Welcome to ElopeToronto.com!

Welcome to ElopeToronto.com! We conduct simple, 'civil' (non-religious, non-denominational, secular) humanist weddings. The ceremonies are similar to those conducted by a 'Justice of the Peace", or at "city hall". Mary is licensed as a Marriage Officiant by the Registrar General of Ontario, and the Ontario Humanist Society
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Wednesday

We conduct simple, meaningful, 'civil' weddings in Toronto.  These are non-religious, non-denominational,  secular humanist weddings similar to a 'city hall' wedding, or those conducted by a 'Justice of the Peace". We also provide simple legal weddings for couples planning a destination wedding. Mary is licensed as a Marriage Officiant by the Registrar General of Ontario, and the Ontario Humanist Society    SEND AN [ENQUIRY] FORM HERE

Outdoor spring wedding at University of Toronto

Spring wedding at University of Toronto

 The weather looked a little blustery (well, a LOT!) and rain was threatening, so we changed our plans and found this nice portico and had a nice simple elopement - and the sun came out!  Spring flowers, April showers, and a very happy spring couple.  

Monday

Balcony Wedding on a windy spring day

Here's a little downtown wedding by OCAD.  We could open the balcony doors and get a LOT of air inside this apartment, and we took off our masks for the pix.




Wednesday

A few little Covid weddings....

Revisiting a few small 'Covid weddings' ... couples and witnesses and small legal ceremonies in and around Toronto.
Current information on Covid-19 and regulations for weddings
 

Winter Wedding at UofT

Rosedale Parkette

High Park

Gerrard Laneway Bar

Back Porch, Roncesvalles

Oriole Park



Monday

Winter Weddings - locations, COVID, and vaccinations

As we negotiate changes in COVID regulations, we've had to adjust wedding protocols and plans. 

Here is updated info on City Hall, and how to obtain your license:

Also, regulations on:  Covid physical distancing:

Most Fall weddings were outdoors, and quite small - the couple, two witnesses, and a safe place to stand and to sign documents.  That meant High Park, Riverdale Park, some Condo gardens, and a few backyards, laneways, and creative outdoor spaces. 

Now that it's cold, we had a few distanced indoor weddings in apartments, (and balconies), and everyone should be double-vaxxed and boostered.  We wear masks during the signings, and witnesses wear masks. 

The last three weddings were for Doctors, Scientists and Health Professionals (oddly!) and everyone was fully vaccinated and tested before arriving.  They also brought N95 masks for everyone!

We've had some 'zoom & skype' guests for these small elopements, and some couples are planning another 'celebration' in warmer weather for friends and family.  (Some are saving their ring exchange for the '2nd wedding').

Feel free to contact me if you want to chat about ideas - it's been fun talking to people about plans and ideas.      Cheers,  Mary


Late September elopement wedding in High Park

Fun Fall wedding in the woods in High Park

We're ALL having fun in this pix!  The couple and their 6 guests found a grove of trees in High Park and we held a wonderful short wedding in the woods at the end of September.  The weather COOPERATED (yay), and a good time was had by all.  It's important to find a little space away from people getting outdoor exercise, and dog walkers - but it's a big park! 

Signing the registry book on a bench in High Park

Phil the photographer - available for weddings big and small.

Saturday

Backyard country legal wedding and a caravan!

This was a nice summer (Covid) wedding, when I was at the cottage. Just 5 people (the couple and I and 2 witnesses).  We're all vaccinated, and we're outside. A nice neighbour in Stratford loaned us her backyard, complete with a traveler's caravan  (and she made tea for the couple and gave them a bouquet!)



Covid winter weddings - small, outdoors, special

 We had a few very small, very cold, and very lovely weddings in December.

Here's a couple on their back porch, (pretty cold! the ink in our pens wasn't running very easily!)

Covid Back porch wedding, December

And this brave couple is having a 'first dance' in the park, to a cell phone tune, while their family holds sparklers.  AND it snowed JUST for the wedding.  Very cold, very pretty, very special.

Covid park wedding, December


And a bit of snow at UofT


Monday

A few quiet COVID weddings in the fall

Guidelines (which may change):  Everyone download COVID tracing app. Wedding is Outdoors, social distancing, all wear masks when signing, guests limited to witnesses & very close family. Still lovely!  (weather permitting).

Condo garden 

Here we are, midmorning, in a laneway near a downtown bar.  Lots of air circulation!  Just 2 witnesses and the super nice couple.  They're off to celebrate.

Downtown Toronto

High Park 


Sunday

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

We offer simple 'civil' legal wedding ceremonies:  secular, non-religious & non-denominational, (similar to a 'City Hall' or 'Justice of the Peace' wedding) including elopements, private ceremonies, legal ceremonies for destination weddings, (aka 'signings' or 'registration of a marriage') and friendly family & community-style weddings.
We make house calls! We will perform the wedding at your home, apartment or condo, in a park, hotel, restaurant, or other location of choice.

Questions big or small? Or want to see if I'm available?  SEND ME YOUR DATES IN AN [ENQUIRY FORM] and I'll write back! I will also send a sample contract and a fee scale. Fees are simple, and based on the size of the wedding, and include transportation and office fees.
See FAQ and main website for more information for both small and larger events.

