on the Mill Street and in front of the Inn before we head inside. With a bit of extra time in your itinerary we can also take advantage of the free wedding shuttle service down to one of several nature parks with views of the gorge cliffs.
Perhaps you're planning to be married in the winter, or your summer weddings is a little wetter than planned -- what then? Few venues offer an indoor ceremony space that is as beautiful as the outdoor alternative, but this is definitely one of them. The Foundry Chapel was formerly an industrial space that has since been converted into the perfect rustic chic balance. Timer beams flank the centre aisle, a grand marble fireplace stands proudly as your ceremony backdrop and a combination of natural window light and elegant chandeliers set the mood for an elevated celebration. After your ceremony we can take your family photographs in front of the same fireplace and then head back to the Inn for portraits in the lounge or the restaurant overlooking the waterfall.
One of my favourite things to do with couples is step out at some point during the reception for a few portraits at the infamous "golden hour" -- that fleeting time of day just before the sun dips below the horizon, creating a warm romantic light (you'll know the light is perfect when you hear me say "it's so delicious I want to eat it with a spoon"). Elora's shops quiet down around this time, many of them closing for the day so owners can have dinner with their families. This gives us the perfect opportunity to pop back onto Mill Street where the light will wrap you in a golden glow. Closer to the Inn the sun sparkles off the water and offers us a stunning background that may have been too busy with tourists earlier in the day.
For couples looking for a destination wedding in the heart of Ontario look no further. Elora Mill offers the unique opportunity for your ceremony and reception to take place in separate spaces that are connected by a trip through the history of the town, giving guests an immersive experience they won't be able to stop talking about. With unrivalled views and a balance of natural surroundings and industrial chic there's so much to love about a wedding at Elora Mill.
Location: 77 Mill St W, Elora, ON N0B 1S0.