As the capital city of Canada, Ottawa may be a Mecca for government gatherings but it isn't all business. Instead, its romantic waterways, historic architecture, and European charm have sky-rocketed its popularity for destination weddings worldwide. With dozens of outdoor venues, wonderfully mild spring and fall weather, and a wealth of daytime activities to keep wedding guests entertained, you really can't find a city more well equipped (and easy to get to) than Ottawa.
Popular Wedding Venues in Ottawa
From sprawling ranches to quaint B&B's, couples can choose to wed outdoors or in some of the most posh hotels in town. Here are a few crowd favorites to choose from.
Stonefields Heritage Farm - This breathtaking outdoor venue has couples clamoring for locking in a date all months of the year. Situated on 120 acres, this gorgeous property dates back to 1816 and is just 40 minutes from downtown Ottawa. From May through September couples can host their outdoor wedding in the shadow of the rustic barn and outbuildings under a voluminous white tent, while the grounds themselves feels like something out of pre-confederation novel. As modern as you wish with enough charm to dazzle in photographs, this farm is run by a young Canadian couple that has enough energy to keep up.
Brookstreet Hotel - Whether you want a summer wedding in their outdoor pavilion or a winterfest inside their immaculate banquet room, Brookstreet Hotel is modern, magical, and a conveniently located hotspot in the Kanata Research Park. With their onsite Au Natural Spa and Marshes golf course, wedding guests won't even need to leave the resort to enjoy themselves.
Each couple gets an on-site wedding coordinator which will handle all of the details from afar. If you want a tightly run ship, Brookstreet will make sure your day is seamless even if you can't be tying up the loose ends yourself.
At the Schoolhouse - If your wedding guest list is of the smaller variety, this chic stone-covered schoolhouse offers packages for indoor weddings as small as 50 and outdoor weddings as small as 60. Clean, crisp, and cozy, this wedding locale can be customized to become any bride's dream venue. The gardens are breathtaking as is the location and it's easily accessible.
Marriage Requirements in Ottawa for US Citizens
You will be required to obtain a marriage license through the Ministry of Government Services website and then file with the nearest Client Service Centre to your hotel or venue address. There is no residency requirement to get married in Ottawa, but you will need to use your license within three months of the issue date.
You will need two pieces of identification per person when filing your marriage license. Copies will not fly here, so be sure to bring originals. While only one person need be present when applying, be sure you have one of the following:
- A birth certificate, including any change of name certificates
- A valid passport
- A record of immigrant landing/return flight information
Your second piece of ID may be any of these:
- A valid driver's license
- A valid passport if a birth certificate was used as your first piece
Fees - $160 dollars Canadian for the license
The Ottawa International Airport services daily (and often direct) flights from anywhere in the U.S. Check with your favorite airline to find which is the easiest.