Who am I? Mary Beaty, Humanist Officiant

I am Mary Beaty, a certified Wedding Officiant licensed by the Registrar General of Ontario under the auspices of the Ontario Humanist Society to provide legal marriage services in the Province of Ontario. I am a librarian, Humanist Chaplain at the University of Toronto, a writer, a human rights activist, a grandmother, and former organic and sheep farmer, interested in sustainability, and green issues. 

I have married about 1500 couples since 2004, and I offer simple and meaningful secular (non-religious) Humanist wedding services, including both traditional and modern ceremonies, for couples who wish to design their own weddings. 

For more information and sample Ceremonies at
Email me at MaryBeaty (at) Gmail (dot) com.


SEND AN [ENQUIRY] FORM HERE - Globe and Mail agrees this is a 'trend'


well, after officiating at 1500 elopements in 20 years, I can agree with this article. (grin)

But there are a few RULES:

1) Tell your mom, if you tell your mom things anyway

2) Tell your best friend and siblings, if you tell them things anyway.

3) You don't need rings or flowers, unless you WANT them.  

4) Dress up, or down, bring along a friend with a guitar, or don't bother.  

5) Don't confuse an elopement with a flashmob wedding.  Find a quiet tree, or your own apartment or a hotel, or a beach, or a backyard.  Find a little peace and privacy for 20 minutes.  THEN go out and take pix all over town if you wish. 

there are zillions of articles on this blog with advice, or just contact me.  MaryBeaty (at)



Micro wedding at the Music Garden

Music Garden micro wedding

 This may look like a typical 'large' wedding, but it's really on seven of us, under the willow tree at the Music Garden.  We streamed family from two countries and entertained some sunbathers, and enjoyed the planes taking off from Billy Bishop in the sunlight. 


Simple Legal Weddings - your wedding, your way

We conduct simple, 'civil' (non-religious, non-denominational, secular) humanist weddings. These ceremonies are similar to those conducted by a 'Justice of the Peace", or a "City Hall wedding". We also conduct 'microweddings', a new name for 'elopements'. Mary is licensed as a Marriage Officiant by the Registrar General of Ontario, and the Ontario Humanist Society  Since 2004, I have married over 1500 couples.  Always happy to chat. 


See the link at the bottom of your cell phone to view the full page with more information. 


What is a 'Micro Wedding' ? (aka PopUp wedding)

Micro wedding is a new term for a small private wedding. Here's a news clip about this 'trend' 
Send us an enquiry here and we'll explain more.

We have conducted 'micro weddings' since 2004.  They are also called 'elopements', 'small civil weddings', 'city hall weddings', 'pop-up weddings', 'house weddings', 'registry weddings', 'family weddings" and lots of other terms, and it basically means the way your great-grandparents were probably married. 

In earlier days, people generally got married at home, in the 'parlour' or outside on the lawn.  You got dressed in the bedroom, and the family and local ladies made the wedding brunch.  

Today's couples often choose a park, the condo party room, someone's balcony, or a quiet corner of a city landmark, or any place you can gather with a small group for a half hour, the same as you would hold a graduation picnic, a birthday party, or just any little celebration. Dress-up is optional!

Feel free to write me with any questions, and I'm happy to make suggestions.

Save the funds you would have spent on the 'big fat' wedding - and go on a travel adventure! 

A few recent micro elopements :)

Micro wedding in my apartment (check the sox!)

Micro wedding in the backyard of my apartment

Popup in the couple's condo


Winter locations for micro-weddings (popups, elopements, 'signings')

Brrr. Although we do conduct outdoor weddings in winter, and have ventured to snowy spots like the Brickworks. Grange Park and Riverdale Park, and even the skating rink at Nathan Phillips, I DO RECOMMEND indoor locations for your small intimate micro-wedding.  We need to have about 30 minutes for the wedding and signing, and it gets COLD, and we can't sign if it's wet.

SO!  Your apartment, my apartment, your friend's condo event room are handy.  Most restaurants will let you stand in a quiet corner at 4pm (before evening service) and hold a quick wedding, (don't say "wedding", say "private meeting" - they don't want to worry about confetti and champagne serving). But do ask about private 'snugs', small dinner party rooms at places like the Irish pubs on the Danforth.

