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How to Elope in Ontario

What is eloping? The romantic notion of running away to a tiny Church in Las Vegas to elope has been modified into a common wedding option in Canada with the development of restricted wedding sizes during the pandemic. However, it was definitely around during the days we only thought of Corona as beer.

Elopements were most popular by couples who were planning destination weddings overseas, but who opted for getting their legal work completed in Canada to save on hassle, translation fees, and for some countries, avoiding having to do blood tests.

They typically include a minimum of the Officiant, the couple, and their two witnesses. That's right, you will need two witnesses to sign the documents, but once you invite just the two, more family and friends will want to come as well. If you are trying to avoid this, I can hire two witnesses for you.

Or you can have a mini-wedding elopement! This is typically a small group under 10 people and it has been wildly popular this year as some couples have chosen to have their legal work completed with a mini-wedding elopement while planning a second, larger wedding next year.

Or not! Some couples have completely embraced the idea of eloping as a means to save on costs. This is commonly used by those who have extremely large families and low budgets. By keeping the numbers low, it is very easy to elope quickly and little expenses. And, if the elopement is taking place in a park or on private property, it is easy to get away with a quick ceremony & signing without requiring permits.

Here are some things to know about eloping in Ontario:

  1. Bring your marriage licence from any City Hall in Ontario, two pens, and two witnesses.

  2. Pick your date, time, and location anywhere in the city. Its often less expensive if you come to the Officiant's location of choice because they don't have to charge for travel time.

  3. You and your witnesses will not have to show ID's. All you need to bring is the licence itself.

  4. Decide if you want a bit of romance added to the moment. In Ontario, the Officiant must ask you a question to receive your verbal consent to marry, and this can be quite basic, or instead it can be spoken with more enchanting words. It doesn't cost much extra, but it can completely change the moment to be more celebratory.

  5. Decide if you want to exchange rings or vows. These aren't necessary, but can be added to the romantic ceremony the Officiant may conduct upon your request.

  6. Hire a photographer. You don't need to, but there are a lot of emotions, even when just signing the papers because the reality of what your doing kicks in and its nice to capture those memories.

  7. Dress up, or don't. Its a good excuse to wear something special for the moment, but I've also married people in their pyjamas, so anything goes!

  8. Expect the entire ceremony and signing to take 10-20 minutes in total.

  9. If you are choosing to elope because it is an easy way to simply get the marriage licence signed and you require the marriage certificate urgently. Follow these instructions on my website.

  10. Treat yourselves after the ceremony with good food, refreshments, flowers, or whatever you fancy because ....getting married this way you just saved you $29,450!! (The average wedding cost in Canada)


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