It would be wonderful to be able to just turn up at your favourite location and hold a pop-up wedding. After conducting weddings for almost 1200 people, I have lots of opinions on pop-up, guerilla, flashmob, and other surprise weddings.
Primarily, it is very difficult to hold a popup wedding in public museums and monuments and all those locations where you met, or hung out. Most public institutions have guards, and lots of closed -circuit television. They understand what you are doing, and they will come and ask you to stop. This is also the case with wedding photography, as they will also stop anyone who is trying to do engagement or wedding photos without a permit. THIS IS WHY you do not see millions of wedding or fashion photographers in your favourite museum, monument (such as Union Station) or gallery. They do this after hours, or they pay LOTS of money for the privilege.
You can certainly buy a permit for a wedding at Allan Gardens, the beautiful 19th century conservatory. You CANNOT try to hold a popup there without a permit, as the long-suffering guard's job is to stop you. The same with the Guild in Scarborough, the music garden, the Toronto Botanic Garden, and parts of the islands. You cannot hold a wedding on the main UofT campus (around Hart House Circle), as you will be stopped. You will be stopped quite firmly in the Distillery. Also, parts of the Brickworks. It is the JOB of the guards to come and ask for your permit.
Please read the post on park weddings. It's a Catch-22: you must have a permit for a park wedding - BUT, the parks department will not issue permits for all parks. The problem is that many weddings abuse the locations (bringing too many people, chairs, high heels, confetti, etc.) and the parks department can't supervise locations not set up for weddings. YOU may have the best intentions in the world to be respectful, but other people have ruined things for you in advance. This is why High Park has now banned all weddings - because bad people treated it as an event space, not a park.
SO. Here are some ideas. The CN tower (like Grand Central Station in NY) will allow you to come in and stand in a corner and have a teeny wedding. You have to buy admission for everyone anyway, so as long as it's short and you don't bother anyone, it's possible. The tourists will smile, or ignore you, or squeeze around you. You cannot do this at Ripley's, tho you can book the party room and then get tickets for all (which I think come with the booking).
You can't use Queens Park (the front of the building), tho you can use Queen's Park PARK, behind the legislature (by King Eddy). You cannot use the AGO, but you can book the lovely library in the Grange and have a wedding by the fireplace AND HIGH TEA! You can also use Grange Park BEHIND the ROM. You cannot do Casa Loma without a permit, but you can pay lots of money for a private wedding in the Conservatory at Casa Loma. The ROM is all on closed-circuit TV. Don't try it. But you can use philosopher's walk, beside the ROM, and then you inside and take some romantic cell phone pix.
A legal wedding takes some calm, and some time. It's not like the movies. Basically, you need 20 minutes, and some peace and calm, and a place to hear, where your witnesses can also hear properly. Then you need to sit down and sign all those papers. You must also document the wedding with a photo, in case you need to prove this for a non-traditional wedding. So you need to be able to take at least cell phone photos.
SO, it's best to find a quiet place for a little legal wedding and THEN go and take some post-wedding photos in your fave location. Or, try talking to your favourite restaurant or bar, and see whether you can have a quiet corner at 4pm between service, for a 'little private event' , and then stay for food and drinks! Don't say the word "wedding" at first, just say 'celebration'. Many locations will be happy to give you your 20 minutes and sell you some prosecco and nibblies.
We might also be able to slip into your nearby small parkette, or some friendly spaces like Trinity Bellwoods, Riverdale, etc.,, with a handful of people. But for a larger event (over 12 people ) find a location which issues permits: Allan Gardens, Toronto Botanical, St James, Music Garden, etc. Ask me.
Please write me with your ideas and I'll try to help. Little popup weddings are great fun, as long as we can relax and hear and do things properly. And not bother OTHER people, of course. Your wedding should be fun and memorable, not fraught with being chased out of your favourite location.
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
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