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.

Current limits on the size of weddings

There are limits on the number of people who can currently gather for a wedding ceremony or a wedding reception, depending on which colour zone your location is in at the time of your wedding.

Please keep in mind that this pandemic is a rapidly changing situation, and regulations are in constant flux. It is possible that the rules and limits change between now and your wedding day, or that your location suddenly moves into a different colour zone just before your wedding.

The limits for a wedding ceremony and a wedding reception are different, and also depend on whether it is taking place at a private dwelling or a fully staffed and monitored public facility.

As an alternative to a wedding reception, you could host a dinner at a restaurant. The number of people allowed is generally higher, but certain conditions apply, such as limits to the number of people sitting at each table and avoiding interaction between guests seated at different tables.

As of March 29, 2021, the following limits apply by colour zone:

Stage 1: Gray (lockdown) and Shutdown zones:

 

Note: All of Ontario is in the Shutdown zone from April 3 to 30, 2021

During the April 2021 shutdown, all wedding ceremonies and receptions must be outside (with limited very exceptions).

There is no limit on number of guests during the ceremony as long as there is room for everyone to physically distance, but only 5 people (including the couple) can gather for a reception before or after the ceremony:

  • Private dwelling - Indoors (living room):

    • Ceremony: 5 people (the couple, the officiant, and two witnesses) in a room at least 67 m² or 720 sq. ft. in size

    • Reception: not allowed

  • Private dwelling - Outdoors (backyard):

    • Ceremony: limited to the number that can comply with public health guidance on physical distancing

    • Reception: 10 people (maximum 5 people from April 3 to 30, 2021)

  • Public venue - Indoors:

    • Ceremony: 15% of room capacity (area in m² × 0.15, or area in sq. ft. × 0.014, e.g. 2,500 sq. ft. room = 17 people)​

    • Reception: 10 people, no food service

  • Public venue - Outdoors:

    • Ceremony:​ limited to the number that can comply with public health guidance on physical distancing

    • Reception: 10 people (maximum 5 people from April 3 to 30, 2021)

  • Gray zone - Restaurants and bars:

    • Indoor dining is prohibited

    • Outdoor dining is limited to the number that can comply with public health guidance on physical distancing

    • If outdoor dining is in a tent, two full walls must be completely open at all times

    • Buffet service, loud music, dancing, and singing are prohibited

    • Everyone at each table must be a member of the same household, plus one other person who lives alone

    • Everyone must remain seated at their own table and may not mingle with other tables

    • Masks must be worn when not seated at your own table

    • Alcohol may not be served after 9:00 PM

    • Must close at 10:00 PM

Source: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/200082

Stage 2: Red (control) zone:

  • Private dwelling - Indoors (living room):

    • Ceremony: 5 people (the couple, the officiant, and two witnesses)

    • Reception: 5 people

  • Private dwelling - Outdoors (backyard):

    • Ceremony: limited to the number that can comply with public health guidance on physical distancing

    • Reception: 25 people

  • Public venue - Indoors:

    • Ceremony: 30% of room capacity (area in m² × 0.15, or area in sq. ft. × 0.014, e.g. 2,500 sq. ft. room = 34 people)​

    • Reception: 25 people

  • Public venue - Outdoors:​

    • Ceremony: ​limited to the number that can comply with public health guidance on physical distancing

    • Reception: 25 people​

  • Red zone - Restaurants and bars:

    • Indoor dining is limited to 50% of room capacity or 50 people, whichever is less

    • Outdoor dining is limited to the number that can comply with public health guidance on physical distancing

    • If outdoor dining is in a tent, two full walls must be completely open at all times

    • Buffet service, loud music, dancing, and singing are prohibited

    • Everyone at each table must be a member of the same household, plus one other person who lives alone

    • Everyone must remain seated at their own table and may not mingle with other tables

    • Masks must be worn when not seated at your own table

    • Alcohol may not be served after 9:00 PM

    • Must close at 10:00 PM

Source: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/200263

Stage 3: Orange (restrict) / Yellow (protect) / Green (prevent) zones:

