Eloping seems to be a pretty trendy thing these days. I see elopement photography all over wedding blogs and you know what? I totally understand the appeal to elope from both the perspective of a wedding photographer and an engaged person!! Let me tell you, as excited as I am to be having a wedding, when Scott and I first started talking about getting married we dreamed of secret vows exchanged in Scottish Highlands with just my parents as witnesses and an amazing wedding photographer there to capture it all. We abandoned this idea once we were officially engaged. This was mainly because I could not imagine getting married without this person, and that person, oh and this friend and well, this friend has to be there too!!
Not everyone needs a wedding as I did, and that is okay. I’ve photographed elopements and they are amazing!! And, since I live in one of the most beautiful areas in one of the most beautiful provinces in Canada, and because I would love to photograph more elopements, I thought I would write a little how-to elope in New Brunswick.
For ideas on where to elope, check out my post “Where to Elope in Atlantic Canada“.
Eloping in New Brunswick is not too complex. You pick a date, find an officiant and get a marriage license. However, finding an officiant and getting your marriage license is not so easy if you don’t know where to look or who to contact! No worries, I have you covered.
Who will marry us if we elope in New Brunswick?
In New Brunswick, only a member of the Clergy or an authorized Civil Officiant can perform a marriage ceremony. Since most Clergy are attached to a church community it is less likely that they will be available for an elopement, however, there are tons of Civil Officiants in the province of New Brunswick that will be happy to perform the ceremony for you and here is an up-to-date list of Civil Officiants authorized to perform marriage ceremonies. BTW, I have worked with Janet Steeves on several occasions and I think she is just the loveliest lady who goes a little above the generic legal ceremony to make your experience thoughtful and beautiful. She travels too!
But the BEST officiant in New Brunswick is Mark from Unboring Weddings. He will make your elopement extra personal by creating a personalized ceremony for you, emphasizing your story and collaborating with you to make your secret vows beyond memorable. Where your ceremony IS the wedding, investing in the best wedding officiant is a must when you elope.
How do we get a marriage license in New Brunswick?
Once you’ve found an officiant and settled on a date, you will need to get your marriage license. A marriage license is required as it tells the powers that be that you are of legal age to be married.
Marriage licenses are issued by Service New Brunswick and here is a list of locations by community. Both parties must be present to get a marriage licence – apparently you will each be interviewed! In order to successfully acquire your marriage license you will need to provide federal government issued ID such as your birth certificate or passport, you’ll need to know what date you are getting married and you will need to pay $115. If you are divorced you will need an original or certified copy of your divorce certificate. There is no waiting period to get married after you have successfully acquired your marriage license, however you will only have ninety (90 days) from the date it is issued to get married. This is just a snapshot of how to acquire you marriage license and you can get full details on the SNB website here.
Do we need a wedding photographer?
Yes. Yes you do 🙂 And you are going to need a wedding photographer to capture your elopement because you don’t want just anyone with a camera to do this, right? This is a pretty remarkable moment in life and you want to make sure you have amazing images to share with your friends and family after you share the happy and secret news with them! So, you want a wedding photographer and most wedding photographers will jump at the opportunity to photograph an elopement. Of course I can not speak for them all but I can tell you why I would love to photograph your elopement.
Photographing an elopement usually means there is tons of flexibility with time, location and date, since there really aren’t the usual logistics to navigate with a wedding. Most elopements happen during the week and in my experience I’ve gotten to choose the location and time because having great photographs are a priority (and greatest expense so I want to make sure we have the best conditions possible!).
Oh man, year-round there are so many gorgeous locations in New Brunswick and along the Fundy Coast specifically; I would LOVE to help a couple pick out the perfect spot for their secret ceremony. But the real reason I love photographing elopements is because my favourite part of being a wedding photographer is witnessing the ceremony and spending time with my couple creating beautiful portraits of their love. So, seriously, if you are planning to elope in New Brunswick or anywhere for that matter, please get in touch!! I’ll even bring a friend with me to be a witness if you need the second signature!
One more thing!
If you are traveling from out of province you may want a little extra help pulling some details together, like finding a place to stay, find a florist for a bouquet, making dinner reservations at a fantastic restaurant, or even arranging a little reception for you and any family or friends that you bring along! I am always happy to offer recommendations but it also may be a wise investment to enlist the help of a wedding planner. In this case, I’ve worked with Tale of Two Weddings on elopements and highly recommend their services!!
So, again, if you are planning to elope in New Brunswick or anywhere for that matter, please get in touch!!