Welcome to ElopeToronto.com!

Welcome to ElopeToronto.com! We conduct simple, meaningful, secular (non-religious) humanist marriage ceremonies in Toronto, legally equivalent to a 'civil ceremony' or 'justice of the peace' wedding, for couples looking for an alternative to a 'City Hall' wedding. We also provide simple legal weddings for those planning a destination wedding. Mary is licensed as a Marriage Officiant by the Registrar General of Ontario, and the Ontario Humanist Society
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Monday

How to arrange a simple legal non-religious 'civil' wedding in Toronto

Simple 'civil' legal wedding ceremonies:  secular, non-religious & non-denominational,  including elopements, private ceremonies, legal ceremonies for destination weddings, (called 'signings' or 'registration of a marriage') and friendly family & community style weddings.
We make house calls, and will perform the wedding at your home, condo, in a park, hotel, restaurant, or other location of choice. Secular Humanist weddings are legally equivalent to a "City Hall" or "Justice of the Peace" wedding ceremony, but are personalised to suit your wishes.

Questions big or small? Or want to see if I'm available?
SEND AN [ENQUIRY FORM] and I'll write back!
See FAQ and main website for more information for both small and larger events.

Mary is licensed as a Marriage Officiant by the Registrar General of Ontario, and the Ontario Humanist Society and has performed over 1400 civil weddings,since 2004. I am currently the Secular Humanist Chaplain at the University of Toronto  
HUMANISM is an ethical philosophy of secular living, stating we all share a duty of care to each other, to lead ethical lives of compassion and respect, for other people, and the world we all share. Humanist Wedding Ceremonies are simple, meaningful, non-religious legal marriage ceremonies, which reflect your wishes, your values, and your story. We also provide ceremonies for baby-namings, memorials, and other life events. 

Small brunch wedding, Arts and Letters Club

I love the Arts and Letters club on Elm Street.  We often have large weddings in the Great Hall, which (like Hart House Great Hall) is very atmospheric in a 'Harry Potter' vein.  This was a small, intimate wedding in the study, or "Lamps" room, which has Group of Seven portraits.  It was very suitable for an 'academical' couple!  Another option is the Library in the Grange at the AGO - perfect for a small wedding - with a little tea reception! 

Arts and Letters Club
Arts and Letter Club

Tuesday

Condo Party room legal wedding - simple and lovely

This delightful couple also had a destination wedding in the South.  So this was their legal wedding, held with just their family witnesses, in the Party Room of their condo.  It was a weekday event, so we had the lovely big room to ourselves - with the fire on in the background, and lots of space to take photos.  Here, we've held the brief legal ceremony, and we're just finished signing all the papers!

Party Room Condo wedding

Monday

Small family wedding at Home in Little Italy - Sunday brunch!

Home wedding
We were originally planning on Trinity Bellwoods, but the weather did not cooperate, so we had a small home wedding instead at their home near Little Italy.  Lovely and light, just the family, and then everyone went out to brunch to celebrate - and I moseyed on to ANOTHER wedding up on Bathurst, where they hosted a family brunch in the house, with uncles and aunts and cousins and all.  Lovely busy sunny family wedding day!

Saturday

Lovely family wedding at the Jam Factory

a great jazz duo, fabulous food, fun wedding party, and a quote from Tolkien's Silmarillion for the wedding.  As always, great pix by Neil Ta.   More pix to come...

Jam Factory, Family wedding
Jam Factory

Monday

Locations, big and small

Eloping in High Park
We've had lots of weddings of various sizes this season.  Elopements in Riverdale Park with that stunning view of the CN tower.  Some relaxed events at Trinity Bellwoods and deep in the woods in High Park.
We had family-size weddings in small restaurants, including Bricco, DeSotos, Peter Pan. Also event spaces like The Jam Factory, and  quirky spots like The Gerrard Art Space, as well as some favourite places, like Le Select, and Hart House and The Enoch Turner Schoolhouse
Some students and faculty (with connections) managed to arrange weddings at faculty rooms at Ryerson and even (hsh!) in the planetarium at UofT, on a quiet morning before school started.  (Well, the bride was an astrophysicist, so she had some pull!).
And we've had lots of home weddings - reviving an Edwardian tradition - often in the parent's home (bigger!) or the couple's apartment (smaller!), or sometimes on the roofdeck of a condo.
Condo roofdeck with CN tower view
Gerrard Art Space
Most of these were small family weddings, or small private elopements, but even the larger events were mostly family and friends.  Easy to plan, casual and fun, often catered by willing aunties.  Lots of time to talk (and hug) everyone. 

Wednesday

Simple legal weddings, in a home, condo, or AirBnB!

AirBnB penthouse
It's cold this month!  So we found a number of solutions to simple legal weddings.  Here are we are in an Air BnB penthouse and below in an apartment of a friend. In both these weddings, parents attended by Skype!  We have lately also used the games room of a condo, some hotel rooms (find deals on Groupon!), and a couple of condo party rooms.
Friend's apartment

Monday

Lovely wedding at La Maquette Patio

La Maquette 
Here are a couple of teachers - funny and committed, to teaching, and to each other.  Their wedding was wonderful, and the ceremony was held in the outdoor patio at La Maquette.  Here they are exchanging their personal vows - and smiling all the way.  Great pictures by Agnes Wyrot, at Northern Wildflower

Wednesday

Snowy outside, tropical inside: Allan Gardens wedding

Allan gardens
This happened at noon on a Monday in February - squirrels and turtles and carp inside (and it was toasty and lovely in the cactus garden) and the groom in a kilt and the bride in lovely short sleeves were nice and warm.  Allan Gardens can be very crowded on the weekends, and it closes at 5, and you really can't have more than about 15-20 people, but if that suits your needs, it's a great option. You must BOOK it through the city Parks Department, and bring the printed booking receipt with you for the guards. Contact me for details.

