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Weddings

FAQ

How many guests can the Inn accommodate for a reception?

Our ballroom seats up to 72 guests comfortably. Larger receptions up to 140 guests are held under our white marquee. We do have the ability to increase our outdoor capacity.

How many overnight rooms are available and how many do we have to reserve?

We have 12 guest rooms. These rooms have enough beds for 30 guests. In keeping with creating a truly unique and exclusive wedding, our policy is that all the rooms are reserved for both Friday and Saturday night. Our past couples tell us that being surrounded by their family and closest friends for two days, sharing together both the anticipation and magic of the day is one of their fondest memories.

Is there a bridal suite at the Inn?

All of our guest rooms have their own unique character. When you visit us, you’ll decide which room feels just right. It’s our pleasure to include your room of choice as our gift to you when you book your wedding with us.

If we are reserving all of the rooms do we get a discounted rate?

We don’t offer a discount on the room rates for weekend weddings,
 other than our gift to the bride and groom.

What do we do if we need additional overnight accommodation?

There are many hotel options within a 30-minute drive of the Inn. Many of our couples have, in the past, arranged for a shuttle service to and from nearby hotels in order to ensure that their guests arrive home safely. Also available for some are our area rental cottages and short term rental options. As well for the outdoorsy type we are minutes from Balsam Lake Provincial Campground.

What about all the other service providers like florists, photographers, officiants, hair and make-up artists, musicians & DJs?

You are welcome to arrange for your own service providers if you have professionals in mind that you’d like to use. There is no fee for this, but they must have their own liability insurance and or liquor license if required. If you are looking for recommendations, we can provide a list of various vendors who have been to the Inn before and worked with our couples in the past. To the above list, we can also add: stunning décor packages, fabulous wedding cakes, spa services, horse and carriage service, a mixologist or craft beer tasting! Also available are limousine & transportation and shuttle services.

* We ask that all contact information and additional requirements for your vendor’s be given to us 30 days prior to the date of the event *

Can we get married on site? Are there churches nearby?

Yes, and yes! Many of our couples choose to get married at our rustic open-air post and beam chapel. It is built on the foundations of the old carriage house. Couples also choose “Apostles’ Row,” our cathedral of trees that Lady Mackenzie planted well over a century ago. The spacious verandah is another ceremony location. There are many lovely spots on the grounds. You’re free to choose whichever one speaks to you.

White folding chairs, signing table, DJ/Musician table, and set-up are included for your ceremony in our all-inclusive package prices. Couples can also get married in two local churches. Both an Anglican and a Roman Catholic Church are within a short drive.

How are children’s menus and vendor meal pricing arranged?

There is no charge for children 3 and under. Children 4-11 are billed at half the adult rate. Children 12 and over are billed at the adult rate. We do offer a children’s menu tailored specifically for kids. We can discuss this with you to find the right fit. For all vendors attending the rehearsal dinner the price is $75 per vendor. All vendor’s attending the reception dinner the price is $95 per vendor.

Can we do our own catering or bring our own alcohol?

Providing your own caterer is something we don’t prefer. However, we are open to having conversations around this. We have an Executive Chef with 30 plus years’ experience in the industry who handles all of the food and beverage services provided by the Inn. However special consideration will be taken when inquiries for halal or other ethnic requirements are requested. We are licensed with the AGCO and operate by their guidelines.

We do not allow guests to bring in their own alcohol for the reception, and the only alcohol permitted to be consumed on the premises at any time is alcohol supplied and served by the Inn and/or its agents or subcontractors.

You are however allowed to have your own alcohol in your room, much like a hotel. * Please see your contract relating to the alcohol policy *

The only food-related item we do not provide is the cake, and you may bring in your own wedding cake.

We want to bottle our own wine/beer and serve it at dinner. Can we?

No. While it is fun to create your own wine/beer and special label as a keepsake, we don’t allow this at the Inn. We suggest that couples wanting to do this consider giving a bottle of wine or beer away to each guest as they leave at the end of the reception.

Are there additional charges for small or large weddings?

A 18.5% surcharge on the Event Fee (selected menu price x number of guests) will apply to any reception held in the tent to cover the additional costs involved with hosting an outdoor reception.

A small wedding fee of $4500 will apply to any wedding of 50 guests and under.

What about tables, chairs, linens, glassware and silverware? Is this included?

