Your dream Ontario elopement – the ultimate planning guide

UPDATED FOR 2024-2025

Ontario elopement guide - the ultimate guide to elope in Ontario

AT A GLANCE

Best time to elope in Ontario

Year long depending on what you want to experience

Can foreigners get legally married?

Yes, foreigners can legally get married in Ontario

Cool piece of info

The Agawa Rock Pictographs, located in Lake Superior Provincial Park, date back over 400 years and are among the oldest examples of Aboriginal rock art in Canada.

Dreaming of an intimate and unforgettable wedding experience? Consider an Ontario elopement, where lush forests, picturesque lakeshores, and charming cityscapes provide the perfect backdrop for your special day. From obtaining a marriage license to choosing the ideal location and finding the right vendors, eloping in Ontario offers endless possibilities for creating a truly unique and personalized celebration. Whether you envision exchanging vows amidst the majestic beauty of Algonquin Park or against the iconic skyline of Toronto, this guide will walk you through everything you need to know to plan your dream Ontario elopement with ease and confidence.

Let’s dive in…

How to elope in Ontario – a quick checklist

  1. Choose the best time of the year to elope
  2. Choose your elopement location
  3. Choose the duration of your stay (I recommend anywhere between 7 to 15 days to fully discover the state)
  4. Book your flights
  5. Book your accommodation
  6. Book your activities
  7. Get your wedding license
  8. Need help? Check out my Ontario elopement packages
  9. Last details before you leave
How to elope legally in Ontario

How to legally elope in Ontario

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how foreigners can get legally married in Ontario:

  1. Obtain a Marriage License: Both parties must obtain a marriage license from the Ontario government. You can typically obtain a marriage license from the municipal office in the city or town where the marriage will take place. Make sure to bring valid identification, such as a passport.
  2. Waiting Period: There is a waiting period between when the marriage license is issued and when the marriage can take place. In Ontario, this waiting period is typically a few days.
  3. Find an Authorized Marriage Officiant: The marriage ceremony must be performed by an authorized marriage officiant. This could be a judge, justice of the peace, or religious official registered with the province.
  4. Witnesses: You’ll need two witnesses over the age of 18 to be present at the marriage ceremony and sign the marriage license.
  5. Marriage Ceremony: The marriage officiant will conduct the ceremony according to your preferences. This could be a simple civil ceremony or a religious ceremony, depending on your beliefs and preferences.
  6. Signing the Marriage Register: After the ceremony, you, your partner, and your witnesses will sign the marriage register, along with the marriage officiant.
  7. Marriage Certificate: Once the marriage is registered with the Office of the Registrar General in Ontario, you can apply for a marriage certificate. This is an official document proving that you are legally married.

It’s important to note that requirements and procedures may vary slightly depending on the specific location within Ontario and the citizenship status of the individuals getting married. It’s always a good idea to check with the local authorities or a legal expert to ensure you have all the necessary documentation and follow the correct procedures.

For couples from the US:

In certain states, you can ask your county clerk the authorization to sign your wedding license abroad. If they agree, as a registered minister, my team and I will be able to legally marry you without the hassle of a legal wedding ceremony in Ontario.

Can foreigners elope in Ontario?

No matter your origin, gender, beliefs, or who you love, Ontario welcomes you to celebrate your union in its stunning natural surroundings.

Top 5 Ontario elopement locations

Where to elope in Ontario - Killarney Provincial Park

For a hidden gem amidst granite landscapes – Killarney Provincial Park

Nestled in the heart of the Canadian Shield, Killarney Provincial Park offers rugged beauty and serene wilderness, making it an ideal spot for an intimate elopement ceremony. With its stunning pink granite cliffs, crystal-clear lakes, and lush forests, Killarney provides a picturesque backdrop for exchanging vows in harmony with nature. Whether you choose to say “I do” atop the breathtaking viewpoints along the La Cloche Silhouette Trail or beside the tranquil waters of George Lake, your elopement in Killarney will be an unforgettable experience immersed in untamed natural beauty.

