Why Elope in Ontario?
An elopement is another option for intimately sharing your vows. I'm sure you've heard since the onset of the pandemic elopements have been on the rise. Very true! But, there are many other reasons why people opt for an elopement. Let me preface this post by saying an elopement is not a sacrifice - you do not have to lower your standards for an elopement.
An elopement can be just as special as a traditional wedding - if not more - because of the intimacy of it all. Plus... there's the added bonus of saving money. With an elopement, you don't have to pay for your cousin's dinner who you haven't seen in 3+ years. That's a bonus in my books. Beyond this, an elopement brings it back to what's most important: you. If traditions mean nothing to you, then don't do them. Period. Make your day evolve around something you two love doing. Are you more the laidback type? Amazing. Make it a chill day, why not get ready together? Do you want to splurge and go over the top? Do it. Champagne towers with Veuve are always fun.
If you live in Ontario, or planning a destination elopement to the province (how fun!), I've compiled a few key resources to help you plan for your elopement here. I might not be a wedding planner but I would love to help you bring you vision to life. Elopements have been some of my favorite days to document - there's just some magic to them that's hard to explain.
How to Elope... Legally
Easy as 1, 2, 3. Seriously, it's just three steps:
- Fill out your Ontario Marriage License Application
- Apply in person together. You can apply up to 90 days before your wedding and you’ll get your license in person that day. Don’t forget your required documentation either. Find more information on what you need here.
- Find your people. And by people, I mean an officiant and two witnesses. PSA, your photographer totally counts as a witness and I will gladly sign for you!
An Elopement Checklist
No matter how small in numbers your day might be, being confident in your wedding vendors will make the world of a difference. Consider them your support team, and it's almost essential to feel really relaxed on your big day. Support = less worry. When your worries are few, you can be fully present. Here's a few people/things you might consider adding to your day:
- An officiant (mandatory)
- Witnesses (two are mandatory)
- Photographer (that's me! I also double as a witness if you need one.)
- Hair + make up, though some couples are confident doing their own. It all depends on your comfort level here.
- Wedding attire (go as big or little as you want here)
- Florals (think bouquet, floral install at the ceremony location)
- Family heirlooms and/or keepsakes such as hand written vows, your grandmother's necklace, invitation suite, etc.
- Food! Book an intimate dinner for the two of you at a fancy pants restaurant, or invite your friends and family to a catered meal after the ceremony perhaps.
- Videographer, as another way to document your day. Photos can only capture so much, whereas video captures details on a whole other level.
It's okay to be selective of your vendors. Chat around with a few of them. You want to be comfortable with them and it's so important to make sure you're on the same page. If you're considering booking with me, let's start off with an engagement session! It's a great way to see how we work together and how you feel in front of my camera. Comfort is always key and that's something I always try to establish with all of my clients.
Where to Elope in Ontario
I will always suggest picking a location that holds meaning to you, or a place you've always been drawn to. Location will play a huge role in your experience and your wedding photos. You can go urban or rural, big or small - it's your turn to get creative. Do you love nature, or are you drawn to the architecture of the city? Do you want to stay close to home, or venture somewhere new? You don't have a huge guest list with elopements, so really, nowhere is off limits! Keep these things in mind when you two are deciding on location.
Check out this blog for the Best Places to Elope in Ottawa, assuming you're in the area ;)
The elopement pictured in this blog took place at The Knox Wedding and Event Venue in the quaint little town of Merrickville, Ontario. They offer a micro-wedding package with a team of vendors, myself included, called "Our Little Wedding." If you're into it, you can find more information here.