We may be in winter’s grip, but it’s never too early to start planning for the summer. This is especially true for weddings, whether it’s this summer or the summer of 2022, or beyond! Getting married outside allows nature into your ceremony, creates an inclusive space for old and new traditions, and makes it easy to get creative with decorations. Whether it’s by the water, on historic grounds, or among beautiful plants, here are some suggestions for your outside wedding in Nova Scotia.
Beavercreek Winery is relatively new to the wedding game, starting in 2014, but they’ve quickly established themselves as a wonderful wedding location. The outdoor venue is covered (perfect for the changeable Nova Scotian weather), and the ceremony itself takes place in their pergola, which is a close cousin of my favourite building the gazebo, so that’s a huge plus in my book. There are two bars available for the venue, one for drinks and one that’s suggested for a candy bar, which is one of the best things I’ve ever heard of. The winery itself offers many beautiful photo ops, especially because they don’t just grow grapes—they have 21 varieties of fruit wine, so you’ll have a variety of beautiful outdoor wedding photos!
Where: 496 Carleton Road, Lawrencetown; 902-825-9463s
Fox Harb’r Resort
Fox Harb’r Resort is one of the biggest names in luxurious getaways in Nova Scotia, and naturally has a similar reputation for wonderful weddings. They’ve got spa packages, a wide variety of catering options, activities like kayaking, golf, and swimming, plus a hands-on wedding professionals’ team. You’ll be able to personalize your wedding day (and the days before and after) without a care in the world. Black tie or casual, outdoor or indoor, big guest list or an elopement, you can have your dream wedding here.
Where: 1337 Fox Harbour Road, Fox Harbour; 1-866-257-1801
Halifax Citadel National Historic Site
What’s that old saying, all’s fair in love and war? The Halifax Citadel is a historical landmark, and the views and 19th century fort backdrops make it a unique place to start your future together. The outdoor weddings in the Parade Square can accommodate up to 1,000 guests (so I guess you don’t have to cross anyone off your guest list!), or you can move the reception inside for Citadel’s own catering. You can get your wedding photos done in all the fort’s historic glory (although I think you have to bring your own kilt).
Where: Citadel Hill, Halifax; 902-426-5080
Rustic weddings are a great way to focus on the day, and Hatfield Farm provides that while still providing modern conveniences. Their outdoor wedding ceremonies take place at their gazebo(!!!!!), but you can move inside if the weather gets yucky. There are tons of cool photo opportunities, all the food is taken care of, and they even have their own minister and DJ. Guests can spend the night in the bunkhouses or cabins, so you can all have breakfast in the morning together before people head home.
Where: 1840 Hammonds Plains Road; 901-835-5676
The shores of the Bras D’Or Lakes are some of the most picturesque in Cape Breton (and that’s saying a lot). If you’re looking to plan a wedding there, the Inverary Resort is ready to welcome you. Get married with the Lakes as your backdrop in a gorgeous outdoor ceremony, then feast and dance the night away. The Inverary is also a great place to stay for your out-of-town guests, as well as yourselves on a low-key honeymoon in Baddeck. Try Tom’s Pizza, it’s delicious!
Where: 368 Shore Road, Baddeck; 1-800-565-5660
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Digby Pines Resort and Spa
Your wedding may take place on one day, but with rehearsal dinners, bachelorette/bachelor parties, and entertaining guests coming from out of town, it’s helpful to have a place that can offer options for all of this. The Digby Pines Resort is more than capable of providing entertainment for the whole wedding experience, complete with a farewell brunch and an onsite wedding coordinator. Your guests can enjoy the spa or the golf course (or both), the cuisine is Nova Scotian and delightful, and the photo ops are everywhere. And if you’re leaning towards a smaller wedding, even an elopement, they’ve got plans for that too!
Where: 103 Shore Road, Digby; 1-800-667-4637
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Just over Cape Smokey from Inverary, you’ll find the Keltic Lodge. You’ll have a water background here too, but this is cliffside overlooking the ocean, so it’s a different aesthetic. Their wedding package includes everything from a choice of three outdoor ceremony locations, a reception that’s fully staffed with excellent food, and accommodation packages for guests. With a spa and golf course on site, and the lodge itself being in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, there’s no shortage of things to do before and after the wedding day, making the whole experience memorable for all.