Underwater Wonderland – Fathom Five National Marine Park

Dive into an extraordinary elopement experience in Fathom Five National Marine Park, where the underwater world awaits to witness your love story. Located off the shores of the Bruce Peninsula, this marine park boasts crystal-clear waters, ancient shipwrecks, and vibrant aquatic life, creating a unique and magical setting for your ceremony. Whether you choose to exchange vows on a secluded shoreline or aboard a glass-bottom boat surrounded by the wonders of the underwater realm, Fathom Five offers a truly one-of-a-kind elopement adventure for adventurous couples seeking a blend of romance and exploration.

Where to elope in Ontario - Fathom Five
Where to elope in Ontario - Agawa Canyon

For a romantic escape amidst autumn splendor – Agawa Canyon

Embark on a journey through the fiery hues of autumn in Agawa Canyon, where cascading waterfalls, towering cliffs, and a kaleidoscope of fall colors set the stage for an enchanting elopement ceremony. Accessible by the Agawa Canyon Tour Train or a scenic hike along the Agawa Canyon Wilderness Park trails, this remote wilderness destination provides a secluded and intimate setting for exchanging vows amidst the breathtaking beauty of nature’s autumnal palette. With the canyon ablaze in shades of crimson, gold, and amber, your elopement in Agawa Canyon promises to be a captivating celebration of love amid the splendor of the fall season.

For a celestial elopement beneath the stars – Torrance Barrens Dark-Sky Preserve

Step into a world of celestial wonder at Torrance Barrens Dark-Sky Preserve, where the heavens unfold in all their glory, providing a celestial backdrop for your elopement ceremony. Located near the town of Gravenhurst in Muskoka, this designated dark-sky sanctuary offers unparalleled stargazing opportunities, with minimal light pollution ensuring a mesmerizing display of stars, planets, and constellations. Whether you choose to exchange vows beneath the shimmering canopy of stars or bask in the glow of the Milky Way atop one of the preserve’s granite outcrops, your celestial elopement in Torrance Barrens will be a celestial celebration of love that transcends time and space.

Where to elope in Ontario - Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Reserve
Where to elope in Ontario - Point Pelee National Park

For a serene oasis at the southern tip of Canada – Point Pelee National Park

Experience the tranquil beauty of nature’s sanctuary at Point Pelee National Park, where lush marshlands, pristine beaches, and rare Carolinian forest converge to create a serene oasis for your elopement ceremony. Situated at the southernmost point of mainland Canada, Point Pelee offers a peaceful and secluded setting for exchanging vows amidst the sounds of rustling leaves, gentle waves, and migratory birds. Whether you choose to say “I do” on the sandy shores of Lake Erie or beneath the canopy of a towering tulip tree, your elopement in Point Pelee will be a tranquil retreat into the heart of nature’s embrace, where love blossoms like the rare wildflowers that dot the landscape.

Did you know?

There is so much more to Ontario than Toronto. When you decide to plan your elopement with me, I’ll curate a personalized list of 4 to 5 extraordinary off-the-beaten-path locations that are tailored to your unique preferences. Let me guide you to the hidden gems of Ontario, far away from the typical tourist spots.

When to plan an Ontario elopement

When to plan your Ontario elopement

Embrace the warmth: Ontario’s summer elopements

Summer in Ontario offers warm temperatures and vibrant landscapes, making it the perfect season for outdoor elopements. Couples can exchange vows amidst the lush beauty of provincial parks, beside tranquil lakeshores, or in the heart of bustling cities like Toronto. With longer days and balmy evenings, summer elopements in Ontario provide ample opportunities for creating unforgettable memories against the backdrop of nature’s bounty.

A symphony of colors: fall elopements in Ontario

Fall in Ontario transforms the landscape into a stunning canvas of crimson, gold, and amber hues, creating a picturesque setting for intimate elopement ceremonies. Couples can celebrate their love amidst the fiery beauty of fall foliage in provincial parks, vineyards, or along scenic hiking trails. With cooler temperatures and fewer crowds, fall elopements offer a serene and romantic atmosphere for couples seeking to immerse themselves in the splendor of the season.

