COVID-19 information

COVID-19 has impacted wedding ceremonies in 2020 and 2021 in sometimes unpredictable ways. But love conquers all! You can still get married while taking some common sense precautions and in accordance with Ontario regulations.

Please see below for current regulations, information on rescheduling your wedding, and where to get a marriage licence.

You are welcome to record or live-stream the ceremony to remote attendees. I can also supply a microphone and indoor/outdoor speaker system at no additional cost if you require one.

We all want to help you celebrate your wedding day in a beautiful and memorable way, while keeping everyone safe. Remember, we are in this together!

Getting married during the Ontario shutdown?

Yes! It is still possible under very strict limitations:

Ontario regulations recognize three distinct types of gatherings, each with a different set of rules:

  1. wedding ceremonies and funerals

  2. organized public events

  3. social gatherings

During the Ontario shutdown (from April 3 to May 20, 2021), small wedding ceremonies are allowed, but social gatherings and organized public events are not. This means that guests can attend your ceremony, but must leave immediately when it is over. They are not permitted to stay for any sort of party, reception, or gathering with other households before or after the ceremony.

Your "household" means the people you live with. It does not mean bubble or family members who don't live with you.

Rules that apply to wedding ceremonies during the shutdown order:

  • maximum 10 people (including the couple, officiant, photographer, vendors, guests, children)

  • everyone from different households remains 2 metres apart at all times (no close talking, no hugging, no kissing)

  • all guests must wear a face covering at all times (mask covering the nose, mouth, and chin)

  • no food or drinks

  • certain outdoor amenities within parks are closed

  • travel to and from the wedding ceremony is still permitted (despite the stay-at-home order)

One of the questions we are often asked is: "Are we allowed to take a group picture after the ceremony with everyone standing together without masks, just for one minute?" and the answer is no, this is prohibited by the Ontario shutdown order. Sorry.

The shutdown order is a drastic measure expected to be lifted on or about May 20, 2021, but some other restrictions will probably last well into the summer or later. We will keep this page updated as new regulations take effect.

Rescheduling your wedding?

If you previously arranged for me to officiate your wedding ceremony but are now thinking of changing your wedding date, I would be happy to hold a backup date for you until you are comfortable making a final decision.

Due to the possibility of two different couples wanting to reschedule to the same date, please let me know your start time and whether it is flexible. This is to help me fit everybody's changing schedules to the best of my ability.


Some couples are choosing to have a small legal wedding ceremony in 2021 with just immediate family and close friends, followed by a larger celebration with a symbolic exchange of vows at a one-year anniversary party in 2022. Some are calling it a year-long wedding, others a vow renewal. I would be happy to help you with either one or both of your ceremonies.

Marriage licence information

A marriage licence is required to get married in Ontario. You must get one before your wedding and bring it with you to your ceremony. Officiants are not allowed to get the marriage licence on your behalf, or to perform a ceremony without a licence.

Marriage licences normally expire after 90 days and must be used during that time. However, marriage licences issued during a state of emergency have had their expiry dates extended until 2 years after the end of the state of emergency, as long as your name or marital status has not changed during that time:

  • if you got your marriage licence on or before November 30, 2019, it is no longer valid and you must get a new one

  • if you got your marriage licence December 1, 2019 to July 24, 2020, it is still valid until July 24, 2022

  • if you got your marriage licence July 25, 2020 to September 30, 2020, it is no longer valid and you must get a new one

  • if you got your marriage licence October 1, 2020 to February 10, 2021, it is still valid until February 10, 2023

  • if you got your marriage licence February 11, 2021 or later, it is valid for 90 days from the date of issue

You can get your marriage licence from any city hall in Ontario. It does not have to be from the same city where you live (although some cities are only serving their own residents for now). Once you have your marriage licence, it is valid for 90 days. Regardless of where you live or where you get your marriage licence, the wedding ceremony can take place anywhere in Ontario.

Most city halls currently require you to make an appointment and send in the forms online. Some are heavily booked and require several weeks of advance notice, while others are issuing marriage licences only to couples whose weddings are scheduled to take place within the next few weeks. Several are temporarily closed or issuing marriage licences to local residents only.

 

  • Please plan ahead

  • Further city hall closures may happen

  • If your wedding will be in the next 90 days and you are able to get a marriage licence now, get one now

  • If you live in the city, please respect our rural neighbours and avoid traveling into rural township offices at this time

As of April 23, 2021:

  • Region of Waterloo rural areas

    • Townships of Wellesley (St. Clements), Woolwich (Elmira), and Wilmot (Baden) are issuing licences by appointment

    • please only use these services if you are a local resident of the rural area served by the township administrative office

  • Guelph City Hall (tel: 519-822-1260, ext. 2117)

    • appointment required, cost: $150

    • one or both you must be a resident of the City of Guelph, County of Wellington, or Dufferin County

    • your wedding date must be within the next 14 days

  • County of Wellington rural areas

    • call your local township first, if unavailable you can get a marriage licence at Guelph City Hall or the Town of Orangeville

  • Dufferin County rural areas

    • call your local township first, if unavailable you can get a marriage licence at Guelph City Hall or the Town of Orangeville

  • Perth County rural areas

    • call your local township first, if unavailable you can get a marriage licence at Stratford City Hall

  • Brantford City Hall (tel: 519-759-4150)

    • appointment required, cost: $140

    • one or both of you must be a resident of the City of Brantford, County of Brant, or Six Nations of the Grand River

    • your wedding date must be within the next 30 days

  • County of Brant (Paris) (tel: 519-442-7268)

    • appointment required, cost: $120

    • one or both of you must be a resident of the County of Brant

    • your wedding date must be within the next 2-3 weeks

  • Town of Milton (tel: 905-878-7252, ext. 0)

    • appointment required​, cost: $191

Last updated: April 23, 2021