Where: 383 Keltic In Road, Middle Head Peninsula, Ingonish Beach; 1-800-565-0444
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Lane’s Privateer Inn
If you want to have a privateer (aka pirates with an operating license) themed wedding, why not have it at Lane’s Privateer Inn? Set on the Mersey River, the Inn offers both outdoor and indoor facilities (in case it rains) for both ceremony and reception. And don’t worry, you don’t have to do a pirate themed wedding to participate—I’m just saying that if that’s an idea you might like, this is the perfect place! There are rooms for the out of town guests, and the food is fantastic—it’s an ideal location for an intimate gathering.
Where: 27 Bristol Avenue, Liverpool; 902-354-3456 or 1-800-794-3332
Oak Island Resort
You treasure your relationship, so why not get married with one of the world’s most famous treasure hunts as the backdrop? The Oak Island Resort isn’t on the island itself (which is a good thing considering all the press), but you get a great view. There’s plenty for guests to do around the wedding day at the resort’s various recreational facilities, so this is a good place to consider if you’re planning a longer stay for the wedding party or for guests in general. You have your choice of outside location, and the indoors is ready for the reception and any inclement weather.
Where: 36 Treasure Drive, West Shore; 1-800-565=5-75
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Oceanstone Seaside Resort
If you want a seaside wedding and you’ve got an intimate venue in mind, Oceanstone is the place for you. They have onsite accommodations for up to 80 people, and their cottages and rooms are sure to delight. They have a full wedding support staff and are able to help with every aspect of your big day. Oceanstone is one of my favourite places to go, and I’m sure that your seaside day will be fantastic, come rain or shine.
Where: 8650 Peggy’s Cover Road, Indian Harbour.
Rosewood on the Cove Cottages
If you want a small wedding with maximum privacy and comfort, head to Hubbards and the Rosewood on the Cove Cottages! Hubbards is a beautiful small town, and Rosewood on the Cove is right in the heart of things (so perfect for a wedding!) You can rent out the entire property so your guests can relax in comfort. Enjoy South Shore hospitality, visit the nearby beach, and if you’re looking for a more informal wedding dinner, the world-famous Shore Club, with its dancing and lobster dinners, is within walking distance (even in fancy shoes, and I don’t say that lightly.)
Where: 187 Shore Club Road, Hubbards; 902-857-2001
Star of the Sea Bed and Breakfast
Just five minutes’ drive outside of Halifax, the Star of the Sea Bed & Breakfast sits overlooking the Halifax Harbour and McNabs Island. This restored 1846 building provides a cozy and quiet retreat is proudly LGBT friendly, so you can relax and enjoy your 50 guests (max) without a care in the world. There’s a veranda for rainy days, blackberry bushes for picking, and gorgeous rooms to stay in, so you won’t even have to make the drive the day of the wedding.
Where: 4 York Redoubt Crescent, Fergusons Cove; 902-223-0140
We’ve done a few waterside locations, how about some plant-based beauty? The Tangled Garden has several beautiful parts, including a flower labyrinth, an alley of sunflowers, a pond, and more. Your guests can explore the grounds as everything gets set up, and you can have your ceremony anywhere in the five acre property. You can purchase jellies both savoury and sweet as wedding favours, arrange for catering, and enjoy all the photographs you can take amongst the flowers.
Where: 11827 High 1, Grand Pré; 902-542-9811
The Waegwoltic Club is a beautiful place in the South End that overlooks the Northwest Arm (no, I don’t get it either). The facilities include tennis courts, four pools, and a sandpit, so there’s plenty to keep people entertained. Their beautiful outdoor stone patio is perfect for holding a party of up to 150 guests, and you can get married pretty much anywhere on the grounds—I’d personally recommend the patio though, because you can see the Arm and be surrounded by summer greenery at the same time. The packages include buffet options, multicourse dinners, and chef attended reception stations that feature a variety of options that cover just about every dietary need.
Where: 6549 Coburg Road, Halifax; 902-429-2822
White Point Beach Resort
Ah, White Point, one of the most classic Nova Scotian wedding destinations. It makes sense—the grounds are gorgeous, the beach is amazing, and it’s one of the most family-friendly destinations on the South Shore. White Point is ready to welcome you on your special day, providing a wide range of services and options for outdoor ceremonies, including getting married on the beach, in the water, that’s awesome! Come visit the unnies and make your wedding the perfect chance for your family and friends to relax and celebrate together.
Where: 757 White Point Beach Resort Road, White Point; 902-354-2711 or 1-800-565-5068
By: Adrienne Colborne