A marriage license is probably the most boring part of your wedding planning process, however the most important part of any wedding is of course, actually getting legally married. In order to do this you need just two things; a licensed officiant and a marriage license. Here are things you should know when obtaining your marriage license in Niagara, especially for out-of-province or country couples.
1. The earliest you can apply for your marriage license is 3 months prior to your wedding date.
*If you are from out of town and you plan on visiting before your wedding date, see if you can plan to visit within 3 months of your wedding date so that you can apply for your license in advance and not have to worry about it right before you’re wedding.
2. You can obtain your marriage license from any city hall in Ontario. If you are not local to Niagara but you live in Ontario you can get this in your own city.
3. If you are arriving from out of Ontario you can get your marriage license on the same day you arrive and even on the day of your wedding (though I don’t advise that!). There are no delays or having to wait for a certain amount of days from either arriving in town or before the wedding date. City Hall in Niagara Falls is open from 8:30 am -4:30 pm Monday- Friday, excluding holidays.
*If you are planning to be married over the weekend, make sure to arrive so there is enough time for you to get your license on the Friday. I even recommend arriving a day or two earlier than that in the event you should run into any problems. (It’s not likely, but you never know!).
4. If you one or both of you were previously married, check with a lawyer in your hometown to ensure you have ALL of the proper documents to verify you are no longer married. Without this, you will not be granted a marriage license.
5. When you sign a marriage license and your officiant sends it away, you are legally married everywhere. (Aside from obvious countries with much difference views from North America).
6. If you are still concerned about the legality of getting married in Ontario, you can always have a quick civil ceremony in your hometown and have the ceremonial aspect with your guests in Niagara.
7. Another option and trend is to have a friend preform the ceremony. In Ontario, only licensed officiants can legally marry you (and it’s not a simple or cheap process for a friend to complete). If you like the idea of having a friend preform the ceremony you have two choices. 1. Get legally married in your hometown and have your friend preform the entire ceremony in Niagara or 2. Use a licensed officiant to complete the legal parts and have a friend do the more emotional parts.
So there you have it, all of the tips and tricks I can think of to ensure you are legally married if you decide to have your wedding in Niagara!
A couple weekends ago we planned a sweet Niagara winery elopement for Viviane and Kevin. Viviane wanted to make sure that whatever we planned, the ceremony was meaningful and beautiful. She had expressed interest in finding an old brick building that was reminiscent of Old Europe. I knew instantly that Vineland Estates would be perfect location. In between days upon days of rain, we managed to sneak the ceremony and a few rain free photos in.
When I plan a winery elopement, my goal is to make the ceremony just as memorable and beautiful as if it was a full-sized wedding.
In a saturated market it can be hard to stand out to potential clients who are looking for a Niagara wedding planner. While I want to shout and jump and raise my hand “pick me, pick me, you won’t regret it” it’s obviously not the way to portray why you should choose me. When I first started wedding planning (5 years ago) in Niagara, there wasn’t a whole lot of competition. There were a few companies to “compete” with (and I say compete, yet we’re all very vendor-friends), but I knew that if I set a strong brand message and worked hard at my job and at making connections, I would succeed in what I had set out to attain. Flash forward to 2017. There are more magical venues opening up every day in Niagara, which is of course attracting more clients to Niagara, and along with that comes more Niagara Wedding Planners. It’s certainly not a bad thing, it’s even a great thing for clients looking to hire a Niagara wedding planner. The negative side about this is that it becomes harder to set ourselves apart from each other. We all plan beautiful outdoor winery weddings, we all have experience with working through the logistics, and designing in Niagara can tend to look the same when clients come to Niagara because they want that whimiscal, romantic, foliage-abundant style wedding. Not only is it tougher for us on the business side, it’s harder for the client trying to find the perfect fit.
With all of that being said, this is what we do differently and this is why you should hire us.
Start to Finish Service
As a Niagara wedding planner, I focus on full scale planning services. This is because I want to offer you start to finish coverage so nothing can be left to chance. Start to finish service with Weddings Tied With Lace means unlimited, always here for you service. Unlike other planner’s I stay until the very end of the evening. That way I can ensure that guests have managed to get where they are going, your personal items have been gathered up and put aside, and that the night wraps up smoothly.
“…Having Meagan with us on the big day was an absolute life saver and worth every penny. She stayed with us until the bitter end of the night, and because of her, we were able to relax and fully enjoy our own wedding.” – Dee.
You’ll Be the Only Clients
Full Service clients can rest assured that they will be the only clients I take on during the weekend of their wedding. This way I can ensure my team’s focus is dedicated solely to that client. Not only do you have our full attention for your wedding day, but we also clear the week before the wedding to prioritize availability for that client. It’s important to me for my clients to feel like VIP’s throughout the entire process, but especially as the wedding day nears.
“Meagan answered any questions I had quickly and recommended vendors based on my budget and my wishes. She was likely juggling many wedding at the same time as mine, but she was able to keep my wishes and requests straight and did not make me feel neglected. Any request that was made was tended to within minutes. She was readily available all day to us to help with any situation and be there for any questions….” – Jill
Fully Engaged in Design
From the original design concept we create based on the clients ideas, through to actually executing the floral arrangement and building custom pieces, I am fully engaged in the entire design process. Being able to not just design on paper but actually create my ideas allows me to ensure the client is getting exactly the design we talked about instead of trying to “play telephone” by working through a series of vendors trying to work off of the original design concept. Additionally, for my full service clients I provide a mock-up of the tablescape. This way, clients can actually see and visualize how their wedding will look when it’s all put together. It’s also a time to make any last minute changes to ensure the perfect set up.
