How to elope in Ontario

So you’ve said “I do” and have said no to a big traditional wedding – where does that leave you? Eloping is an amazingly personal decision that allows YOU to dictate every aspect of your wedding day – what you do, where you do it, and who is along for the ride. Ontario is full of many beautiful spots to elope to – see this post if you’re still exploring what Ontario has to offer for elopements – but what about the nitty-gritty? How do you elope in Ontario?

Step one: Decide where you want to elope

Ontario is huge and has so many beautiful possibilities for you. Think about you want as a couple. Do you envision a beautiful sunrise hike up to a gorgeous look-out to say your vows? What about a dock at sunset with the waves quietly lapping beside you? Think about seasons as well – if you’re wanting a rugged hike in Algonquin Park you might not want to do that in the winter or early spring, but an elegant B&B in Niagara-on-the-Lake in the winter might be perfect.

Step two: Find your vendors

Even though your elopement will be smaller there are still certain vendors you’ll want to find. At the very least you’ll want an officiant, photographer, and florist, and possibly a make-up artist and hair stylist. I can help you navigate this and make recommendations for other vendors who have experience with elopements. When you look back what do you want to remember from your day? I want to capture both the small moments and the big ones for you.

Step three: The nitty gritty

To legally get married in Ontario you’ll need to be 18 or older and obtain a marriage license (see here) . Marriage licenses are valid for three months after you obtain them. You can obtain your marriage license anywhere in the province (you don’t need to obtain it from the municipality where you will be married). You must have an officiant as well as two witnesses (and I count as one!).

Other things you’ll want to consider when eloping in Ontario:

  • Wedding rings
  • What are you wearing?
  • Ceremony details (do you envision an elaborate set-up or are you wanting to let Mother Nature shine?)
  • Music – sometimes having your favourite song play can be magical – just because you’re not having a big reception doesn’t mean you can’t have a first dance
  • Cake? Cupcakes? It’s just the two of you so let your imaginations go wild!

Do you have a favourite place you’d love to elope to in Ontario? Get in touch and let’s start planning your day!

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You travel off the beaten path. You strive to collect memories, not things.
 You love beautiful moments and know life is in the details.

 I'm your Oshawa family photographer providing authentic, lifestyle photography for people who love to play, laugh and have epic adventures.