Thanks to its welcoming vibe, authentic feel, and charming countryside, it’s easy to fall in love with Ottawa. If you’re planning a wedding here, this guide to weddings in Ottawa is for you!
From history and culture to community and delicious eats … What more could you ask for? Ottawa truly has it all, from farms and gorgeous natural landscapes to museums and conservatories.
It’s chock-full of incredible sights and mouth-watering foodie destinations, but also romantic spas and adventure-oriented locales.
If you and your partner crave a unique wedding in the Ontario region, Ottawa is a great choice. Getting married in Ottawa can mean high-end luxury & glamour, comfort & relaxation, modern & minimalist elegance… or really anything you want!
Let’s dive in!
This capital city is unique. Its downtown has an NYC-esque vibe and tons of impressive architecture. It’s surprisingly comfortable, accessible, and fun. It’s also lush, filled with green space, woods, and stunning natural landscapes.
These gorgeous sights — whether inside the city limits or in the surrounding areas — provide an incredible aesthetic backdrop for wedding photos.
Despite the fact that it’s a big city, it somehow manages to have a small town feel. The multifaceted energy of this city makes it easy to enjoy Ottawa weddings!
When you get married in Ottawa, you can:
Almost any time of year is great for weddings in Ottawa! It just depends on what your preferences are.
If you’re a warm-weather lover, plan your celebration for the summer. You can enjoy the beaches and adventure outdoors!
If you prefer cold weather and snow, winter could be ideal. An indoor wedding would feel really cosy and peaceful — or even a quick helicopter elopement would be gorgeous and really fun! I would avoid January and February, as this is Ottawa’s “dead of winter” and the weather will likely be freezing.
The most popular seasons, however, are fall and spring. Fall offers the most beautiful scenery. The weather between September and October is absolutely beautiful, and you’ll avoid the crowds associated with the summer.
Spring presents blooming tulips and moderate temperatures. But if you opt for spring, I’d advise planning your event in May to avoid heavy rain.
As someone who’s been in the wedding & elopement industry for years, I’ve worked with a huge range of vendors. Here are some of my faves:
Sinders is by far the best wedding dress boutique (in my humble opinion). It’s run by two (awesome) sisters who are welcoming, fun, and are experts in their field. You can choose from a variety of styles and start cultivating your unique wedding story.
Jules creates some of the most delicious and artistic hand-crafted wedding cakes in Ottawa. You can customize her unique desserts to your liking, but make sure to book her far in advance.
Amelia Carleton Wedding and Events
Amelia is an incredible, award winning wedding planner. She’ll act as your coach, cheerleader, and friend throughout the process. If you book this vendor, your special day is sure to go off without a hitch.
Kat and Karen from Grounded Ceremonies truly love love! They are committed to helping you connect to the true meaning of your special day!
AM Floral specializes in organic, eco-friendly, and intentional florals. They prioritize locally-grown flowers while curating floral arrangements that naturally yet precisely represent you and your partner’s story.
This vendor specializes in romantic, whimsical floral arrangements. Riverwood Gardens follows nature’s lead when it comes to floral shapes and structures, creating lush and vintage-inspired arrangements.
This mother-daughter duo focuses on helping create timeless events. They do not only floral design but also event decor rentals & design and event coordination!
Pollen Nation is an eco-friendly studio. They also do editorial, high-fashion, and conceptual art projects. If you’re looking for things like floral arches or offbeat artistic installations, they’re probably perfect for you!
This vendor offers an array of premium, bespoke floral arrangements. Their motto is “delivering joy and love through flowers,” and they even offer dried florals!
Unless you’re getting married in Ottawa City Hall — which is not a bad idea, by the way — you’ll need a venue. And even if you’re getting married at the courthouse, you might be looking for a beautiful reception venue.
Below are some of my favourite venues:
This romantic castle has been open since 1912. It’s a French-style château — an elegant oasis overlooking the river that makes you feel like royalty! Fairmont Château Laurier is picturesque and accommodating, offering a variety of wedding packages and plans for 50 to 400 guests.