Snowy serenity: winter elopements in Ontario

Ontario’s winter wonderland provides a magical backdrop for intimate elopement ceremonies amidst snowy landscapes and cozy settings. Couples can say “I do” amidst the twinkling lights of winter festivals, beside frozen waterfalls, or in the warmth of rustic cabins. With opportunities for outdoor adventures like snowshoeing, ice skating, and sleigh rides, winter elopements in Ontario promise to be unforgettable celebrations of love in a fairy-tale setting.

Blooming romance: spring elopements in Ontario

Spring in Ontario brings a burst of color and vitality, making it the perfect season for romantic elopement ceremonies amidst blooming flowers and rejuvenated landscapes. Couples can exchange vows beneath the canopy of cherry blossoms, in botanical gardens, or along scenic trails. With mild temperatures and the promise of new beginnings, spring elopements offer a fresh and enchanting backdrop for celebrating love amidst nature’s renewal.

Did you know?

As an elopement guide and photographer in Ontario, I offer a reassuring service to all my couples by providing complimentary transportation during their elopement adventure. This allows them to fully immerse themselves in the joy of their elopement experience, while I expertly manage all the logistics, including the unique challenge of driving on the other side of the road!

Unique Things to Do When You Elope in Ontario

Here are three unique nature-related activities to experience when visiting Ontario:

What to do when you elope in Ontario - bioluminescent kayaking

Bioluminescent Kayaking in Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve

Experience the mesmerizing phenomenon of bioluminescence while kayaking through the waters of Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve. During certain times of the year, microscopic organisms called dinoflagellates create a glowing effect in the water when disturbed. Guided tours offer the opportunity to paddle through the darkness and witness the magical glow illuminating the water around you, creating an unforgettable and enchanting experience.

Stargazing in the Algonquin Dark Sky Preserve

Escape the city lights and journey to Algonquin Provincial Park, home to one of the largest Dark Sky Preserves in the world. With minimal light pollution, this designated area offers unparalleled views of the night sky, allowing visitors to marvel at the stars, planets, and constellations in all their glory. Join a guided stargazing tour or simply lay back on a clear night to witness the beauty of the cosmos in this tranquil and pristine setting.

What to do in Ontario - Algonquin dark sky reserve
What to do when you elope in Ontario - Haliburton forest

Treetop Trekking in the Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve

Embark on an exhilarating adventure high above the forest floor with treetop trekking in the Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve. Navigate through a series of aerial courses comprised of zip lines, suspension bridges, and Tarzan swings, offering a bird’s-eye view of the stunning forest canopy below. This unique and adrenaline-pumping experience allows visitors to connect with nature in a thrilling and immersive way while exploring the diverse ecosystems of Ontario’s wilderness.

Ice Climbing in Thunder Bay

Experience the thrill of scaling frozen waterfalls and ice formations in the Thunder Bay area. Guided ice climbing tours cater to all skill levels, from beginners to advanced climbers, providing an opportunity to explore the stunning ice formations of Lake Superior’s north shore. With the guidance of experienced instructors and the backdrop of Ontario’s winter wonderland, ice climbing offers an adrenaline-pumping adventure amidst breathtaking natural beauty.

What to do when you elope in Ontario - ice climbing in Thunder Bay
What to do when you elope in Ontario - bird watching in point pelee

Birdwatching at Point Pelee National Park

Explore one of the premier birding destinations in North America at Point Pelee National Park. Situated at the southernmost tip of mainland Canada, Point Pelee is a critical migratory route for birds, making it a haven for birdwatchers throughout the year. Visitors can spot a diverse range of species, from songbirds and waterfowl to raptors and shorebirds, as they traverse the park’s marshes, woodlands, and sandy beaches. With guided birding tours and observation towers offering panoramic views, Point Pelee promises an unforgettable birdwatching experience amidst the tranquility of nature.

