Your elopement day is a best-in-a-lifetime adventure, and it’s important to ask the right questions to know exactly what you’re getting! Here are the most frequently asked questions we get.

Also, if there are any questions we missed, just send us a quick note and ask – we’re always happy to chat!

Whether this is your first marriage or your 10th, we’re here to help guide you through the entire process and make eloping easy for you!

First, take a peek at our different package options to see what appeals to you.

Next, fill out our contact form and get in touch. We promise to reply to you within 72 hours. We will likely want to schedule a call with you, since it’s important to hear what you’re looking for, to ensure we’re a good fit! We’ll also answer any questions you have.

In order to book an elopement with us, we require a $1000 non-refundable retainer and signed contract to hold the date. Once you’re booked in, you can leave the rest to us!

We work closely with all of our couples to ensure you get: a) an elopement experience that actually reflects who you are, b) a personalized ceremony that goes far beyond “just signing papers”, and c) all of your memories preserved through beautiful photographs, captured candidly, the way your wedding day actually happened.

If that sounds good to you, then get in touch!

Ottawa Elopements as a company was formed over a (very good) cup of coffee in 2020. Despite the business being new in Ottawa, both Karen and Lauren have years of experience under their belt, both in the wedding industry, and with elopements specifically.

Karen has been a certified wedding planner for the past 10 years. In 2020, she completed her training to become a legal officiant, and has been marrying couples ever since. Lauren has been photographing weddings for 7 years. This has been her full-time career for 4 years now.

Collectively, they have almost 2 decades (and hundreds of weddings) of experience. There’s nothing they haven’t seen or can’t handle!

Check out our elopement packages if you haven’t already. But in a nutshell, all of our packages include these main components: 

  • an officiant (who will help personalize your ceremony and make this whole commitment legal)
  • a photographer (who will scout locations, guide you through the best light, and capture 3 hours of coverage)
  • a coordinator (who will help you plan out your dream day and make sure everything runs smoothly)
  • florals for both partners
  • a light picnic to enjoy as newlyweds
  • bubbles to spray and toast

For more details, get in touch!

Good question! We actually try to keep your elopement experience as easy and simple for you as possible. And that includes managing vendors!

We have carefully selected local wedding vendors who we have personally worked with and trust. It’s important to us that we continue to support members of our community whose values are in line with our own. And we are proud to say that all of the vendors we source foster an inclusive, safe environment for all of our clients and their guests.

With that said, if you really have a specific vendor you want to bring on board to help bring your dream day to life, never hesitate to reach out and talk to us about it!

The earlier the better, always! But with that said, we once pulled off an incredible elopement with only 4 days notice. So never hesitate to get in touch even if you’re working with a tight time frame.

Something important to note: if you want to get married in Quebec, we need at least 30 days to plan. There are legal obligations that need to be fulfilled within that time frame.

Our base package includes elopement services for 2 people only (you and your love). We also have add-on options available to upgrade to a micro-wedding and include 8 additional guests, so it is capped at 10 people total. That means you, your love, and 8 guests can take part. Why 10 people? There’s a few reasons.

First, because any more guests and you essentially have a bigger wedding on your hands, which requires a lot more thought and coordination when planning. Second, so we don’t require permits for our various elopement locations. And third, so your plans fit within even the tightest Covid restrictions. This allows you to be stress-free leading up to your big day, never wondering if your plans will be disrupted due to Rona. Your elopement experience matters!

In the wedding world, Fridays and Saturdays are “prime” days, meaning: everyone gets married on those days. That means vendor pricing is higher, and vendor availability is lower.

Since we want our clients to have the very best experience that our whole team (and associated vendors) can offer, we schedule our elopements on “non-prime” days. And since smaller guest lists ensure maximum flexibility, we find this works really well for our couples!

The bonus to all of this: you can be super selective about your wedding date. Want to get married on the same date you got engaged – but shoot – it falls on a Tuesday this year? Don’t even worry about it. Have you always celebrated your anniversary on a specific date, and don’t want that to change? No problem, let’s keep that the same.

