If there is one trend in the wedding industry that only seems to be getting stronger, it’s the destination wedding. More and more couples are opting to combine their wedding and honeymoon, by holding their ceremonies in a distant location. While tropical islands or beachfront resorts are a popular choice, couples looking to add European charm to their nuptials need look no further than Quebec City. This historic city offers the feeling of a quaint European capital without the long flight. Couples can get married in a historic cathedral, a luxury hotel or even a castle, against the backdrop of the St. Lawrence River, cobblestone streets and stone buildings dating back hundreds of years.
When you want to get married, you need to get certain documents in place. To get married in Quebec City, you need a licence, which you can acquire from any Municipal Office Clerk. Both the bride and groom need to sign the application and show a valid photo ID such as a driver’s licence. Once you get your marriage licence, it is good for three months. During that time, you can be married by a minister, judge, justice of the peace, municipal office clerk or other approved officiant. Depending on where you hold your ceremony, you might be able to choose your own officiant, or you may be limited to those who work for the site.
Where to Get Married?
Once the legalities are out of the way, you have an endless array of options for where to host your ceremony. There are plenty of historical buildings and natural areas ideal for a wedding in Quebec, and hotels and resorts in the area also offer stunning wedding and reception facilities. A few places to consider include:
- Notre Dame des Victoires. Catholic couples who want to wed in Quebec City should consider this historic chapel, originally built in 1688. The charming stone building is located in Old Quebec City; the historic altar and art in the church are an ideal backdrop for a formal ceremony.
- Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac. Perhaps the most recognisable landmark in Quebec City, Le Chateau Frontenac resembles a European castle, perched high above the St. Lawrence River. Getting married here is the ultimate in luxury; weddings take place in grand ballrooms or salons within the castle’s turrets and include gourmet meals and a suite for the bride and groom. If you want the romance of a castle wedding without the expense and grandeur, Le Frontenac also offers elopement packages for couples with fewer than 10 guests, which include an outdoor ceremony site, an officiant, flowers, dinner and a hotel suite.
- Au Petit Chateau. Just outside the city, and a quick ferry ride to Old Quebec City, Au Petit Chateau is a bed-and-breakfast housed in a historic mansion. With just four rooms, the inn is small and charming, and the outdoor gardens are an ideal site for an intimate and romantic wedding.
- Outdoor Gardens and Parks. Quebec City is full of beautiful parks and green spaces that are ideal for wedding ceremonies. Contact the Quebec City Tourism Department for more information on places that welcome wedding ceremonies and how to reserve a spot for your special day.
Quebec City has been called one of the most romantic cities in the world, and as you stroll the narrow cobblestone streets and explore the many shops, restaurants and historic sites, you’ll see why. It’s an ideal destination for a romantic and memorable wedding. If you are inviting guests from the U.S., remember that a passport is required to enter Canada and allow plenty of time for those without documentation to acquire it. Once everything is in order, though, your wedding is sure to be memorable and romantic.
Image provided by Michel Roy from Flicker’s Creative Commons
About the Author: Vancouver resident Lydia Charles first visited Quebec City on her honeymoon nearly 10 years ago. A wedding planner and writer, she encourages brides to look beyond the usual destinations to create a truly personal and memorable occasion.