  • Private dwelling - Indoors (living room):

    • Ceremony: 10 people

    • Reception: 10 people

  • Private dwelling - Outdoors (backyard):

    • Ceremony: any number that can comply with public health guidance on physical distancing

    • Reception: 25 people

  • Public venue - Indoors:

    • Ceremony: 30% of room capacity (area in m² × 0.15, or area in sq. ft. × 0.014, e.g. 2,500 sq. ft. room = 34 people)​

    • Reception: 50 people

  • Public venue - Outdoors:​

    • Ceremony: ​any number that can comply with public health guidance on physical distancing

    • Reception: 100 people​

  • Orange zone - Restaurants and bars:

    • Indoor dining is limited to 50% of room capacity or 100 people, whichever is less

    • Outdoor dining is limited to the number that can comply with public health guidance on physical distancing

    • If outdoor dining is in a tent, two full walls must be completely open at all times

    • Buffet service and loud music are prohibited

    • Everyone at each table must be a member of the same household, plus one other person who lives alone

    • Everyone must remain seated at their own table and may not mingle with other tables

    • Masks must be worn when not seated at your own table

    • Alcohol may not be served after 9:00 PM

    • Must close at 10:00 PM

  • Yellow zone - Restaurants and bars:

    • If outdoor dining is in a tent, two full walls must be completely open at all times

    • Buffet service and loud music are prohibited​

    • Maximum 6 to a table, but may be from different households

    • Everyone must remain seated at their own table and may not mingle with other tables

    • Masks must be worn when not seated at your own table

    • Alcohol may not be served after 11:00 PM

    • Must close at 12:00 AM

  • Green zone - Restaurants and bars:

    • If outdoor dining is in a tent, two full walls must be completely open at all times

    • Buffet service is prohibited

    • Everyone must remain seated at their own table and may not mingle with other tables​

    • Masks must be worn when not seated at your own table

Source: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/200364

Officiant's obligations

 

Our officiants will remain vigilant and comply with all regulations made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, as well as municipal by-laws and public health guidelines:

  • Officiant will wear a mask, remain physically distanced, and provide hand sanitizer for signing your marriage licence

  • Officiant can supply an indoor/outdoor speaker system with two microphones at no additional cost to you
  • Officiant is present during the ceremony only and does not stay for the reception afterward
  • You are welcome to live-stream the ceremony to any number of virtual attendees

  • You must still obtain a marriage licence from city hall before your wedding day and bring it to your ceremony

Nobody knows for sure how long these limits will remain in effect, but they are expected to last well into the summer or possibly longer, at least until a significant portion of the population is vaccinated. This page will be updated as new regulations come into effect.

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

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 rescheduling to the same date, please let me know if your ceremony start time is flexible. This is so I can fit everybody's 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 obtain the marriage licence before your wedding and bring it with you to your ceremony. Officiants cannot perform wedding ceremonies without a marriage 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 until 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 at this time). Once you have your marriage licence, it is valid everywhere in Ontario.

Most city halls are currently requiring you to make an appointment and send in the forms online. Some are heavily booked and require several weeks of advance notice. Others are temporarily closed. Please plan ahead.

As of March 20, 2021:

  • Waterloo City Hall is open and issuing marriage licences on a walk-in basis ($149)

  • Kitchener City Hall is open and issuing marriage licences by appointment only ($154)

  • Cambridge City Hall is open and issuing marriage licences by appointment for local residents only ($165)

  • Guelph City Hall is open and issuing marriage licences by appointment for local residents only ($150)

  • Stratford City Hall is open and issuing marriage licences by appointment only ($125)

  • Brantford City Hall is open and issuing marriage licences by appointment for local residents only ($140)

  • County of Brant (Paris) is open and issuing marriage licences by appointment for local residents only ($120)

Grand River Weddings

143 Coopershawk St., Kitchener, Ontario, N2K 4J3

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Grand River Weddings, Grand River Wedding Ceremonies, and We bring good things to love are trademarks of Sassan Sanei. The contents of this website are copyright 2014-2021.