What do you get when you take bunch of artistic people, a couple of museum nerds, a historic site, and a warm spring weekend and put them all together – a wedding of course! Well, I suppose that’s not always what you end up with, but in this case it is. . .
Just a little over a week ago now I was married at Balls Falls Conservation Area, and if you’ve never been there you should really make it the next historic site / hiking trip in your agenda. The site is a mix of a conservation area and mini historic village. The area was once home to the Ball Family who were United Empire Loyalists and had received the property as a land grant in 1783. The small village was one of the few places not burned by retreating American Forces during the War of 1812 and it is both historically significant and stunningly beautiful. There are two hiking trails on the site, one is an easy gentle slope up to one of the two waterfalls, past the remains of one of the old mills; the other is part of the Bruce Trail network and requires proper hiking footwear. The site also has a fairly new interpretive center that has a permanent exhibit about the conservation area as well as a temporary gallery that hosts various exhibits throughout the year. The small barn in the village has some interpretive panels about the Ball Family, they are a bit dated but have lots of interesting information and I have it on good authority that they are about to undergo an overhaul to freshen them up and bring them up to par with the rest of the site.
There are also a whole host of really interesting workshops at the site – blacksmithing is my favorite on the list; alas it is on weekends when I am at work!
Our wedding service was held in the historic chapel built in 1864 and moved to the site in 1974. We hadgames and refreshments for our guests while Jeff Tessier took our wedding photos along the trail to the upper waterfall. Then we had our reception in the “big barn” which we decorated (with lots of help from friends and family) the day before.
Our wedding was just under a 150 people, the barn can hold up to 190 but I think it would be a bit crowded, of course if you have good weather like we did it’s not a problem as people spread out all over the lawn outside the barn. You can also have weddings and special events in the interpretation center but it doesn’t have the same ambiance.
Our catering was done by Niche Catering; they are from the Ancaster area and were on the list of caterers suggested by the site. They cooked all the food on site which added to the fun and relaxed atmosphere of our big family gathering.
We had so much fun – and the site was a perfect venue for us. More photos to come soon!