Eloping in Newfoundland and Labrador! The wild cliffs, colourful houses, amazing people, and great food scene are all what makes Newfoundland a spectacular place to plan an adventurous elopement. This guide covers everything you need to know to plan your perfect Newfoundland Elopement.
Eloping in Newfoundland is an experience for which most couples hire a photographer for 2-6 hours. My goal as a photographer is to tell a story of your day that you can look back on with fondness, including the quiet moments in between. You can write your own vows, pop some champagne and celebrate once you’ve signed the papers. After that, we’ll go on an adventure, often a hike with a picnic in tow; or you can plan an excursion, such as walking around a local village, exploring the seaside, or renting a boat to go fishing. My goal is to make sure you have a stress-free day and beautiful images to remember it by.
This guide will cover all the aspects that you need for planning your ideal Newfoundland elopement, including legalities, best locations, how to get here, park fees, and of course, the best sights, restaurants, attractions and accommodations to make the most of your trip.
If you are interested in hiring me to photograph your Newfoundland Elopement, you can use set up a time to chat with me. I would love to walk through the process with you.
1. How to Legally Marry in Newfoundland and Labrador
Getting married in Newfoundland and Labrador is a pretty easy three-step process. You get your license, you have a ceremony (during which you fill out the license), then you mail it and have it certified.
- Apply for a Marriage License:
You must apply for a license in person with a marriage license issuer. Ideally, you want to give yourself at least 4 days before your desired wedding date so that the issuer has time to get the license to your officiant. The license costs $100. You can find a list of marriage license issuers here. I personally love working with Susan Perry.
- Have a Ceremony:
You must find and book a marriage commissioner, or find a religious representative to perform your ceremony. The commissioner is a different person than the licensee. The fees for ceremonies vary from person to person, and you should let your commissioner know of your plans when you book them to make sure they are okay to go on an adventure! You can find a list of marriage commissioners here. My partner Ren Holmberg is a queer + feminist marriage commissioner who performs non-traditional ceremonies. You can find and book them at You May Now NL.
You will need two legal witnesses to your wedding ceremony. You can opt to bring some friends with you, whether they travel with you or you make pals at the local pub. I am also more than happy to be one of your witnesses, and Ren and I can bring along a third person to be your second witness. I have been ‘Maid of Honor’ for many an elopement!
- File the paperwork:
Once your ceremony is complete, you must submit the forms to Vital Statistics. Your marriage license issuer or commissioner will often walk you through this process.
And that’s it! Voila, once you’ve found a licensee and officiant, you’re ready to get married.
2. Timing: When to Get Married in Newfoundland
- Time of Year:
While you can technically elope in Newfoundland any time of the year, June through October is the time of year when you are guaranteed the best weather and the most activity options. Winter in the most easterly place in North America often has wet, windy winters with unpredictable storms that can knock the roads out for days on end.
- Time of Week:
The best time of the week to elope is Monday to Thursday, as the trails and sites will be less busy, and you’ll have an easier time finding accommodations.
- Time of Day:
Sunset in Newfoundland is magical! If you can, plan your elopement to hit around sunset. Early in the summer this is around 9pm; later in the season, around 6pm. Planning for sunset also means that there are fewer people around, as most folks tend to do their hikes earlier in the day.
Weather in Newfoundland
Newfoundland often has nice but somewhat cool weather. In the summer, average daytime temps range from 16-25 degrees Celsius. It can rain often, and is almost always a bit windy! I’ve personally never experienced rain that has impeded an elopement, but it’s always smart to plan for rain, wind, and chilly weather when traveling to Newfoundland and Labrador.
3. Best places to Elope in Newfoundland, NL
Newfoundland has SO many options.
If you want to elope in our beautiful old city, you’ll find everything you need without having to rent a car. You can walk around historic Duckworth Street, eat great food, take in the scenery on Signal Hill, and visit Cape Spear, the most easterly point in North America.
If you can rent a car, your options get a little wilder. You can fly into Deer Lake or Gander, and explore the beautiful outport fishing villages that often sit nestled in amongst cliffs and fjords. Some of my favourites are Twillingate, Bonavista, and Gros Morne.
I recommend planning your elopement by picking an area in which we can explore together. I am always happy to help with this part of the process. I’m happy to create a customized itinerary with you when you book based on what you like to do and what sort of day you’d like to have.
Here are a few of my top locations for elopement photos:
The most easterly point in North America, Cape Spear is a favourite destination for a lot of folks! There are two beautiful lighthouses, as well as a great, easy hike along the coast. Near Cape Spear you’ll find the adorable village of Petty Harbour which has a working harbour along with cafes and restaurants. Blackhead is another village close-by that has a great East Coast Trail and is very lightly trafficked.