Yes, all of these things are included in our packages. We try to keep our pricing as clear as possible without the hidden extra fees that many venues have. You are welcome to add your own touches and additions.

We would love our dog to be part of the wedding weekend. Is this possible?

Yes! One advantage of having exclusive use of the Inn is that you can add these wonderful and very personal touches. We have had a number of pets involved in the ceremony, and they’ve been an important part of family pictures. A pet-cleaning fee of $50 per night will apply to any room where a pet is present. We need to know which guest or guests are bringing their pets. Also please keep in mind that all pets must be crated while left alone in a room. We also require them to be leashed and with there owner when in public areas.

Are there candles allowed at the Inn?

No, unfortunately not. We do not allow any live flame of any sort due to the heritage and historic significance of the building. However, we do allow any LED, battery operated mini candles, fairy lights etc. Sparklers are allowed with restrictions.

Do you allow camping or bon fires on the property?

No, unfortunately not. However, we do have a gas fireplace for outdoor enjoyment in the evening. We have made special accommodation for one or two guests travelling from afar in an RV to park with restrictions.

Do you require a Damage Deposit?

We require a refundable $1500 damage deposit two weeks prior to your event date, which will be applied against any damage to the property or grounds caused by a pet or anyone attending the event. If no damage occurs, we will refund you within 72 hours after the completion of your Event.

What about vegetarian and special diets?

We always have a vegetarian option available with your main entrée choice for those guests requesting this. Similarly, allergy-conscious and special diet menus can be accommodated with advance notice. There is no additional cost incurred.

How about glitter, confetti, bird seed or flower petals?

Glitter and confetti are not allowed. Bird seed is fine, but can be uncomfortable for the couple. We recommend rose petals or bubble blowers, as they can be a lovely addition at the close of the ceremony for family and friends to use.

Is Smoking Allowed?

We do allow smoking, vaping and cannabis on the property. Although because of the historic significance of the property we have a smoking area only. ABSOLUTELY no smoking in the Inn or Veranda.

When can we set up?

Because we host only your wedding, there is usually some degree of flexibility for you to arrive earlier to drop off supplies. Any time on the Thursday prior to your date, between the hours of 11am-4pm supplies and/rentals can be dropped off. Rentals
need to be delivered to the Inn no later than Friday at noon. There will not be access to the Inn or rooms just the grounds at this time. We just need advance notice so that we can arrange for a staff member to be on site to greet you.

Decorating is done on Friday at check in at 2pm. This can be a really fun time so that everything is prepared well in advance and you can truly enjoy your Friday evening and Saturday without feeling rushed and pressured to get everything done last-minute. Very few venues afford this luxury. This is a benefit that our couples say was a great advantage to them.

All décor is to be removed by noon on Sunday. Failure to do so or leave décor on the grounds will be subject to a dumping or removal fee which will be deducted from your damage deposit. Rental pick up needs to be no later the Monday following your event. Between the hours of 11-4pm.

Do we have to choose one of the menu packages? I’m looking for something else…

We welcome you to discuss any custom arrangements you’d like, both with menus and ceremony and reception styles. Our all-inclusive packages are a good starting point, but many of our couple’s tailor their wedding and reception with us to match their personal vision.

The Schedule of the Event

As this is an all-inclusive package, I would like to share the event schedule with you. Friday is your arrival day. You and your guests are welcome anytime from 2pm on wards. It’s a leisurely day that progresses to our complimentary wedding rehearsal. This takes place when guests arrive typically around 5 or 5:30. Dinner is served on our expansive veranda shortly thereafter at 6 or 6:30 pm.

The following day unfolds at your leisure with breakfast served in our ballroom at 8:30am, followed by lunch service and beverages at noon. Generally, this time is spent with makeup and hair or excursions to a local golf course. The service is typically 4 or 4:30pm with passed appetizers and champagne served to your guests on our expansive grounds from 4:30-5:45pm. Photography is usually done at this time.

A four-course plated dinner follows between 6-7:45 pm. Our candle light cake cutting occurs at dusk in our timber framed outdoor chapel or covered veranda. The open bar starts at 8pm with last call at 11:45pm ending at midnight. All outdoor music turned down in compliance with our local noise by law at 11pm. Music is to be off inside at 12:30am. You are more than welcome to bring your guests indoors to continue to celebrate if you desire.

