You aren’t like every other couple, and your story is unique – so why should your wedding day be the same as everyone else’s? If you have a feeling that a traditional wedding and tying the knot in a ballroom in front of 100 people you love and 100 and that you kind of know isn’t really your jam, eloping might be right for you!
This guide will tell you how to elope in Ontario, with everything you need to know – from where to tie the knot, to how to make it official, to Ontario elopement packages personalized for you!
One of the first things you need to do to elope in Ontario is set a date! Now, like most of Canada, Ontario has some pretty dramatic changes in weather throughout the year – so while you can definitely tie the knot any time of year, your elopement date will affect your options for activities and adventures.
For most couples, summer is a pretty ideal time to elope! The weather is warm and sunny, so it’s perfect for outdoor adventures like camping, hiking, kayaking, and more. Heads up – summers can get pretty humid, so be prepared with extra water, and bring some bug spray!
Fall is one of the absolute best times to elope in Ontario. Most places will be less busy than the summer months, and the weather is crisp, but still warm enough to explore outside! Ontario is an amazing place for fun autumn activities like apple picking, or you can hike to see some of the incredible fall foliage.
Winters are definitely cold! But, for couples who are willing to bundle up and enjoy the winter wonderland, this can be a pretty magical time to tie the knot. You can enjoy skiing, snowshoeing, ice-skating, snowball fights and other fun winter activities!
If you’re not from Ontario, you may be surprised to see us locals taking our coats off and wearing shorts in the chilly spring temps! But, when the sun comes out in the spring, we love to soak it up! Spring is another amazing time to elope, as it’s less busy than summer, but offers more comfortable weather than the winter. The flowers bloom, and you can see the amazing display of colors, whether it’s in the city or out on a hike. If you want to avoid the snow, I recommend eloping in May – this gives you the best combination of good weather, fewer crowds!
Needless to say, Ontario is a pretty big place! As you travel throughout the province, you’ll find different landscapes, different urban cities to explore, and tons to do. Having grown up in Ontario and spending most of my life here, I’ve spent years and years exploring all the amazing beauty that this place has to offer! And don’t worry, I love to share – all of my couples get a personalized list of location recommendations, created with you in mind. But, to get you inspired, here are just a few ideas for some of the best places to elope in Ontario.
Ontario has some incredible beaches, and some stunning places to elope where you can see the Great Lakes. Whether you want to tie the knot on a sandy beach, paddle out to an island in the water, or stand at a gorgeous overlook, Ontario has the perfect elopement location for you!
The Bruce Peninsula is one of the best options for an elopement by the water, with rocky shorelines, incredible sunrises, and a quaint lighthouse. For boho sand dunes, check out Pinery Provincial Park, and if you want to tie the knot in a truly remote, private location, you can visit Pukaskwa National Park, where you can hike up to an overlook with sweeping views!
Ontario’s most famous waterfall is Niagara Falls, but this place is well known and busy – so if you want to get a little bit off the beaten path, there are countless waterfalls tucked in the forests of Ontario that offer incredible views, without the crowds!
Check out Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park, which has the second highest waterfall in the province. Or you can visit Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park, which features gorgeous pine forests, beautiful rapids, and an incredible river for those who want to try canoeing!
A really great option when you elope in Ontario is to book a cabin or cottage! You can host an intimate ceremony and a small reception in a cabin, but even if you just use this as a place to get ready and a place to come back to you after your adventure, booking a cabin close to the gorgeous landscapes is a great way to experience Ontario when you elope!
We talked about the fun stuff – gorgeous places and fun things to do during your elopement – but there is a little bit of less fun paperwork stuff to do when you elope in Ontario! To get legally married when you elope, here’s what you need.
You’ll need to get a marriage license from the province of Ontario, or a banns form. A banns form is something you can get from a church if you have a religious ceremony, but most couples opt to get a marriage license. You’ll need to go to a City Hall, Town Hall, or a municipal office in Ontario, and you’ll need to bring two pieces of government issued ID, a signed application (which you can print and fill out ahead of time), and some money to pay the marriage license fee. The fee can vary depending on which office you go to, so check this ahead of time – some offices also only take cash! After you get your marriage license, it’s valid for three months.
Once it’s time for your elopement ceremony, you’ll need a registered officiant. Then, once everything is signed, your officiant will send your marriage license back to register your marriage, and then it’s official! You’re married!
A lot of couples decide to get the legal stuff out of the way before they elope. You can get legally married at city hall, and this way, on your elopement day, you can focus on adventures without having to worry about finding an officiant to travel to your location. This helps save on travel fees, and can give you a private, intimate elopement experience!
If you’ve decided to spend your wedding day hiking up a mountain, or wandering through a forest, or standing at a gorgeous overlook, or having whatever incredible adventure feels right for you, I’m ready to help you make it happen! As an Ontario elopement photographer, my job is to make sure you have a day that’s stress-free, and perfect for you – my Ontario elopement packages include personalized location options, tips and advice, recommendations for vendors and places to stay, things to do, and a customized timeline including everything you want, and nothing that you don’t.
If you’re ready to tie the knot, contact me to learn more about Ontario elopement packages, or to start planning!
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Your not-so-traditional Elopement + Intimate Wedding Photographer. I document love stories for couples who want something unique, and who's focus is each other and having a meaningful, intentional experience on the day they say "I do".
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