How to get married in Toronto

Have you always dreamed of getting married in the diverse and vibrant city of Toronto? With its unique venues and rich cultural atmosphere, Toronto is the perfect place to begin your journey as a married couple. In this comprehensive guide on how to get married in Toronto, we will walk you through the step by step process of obtaining a marriage license, planning your wedding ceremony, and other important aspects of getting married in this amazing city. Let’s dive into the exciting world of Toronto weddings and make your dream wedding a reality!

How to get married in Toronto

Key takeaways

  • Obtain a valid Ontario marriage license by providing two forms of government issued identification.
  • Choose from various venue and officiant options to plan your wedding ceremony in Toronto.
  • Obtain a marriage certificate after the ceremony and explore post ceremony activities in Toronto to celebrate!

Obtaining a marriage license in Toronto

How to get married in Toronto

Initiating the process of getting married in Toronto requires obtaining a valid Ontario marriage license. This document is essential for a legal marriage and serves as the foundation for your wedding ceremony. To acquire a valid Ontario marriage license, applicants must be at least 18 years old and provide two forms of government issued identification, one of which must contain a photograph. Keep in mind, the marriage license remains valid for three months from the date it’s issued.

In certain limited situations, the publication of banns may serve as an alternative to marriage licences. Nevertheless, for most couples, obtaining a marriage license is the first step towards a legally recognized wedding in Toronto.

Valid identification

When applying for a marriage license in Toronto, having valid identification is vital. You and your partner will need to provide two forms of government issued identification for each person getting married. The identification should include your legal name, date of birth, and a photograph.

Examples of acceptable government issued identification include a birth certificate, passport, or driver’s license. Ensure that all your identification documents are current and not expired, as the application process may not accept expired identification.

Marriage licence application online

As a convenient alternative to traditional in person applications, couples can now apply for a marriage license online through ServiceOntario’s pilot program. This streamlined process allows you to submit your application online before booking an appointment to pick up your marriage license in person at select municipalities.

To apply for a marriage license online, simply visit the City of Toronto’s online, marriage licence application portal with a legal opinion letter and follow the instructions provided. This new approach saves time, allowing you and your partner to dedicate more focus on planning your ideal wedding ceremony in Toronto.

Planning your marriage ceremony in Toronto

How to get married in Toronto

Now that you have obtained your marriage license, it is time to plan your dream wedding ceremony, also known as a marriage ceremony, in Toronto! The city offers a variety of unique wedding venues and marriage officiants to cater to your preferences and needs. Whether you are looking for a traditional religious ceremony or a modern civil marriage, Toronto has something for everyone.

We will delve into the diverse venue options in Toronto and offer advice on selecting the ideal marriage officiant for your special day in this segment. Let’s turn your wedding vision into a reality!

Venue options

Toronto is home to a wide range of distinctive wedding venue options, including:

  • Toronto City Hall: offers a prime location that is easily accessible and has a multi functional outdoor area suitable for taking photographs, hosting receptions, or organizing open air events.
  • Parks and gardens: provide a beautiful natural setting for outdoor weddings.
  • Indoor conservatories: offer a unique and elegant atmosphere for weddings.
  • Museums and cultural centers: provide a historic and cultural backdrop for weddings.

With so many options to choose from, couples in Toronto have plenty of choices for their wedding venue.

If you are looking for something more nature oriented, the city’s parks, gardens, and indoor conservatories provide picturesque backdrops for your wedding ceremony. Alternatively, museums and cultural centers offer unique settings that can add a touch of history and sophistication to your special day.

Choosing a marriage officiant

In Ontario, marriages are either recognized through religious ceremonies or civil marriage. Each type of marriage is equally valid and recognized by the province. Consequently, you can choose between religious and authorized officiant or civil marriage officiants to perform your wedding ceremony, including a civil marriage ceremony. Whether you choose a religious or civil officiant, verifying their legal authorization to officiate marriages in Ontario is crucial.

Registered marriage officiants, as well as religious marriage officiants and civil officiants, are responsible for ensuring that marriages are conducted in accordance with the stipulations under Ontario’s Marriage Act and other pertinent legislation. To verify that your chosen registered marriage officiant is registered and authorized, you can consult the official list of registered officiants in Ontario.

Legal requirements for foreign divorces

How to get married in Toronto

If you or your partner have been previously divorced outside of Canada, there are additional legal requirements to consider before obtaining a marriage license in Toronto. In such cases, a foreign divorce authorization must be obtained from the relevant civil authority, and necessary requirements must be met in order to issue the license.

The process of obtaining a foreign divorce authorization involves the following steps:

  1. Provide an original or court certified copy of the final divorce decree, the final divorce judgement, or a certificate of divorce.
  2. Allocate sufficient time for this process, as it may take up to 4 weeks.
  3. Ensure that the marriage license is issued before your planned wedding date.

Changing your name after marriage

How to get married in Toronto

After your wedding ceremony, you and your partner may choose to assume each other’s last name. In Ontario, this can be done on identification documents without legally changing your birth registration. This option allows couples to share a common last name while maintaining their individual legal identity.

To change your name on identification documents, such as a driver’s license or health card, you will need to visit Service Ontario with your marriage certificate or change of name certificate. For more information on changing your name after marriage, consult the Ontario government website.

Obtaining a marriage certificate

How to get married in Toronto

A marriage certificate is a legal record of your marriage and serves as official proof that you are legally married. This document is necessary for various purposes, such as changing your name, applying for a passport, or accessing specific benefits like a spouse’s pension.

In Ontario, you can apply for a marriage certificate 6-8 weeks after your marriage license has been completed and signed. Securing your new marriage licence and certificate is necessary to ensure all legal aspects of your marriage are correctly documented.

Writing your own vows: tips and inspiration

How to get married in Toronto

Writing your own vows can add a personal touch to your wedding ceremony, allowing you and your partner to express your love and commitment to each other in a unique and meaningful way. To craft heartfelt vows, consider recounting stories of how you met, expressing your aspirations for the future, and declaring your adoration for your partner.

As you craft your own vows, strive for honesty and authenticity. Reflect on what you want to say and express it in a way that holds significance for both you and your partner. Practice reading your vows out loud and take your time to ensure that you are comfortable and confident when delivering them during your wedding ceremony.

Post ceremony activities in Toronto

Once the wedding ceremony is over, Toronto offers a plethora of post ceremony activities to help you and your guests celebrate and unwind. The city’s diverse dining options range from:

  • Fine dining restaurants.
  • Casual eateries.
  • Food trucks.
  • Street vendors.


In conclusion, getting married in Toronto offers a unique and memorable experience for you and your partner. From obtaining a marriage license to planning your dream wedding ceremony, and finally celebrating your union, this guide has provided you with the essential steps to ensure a successful and unforgettable wedding day in Toronto. With so many venues, officiants, and post ceremony activities to choose from, your big day in Toronto will undoubtedly be a cherished memory for years to come.

Frequently asked questions

What is the validity period of a marriage license in Toronto?

A marriage license in Toronto is valid for three months from the date of issuance.

Can I apply for a marriage license online in Toronto?

Yes, you can apply for a marriage license online through ServiceOntario’s pilot program. In person pick up is available in select municipalities.