NO POP-UP WEDDINGS PERMITTED.

Allan Gardens February

Monday

Living room elopement - three decades later

apartment elopement
This amazing couple have been together over 30 years.  We had a wonderful wedding in my living room, and a few tears popped up - but mostly we were very cheerful indeed! 

A "Rush" tribute wedding at Queen's Park

Queens Park Souvenir!
This lovely couple were RUSH fans, and so they wanted to be married on 12/21 in front of Queen's Park.  If you know RUSH, you know what this means.
Of course Queen's Park won't LET YOU DO THIS.
But we found the little parkette by the Physics building down on College,  and we held the wedding where we could SEE Queen's Park behind us!  Clever!  And then we sneakily went up to Queen's Park Circle and took some photos anyway.  The guard was a bit huffy, but we distracted him enough to get a photo!

RUSH wedding Dec 21

Thursday

Cosy Winter Elopement, an anniversary, and Dutch Comfort Food

We had a number of nice winter elopements this year, in parks, in hotels, in apartments, and other fun locations, including the CN Tower & Ripley's Aquarium. [Note: please see this POST on pop-up weddings at landmarks like Museums and tourist spaces. Most places will NOT allow this, as they have lots of annoyed guards on close-circuit cameras.  The wedding at Ripley's was in the Party room, with booking permission - and then museums passes for all!]

Solstice Wedding 
This little winter solstice wedding took place in my own flat, in front of the fireplace, with just the Bride's family here in town, and the Groom's family skyping in from Sweden.  We had a LOVELY time, as it was also my own 50th wedding anniversary!
The couple went to lunch in Yorkville with their family, and then to to the Kensington Solstice Parade.  We went to St Lawrence Market to buy oysters and prosecco.

My family ALSO took us to our anniversary lunch at a new Danforth restaurant, BorrelTo.  (I actually married the owners, over on Ward's Island, AND I discovered I had also conducted the wedding of the cook's auntie!) and then we ate up the entire menu of Dutch Comfort Food.  They've never had a wedding there, but they COULD close up for a small private event - the beers are fabulous, and the food is perfect for a cocktail reception.

And now here we are, 50 years ago and now, still laughing together at Borrel.

Dec 21, 1967 - a bit of emotion
Dec 23, 2017 - still talking!

Wednesday

Wedding at short notice - delightful midday ceremony

This great couple were working out plane tickets and witnesses, and a license - and a location - all in a short space of time.  It all came together, with wedding outfits and delighted friends and a luckily available room at the University and a beautiful sunny winter morning.

Saturday

Winter weddings can be bright and tinkly!

winter ice storm wedding!
You can never plan on the weather! The wedding party entered in parkas from the side door, and managed this great pix in the ice storm. But all was warm and cosy inside, and you just have to build in some time for late arrivals, delayed transit and such.     

Garden wedding in gold

This was an absolutely delightful wedding at Rosetta McClain, in the beaches.  The couple had some traditional ceremonies as part of their wedding, including a Yoruba "tasting the elements" ritual, which brought much joyous approval, and a crowning ceremony.  A thoroughly wonderful morning.
Rosetta McClain Garden

Romantic proposal and wedding on University of Toronto campus

Short version:  the bench-where-the-proposal-was-accepted was duly labelled so by the groom.  We re-united here, with 2 witnesses, and had a short legal wedding, before the couple had their family celebration at the end of the week.
(then they went back to work at the University. I hope they have a working lunch together on the bench occasionally!)
It's tricky to have little weddings on campus, as security staff will usually stop you - but this was a lucky exception, as it was early in the morning at the end of summer term, and nobody noticed us, hiding away. In fact, most of the campus was locked up, so the staff could have a holiday.  But we had the romantic story & the bench to show, just in case.  
the proposal bench (it says: "She said yes")
Newly Married couple (and the bench!)
(again, don't try eloping on campus without permission. The job of the security guards is to stop you.  Please ask for advice, here's an enquiry FORM)

Riverdale Park - baseball and a wedding in the setting sun

Due to a broken scooter and a few snaggles, we didn't get to the wedding till the 7th inning (game going on down below), but we had enough sun for a lovely sunset wedding.   The team congratulated the couple warmly!
Riverdale Park wedding - CN tower view 

Riverdale Park wedding at dusk

Sunday

Trinity Bellwoods elopement - in the north end, tucked in a small grove

Because sometimes you have to avoid the frisbee games, the jogging mommies, and the dogs - but it's a big park, and there is peace on a sunny afternoon 

Trinity Bellwoods Summer Wedding

Comment: and here is the eclipse!  I was wandering around Trinity Bellwoods a few weeks later, handing out safety glasses, and met a couple I married 3 years ago!  ah, Toronto....