July 4, 2018
Many soon-to-be-wed brides and grooms have dreamed of their big day since they were barely old enough to say “I do”. On the other hand, there are a LOT of people who would rather jump off a bridge than plan a wedding. But you don’t have to fly to the jungles on Indonesia to skip the whole wedding thing. There are many beautiful elopement locations near Toronto that you’ll love.
Sure, some people might get a bit miffed. But it’s your wedding, and they’ll get over it. Just do you, and if an elopement is your thing, then go for it!
For a more upscale winery wedding, head to Niagara on the Lake, an ideal place for an intimate wedding. Although not far from Niagara Falls, NOTL offers rural landscapes with orchards and vineyards, that are dotted with charming hotels and bed and breakfasts. Whether you would like to get married in stone inn or barn, NOTL is just a little under three hours from Toronto, so is an easy trip.
And the falls are just down the road!
Hop into the car and take the 401 on a scenic drive along Lake Ontario until you get to Prince Edward County, which has a variety of attractions for you and anyone who may be coming along to witness your ceremony. For foodies, the County is known as top culinary destination with top-notch restaurants. Sport enthusiasts will like the water activities, while naturalists will enjoy the birdwatching. And of course there’s the wine! The County has exploded in recent years with beautiful, scenic and elopement-ready wineries and breweries.
Spend your wedding night at the Drake Devonshire Inn for something extra special.
Head west to Stratford, a town with the motto “Arts Inspire Our Town.” As befits its name, Stratford has a Shakespeare Festival, as well as numerous art galleries and antique shops. There are plenty of culinary options, as well as distilleries. A variety of romantic hotels, B&Bs, and heritage inns offer lots of options for an elopement venue once you’re done with the sights. If arts and culture are your thing, this is the spot.
For those willing to take a short flight (or a 7 hour train ride) to experience the romance that only a French culture can provide, Quebec City is perfect. It really is the closest thing to Europe while still being in Canada. It’s rich in culture, one of the oldest cities in North America, and is world renowned for its architectural beauty. In fact, its historic district been designated a UNESCO Heritage site. But Quebec City is not for the spontaneous, as marriage licenses must be obtained nine weeks in advance. But eloping to La Belle Province would be the romantic adventure of a lifetime and well worth some planning.
Okay, so this isn’t that close by. But hey, NYC always deserves a mention as the “greatest city in the world”. New York City Hall, a national historic landmark, worked for Matt Damon and Luciana Barroso, so the downtown Manhattan location should be on your elopement destination short list. Under New York law, you and your fiancé have to appear in person at the Clerk’s Office 24 hours before the wedding to obtain a marriage license. Bring your passport and $35 and you should be all set.
So hop on the next Porter flight and spend a few days in the city that never sleeps.
A wedding, whether in front of one witness or 1,000 guests, is an event of a lifetime. Even if you elope, don’t forget the photographer (ahem…me). All of your friends will be more willing to forgive you slipping away to get married if you come back with images that capture the magic of the moment. If you are thinking of eloping to one these top 5 elopement locations near Toronto, I would love to work with you to make sure that your special day is recorded as you envision. Let’s talk!
Follow along for the most recent work, wedding inspo and photography tips.