What to wear for your Ontario elopement

What to wear when eloping in Ontario

The Dress

Finding the perfect dress for your Ontario elopement involves considering both practicality and style. Opt for a dress that suits the season and location, whether it’s a lightweight, flowy gown for a summer ceremony amidst the beauty of a provincial park or a cozy, elegant ensemble for a winter elopement in a rustic cabin. Keep comfort in mind, especially if you’ll be hiking or exploring, and choose a silhouette that allows you to move freely while still feeling glamorous and confident. Ultimately, your dress should reflect your personal style and make you feel like the beautiful bride you are, whether you’re exchanging vows in a scenic outdoor setting or amid the bustling streets of a vibrant city.

The Shoes

Selecting the perfect shoes for your Ontario elopement involves finding a balance between style, comfort, and practicality. For outdoor ceremonies in parks or nature reserves, consider comfortable yet stylish options such as flats, sandals, or low-heeled boots that offer stability and support for walking on uneven terrain. If your elopement takes place in the city or a more formal setting, you may opt for dressier footwear like heels or dress shoes that complement your outfit and elevate your overall look. Additionally, consider the weather conditions and potential terrain of your chosen location to ensure your shoes are suitable for walking and standing comfortably throughout the day. Whatever style you choose, prioritize comfort to ensure you can enjoy every moment of your Ontario elopement without any discomfort or distraction.

The Suit

Selecting the ideal suit for your Ontario elopement entails balancing style, comfort, and suitability for the chosen setting and season. For a summer ceremony in Ontario’s warm climate, consider lightweight fabrics like linen or cotton in light colors such as beige or gray to keep cool and stylish. If your elopement is scheduled for fall or winter, opt for a heavier fabric like wool or tweed in darker tones such as navy or charcoal for added warmth and sophistication. Whether you’re exchanging vows in a natural oasis like Algonquin Park or against the urban backdrop of Toronto’s skyline, choose a suit that complements the atmosphere and makes you feel confident and dapper on your special day.

Typical food and dishes from Ontario

You might want to integrate into your elopement day

What to eat on your Ontario elopement - peameal bacon sandwich

Peameal bacon sandwich

A quintessential Ontario dish, the peameal bacon sandwich features thick slices of peameal bacon (cured pork loin rolled in cornmeal) served on a soft bun. Often topped with mustard or other condiments, this iconic sandwich is a popular choice for breakfast or lunch and can be found in diners, delis, and markets across the province.

Butter tart

A beloved Canadian dessert with roots in Ontario, the butter tart is a sweet pastry filled with a gooey mixture of butter, sugar, and eggs, often with the addition of raisins or pecans. With its flaky crust and rich, caramel-like filling, butter tarts are a must-try treat for visitors to Ontario and can be found in bakeries, cafes, and farmers’ markets throughout the province.

What to eat on your Ontario elopement - butter tart
What to eat on your Ontario elopement - poutine

Poutine

While poutine is often associated with Quebec, this indulgent dish has gained popularity across Canada, including in Ontario. Traditional poutine consists of crispy French fries topped with cheese curds and smothered in hot gravy, creating a satisfyingly savory and comforting meal. In Ontario, you can find variations of poutine with added toppings such as pulled pork, bacon, or mushrooms, offering a delicious twist on this classic Canadian dish.

Ontario elopement packages and pricing

All my packages include:

  • From 1-2 locations to a full 7 days honeymoon and elopement adventure photography coverage
  • Custom planning by a travel agent and elopement planner with:
    • A list of 3 to 4 location recommendations based on your vision (forests? mountains? beaches? You name it!)
    • Complimentary transportation for your day(s)
    • Concierge service for vendors, accommodation, restaurants, you name it! And the option of having it all included in your package
    • Help with anything related to accessibility, permits and rules
    • A printed “how to elope” guide with everything you need to know
    • A custom timeline for your day(s)
    • The possibility to get legally married by your photographer (we’re all US ministers!)
  • Online gallery you can share with the world
  • My travels feels to anywhere in Ontario are already included!
  • Starting at $10.750
VIEW ALL MY PACKAGES FOR YOUR ELOPEMENT IN Ontario
(no inquiry needed)

Last details before you leave for Ontario

Ready to set off and discover the Heartland Province? Here are a few final pearls of wisdom.

