Holland Marsh Winery Weddings
All You Need To Know
(From A Local Wedding Planner)
I have had the pleasure of working The Holland Marsh Winery on various occasions in my professional career and with being a local wedding planner to the area of Newmarket, Ontario. My mom even had her second marriage at this venue by my recommendation :) With my experience working this venue, here is my honest feedback on the venue and all you need to know.
(Note that I am not affiliated with this venue and this blog post is not sponsored by the venue in any way!)
One of the best features of The Holland Marsh Winery is its amazing location. You would think that you were in the middle of country; yet you are just minutes from Newmarket's Upper Canada Mall and all that the bustling Town Of Newmarket offers! This makes finding vendors, providing hotel accommodations for guests or even running out to grab late night pizza for your late night snacks all accessible options. If you are looking to stay local, The Holland Marsh Winery is a great option to consider!
When booking with HMW you need to be aware that you have to exclusively use O'Malley's Catering for your event. The good news is that O'Malley's does an amazing job! I've worked with them MANY times (including at Madsen's Greenhouse, another local venue!). They are Italian owned and Emidio does a great catering. My suggestion would be to opt for the 4 course menu option. 3 courses I personally find a little light. OR be prepared to provide some late night snacks for your guests.
When booking with HMW you are also obliged to book with the in house DJ company, Bob Hawkins. The good news is that they are local and well known. They have many DJs that work for them and are familiar with the venue. The not-so-great news is that I find them to be a little "dime a dozen" and pretty well hire anyone off the street and train them to be a "DJ". I don't find them to be the best for having a good "party". The last DJs I've worked with via Bob Hawkins at this venue showed up with binders full of actual CDs. No mixing. Not much crowd reading and overall just "meh" in terms of DJing quality.
I much preferred my clients who opted for live-music at this venue. The rustic country setting and feel of this venue calls for the acoustic feel of a band IMO like The Clearing that I worked with there before.
One of the many benefits of HMW is its beautiful grounds! When selecting your ceremony site, you have many options to choose from i.e. among the trees, with the winery backdrop etc. All of them provide a beautiful backdrop for your special day. My fav is the patio with rustic arbor and trellis. It makes the perfect spot for late night photos!! Don't forget the sparklers!!!
One thing I do not like about the HMW is that it is open to the public until a certain time. Be prepared to share the grounds and the main hall to public tours, HMW private tours for other weddings and the general public during their business hours. This has proven to be a little bit of a challenge in my experience. I once had a pretty boisterous bachelorrette party on the grounds creating quite the ruckus during my clients photo session. Just be sure to inquire about their public hours of operation on your special day as well as time your wedding around them.
Indoor Ceremony Potential
Should inclement weather be an issue OR if you are just planning for an indoor ceremony, the great news is that HMW is stunning inside and out! Here is an example of an indoor ceremony with the same winery backdrop via the large windows and walkout; while still enjoying the beauty of the rustic wood interior!
HMW is not cheap. Its also in alignment with other rustic / barn-type weddings though. Be prepared to spend upwards of $10,000 on the venue alone, plus the cost of your catering per plate and all the extras. Fridays and Sundays are cheaper from my last research. They also require you to enroll in their membership / wine program when you book a wedding there. O'Malley's catering for wedding packages starts at $50+ pp. There are additional charges for things like fire pit use, onsite photography, etc. Refer to their packages.
Because Holland Marsh Winery is a full service and actively producing winery, they DO NOT ALLOW YOU TO SERVE ANY OTHER WINE. This is not a huge deal IMO. Their wine is actually quite good. They have different wines with various price points for you to choose from if you decide to do an open bar or put wine on each table. From my last research, most wines were $25+ per bottle and they work with you to choose the right wines for your budgets and taste.
STUNNING NATURAL DECOR
One of the things I love about HMW is its natural beauty. Its natural slate floors, rustic exposed beams and large windows call for minimal further decor. I love the string lights that span across the ceilings. This venue makes for stunning photos - inside and out! Save your money on expensive floral and center pieces!! Not much is needed!
One thing I did experience when working at HMW is that they have local neighbours who are not too keen on noise. The first sign of too loud of music past the correct hour, they are known to call in a complaint! Bob Hawkins DJ is really good about managing this noise level; however be sure that if you do opt to bring in a 3rd party band that they are aware to not piss off the neighbours :)
- Holland Marsh Winery Photo Gallery - Sylvia & Domenic
- Holland Marsh Winery Photo Gallery - Natalie & Don