Evermore Weddings & Events is great for couples who love a country-chic style, as it’s charming and rustic yet has tons of luxurious European touches! It features an 1870’s restored barn nestled among 45 beautiful acres of rolling farmland and forest.
This new venue has a sleek design soaked with natural light, waterfront access, and is a short drive from the downtown core of Ottawa!
This light filled blank space space handles catering and event rentals. You can choose between two stunning rooms for your ceremony and reception. This venue is great for art lovers looking for a unique wedding location!
The National Arts Centre is one of the most beautiful wedding venues in downtown Ottawa. The venue space has beautiful lighting and breathtaking views, and is elegant and simple.
This sprawling gallery is filled with incredible European, Canadian, and Indigenous art. You can choose to have your ceremony and reception in their gorgeous event space, which features floor-to-ceiling windows. This venue is great for modern and fresh ceremonies.
This Ottawa waterfront venue is open, flooded with light, and magical at night. You can opt for an outdoor cocktail hour with panoramic lake views or an indoor celebration.
Thanks to its gorgeous waterfront patio, this venue is ideal for warm-weather weddings in Ottawa. It’s an urban oasis with delicious specialty cocktails.
I’m all about a great meal, so it’s no wonder that this list is pretty lengthy! If you’re hosting an intimate wedding, or want to elope in the forest followed by a delicious meal with your guests, these are some of the best spots!
This trendy snack bar is one of the most unique wedding venues in Ottawa! You’ll enjoy small plates with big flavours and a cool, intimate vibe.
This seasonally-driven restaurant offers a rotating menu and a small private room. Fauna is a good option for couples planning an intimate elopement or wedding celebration.
This restaurant is located in a former historic bank building, and features refined interiors, high-end dishes, and amazing drinks.
Play is a modern restaurant offering market-driven small plates. You can rent out the bottom floor and host up to 40 guests for a sit-down dinner, or 100 for a standing reception.
This option has Ottawa’s only speakeasy, behind a door designed to look like a bookcase! It also has a Nordic-inspired Jabberwocky space and an upstairs dining room (which is gorgeous!). The menu items are creative and delicious.
North & Navy is a Northern Italian kitchen with a private dining room for Ottawa weddings. Their food offer includes curated dishes made with seasonal game, seafood, and vegetables.
This stylish restaurant has an open kitchen and a raw bar. Supply and Demand is a neighbourhood spot that’s great for celebrating special occasions!
Parlour is a historical, absolutely gorgeous, and full-service venue. This sleek locale can accommodate up to 250 guests, so it’s an amazing option for a big wedding!
This is perfect for craft beer lovers! It’s a stonework and glass-filled venue known for rustic elegance and has a few different areas you can choose from.
Beckta is ideal for wine lovers! They focus on cultivating a world-class hospitality and service experience and can accommodate up to 36 people.
Specializing in artisanal cuisine, Signatures carries on the 100+ year old tradition of Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Arts Institute. It’s inside of the institute’s historical mansion location, and oozes that old money wedding vibe, from the red-carpeted grand staircase to the plush and cozy bar.
Cocotte Bistro is a beautifully designed, French inspired nook inside The Metcalfe Hotel in downtown Ottawa. The food is delicious and the space has such a great vibe!
Anyone can get married in Ottawa, because there are no restrictions when it comes to gender, residency, citizenship or medical requirements. You’ll need a marriage licence, which costs $178.43 CAD as of 2023.
To apply for this licence, you’ll need two pieces of original government-issued ID. These documents must be in French or English. Official translations are accepted, and certified true copies are okay!
Once you collect these necessary documents, submit the marriage licence application appointment request form. If your application is approved, you’ll be prompted to schedule an appointment to get your licence.
Once you have your licence, you’ll have to find a wedding officiant. And on the day of your ceremony, you’ll need at least two witnesses.
If you’re having a city hall wedding in Ottawa, these requirements are all you need to fulfil to get married!