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.
SEND AN [ENQUIRY] FORM HERE


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.

Friday

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

QUESTIONS? SEND [ ENQUIRY ] FORM
We provide simple (non-religious) legal weddings;  elopements and private ceremonies, family weddings, and legal ceremonies for destination weddings (aka 'signings' or 'registration of a marriage'). See FAQ and  main website for more information. Questions? Send an [Enquiry] form with any questions, and I'll write back.

More millennial couples are opting to elope | Toronto Star

More millennial couples are opting to elope | Toronto Star
Well, this was funny. The Star called to ask me about eloping - so I sent them a zillion pages of notes - but they ended up with a just a snippet of text about Toronto, and not much info.  I did offer them some LOVELY stories about creative elopements, (today we took a limo + parents down to Polson Pier, where the couple met at the Night Market - voila!)


Polson Pier, morning elopement (before the nightclub pool rocks out)
What I wanted the Star to say was that 'eloping' is a historical term for a private wedding - and there are many reasons for a quiet legal wedding, from 'Romantic' to 'Practical'. Sometimes an elopement replaces a Big Fat Wedding, and sometimes it's a practice step before a future BFW, and sometimes it's just a lovely choice.

Anyway, here is an article on Eloping in Jane Austen's day :
"The Marriage Act of 1753 made it increasingly difficult for upper class men to “marry down,” and for women to marry men outside their rank. To get around this law, a desperate couple could obtain a special license from the Archbishop of Canterbury, or elope to Gretna Green in Scotland, where English law held no sway and marriage at 16 was legal...

Over the years many couples would run away to Gretna Green for their marriages to take place. The ceremonies were usually performed by one of the village blacksmiths who in those days were at the heart of the community and held in suitable regard. Even today, many of the Ministers refer, in their services, to the similarity of a blacksmith joining 2 metals over the anvil to the marriage ceremony joining 2 people as one.

Saturday

Little Toronto outdoor elopement in a 'secret garden' - in plain sight!

Of course it has been raining a lot this year - so we've had to be creative about outdoor elopements. Often, we have two or three ideas, and wait to see what the weather will do.  (It's important to have at least ONE backup location with a roof, though, or an indoor spot in reserve). This fun couple from the USA was at a downtown hotel, but the skies cleared and we slipped into Osgoode Hall as they were closing for the day (the grounds stay open).
Here's a little corner of greenery in the middle of Toronto, with a view of 2 city halls, old and new!  Great, flexible photographer Sara Monika caught the city and the privacy and the happiness.



Tuesday

Library Elopement for literary couples

This is actually a HOME library, but delightful, because it's only one floor of the thousands of books in the collection of a literature professor at UofT. This was a wonderful home elopement of a couple who had just a few close friends and family to their simple wedding.  Some of my colleagues from the writing world turned up too, which was a wonderful surprise for all of us. Book people keep bumping into each other, somehow...

I have held weddings in other libraries, including Robarts, and the actual library stacks at the Faculty of Information Studies, as well as many bookstores.  We had a couple of lovely weddings in the Library at the Grange (Art Gallery of Ontario), which will host a small elopement/family wedding and cater you a wonderful reception or historic afternoon tea.   Yay books.

Friday

Looking for Green Space: Elopements and outdoors ideas

Construction alert! The little pathway between the ROM/ Royal Conservatory and Trinity College is a lovely wooded walk we have used over the years for little informal weddings. Lots of nice trees, and a little paved nook or two to stand quietly in a circle.  Yes, people are always passing by, and you have to watch for the music camp children running around for recess (quite busy now in July, several camps - best at 5pm), and sometimes there are sports events at Trinity field, but it's a public space and you can't get/don't need a permit for 4 or 5 people to stand under a tree for 20 minutes.
Philosophers Walk 
They have finished the law school library addition, so that area is now accessible, (tho the trees are just saplings), but now they've wrapped the ROM in insulation.   So it will be a while till the north end is open again. The path is still there, and the little amphitheatre behind the music building, so go and investigate if you're thinking of a wedding here.

NOTE: You MUST get a PERMIT for the main UofT campus, by Hart House, so don't even try holding an informal wedding or anything resembling a wedding photoshoot, or the security staff will stop you. Alternatives nearby are Queens Park (if there isn't a fair or expo), or some of the little Annex parkettes.  To the west, we had a little wedding in Bickford Park (south of Christie Pitts), under a nice tree, tho we had to compete with Saturday morning soccer! Once again, just 6 people. You can't bring a large group.  Rule of thumb: Over a DOZEN PEOPLE usually requires a permit. Because a dozen is a GROUP.  Write me if you have questions, please.

Trinity Bellwoods
Trinity Bellwoods still works for small groups, and Dufferin grove, tho you should ask the committee for larger groups than 8-ish. In the East, you can take a small group to the bottom of Withrow Park or Riverdale, or some other local small parks.  Don't even think of holding an elopement in the Distillery without a permit, tho. You can work out something with the Brickworks, and have lunch at Cafe Belong. Brickworks will want a permit and a fee for anything other than a small 'standing around-doesn't-look like a wedding' group. Be aware.
Northwards, there are little parks around Walmer, a nice little memorial park at Avenue Road and St Clair, and we've had little weddings in a few little community parkettes by people's homes.

Allan Gardens
In terms of downtown permits /rentals, (for elopements and slightly bigger groups, 12-30) you can 'rent a garden' inside Allan Gardens, which has recovered nicely from the freeze last winter. Here we are last week. You can also get a permit for the Rose Garden or gazebo at St James Park.  You can also RENT Casa Loma's Conservatory for just yourselves, or a group - same price for both ($$$$$). Be creative, scout your neighbourhood. Condo parks are great, because you can bring a group. Back gardens at restaurants are pretty.  You can get a picnic permit for the Island for a group event, or just wander over and find a spot - or arrange a little wedding at the Rectory Cafe garden, and yummy lunch!

Allan Gardens is great inside, but your permit also covers the grounds and the flowers outside. Here is the flower garden, and the wedding party in front of the greenhouse.
Allan Gardens front garden

Allan Gardens front of greenhouse