To learn more about all the places to elope near the capital city, you can read this post where I go into detail on eloping in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Twillingate is an up-and-coming tourist destination; imagine going to Iceland before it was cool. Twillingate is the best place in the world to see icebergs, whales, and the most amazing coastal views. The town itself is full of the best people, and there are lots of places to stay and eat.
The Bonavista Peninsula should be an entire trip in and of itself! There is SO much to do here. The peninsula has tons of small historic towns, each with their own character. There are breweries, cafes, shops, and the most incredible landscapes in the world.
Gros Morne National Park
Gros Morne! I have an entire post dedicated just to this incredible place. There is so much to do and see – Gros Morne is the outdoor adventure lover’s dream.
4. How to Get to Newfoundland and Labrador
To get to Newfoundland from outside of the province, you have two options: flying or taking the ferry.
You can fly into St. John’s International Airport, which is less than 20 minutes from downtown St. John’s. Shuttles and cabs are available. If you plan to leave the downtown core, you may want to rent a car at the airport as the city is not very walkable outside of downtown. There are lots of car rental options at the St. John’s airport. You can also fly into Deer Lake or Gander (the town from Come From Away!).
You can take the ferry across from North Sydney to Port Aux Basques. The cost is approximately $200 each way for two people and a vehicle. The ferry takes approximately 9 hours to cross the channel. Once in Port Aux Basques, it is a 10-hour drive to St. John’s. While this option is not for the faint of heart, making a journey of Newfoundland is an incredible experience. Making a trip of Newfoundland is well worth the drive, as there are many beautiful spots along the way, such as Twillingate, Cape Spear, and Bonavista.
5. Where to Stay in Newfoundland
Newfoundland has tons of accommodation options, from hostels to boutique hotels.
Blue On Water is my personal favourite place for couples to stay in the city: the brick walls make a lovely backdrop for photos, and it’s right next to everything you’ll need, such as shops, restaurants, and pubs.
6. Venue Options in Newfoundland
One of the best parts of eloping is that you can get married anywhere you’d like!
I’m always happy to suggest my favourite ocean-side locations for your elopement ceremony.
Gypsy Tea Room in St. John’s is my favourite low-key venue for intimate weddings with 20 guests or less.
In Gros Morne, The Black Spruce is my favourite venue (and also one of my all-time favourite restaurants). It’s in the Neddie’s Harbour Inn, which is also a geat place to stay!
7. Other Vendors
If you’re looking for flowers, NL Floral Design makes custom bouquets using local flora she finds on her daily hikes. Your bouquet will likely be a beautiful surprise, filled with whatever is in season. Past bouquets have included blueberries, juniper, lupins, and more.
Newfound Picnics can set up and tear down an eco-friendly picnic for you anywhere in St. John’s. These are perfect for romantic elopement dinners on the coast.
For me, travelling is all about the food.
Terre is one of my favourite places to eat. Local ingredients in a beautiful building with no fuss.
Basho is a phenomenal restaurant that serves a mix of Japanese/Newfoundland food. You have to try it to believe it!
Johnny & Mae’s is a food truck that is usually parked at St. Thomas Church (near Bannerman Park). Their giant burgers are to die for.
8. Things to do in Newfoundland and Labrador
While you likely won’t do the whole trail system (it spans over 300km) you can do individual portions of the trail. Each trail is unique and all are special! Plan to take a lot of water and wear comfy shoes. The views are worth the journey!
Queer owned and operated, The Port Rexton Brewery is one of the best gems on the Bonavista Peninsula. It’s in an old schoolhouse, and is a great place to meet travellers and tourists alike.
Take the ferry from Rocky Harbour to Woody Point
Maybe this is just me, but I LOVE a ferry ride. In Gros Morne, these two towns are an hour+ drive apart… or a 10 minute ferry ride! Woody Point is entirely walkable and has the cutest ‘downtown’ (it’s just a small strip on the waterfront with sweet cafes and shops). They also host The Woody Point Writers each year, which is a fabulous festival for anyone interested in writing, music, and the arts.
9. Ready to plan your Newfoundland elopement? Here are your next steps
Elopement photography packages start at just $1200 + tax for photography only, or $1700 for all-inclusive services with a commissioner. As part of your package, I help build an itinerary for your trip and am happy to be your travel guide around where to fly into, where to stay and eat, and things to do based on your interests.
If you’d like to chat more about planning your elopement in St. John’s, you can schedule a call, use the contact form below to send me a message, or use the booking link to see my availability and schedule yourself in without any fuss.
I can’t wait to hear from you!