Toronto City Hall
Toronto City Hall is an unlikely place to witness the enduring power and beauty of marriage. Most people have a city hall wedding because they want something simple. They imagine they will sign a few papers in a dowdy office and that’s it. The reality is something else altogether. Toronto City Hall has a little wedding chamber on the third floor. Their, in house officiants, sort out all the details within twenty minutes. They go out of their way to make it a special moment. Music is played. They offer you the option to walk down the aisle. They talk about marriage as a loving partnership but customize it. Whenever I photograph weddings here, the readings are always unique and relevant to the wedding at hand.
Eyes mist over, voices tremble. A mystery unfolds. The two emerge not just married under the laws of the Province of Ontario, but somehow transformed. Toronto city coordinates about 40 to 50 weddings a week. Some are spur of the moment, others arranged by family. Some couples arrive in shorts and T-shirts, others decked out in gorgeous saris or sharp dinner jackets. My couple today traveled in from Kitchener, Ontario. They brought their two siblings as witnesses and planned to turn this wedding trip into the city into something neither of them will ever forget.
I do a few Toronto City Hall elopements during the year. Most of my couples book me for two hours. This allows enough time to get married and take some photos with your attending guests/witnesses. Afterward, I take the couple on a little local tour of the city. This route is customized based on the couple’s personality and weather conditions.
For Katelyn and Grant, we originally met at Trinity Square. Here their siblings assisted me in setting up a fun first look. They wanted to do this privately instead of in the chapel. After the ceremony we did a quick stopover at Nathan Phillips Square. Since these two are coffee lovers, we walked to a nearby Starbucks. The barista prepared two coffees addressed to the “bride” and “groom.” We took a short stroll through graffiti alley. Once it got too cold, we spent the remainder of their session at their hotel taking photos around the lobby. The beauty with elopements is the reduced number of people. It allows us to see a lot more in a short amount of time. As a result, the couple gets lots of variety in photos to share with their family once it’s all over.