The Kortright Event Center is located in a gorgeous conservation park in Woodbridge, Ontario and is managed by the reputable hospitality group Peter & Pauls.
I had the pleasure of being the photographer for a wedding at Kortright in November 2023. This is an honest review from a vendor's perspective (not a sponsored post).
1. Breathtaking Photo Spots
Many venues in the Toronto area are limited to just a few outdoor photo locations, but being in a conservation park means access to unlimited breathtaking photo spots in the outdoors. Each season at Kortright brings its own beauty too - from the beautiful green forest canopy in the summer months, to the autumn colours. If you're planning your wedding at Kortright, be sure to schedule at least 40 minutes of bride and groom portraits to take advantage of this magical place. It can also be helpful to scope out photo spots before your wedding day because the grounds are big. You can even assign a guest to drive you around to the spots to maximize your photo time.
2. Many Choices for Ceremony and Reception Spaces
The couple I shot did their ceremony outdoors (yes, in November!) nestled under a huge line of evergreen trees (called Coyote Alley). It made for such beautiful photos with tons of greenery, with string lights that added a fairy tale effect. The reception took place in the Forest Gallery, and as a photographer, I was pleased with how much natural light came in through the windows, in addition to the view of the woodlands. There are a few other options for indoor ceremonies and larger receptions.
3. Friendly Staff & Great Food
As a vendor, I get the chance to try many wedding venue meals. Kortright served an excellent three course meal, and the staff were helpful and polite. Dinner service was seamless and paced well.
4. Exclusive Access to Venue After 4pm
When I began photo coverage in the early afternoon, I did notice some hikers in the park. However, there is so much open space that it was easy to work around them. Once the ceremony and reception time rolled around, the park was closed and the couple and their family had complete privacy.
I really don't have anything negative to say about this venue from personal experience. Just a couple of notes to mention:
- Bugs - Luckily, in November the bugs were long gone. However, in the summer months, any outdoor ceremony in the forest would translate to guests getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. Be aware of this and prepare ahead of time with bug spray. The heat may also be intense in July and August.
- Limited Accessibility - One thing I did note was the large distance guests needed to travel between the ceremony site and reception location. For older guests and guests with limited mobility, a small hike on a gravel path may be difficult. Make plans ahead of time to accommodate guests.
- Books up quickly - Prime season dates fill up quickly, so you'll have to book your date at least a year out if you don't want to get stuck with a Friday or off-season date.
- Pricey - The website has transparent pricing. Prime season dates for 2023 were $199 per person with a 100 person minimum (includes cocktail hour, open bar, and reception). Off-season prices are $149 per person. This is definitely not a place for budget weddings.
Overall, Kortright is one of my favourite wedding spots! I highly recommend it for couples who don't mind braving the bugs or cold, and love being surrounded by nature.