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 in accordance with Ontario regulations, which generally means smaller gatherings with social distancing. You are also welcome to record or live-stream the ceremony to remote attendees.

We all want to help you celebrate your wedding day in a beautiful and memorable way, while keeping everyone safe.

As of June 10, 2021, I have had both my shots and I am continuing to take all the necessary precautions.

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

I can also supply a microphone and indoor/outdoor speaker system at no additional cost if you require one. This will assist in helping everyone hear through social distancing and remote live-streaming.

Wedding ceremony and social gathering limits

Ontario regulations recognizes three different types of gatherings:

  1. wedding ceremonies and funerals

  2. social gatherings (including wedding receptions)

  3. organized public events

Different rules apply to wedding ceremonies than to wedding receptions.

In general, any number of guests may attend your ceremony as long as there is enough room for everyone to maintain a physical distance of at least 2 metres from every other guest. This applies everywhere - public venue, private property, inside, outside.

The number of guests who can attend your reception (defined as any gathering associated with the wedding, other than the ceremony itself) depends on the type of venue, the size of the space, whether dancing is permitted, and other factors. The rules for restaurants are different from those for event spaces. Guests seated at different tables must be separated by 2 metres or an impermeable barrier like plexiglass. Live performers must be similarly separated from spectators. If a tent is used, at least two full sides of the tent must be open to qualify as an outdoor area. The business operator must screen all guests upon entry and keep a record of their names and contact information for possible contact tracing at a later date. In some cases, masks must be worn. If dancing is permitted, additional regulations may apply, such as wearing masks. Your venue can guide you further.

If your reception is taking place at a private dwelling (your home or backyard), many of these rules do not apply. Instead, there is a simple limit of 25 people indoors or 100 people outdoors.

The plan is for these regulations to remain in place until 75% of the population (age 12 and up) has BOTH vaccine doses. Once that threshold is met, the vast majority of public health and workplace safety measures, including capacity limits for indoor and outdoor settings and limits for social gatherings, will be lifted.

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 second date as a backup 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 ceremony 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 and 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, or in the 3 calendar months preceding the declaration of the 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 has expired and you must get a new one

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

  • if you got your marriage licence July 25, 2020 to September 30, 2020, it has expired and you must get a new one

  • if you got your marriage licence October 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021, it is valid until February 10, 2023

  • if you got your marriage licence January 1, 2021 to June 4, 2021, it is valid until June 4, 2023

  • if you get your marriage licence on or after June 5, 2021, 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). Regardless of 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

  • If you live in Waterloo Region or another hot spot, please be patient and do not travel into other regions at this time

Currently (last updated July 25), the availability is as follows:

  • Waterloo City Hall (tel: 519-886-1550)

    • walk-in service (appointment not required), cost: $149​

  • Cambridge City Hall (tel: 519-623-1340)

    • appointment required, booking into September, cost: $165

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • City of Toronto (North York) (tel: 416-392-2489)

    • appointment required, cost: $​145

    • no appointments available at this time (you will need to get your marriage licence elsewhere)

  • City of Hamilton (tel: 905-546-2489)

    • walk-in service (no appointment required)​, cost: $163

    • apply online first, then visit Hamilton City Hall or the municipal service centre in Ancaster, Dundas, Flamborough, Glanbrook, or Stoney Creek in person to purchase the marriage licence

City hall information last updated: July 25, 2021. This information changes frequently, without notice. Please call city hall before going in.