Welcome to ElopeToronto.com!

Welcome to ElopeToronto.com! We provide 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 a personal alternative to a 'City Hall' wedding.
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See FAQ: HOW TO PLAN YOUR WEDDING: How to get your license, find a location, legal requirements, witnesses, the process of 'signing the papers', or 'registering a wedding' and how to apply for your CERTIFICATE OF MARRIAGE REGISTRATION. See the Toronto Registry link for information on a MARRIAGE LICENSE and MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE (online application, hours & location, fee, divorced applicants, IDs required, etc.)

Mary is licensed as a Marriage Officiant by the Ontario Humanist Society.
HUMANISM is an ethical philosophy of secular living, stating we all share a duty of care, to lead ethical lives of compassion and respect, for each other, and for the world we all share. Humanist Wedding Ceremonies are simple, meaningful, non-religious legal marriage ceremonies written specifically for each couple, which reflect your wishes, your values, and your story. We also provide humanist ceremonies for baby-namings, memorials, and other life events.

Wednesday

Spring! Go outside and get married!

Grab two witnesses and go to the Beaches, or find a little corner of a park, or go out on your balcony, or in your backyard, or your friend's backyard - who knows? Under the trees by the river beyond the dog run at Riverdale Park? On the footbridge over the Don? Down by the lake at the bottom of High Park?  wear your wedding wellies, though! 

"Green" elopement locations in Toronto

...are very hard to find.  The parks dept would like you to book the BIG parks, and won't issue permits for the small ones for weddings.  So you can hold a small informal elopement for a handful of people, if you are discreet and happy to fade into the less well known areas of parks, or the Rosedale Ravine, or Cherry Beach, or the Spit, etc. You could even discreetly gather on a NON-busy day at the foot of this pretty bridge on Center Island - which looks just like Bow Bridge in Central Park.  Indoors, you can rent Allan Gardens conservatory for a small wedding (they say up to 40? seems crowded) and it's reasonable and very lovely. 

But if you're dreaming of a bigger bunch of people in a sylvan glade, you may have to go out of town, to the Toronto Islands, or the Kortwright - though I disapprove of chairs in a forest [amended: we had a lovely simple wedding at the Kortwright where simple wooden chairs were on the path]. It's not THIS picture - hope to have pix shortly...
You could bring a folding chair for granny, but the rest of you should simply stand around and leave no footprint... The Toronto Regional Conservation Authority books most of the pretty places, including Black Creek Village (which also offers a glade and a green).   The largest 'downtown' gathering option seems to be Woodbine "Millenium" Park, which holds 100 people, or so says the Parks Department. Kew Gardens gazebo is up to 50 people - all standing, of course, and the St. James Park (gazebo) downtown is 40 people. You can book the fountain at Center Island for 100 people, but need to ask the island authority first. Otherwise, the Music Garden has lowered its capacity from 40 to 20 people, and Sunnyside will charge a lot for a max of 40 people.

Part of the problem with park weddings is the number of people who have gone before you and ruined it all - bridezillas with chairs and high heels and videocams and altars and arches and rice... So naturally, the caretakers of our common spaces try to minimize the damage, and have restricted weddings to easily monitored spaces.  This is an ongoing discussion, so we'll tag these thoughts "green" and "location", etc.

Thursday

Vintage Dresses - Mirvish Village

VintageBride.ca is a tiny bridal boutique tucked into Mirvish Village.  It's run by the Refinery, a vintage store across the street.  You can make an appointment to view their vintage bridal dresses, or go chat with the lovely person who curates the bridal collection from her desk over at the Refinery (where you can enjoy some of the fun things she brought back from Paris). Be sure to source bridesmaid dresses and accessories at Refinery, as well - and also bring along your beau for vintage clothes for men - why limit yourself to the same boring wedding + funeral suits?  Linen jackets are much classier :-)  Here's a post I wrote about Men and Wedding suits after a summer of red-faced grooms in black suits...

Weddings by Fountains!

Spring!  Small little elopements by fountains - here are some fountain locations you may know

and some more!

Wednesday

Websites with event spaces and private rooms


Some of these are large event spaces who are already set up to hold weddings. They will usually have an event coordinator.

However, some of these are places that usually book meetings and events - but also cater for parties.  Be adventurous, and contact some of the places that have NOT held weddings, and ask to book a room for a celebration.  See what they will offer. Suggest you say "Private Event" instead of  "wedding" until you get the specs.
http://www.rostiegroup.com/servicesMeetingRooms.asp  has a Queens Quay location
http://www.toronto.ca/parks/permits/events/weddings.htm  permits for Park weddings

http://www.toronto.ca/culture/museums/facilityrentals/index.htm   permits for historic site rentals

Check smaller hotels (Drake and Gladstone will be listed in the above websites)
http://89chestnut.com/catering/home.htm    Chestnut street hotel
http://metropolitan.com/toronto/meetings.asp Metropolitan Hotel behind City Hall


See other other post about private dining locations

and simply hunt around your neighborhood, and use your imagination.

Monday

Inexpensive locations for smallish weddings

Are hard to find, yes?  For a simple wedding ceremony, everybody standing (except Hart House),  here are some ideas.  Do try small restaurants.  Almost ANY restaurant will be happy to accomodate a group for dinner or cocktails or brunch, but don't say 'wedding' until you chat about the room and food. Then say "small private event, with a short little ceremony".  Do check hotel rooms! You can probably find a suite in most hotels, suitable for a meeting for a dozen or so - often with a view! Ask friends and relatives about  Condo party rooms, or nice lounges they have seen, including, rooftops, back patios, all very suitable for a nice wedding.  Or try:

The Music Garden, Harbourfront (no chairs, 20 people). No shelter for rain.
Hart House Chapel  30 people. Also other small pretty rooms available.
Allan Gardens   12-40 people? No chairs. Lovely plants, and rainproof.
The Gazebo at St James Garden.  40 people, 1 hour bookings (lots of pigeons tho)
The Gazebo at Kew Gardens.  50 people.
Meeting rooms and pretty lounges at your local church, if they rent to outside groups - such as Bloor Street United Church.
The Multifaith Centre at University of Toronto - lots of nice rooms for 6-100 people ask Mary (Chaplain at UofT) especially if you are staff or student.
Rectory Cafe on the Toronto Island - including their terrace.
Small terrace area and private room at Le Select Bistro