The next day is followed with your choice of breakfast served at 8:30am with a leisurely check out at noon.

How are deposits and payments arranged?

A non-refundable $1500.00 Event deposit is due when reserving your date with us, and at that time we will complete the Event Booking Agreement together.

A further non-refundable deposit of fifty percent (50%) of the remaining total fees for Services is payable six (6) months prior to the Event Date.

A further non-refundable deposit of twenty five percent (25%) of the remaining total fees for Services is payable three (3) months prior to the Event Date.

The balance and final payment for Services, including all applicable taxes and fees are due and payable no less than (1) month prior to the Event Date, at which time final guest numbers and arrangements are also due. You are allowed 10% change in guest numbers up until two weeks prior to your date without incurring added charges.

Any additional charges occurring over the wedding weekend are settled on Sunday. All deposits and final payment may be made by cash, debit, credit, certified cheque payable to “Black River Food Company Ltd” or by e-transfer to info@mackenzieinn.com.

* Please note there will be a late payment charge of 2.5% added to the deposit amount for any overdue payment *

Account Details

We will provide you with updated summaries as follows.

  1. You will receive a summary after your initial $1500 deposit that confirms your date.
  2. Subsequently you will receive summaries after your 6 month 50%, 3 month 25% and 30 day 25% deposit dates. You will also receive a 14 day guest number adjustment of 10% if required 2 weeks prior to your date.

Tastings

Due to the seasonal nature of our venue, it is very difficult to accommodate tastings for each event. Our Chef has more than 30 years’ experience working in the event industry. Should you want to modify a menu or are considering your own please reach out. Our Chef will be happy to discuss your culinary vision.

Shuttle Buses

Many past couples have chosen to rent a shuttle service to ensure that their guests arrive safely to and from their location. We suggest two pick up and delivery times if your guest numbers are large. One if not. The guests are welcome to arrive anytime after 3:30pm. The first shuttle generally leaves at 10pm and the second no later than 12:30 am.

Covid Protocols

These will and can change daily and weekly without notice. Possibilities will include any government mandated protocols e.g. may require negative covid test 24hrs before arriving, mask mandates etc.

DJs, entertainment, singer’s requiring plexiglass barrier’s will be provided by the guest.

The “Host” acknowledges that an alternate but comparable venue may be offered in the event the Inn becomes inaccessible. (Covid restrictions, fire, act of God etc.)

Black River Food Company Ltd. Has the right to postpone an event anytime within 30 days from the event date due to Covid restrictions in and outside of our jurisdiction of Kawartha Lakes health unit.

Contact Information

We are a seasonal venue open for weddings and events from May thru October. During our operating season we are available via email Mon-Fri 9am-5pm. On the off season we are available by email Wednesdays 9am-5pm.

info@mackenzieinn.com is our contact email for e transfers as well.

Touring the Inn

Part of the excitement of planning your special day is envisioning how the venue will look and flow on your special day. Often when couples book with us it is either off season or not the season they are booking in. Since most bookings are more than a year out, we certainly understand couples wanting to re visit us prior to their event. We are more than happy to accommodate this.

We will require an appointment which would need to be set up well in advance. In order for us to provide couples with the exclusivity we promise, weekends are not a possibility for this. Tuesdays and Thursdays are usually best for this. Anytime between 11am-6pm is preferred.

Please reach out if this time is inconvenient and we will do our best to accommodate your schedule.

What are our Bar options?

Included in your package is a champagne toast and a 4-hour open bar from 8pm-12pm. The open bar includes a variety of craft beer, red/white wine, gin, vodka, rye, rum and bar mixes. With last call occurring at 11:45pm. The package also includes a bottle of red and white wine on each table for the reception dinner.

If you would like to augment the package, we do have bar services that can be added.

Our bar tending fee is $50 per hour. You can add an open bar, cash bar, consumption bar to the rehearsal dinner or the wedding day itself. It is also possible to add additional wine to the reception dinner. Just let us know ahead of time. If you require any additional alcohol, it will be charged per consumption at $7-$8 per drink.

Our license does not permit us to serve shots or shooters. However, we would be delighted to craft a signature drink to celebrate you both. We also have a mixologist that would be happy to meet with you and discuss craft tastings and creative twists. A fun event to consider adding to your special day.

Menu prices and items are subject to change due to inflation and supply issues beyond our control.