But you can also rent a co-working room at various locations, like the Centre for Social Innovation on Spadina, etc. Just think, 'where could I hold a small meeting?', and you'll think of places you could hold a small wedding.  Contact me at marybeaty (at) gmail (dot) com, and I can offer suggestions.  Happy planning! 


Popup micro family wedding at UofT on a quiet Sunday morning


Quiet little micro wedding at Univ of Toronto

It's summer, and University is quiet at the moment, especially on a Sunday morning before lunch.  You can pre-BOOK a few places for small weddings (Hart House, Vic College, etc.).  But sometimes you can also just wander in with a handful of family and find a quiet corner.  I liked this stone step, because I'm really short and the groom was a Big Friendly Giant.  Please contact me if you want to chat about location ideas.  


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

We offer simple 'civil' legal wedding ceremonies:  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  'micro-wedding', 'signings' or 'registration of a marriage') and friendly family & community-style weddings.  I make house calls! You may have a wedding at your home, apartment, in a park, hotel, restaurant, or other location of choice. Or hot air balloon.

Questions big or small? Use this [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. 

NOTE: If you are viewing the MOBILE version of this blog, there's lots more info in the desktop version. There's a 'web version' link at the foot of the first page of posts, or view on your laptop.

Micro (popup) wedding in High Park on a sunny morning.

A "micro wedding' is a new term for an elopement or small civil wedding.  We like High Park, because it's so big you can find a nice spot for a small wedding on the day you get there.  We avoided the family picnics and daycares, and found a great spot under a trellis, for the couple, the witnesses a few friends and family and a toddler or two (who could run around a bit).  Wonderful morning, serenaded by the birds.  And then a celebration brunch.

Newly married couple in High Park


Small (micro) wedding at Victoria College

Micro elopement on the steps at Vic College

The couple booked the STEPS at Vic College, and we had a lovely small wedding in the Quad.  Around us were people taking photos for BIG weddings later in the day, but we were finished and happy and ready for the celebration dinner at a restaurant by the time the other couples were resting up for their events.

Small weddings are very traditional, actually - and quite fun. 


Small restaurant wedding - on the patio at dusk

 Here's a happy spring wedding.  The rain stopped JUST LONG ENOUGH for us to set up the lights and the flags and a table for signing, and a lovely time was had by all.

The restaurant is Her Father's Cider (we had weddings there before when it was LOIRE).

Great food, lovely staff, very very happy evening.

Happy couple at a small family wedding

30 guests at a 'micro wedding'


Small Legal wedding at home

Riverdale Home Wedding

 Small legal weddings are back, also called 'micro-weddings', a new term for elopements, in post-covid times.  This is in Riverdale, walkable from my home. And yes, another tall couple.  I think I'll start calling myself a Hobbit.  But it was a happy wedding, with a few friends and champagne.  


Hart House wedding - back again!

Hart House (rehearsal)

 Here's a rehearsal picture for a lovely Hart House spring wedding. I'll wear higher shoes, but I'm still dwarfed by these handsome guys!  It's nice to be back in the building again, and looking forward to some additional on-campus weddings as the weather improves.


Gerrard Laneway outdoor wedding


Gerrard laneway elopement

During Covid, we sometimes met outside (in this case, outside the restaurant) and held the weddings in small spaces - like the laneway!!  Quick and simple - and quite fun.

King Street condo balcony wedding, a bit cold, but Happy

The sun went behind a cloud, but the couple are pretty happy.  But we had a nice simple civil wedding, despite the chill. All you need is a quiet location, and about 30 minutes, and then perhaps a little champagne!
Balcony wedding King Street

High Park wedding - small and sunny!

Beautiful day - in a little alcove by the Japanese Garden

Happy Couple and mom/mother-in-law! 



Windy spring wedding in Riverdale Park

Riverdale Park in Spring


Spring backyard wedding for a long-term couple!

This couple had been companions for a number of years, and they celebrated their legal wedding in their backyard, with stories, humour, and a woodpecker!

Backyard pride wedding