Making it Legal–the civil wedding

by torontogirlwest on November 2, 2010

Early on in the wedding planning process we decided to have a Canadian civil marriage in advance of our destination wedding.

This has been the source of much controversy and confusion. I assure you, our choice had nothing to do with a pregnancy or an immigration issue. Rather, it was our way of avoiding the blood tests, high costs, and translation difficulties caused by a Mexican wedding.

I must confess I had been so busy prepping for my half marathon and planning our destination wedding that our civil marriage completely snuck up on me. Which was a good thing because it allowed me to completely relaxed and enjoy the moment.

At 4pm on October 29th, 2010 the Fiancé and I made it legal. We shared the occasion with a small group of friends and colleagues.

It was small. Understated. Joyful. And full of meaning.


There have been few moments in my life that have been so purely joyful.

I honestly didn’t feel nervous at all. As the Fiancé and I held hands, looked into each others eyes, and recited our vows, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of peace. Like all was right with the world.

And it was.



Did you have a civil wedding or did you opt instead for a large traditional wedding? How about both?

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Jaime November 3, 2010 at 12:20 am

Aw Congratulations! That really did look like a ton of fun. Hope your destination ceremony is just a joyful!


Toronto Girl West November 4, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Thank-you so much Jaime! :)
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Marianne November 3, 2010 at 12:34 am

Congrats! You both look so happy, and I bet the intimate, understated ceremony was perfect.

I guess you’ll have to start calling him “The Husband” now :D
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Toronto Girl West November 4, 2010 at 1:31 pm

lol I’ve called him “The Husband” a couple of times only to break out giggling. Real mature! ;)
Toronto Girl West recently posted..Making it Legal–the civil wedding


Jess November 3, 2010 at 4:55 am

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Toronto Girl West November 4, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Thank-you so much!


Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday November 3, 2010 at 6:34 am

We had to do a civil ceremony in Windsor before our Italy wedding to make it easier on the priest in Italy. Afterward we went out for dinner with my immediate family and Matt’s immediate family where we (8 of us) drank an entire bottle of Remy Martin XO that my dad had bought when I was born for the purposes of consuming on my wedding day. We were obviously trashed but it was so fun!
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Toronto Girl West November 4, 2010 at 1:33 pm

lol We had a relaxed dinner with some of the people that were present at the ceremony. It was actually an unexpectedly wonderful night.

In fact, we never expected it to feel as much like a wedding as it actually did.
Toronto Girl West recently posted..Making it Legal–the civil wedding


Carolyn November 3, 2010 at 8:25 am

Yaaaaay! Beautiful! Civil pre-wedding makes total sense. Plus, as a Canadian lawyer, it seems appropriate that you made it legal in a courtroom here!! Congrats to you both…so much to look forward to.


Toronto Girl West November 4, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Doesn’t it though!?!? It’s the courtroom I most often appear in too so it was just fitting. :)


Tri2Thrive November 3, 2010 at 8:34 am

first, congrats. Ok now that’s out of the way..
second, I love photography, and of course love wedding photography. This is the first time I’ve seen pics of a civil ceremony, and I am just struck by how cozy, warm, intimate it seems. I love the b/w pics, the “less formal” attire and small group. Really, bravo and again.. congrats. Wishing you both much love in your new life together.
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Toronto Girl West November 4, 2010 at 1:35 pm

I was totally surprised by the pictures too!!!

They were taken by a co-worker of mine that used to be a newspaper reporter. She had two cameras going and they turned out brilliantly!!!

I think it just goes to show you – no matter how small (or large) your wedding is it’s the meaning behind it that counts.

Reply November 3, 2010 at 9:25 am

i think this option makes a lot of sense for a lot of couples. my mom used to want a big wedding, but during the time she was engaged, there was so much stress between both families and she decided it wasent worth the effort and the wedding would probably be all fights, so she chose to go this route and then hired a photographer to snap some beautiful shots, then call it a day lol. surprisingly, it still looked romantic! <3


Toronto Girl West November 4, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Oh I bet! In fact I honestly think there’s nothing wrong with small civil weddings. They’re cost-effective and still beautiful.

In the ends its the marriage that counts! :)


Amber from Girl with the Red Hair November 3, 2010 at 10:45 am

Great pics! I love that blue dress :)


Toronto Girl West November 4, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Gracias! It was a total score – I intend to wear it to the rehearsal dinner too!


Nicole November 3, 2010 at 6:24 pm

awwwwwww!!!!! :) :) i love it! your civil ceremony looked beautiful!!! :) i’m so happy for you!
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Toronto Girl West November 4, 2010 at 1:38 pm

:) :) :) Thank-you so much Nicole!!! We’re thrilled with how everything turned out!!!

And now we can’t wait to get to Mexico for the one with our parents and friends. Two more sleeps!!!!!!!!!!!!


Andrea (Off Her Cork) November 4, 2010 at 7:15 am

I’m surprised there was so much confusion over it! Most people who have destination weddings have a civil service first to get all the legalities out of the way.

YaY to you! I’m so excited for you both! :D

Scott and I eloped and had a really awesome civil service in one of the public rose gardens here. It was just us and it was exactly what we wanted. :)
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Toronto Girl West November 4, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Honestly I NEVER expect it to be controversial either!!! It was such an absolute shock to hear the rumours that were spreading. Silly people! :P

Your ceremony sounds lovely! :)


Roz November 4, 2010 at 10:36 am

Congratulations to you both!!!! Wishing you a lifetime of happiness!
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Toronto Girl West November 4, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Muchisimas gracias!!
Toronto Girl West recently posted..Making it Legal–the civil wedding


Bekah @ runtrackmind November 5, 2010 at 8:50 am

I saw your story over at Geek Turned Athlete and just had to stop by your blog. I commented on her post how even though running has been a passion of mine for about 10 years it is these goose bump stories that reconfirm my love for the sport.

BTW, congrats on your wedding. I actually eloped and was married on the beach by a sea captain. Destination wedding can be so much fun. Best wishes to you both.


Toronto Girl West November 8, 2010 at 5:38 pm


I saw your comment on Nicole’s blog and it made me smile. It’s really similar to what another blogger that ran the half with me said.

I’m happy to have joined the club! :)

And thank-you for the well wishes on our wedding!!!
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