Toronto Wedding Frequently Asked Questions

CN Tower

Toronto weddings are as diverse as the people that make up the local population. One might prefer a simple elopement service, something low key with a handful of friends and family members. Others may come from a large, extended family, not wanting to leave anyone out. Basic weddings require only the marriage license, officiant, couple and witnesses. However, most elect to hire a photographer of sorts, with some offering affordable rates (and uncomprimised quality). Furthermore, the wedding venue cost can be reduced by having the event at someone’s house, condo meeting room, or even cottage. Toronto has a large assortment of quality wedding vendors, each with their unique skill set and talents. Regardless of whether your budget is $1500 or $150k, Toronto is the perfect backdrop for your wedding magic!

 

Yes, you can get married without a formal ceremony! The legal requirements are fairly straightforward, consisting of a series of questions that you have to answer with either a “yes or a no”. In other words, there is no reason to be scared for your day since you will not be “put on the spot”. In other words, you can get married even if you have social anxiety! The wedding is all about the couple, catered to their unique personalities, ensuring that everyone is comfortable and happy. This question is asked quite often, by both grooms and brides alike. Wedding magic is about bringing your story to life, not causing undue stress or worry. 

If you are looking for somewhere awesome to host your upcoming wedding, please let me share my personal insight. I have been doing the same work since I was a baby, coming with my father (a rabbi) to weddings and other religious events. If you are looking for a comprehensive list on the best outdoor wedding venues in Toronto, I developed a comprehensive list that is found by clicking on the “hyperlink” in this sentence. If you are looking beyond the “6ix” I highly recommend having your wedding in Prince Edward County. Known primarily for Sandbanks and the surrounding wineries, it is picture perfect and much more affordable than Niagara on the Lake. If you are on a limited budget, there are still options available in the GTA. Consider renting out a Canadian Legion or another social club, often priced reasonably and accommodating to financial restraints. If you are looking for a Jewish wedding, there is a synagogue in Belleville called Sons of Jacob. Not only is the shul aesthtically pleasing, it is an affordable alternative to Jewish weddings in Toronto. If you are looking for Toronto Kosher options, there are many qualified venues, some with amazing in-house catering. Depending on your level of comfort, you can always have the food catered and brought to the location of your choice!

Many people get confused about the marriage license situation so please let me make things as simple as possible. You do not need to purchase the license in the city of the ceremony, giving you some options if your time slot is not available. 

 

The two locations (within Toronto) proper are:

 

Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen St. West

North York Civic Centre, 5100 Yonge Street

 

  1. Apply for your marriage license online .

  2. Ensure that you have two valid copies of identification for each partner. While you can use your driver’s license, passport, or Ontario ID card, you cannot use your Health Card, library card or Mandarin loyalty card.

  3. Make an appointment for acquiring the marriage license. 

  4. Go to the appointment 15 minutes early, to account for any issues with transit or parking. Only one person has to go, assuming that all of the identifications are correct and in order. This means that the qualifying documents are valid and presented in either English or French. If the original documents are not in either official language, they must be translated and notarized accordingly. 

  5. Once the fee is paid, the city clerk will give the spouse a brown envelope. Do not write in it prior to meeting with your registered wedding officiant. The marriage license is not refundable, forcing couples to reapply and repay the fee. It is very important to check with the officiant to see if he or she is authorized!

 

The price of a marriage license is $160, taxes in. The price is fairly standard for the Greater Toronto Area, with prices ranging from $140-$180 or so. 

If there are no appointments prior to your date, please send them an email here  marriage@toronto.ca If you do not get back to you in time, please send me an email and I will find a location within driving distance (or public transit). This could mean someone from Toronto going to Vaughan or someone from Mississauga going to Toronto. While there have been reports of some municipalities running out of licenses, this is primarily in cottage country (think Muskoka).

Eloping in Toronto is amazing! If you are looking for something super low key, we have a small wedding chapel in North York. If you are thinking about having a small gathering of sorts, you can elope in a park and have a nice reception at a local restaurant. The terms microwedding and elopement tend to be used interchangeable, despite some degree of nuance. Eloping is often more intimate, meaning that there are less people in attendance. On the other hand, microweddings tend to offer the same type of features as traditional weddings, albeit scaled-down. If you are looking for romantic, consider getting hitched on the Toronto Islands, specifically facing the downtown skyline. This may be my favourite place in the city, bringing an almost magical energy to the moment. While this may be my first thought, it sure is not the only one! We are truly privileged to have some of the best wedding backdrops in the world, ranging from Casa Loma to Edward Gardens to the Guild Inn. Please remember, you may have to pay a fee of sort, whether it be for photography or property usage. These fees are used for maintainant and property upkeep, ensuring that it stays beautiful for generations to come. 

Eloping is the best option for many couples, each with their unique considerations. Not everyone wants to throw a huge wedding, nor do they have the resources for it. It lowers the financial barrier, making it accessible to couples of all income levels. Some couples are new in Canada, having found love and wanting to legitimate their family, even if their relatives cannot physically attend. Marriage is a human despire, spanning time and distance. Even if people can afford to throw an elaborate banquet, some see it as unnecessary, instead preferring to be surrounded by their favourite 10 people. 

A wedding officiant is someone who is authorized to solemize weddings in their respective jurisdiction. While some American states offer temporary marriage commissioner licenses (for the day, week, or month) Ontario has more stringest requirements. (Please note that Quebec allows for temporary arrangements, being the only Canadian subunit to do so). Officiants may be religious or non, ensuring that everyone has access to someone they can relate to. If you are not religious, you can elect to have a wedding ceremony crafted on traditions and values rather than expressed faith. While wedding officiants are often the cheapest part of the wedding, they are (legally speaking) the most important vendor.  Reason being, if the officiant does not attend the function, it is (not a wedding, but instead) a fancy party.