If you are looking for a unique and picturesque location for an outdoor wedding in Oxford County, the Creekside Wedding Ceremony Venue could be just what you are looking for. The property was first settled in 1865 and cleared for use as a farm and is located between Kintore and Embro on the 29th Line of Zorra Township. Mary Anne Van Oosteen and her husband Roeland purchased the land in 2000 and decided to turn a portion of the property into a business after their daughter’s wedding a few years ago. The pair ran a dairy farm with Roeland’s brother, but he was forced to sell their half of the farm due to health concerns. They were both working part-time when this opportunity came up.
“We made live edge benches for my daughter’s wedding. The area where we had the ceremony was always an area I trimmed up and took care of. We didn’t know what to do with these heavy ash benches and my other daughters said that we can’t get rid of them because they wanted to use them for their weddings.” Mary Anne added they did some research and started with an open house. “We made a building to store the benches. When the benches are removed and placed out for a wedding, the cabin is transformed into a bridal suite,” she added. The site was developed with more permanent pieces including a new washroom last year that is closer to the venue.
The company offers four different packages ranging from 300 dollars up to 800. “We don’t hold receptions, just the ceremony and photos. I’m just there to get things ready and hand it over. I do some coordinating with the person doing the music and the officiant to make sure the sound system is up and running. When everything is good to go, I watch the wedding then clean up when its over.”
What do Mary Anne’s customer like the most about the venue? She said the tranquility and the beauty are what attract people. “Most people like the peacefulness of it. When the guests come, they always comment on how quiet it is. People are used to hearing traffic and background noise. The setting for the photos I think is what attracts most couples to our property.” She added that weddings have changed over the years and have more of a personal touch. “I was married 32 years ago, and I feel church weddings, including mine, are very generic. Today, I find people do more personal vows that are great to listen to.” The venue also held two same-sex marriages this season which is a first.
Mary Anne is keeping her business part-time, despite having her busiest summer to date. “I’m not sure if its because of the pandemic or the natural growth as word gets out that we are here. I have had 10 wedding this season and I would consider 14 or 15 my maximum.”
COVID-19 has created some challenges for Creekside, but Mary Anne decided to take an accommodating approach. “I always have people pay in full 30 days before the wedding. But then we find out they can’t have the numbers they wanted so I have been flexible when clients needed to shrink their package. Some couples took bigger packages based on health guidelines. We also have an elopement package that we set up just for the pandemic and its for people who want to get married with a small number of people.”
As for the future of Creekside, Mary Anne said she will provide a beautiful space for as long as she is physically able to. “I get to go to lots of weddings and I am one of those people who believes getting married is a good thing. People should be able to get married in a nice spot even if they aren’t wealthy. It should be for everybody.”
For more information and to view some incredible photos of the property go to https://www.creeksideweddingvenue.com/