Let’s find a date that has meaning to you, and make it extra meaningful!

That’s totally up to you! We personalize each ceremony to the couple getting married. It’s important to us that you have a ceremony that feels like “you”. 

We’ll work together to figure out what this means. For example, you might want to include an exchange of rings, personalized vows, readings by special people in your lives (if you’ve upgraded to include guests), or any other unique ceremonial elements that are important to you.

It can be super short and sweet, or as detailed as you’d like! 

DECOR: Since all of our elopements are focused on being in the beautiful outdoors, we like to keep our ceremony decor simple. We spend a lot of time carefully scouting locations that are accessible for everyone, as well as spectacular for the ceremony. In most cases, the natural landscape IS the decor. But don’t worry – we will work with you every step of the way to make sure it will all work for you (and your guests if you’re including any!) and deliver an unforgettable experience!

SEATING: If you have upgraded to include guests, we find the most natural (and logical) arrangement is to have everyone gathered and standing near you as you recite your vows. This keeps the intimacy alive, and reduces the need for things like microphones for your guests to hear you. If any guests have mobility issues, we’re more than happy to accommodate their needs!

The great thing about hosting an intimate gathering is that we can be super flexible with everything! Maybe that means waiting an extra half hour for the rain to stop. Or maybe we shift the location of your ceremony to a sheltered spot under the trees. We always come equipped with extra umbrellas and a backup plan, so rest assured your day will be great, rain or shine!

Yes! Getting married in a different province in Canada doesn’t change the fact that your marriage is legal, Canada-wide. There are a few differences in the process (see the next question for details).

And not to suck all the fun out of the air, but something important to note: should you ever seek to end your marriage, you would need to do so through the province in which you got married. 

There are different processes depending on where you choose to get married. We’ve outlined the process for both Ontario and Quebec below:


If you’re getting married in ONTARIO, the province requires you to apply for your own marriage license. Here’s how you do that:

1.  Bring two pieces of ID and a completed application form to city hall. Click here for information on pricing and a copy of the form. *note that during COVID, you need to make an appointment to go into city hall.

2. Your license will be valid for 90 days so be sure you get it within 3 months of your elopement. We will also send you an email reminder about this.

3. Bring your marriage license and two witnesses to your ceremony. We’re more than happy to help you arrange witnesses if needed – just let us know!

4. After the ceremony, the officiant will mail in your forms to register your marriage.

5. Six to eight weeks after your marriage ceremony, you can go online and order a marriage certificate. You can click here for more information about that.


If you’re getting married in QUEBEC, you do not need to get a marriage license – it’s all done through your officiant. This is the reason why our pricing for elopements in Quebec is slightly higher. Here is the process for getting married in Quebec:

1. A few months before your elopement, your officiant will reach out to request the following documents from each of you: a copy of your birth certificate and one other government issued photo ID. If you were previously married, we’ll also need proof of divorce.

2. Your officiant will submit a request for publication for your marriage. This must be registered online for 20 days before you get married. You can click here to read more about this.

3. Your officiant will bring your marriage license to the ceremony. We ask that you bring two witnesses. Again, we’re happy to help with this if you need help arranging witnesses!

4. After the ceremony, the officiant will mail in your forms to register your marriage. 

5. Six to eight weeks after your marriage ceremony, État Civil de Quebec will reach out and let you know your marriage is registered. They will provide you with a secure access number and further instructions to order a marriage certificate.

Something good to keep in mind here is that Ontario residents can assume a new name after marriage. Quebec residents cannot, regardless of where either of them get married.

If you are a resident of Ontario and you’d like to change your last name, click here for more information to your question.

You bet we do! While we call Ottawa our home, we always love exploring new places. We offer customized elopement packages for that exact reason – so we can bring the elopement right to your doorstep! 

First off – we are truly honoured you’re interested in working with us! And so excited to celebrate with you! To get the ball rolling, simply fill out our contact form. Easy!

Still have questions?

Send us a quick note because we’d love to provide more clarity!