Welcome to ElopeToronto.com!

Welcome to ElopeToronto.com! We conduct simple, meaningful, secular (non-religious, non-denominational) 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


Taking His Name? You Must Be A Girly Girl

Taking His Name? You Must Be A Girly Girl
Can a woman take her husband's name and still be independent? The answers from society may surprise you.

"Via Broadsheet, a new study claims that women who take their husband's names are viewed with many more of the stereotypical characteristics of women:
Marital name change is not without consequences. Women who took their partner's name appear to be different from women who kept their own name on a variety of demographics and beliefs, which are more or less associated with the female stereotype (Study 1). Subsequent studies show that women's surnames are used as a cue for judgment (Studies 2-4). A woman who took her partner's name or a hyphenated name was judged as more caring, more dependent, less intelligent, more emotional, less competent, and less ambitious in comparison with a woman who kept her own name. A woman with her own name, on the other hand, was judged as less caring, more independent, more ambitious, more intelligent, and more competent, which was similar to an unmarried woman living together or a man.
How does this "less intelligent, less competent" belief play out in real life? Well, according to the study, this would result in, among other things, lower pay for job applicants"

Mary's comment:  well, this is a small sample, and interesting as a discussion starter.  We also see couples who MERGE their names (Pepsi + Cola = PepsiCo) or where the groom takes the bride's name, esp. when she is the 'last' in her family, or where girls take their mom's name and boys keep their dad's - all sorts of permutations these days...

Here is info on changing your name in ONTARIO


Mixed marriage couples in Canada

Mixed marriage couples increasing rapidly in Canada
No news here! "Mixed" marriages, which simply means couples from different backgrounds, are so common as to be unremarkable, in my experience. Visible ethnic differences are the focus of the article, with the remarkable fact that 75% of Japanese in Canada marry non-Japanese. However, we also often marry people from different cultural & faith backgrounds. My first wedding ceremony, ten years ago, was Jewish and Catholic, which we call a 'New York wedding'. Since then, we've married Hindu and Jewish, Buddhist and Jewish, Atheist and Protestant, Mormon and Catholic, Muslim and Catholic, Jain and Atheist, Shinto and Greek Orthodox, Korean and Japanese, Russian and Irish, German and Chinese, Filipino and Indian, Celt and Trinidanian, Pagan and Catholic - and many more combinations. When you add the country of origin to the religious tradition, the ceremony are quite complex - and always interesting.

However, as a secular officiants, we include cultural traditions, but we do not perform religious traditions ourselves. We have co-officiated with spiritual leaders (especially if you have a friend or family member who would like to participate), and welcome a discussion about your wishes to honour your cultures.

Here is a wedding we did on the Toronto islands for couples from different backgrounds:

"....Conrady, 33, is originally from Germany. Chaoui, 36, is from Lebanon. “We are part of an international culture,” explained Chaoui in an interview before the wedding. “We did not want to be bound by traditions. We did not try to satisfy any vision of how it should be,” she said. “We did not want it to be conformist and we wanted it to be affordable and fun. We are not rooted in any particular culture. We could have adopted North American traditions or German or Lebanese – but they are not really ours. We are a cultural hybrid.”
For example, in the Lebanese culture traditions are varied, she explains. “It is an eclectic country,” says Chaoui. “Often people spend a fortune on weddings. And the invitations to the festivities are very open. They are less structured. Everyone in the village is invited. There’s traditional folk dancing and belly dancing.” Conrady, as well, says typical weddings in Germany are large, open affairs.
By contrast, their Ward Island wedding was intentionally small, intimate and economical. Beaty was recruited because the couple appreciates humanist ideals. “We wanted everything relaxed and open-minded,” says Conrady."


Secret little spot on the Leslie Street Spit

Who built this little shrine on the Leslie St. Split? - thestar.com
Well, why not? It would make a great little elopement, if you can FIND it - (a slight secret, watch the video and guess). Even a little brick path! And you'll have to build your own shrine for a little memorial, won't you?


eco|stems ~ an environmentally and socially sustainable flower shop in toronto: Vase and Pot Amnesty!

eco|stems ~ an environmentally and socially sustainable flower shop in toronto: Vase and Pot Amnesty!

Sustainable Florist! Queen Street east!

"Here at eco|stems we are always thinking of ways we can lessen our collective impact on the environment and get our customers involved. With that in mind, we wanted everyone to know that we will happily take any used vases and/or pots you've got collecting dust. Bring them in and we'll trade your vase/pot for a flower. Cracks, chips or scratches are no problem, we'll take those too! Metal, glass and ceramic etc. are all accepted.

We'll put them all to good use and keep them out of landfill. Give us a call if you have larger quantities and we'll arrange to pick them up. A big thank-you goes out to those individuals who have already brought in their vases and pots for reuse!"

Unusual transportation wedding venues: Boats, Trains, Planes and Aeroplanes - and Streetcars

We often read of exciting weddings - bungee jumping, center ice, scuba diving, even the roller coaster.  Yes, of course it's possible.  You can say "I do" anywhere.  Though you must always do the formal wedding paperwork (and say "I do " again) on land, with a street address. People simply get confused about the legal parts of the ceremony, and the 'ceremonial' parts.

The official Provincial registry does not (yet) use GPS coordinates for the legal location of your wedding, nor latitude and longitude.  That's why you can get married ON a boat, but you have to sign the papers on land at the dock.  You can have your ceremony underwater, but you have to do the legal bits on land.  We have married people in boats, on rooftops, and on the train, in a special car set up with a SpeakEasy bar.  But once we alight from the fun place, we must sit down and do the legal parts at a (non-moving) legal address.

I lose my mind and my lunch on roller coasters, and will NOT marry you on a ride at Canada's wonderland . I have piloted a plane, but decided not to skyjump out of one. It's too hard to HEAR in a helicopter.  I love boats, and I like horses (and love Riverdale Farm, for instance!) so canoes are a definite possibility.   I like hiking, and would consider remote parts of the Scarborough Bluffs, and hiking trails.  But I have friends with Lyme disease, and I won't venture into tick-infested groves.  No matter how idyllic.

So - leave something for the honeymoon, in terms of adventure and escape - but plan your wedding elopement in a location with an address, a view, and a minimum of moving parts.

UPDATE:  Yes, we had a nice wedding on a Mariposa Cruise Line Yacht in July.  We signed the papers while docked, and performed the ceremony at the Island lagoon - then I caught a water taxi and came back to Queen's Quay.  A bit windy, and the party boat that crossed our bow during the ceremony was annoying, though everyone yelled "congratulations".  But it's an option...

UPDATE:  OK - Streecar wedding! Moving vehicle! Get out and sign papers on the group photo break! This was fun, but you have to rent a loudspeaker amp - you can't use the TTC one.