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


Toronto Islands - Rectory Cafe wedding

Here we are, having a delightful indoor wedding in the Rectory Cafe on the Toronto Islands.  The planned terrace ceremony was moved inside, as the wind and rain rapped on the windows - but we were able to go outside after the ceremony for some windy pictures on the boardwalk.  The staff was great at re-arranging things, the food was lovely, the service was attentive.

This was a small informal wedding for about 30 people - and I have just asked the guests for their support for the couple. The resounding "Yes" was so hearty that we are reacting to the happy sound. Check out the great footwear.


Morning wedding at McLean House - inside and outside

So the rain determined we should move inside for the ceremony, and it was quite lovely - and the wedding couple's 2 dogs behaved beautifully indoors (well, the Golden Lab behaved beautifully). Perhaps there were less distractions - like the fountain and the birds. But we couldn't have the harpist outside in the drizzle - that's too expensive for such an instrument (I used to play one). 
But the clouds lifted just in time to go out into the garden and have great family shots on the grass.  The wedding couple were great - and the jazz ensemble was stunning.  I'll try to get the info for the musicians.  Congratulations to Paul and Pierre!

A pretty dawn wedding in Ashbridges Bay

A lovely family wedding at dawn at Ashbridges Bay. We're in the midst of the wedding ceremony, and the couple's young son is helpfully pointing out some sea gulls behind us (not to worry, his granny was watching him while his grandfather took pictures). 

We often include small children in the ceremony, sometimes they hold the rings (in this case) and sometimes we can add a ceremony of encirclement at the end - but our young lad was so excited by the birds and the rocks that we just let him explore a bit while we did some important talking. 

Wedding Musicians for Hire - Royal Conservatory

Musicians for Hire
Royal Conservatory teachers will often play for your wedding.  See Anita Beaty for instance (disclosure! she's a family member! who brings her own keyboard and can play any ceremony music, as well as classical and jazz for a reception)

You can also hire her students. A list of qualified and professional musicians currently studying at The Glenn Gould School is available HERE. These musicians would be delighted to play for your special event.  Info:

Do you wish to hire soloist or a group of musicians?
You can usually do this with one phone call. Contact one of the soloists on the list and ask for their help in assembling a group to perform for your event. The soloists work with other musicians regularly and will probably be able to assemble a group to meet your needs.

How much does it cost to hire musicians?
Pricing should be discussed in advance, directly with the musician(s). Fees typically range from $85 to $175 an hour, per musician, plus travel expenses. Some instrument types will be more costly to hire, such as harp, due to the logistics of moving the instrument and extra time for tuning and set up. However, fees are always negotiable on a one-on-one basis. If you require further help, please do not hesitate to contact our Musicians for Hire coordinator:
Phone: 416-408-2824, ext. 888
Email: musiciansforhire@rcmusic.ca
Please allow 48 hours for a response.


A Royal Conservatory Wedding - and a Philosopher's walk elopement

The 'big' wedding at the Royal Conservatory was lovely today.  Great Views from the Board Room at the top, where the groomsmen hung out.

But if you aren't having a big elaborate wedding, why not choose Philosophers Walk, right down below the Conservatory glass windows? It is lovely and green, and has lots of little nooks.  We could see it delightfully from the glass windows at the Conservatory...

Here is a couple getting married in the little rock amphitheatre behind the Music Building (just up from Trinity College).


Small weddings - tasks and jobs for friends and family

Small family weddings are some of the most delightful, and seem easy to plan.  But a) people NEED jobs, because they want to be helpful, and b) you need THEM, because the wedding couple can't do everything, especially on the day of the wedding.

So here are some tasks and suggestions for willing helpers:

1)  Site selection, pre-site prep and cleanup
Whether it's the beach, your backyard, a park or a patio or your condo roofdeck, someone needs to get there early, pick up hamburger wrappers and cigarette ends, and politely inform other people that there will be a short ceremony.  You need to assign someone to pick up your own discards - from ribbons to flower wrappings to champagne corks.  If you're borrowing chairs, someone needs to set them up and put them back.

2)  Greeting guests
Post a friend near entrances, along park roads, in the parking lot, at the corner of the block, to direct lost people.  Everyone should know when you're going to try to start, and who you need to wait for, and what to do with granny. 

3)  Drinks - toasts - glasses
If you don't have a bar person (with a SmartServ certificate), someone needs to pro-actively handle refreshments and clean up.  I have a friend who hired a 'butler in training' from a hospitality course at a community college, to go around the apartment, serve drinks and buss up, so the guests could talk and relax.

4)  Music and flowers and photos
Ipod or live, someone needs to provide ambient music, and to organize plugs and playlists on the day, so the couple don't have to worry about patch cords.
You can get flowers from a corner deli - but give someone that task, and ribbons and pins and tell them to take on the task of bringing the flowers to the reception - even if its back inside the house.
If you don't have a professional photographer, deputize ONE or TWO people as 'official' photographers, and tell everyone to give them their email so they can get pix - and tell guests that there WILL be pix, so they don't all have to snap the ceremony, and can actually listen

5)  Prezzies and guest book
You can get a little book from a dollar store, and ask someone to make sure everyone signs it.  Ask someone to collect gift cards and presents, and bring boxes or bags to contain them.  We often have to run for a kleenex box or something to hold envelopes safely.

6)   Granny minding and other relative ideas
Assign someone to monitor special guests and relatives - see that they are seated, they have food and someone to talk to, and that they get a moment to talk to the couple

7)  Ceremony honours
Signing the license, holding the rings, readings, lighting candles, speaking, ring warming, holding flowers, bringing the wine glass, all tasks can be split between friends and relatives to honour and recognize special people in your lives.

8)  MC and Wedding-Planner-stand-in
Even in a teeny wedding, the couple are busy doing lots of tasks, and they can't micro-manage their day. One or two people can take over as 'managers', fielding phone calls, seating granny, moving the presents inside, paying the musician, caterer & officiant, organizing toasts, and assigning small errands.  Thank them with a special toast AND a gift certificate for a massage, afterwards!