Mary is licensed as a Marriage Officiant ("wedding Celebrant"_ by the Registrar General of Ontario, and the Ontario Humanist Society and has performed over 1500 civil weddings. I am currently the Secular Humanist Chaplain at the University of Toronto  
HUMANISM is an ethical philosophy of secular living, stating we all share a duty of care to each other, to lead ethical lives of compassion and respect, for other people, and the world we all share. Humanist Wedding Ceremonies are simple, meaningful, non-religious legal marriage ceremonies, which reflect your wishes, your values, and your story. We also provide ceremonies for baby-namings, memorials, and other life events. 

Friday

Legal ceremonies for destination weddings

It's that time of year!  Couples are planning 'getaway' weddings in warm places, and we provide the legal ceremonies in Canada before their 'ceremonial' weddings at the holiday destination. 
For a small legal wedding, you need a Marriage License from City Hall (good for 90 days), and 2 legal witnesses over age 18 (friends, family, neighbours, etc.), and about 15 minutes for a legal ceremony.  Then time to sign lots of papers and take a simple documentary photo (cell phone is OK).
You can save your ring exchange, vows, readings, music, family toasts and ceremonies for the destination wedding, and we will perform a very simplified legal wedding, which fulfils the government requirements.  Here's a sample text.

More information HERE

We can hold your legal wedding in your apartment, balcony, garden, or in a hotel, office, or even in *my* little apartment downtown.  Then the officiant completes all the paperwork for you and we send the documents off to the Registrar General in Thunder Bay for them to process the marriage - while you pack for your 'getaway' wedding.
informal legal wedding in a townhouse

Here are some world travelers who got married this winter, and are off to their family wedding in a few weeks.  We had a nice glass of champagne to celebrate.

Sunday

Down in the Distillery - hidden in plain view

We're in the park - with the lake behind us.  A lovely late summer wedding, with just family and friends. You wouldn't know there are a zillion tourists only a few blocks away.  Super lovely couple, and nice to meet all the family as well.
Distillery Area wedding

Tuesday

AGO: grey day in Grange park, and a Great wedding!

Here we are in front of the Henry Moore statue group behind the AGO in Grange Park.  There were kids and babies and skateboarders all around, but they gave us a space for a short, lovely wedding.  And the rain held off till the end!
Couple and witnesses, AGO, Grange Park
Grange Park wedding couple and Mary
Signing Register in front of Grange, AGO
nb:  The bride above is an astronomer.  Below is ANOTHER University of Toronto astronomer, and we managed to hold the wedding inside the planetarium! (the new one, in the basement of the physics building).  So, fuzzy pix, but wonderful!  But you can only do this if you are -- an astronomer!
U of T Astronomy wedding

Monday

Small brunch wedding, Arts and Letters Club

I love the Arts and Letters club on Elm Street.  We often have large weddings in the Great Hall, which (like Hart House Great Hall) is very atmospheric in a 'Harry Potter' vein.  This was a small, intimate wedding in the study, or "Lamps" room, which has Group of Seven portraits.  It was very suitable for an 'academical' couple!  Another option is the Library in the Grange at the AGO - perfect for a small wedding - with a little tea reception! 

Arts and Letters Club
Arts and Letter Club

Tuesday

Condo Party room legal wedding - simple and lovely

This delightful couple also had a destination wedding in the South.  So this was their legal wedding, held with just their family witnesses, in the Party Room of their condo.  It was a weekday event, so we had the lovely big room to ourselves - with the fire on in the background, and lots of space to take photos.  Here, we've held the brief legal ceremony, and we're just finished signing all the papers!

Party Room Condo wedding

Monday

Small family wedding at Home in Little Italy - Sunday brunch!

Home wedding
We were originally planning on Trinity Bellwoods, but the weather did not cooperate, so we had a small home wedding instead at their home near Little Italy.  Lovely and light, just the family, and then everyone went out to brunch to celebrate - and I moseyed on to ANOTHER wedding up on Bathurst, where they hosted a family brunch in the house, with uncles and aunts and cousins and all.  Lovely busy sunny family wedding day!

Saturday

Lovely family wedding at the Jam Factory

a great jazz duo, fabulous food, fun wedding party, and a quote from Tolkien's Silmarillion for the wedding.  As always, great pix by Neil Ta.   More pix to come...

Jam Factory, Family wedding
Jam Factory

Monday

Locations, big and small

Eloping in High Park
We've had lots of weddings of various sizes this season.  Elopements in Riverdale Park with that stunning view of the CN tower.  Some relaxed events at Trinity Bellwoods and deep in the woods in High Park.
We had family-size weddings in small restaurants, including, DeSotos, Peter Pan. Also event spaces like The Jam Factory, and  quirky spots like The Gerrard Art Space, as well as some favourite places, like Le Select, and Hart House and The Enoch Turner Schoolhouse.
Some students and faculty (with connections) managed to arrange weddings at faculty rooms at Ryerson and even (hsh!) in the planetarium at UofT, on a quiet morning before school started.  (Well, the bride was an astrophysicist, so she had some pull!).
And we've had lots of home weddings - reviving an Edwardian tradition - often in the parent's home (bigger!) or the couple's apartment (smaller!), or sometimes on the roofdeck of a condo.
Condo roofdeck with CN tower view
Gerrard Art Space
Most of these were small family weddings, or small private elopements, but even the larger events were mostly family and friends.  Easy to plan, casual and fun, often catered by willing aunties.  Lots of time to talk (and hug) everyone.