“…She was able to take our vision and turn it into reality on our wedding day, and exceeded our expectations when it came to the florals, centerpieces, and especially the wedding cake…” – Dee
“… I highly recommend the floral add on! What an incredible experience to have the same vision for the planning and the florals. We had a perfect wedding and it was a huge part due to Meagan! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!!” – Julia
I never show up to a wedding alone. I know there are Niagara wedding planners who work by themselves, but with only getting one shot at your wedding day I like to ensure I have all of our bases covered. I provide a team at no extra cost to my clients so that I know we will be done in time, I have someone to run out if need be, and simply because I can’t be in two places at once. The size of the team I bring on depends on the size of the wedding and the amount of work and set up required.
“…People still talk about how seamless everything appeared to be and when they do I always place the credit solely on your shoulders and your ability to work with my wife.”- Paul
“We couldn’t have asked for a better day! Meagan, you were so great we didn’t even realize you were there until you needed us or we needed you. You kept everything organized and the day went so smoothly that even if something huge had happened we know you would have handled it. You were so easy to talk to and I knew it would be difficult finding someone who I could trust to understand my vision…”- Mandi
When it comes to design, I’m not only focused on what is going to look great and what is going to be pretty, I’m also very focused on telling the couples story. The details we can implement that emulate who the couple is together, are the details that make a wedding super special. For example: Dee & Harry love the outdoors. They love to hike and be in nature. They chose Inn on the Twenty as their venue because of the amazing view of the tree-filled Ravine their guests would have. Additionally, we brought in natural branches, trees, moss and even grape vine to “bring the outside in” for them.
“…As the vision for our wedding was different than what is currently on trend I was nervous about the outcome. Anytime we had a question you had an answer. Even when we would disagree on an idea we knew you were giving another option just to be sure the decision we made is what we wanted. The day of the wedding went so smoothly and we know you played a huge part in that. We can’t thank you enough for your time and dedication to your work. Although the wedding is the big show next to the everlasting marriage, the details were important to us and you made my vision come to life.” – Mandi
Like in any customer service or sales industry there can be a lot of smoke blown up your you-know-what. I hate that crap. I’m always going to be 100% real with my clients and potential clients. I will tell you straight-up what I think, always, at all times. Clients hire me for guidance and advice, so what kind of planner would I be if I just said “sure, we can do that” knowing that it wasn’t the best option or it might not work out. I’m also pretty transparent. I don’t pretend to be someone else to get the business or to gain followers or have people like me. If you follow me on Instagram you can see in my Instagram stories how I just talk about(often in a thrown up bun with hair falling down the sides and my glasses on at my desk in between work) what’s going on in my business and my life. I want prospective clients, current clients and vendor friends to know the real me so they know who they are going to be working with so closely over the next year of their lives.
I’m super excited to share these photos with you! When I was designing this spring wedding shoot I really wanted to use bright rich tones that popped against the muted tones of nature at this time of year. Jewel tones were perfect for this concept, but I wanted to be sure it didn’t look too wintery at the same time. With a combination of colour, tropicals, and an amazing Niagara wedding vendor team, we pulled it off. As a side note, this is one of my favourite bouquets that I have ever created!
Planning, styling and florals: Weddings Tied With Lace
Venue: Back 10 Cellars
Photography: Ally Allison Photography
Cinematography: Julia Park Cinema
Cake: The Main Cafe
Linens & Flatware: Simply Beautiful Decor
Rental Items: Warehouse 84
Wedding Planning can be hard to keep track of even when it’s just your own. Now imagine planning a wedding for multiple clients at a time! Any reputable wedding planner you hire will be juggling multiple weddings at a time, it’s how they organize each client, and the systems and processes they have in place that will make a better client experience for you.
Here are a few of the tools I use with Weddings Tied With Lace to provide a excellent client experience and a smooth wedding planning process.
I use 17 Hats to stream line the quoting, contract and invoice process for my clients. It allows them to easily view the proposed quote, contract or invoice from anywhere as it sends directly to their email address. Clients can play around with the options on the quote to choose selections that work within their budget. They can sign the contract by typing in their name and in the same matter, easy click one button to pay the invoice online. The simpler I can make tedious process’s like contract reviewing and signing, the less stressed my clients are as they begin their wedding planning with me. I also use 17 Hats to send questionnaires. This allows me to virtually ask a series of questionnaires that are all kept in one place so I can easily reference their answers.
Aisle planner is the real meat and bones of our wedding planning software that we provide for our clients. With Aisle planner we can send you a giant checklist of everything needed to be done for your wedding. It can seem overwhelming, but having a list of tasks that you can check off as you go is really a helpful way to know what to do next. I will also assign myself the tasks that I take care of so the client doesn’t have to wonder what is my job and what is something only they can take care of. Aisle planner also provides a design tab, a budget tab, a timeline tab, a guest list tracking sheet, a vendor contact sheet which not only has all of their contact info but also payment amounts and due dates as well as a note section. Clients can enter the portal to virtually work in this space and we can interchangeably see what each other is working on. Aisle planner makes wedding planning organization a breeze!
Sortd is an app for gmail that allows me to add emails to “to-do” lists, new inquiry lists, follow-up lists etc. It helps me to keep on top of emails as they come in so it’s less likely emails will fall into the abyss(ha!).
I love Instagram. It’s always been a way for me to extend my brand and to give my (potential) clients a glimpse into who I am as a person and some behind-the-scenes work that I do. Instagram stories is an even better way to show my clients what I’m doing at other weddings, how our set up works, sneak peeks you won’t see in my feed and also another bit of who I am.