Packing list

When packing for a trip to Ontario, consider the season and planned activities. In summer, lightweight and breathable clothing, sunscreen, and a hat are essential for exploring the outdoors, while a light jacket or sweater may be needed for cooler evenings. For fall, layers are key, along with waterproof outerwear and sturdy shoes for hiking. In winter, pack warm, insulated clothing, including a heavy coat, gloves, hat, and boots, as well as traction devices for icy conditions. Regardless of the season, don’t forget essentials like a reusable water bottle, insect repellent, and any necessary medications. Additionally, if you’re planning to visit attractions or go on outdoor adventures, a camera, binoculars, and a backpack for essentials are handy to have.

Renting a car

When renting a car in Ontario, there are several tips to keep in mind to ensure a smooth experience. First, book your rental car in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, to secure the best rates and availability. When choosing a rental company, compare prices, read reviews, and consider factors like customer service and vehicle selection. Make sure to carefully review the rental agreement, including insurance coverage, fuel policies, and any additional fees or restrictions. Before driving off, thoroughly inspect the rental car for any pre-existing damage and take note of it on the rental agreement to avoid being held responsible. Familiarize yourself with Ontario’s traffic laws and road signs, and always drive safely and defensively, especially in urban areas and during inclement weather. Finally, return the rental car on time and in the same condition to avoid extra charges.

Formalities – do we need a visa to visit Ontario?

If you’re from Canada, you don’t need to do anything. Most travelers from visa-exempt countries, including those from countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and European Union member states, need an eTA to travel to Canada by air. Check out this map to know if you need a visa or an eTA to visit Ontario:

Visa policy in Canada

A small conclusion: Why Elope in Ontario?

Scenic diversity

Ontario boasts a breathtaking array of landscapes, from pristine lakeshores and lush forests to vibrant urban skylines. Whether you envision exchanging vows against the backdrop of Niagara Falls, amid the serene beauty of Algonquin Provincial Park, or overlooking the Toronto skyline, Ontario offers a diverse range of stunning settings for your elopement. With such picturesque scenery, you’re sure to find the perfect backdrop to make your special day truly unforgettable.

Intimate and personal

Elopements offer couples the opportunity to celebrate their love in a deeply intimate and personal way. By forgoing the traditional large wedding ceremony, you can focus on what truly matters: your commitment to each other. With just the two of you or a small group of loved ones, eloping in Ontario allows you to create a deeply meaningful and personalized experience that reflects your unique love story.

Endless adventure

Ontario is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a myriad of activities and adventures to enjoy together. Whether you’re hiking through rugged wilderness trails, kayaking on crystal-clear lakes, or exploring charming small towns and cities, eloping in Ontario provides endless opportunities for adventure and exploration. From the shores of Lake Superior to the quaint villages of Prince Edward County, each corner of Ontario offers its own unique charm and adventure, making it the perfect destination for an unforgettable elopement experience.

Ontario elopement planner

Let’s chat!

Are you eager to start planning your elopement in Ontario? I’m here to help you envision, plan and immortalize this beautiful adventure! Contact me now for a free consultation!

Welcome to the Adventure of a Lifetime

Amber, elopement photographer

Hello, I’m Amber, your devoted elopement photographer and planner, poised to craft an unforgettable day just for you. Whether you’re seeking an all-inclusive package or a customized experience tailored to your preferences, I’m here to ensure every detail is meticulously arranged. From discovering the perfect venue to orchestrating vendors and curating a personalized timeline, I take great care to infuse your elopement day with the essence of your unique love story. And, of course, I’ll be there to capture every cherished moment, preserving the magic for a lifetime of memories. Your love story is exceptional, and your wedding day deserves to be equally extraordinary. Let’s collaborate to fashion an authentic and heartfelt celebration that honors your love in the most exquisite way imaginable.

How to elope in Ontario - the ultimate guide
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