Weddings

Portrait Ceremonies

Newmarket, Ontario View map

About

Based in Newmarket, Ontario, Portrait Ceremonies is operated by Laura Higgins. She is a licensed officiant and life-cycle celebrant who is passionate about doing her part in helping the vision of a prospective newlywed's important celebration be brought into reality. Drawn to this work due to her care for others, she is able to use this to help create a remarkable and meaningful day for the newly married.

Services offered

Laura provides her services for single religion, interfaith, non-religious ceremonies as well as rehearsals. For how the ceremony will go, couples have many options to choose from. Laura specializes in one-of-a-kind custom-written ceremonies that reflect each couple's unique relationship. Each script and plan will be completely and fully approved by the soon-to-be newlyweds before it happens.

How she works

The customization option involves her learning about the future newlyweds such as their beliefs, values and what is important to them as well as what the day means to them. Additionally, family and friends present or absent can be incorporated in creative ways. Culture, multi-lingual aspects and religion can be included to the level of the to-be-married's desire.

Highlights

Wedding Types

Single religion, interfaith ceremony, non-religious, vow renewal, ceremony rehearsal

Officiant Services

Licensed, allow couple' own vows

More information

On average, how long are wedding ceremonies you officiate?

30-60 mins.

Does starting price include the ceremony rehearsal?

No

41 reviews

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  • Gazelle
    Gazelle Married on 19/06/2021
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    The best of the best!

    Laura is one of the people in this wedding industry whom I feel is genuinely passionate about the people, and the work she does.
    We initially spoke with her on Zoom. She was so warm, and so interested in learning more about us. I felt immediately she would be able to do our love story justice and be an amazing officiant!

    Due to some unforeseen circumstances, we had to split up our wedding in two. A legal ceremony and then at a later date- a symbolic ceremony.

    Laura was SO flexible and helpful. Not only did she officiate our social distanced legal ceremony which only included us, our moms and sister, and Laura- but she then wrote us a much longer detailed script for the symbolic ceremony!

    Our legal ceremony was short and sweet. From start to finish – it was no longer than 10 minutes. Laura’s words made it the MOST MEMORABLE day of all. She tied in words on my father in law, who had passed, and his memorial tree in which we stood in front of as we said “I do”.
    This was the first time we saw her in person and she radiated positive energy all around!

    The script for our symbolic ceremony was PERFECTION. She was able to really balance the sentimental with a bit of sweet comedy. The script had a beautiful flow to it. She included this prayer that was so heartwarming, I had my eyes closed the entire time of it during the ceremony just to hear every word of it!
    My cousin officiated our symbolic ceremony – with Laura’s guidance of course. Laura spent time giving my cousin tips and tricks- which I feel was just out of the goodness of her heart. My cousin did an amazing job – no thanks to Laura :)

    Simply put – Laura is FANTASTIC. Her writing is style is exceptional. Her attention to detail is amazing. Her commitment to ensuring your ceremony is flawless is unparalleled.

    Laura- we cannot THANK YOU enough!!!

    Portrait Ceremonies's reply:

    Oh Gazelle! I am so touched by your incredibly thoughtful words. What you have shared here means so very much to me. It is experiences like this that make being an officiant so meaningful for me. I absolutely loved working with you and Anatoly and helping to make both your ceremonies meaningful and special. I cherish the memory of your legal ceremony by your father-in-law's memorial stone. I loved writing your story in the symbolic ceremony - all the beautiful words and details you and Anatoly shared with me really inspired me. Thank you so much for asking me to be your Celebrant. It was truly an honour. My best wishes to you both for a long and happy life together. xo
  • Heather
    Heather Married on 03/10/2020
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    Simply fabulous

    Laura goes above and beyond, and is incredibly hardworking, detail-oriented, and so warm and personal about your special day. Recommend her very highly

    Portrait Ceremonies's reply:

    Thanks Heather so much for your kind words. It was an absolute pleasure working with you and David to make your wedding special. Best wishes!
  • Dana
    Dana L. Married on 26/10/2019
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    Laura was AMAZING and our ceremony was perfect!!

    Laura officiated our wedding this past weekend. She was such a pleasure to work with during the entire ceremony decision making/crafting process. She was recommended to us by our photographer, who actually had Laura officiate her own wedding ceremony a few years prior!

    Even through all my indecision (of which there was plenty), Laura was there to help guide us along. We ended up having a fully custom ceremony written by her, with input from us based on some questionnaires we answered. Laura created an initial draft for us, and we had the ability to make edits as we saw fit.

    She has a wonderful personality and her writing is phenomenal. Laura really captured the essence of us and our relationship. She even did her own research into some of our interests (video game related) and incorporated them into our ceremony in a subtle way that we could enjoy without it be too overt!

    Her delivery of the ceremony was also perfect. You can totally see and feel her kindness and sincerity in everything she does. Any communication we had with her was met with incredibly timely responses that were very thoughtful and helpful. She also helped us with some of the logistics, e.g. connecting with our vendors as necessary.

    We would not hesitate to wholeheartedly recommend Laura to anyone who wants a personal, custom ceremony for their wedding. Thank you so much Laura - we're so grateful for your work!

    Portrait Ceremonies's reply:

    Dear Dana,
    Your words mean so much to me. I’m so glad you had such a positive experience! I loved working with you to create the ceremony (and incorporating the video game references in a subtle way was so much fun)! It has been my pleasure to be in touch with you in the months leading up to the wedding, to share ideas as the ceremony plan and script took shape. The way it all unfolded on the wedding day was just beautiful and seeing the love you share with each other and your family and friends in that intimate and lovely setting was so meaningful. Thanks Dana for choosing me as your Celebrant! Warm wishes to you both.
  • Rebecca
    Rebecca F. Married on 30/08/2019
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    Laura is fantastic!

    Laura was so organized, helpful and kind. She crafted beautiful words for our wedding day and was on top of everything. She is a true perfectionist and we really appreciated how much she truly cares for her clients.
    I will continue to recommend Laura to family and friends with upcoming weddings.

    Portrait Ceremonies's reply:

    Thanks so much for your kind words Rebecca. I loved working with you and Marlon and so appreciated how organized and responsive you were! You are such a warm and kind couple and it was wonderful to see that love you share and express it through the ceremony. I wish you both a beautiful future together.
  • Vanesa
    Vanesa V. Married on 06/10/2018
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    Incredible officiant

    We had the pleasure of having Laura as our officiant last month for our wedding. She was absolutely incredible and made our whole experience such a positive one! Everything she did for us she put so much thought and effort into, and we are so thankful for all her advice and suggestions. She is very considerate and made sure that we were happy with absolutely  everything. We are so glad we chose her to be there on our special day, our wedding definitely wouldn't be the same without her. Thank you Laura for making our wedding so memorable!

    Portrait Ceremonies's reply:

    Thank you so much Vanesa for your kind words. I absolutely loved creating your ceremony and including not only your special story and the wonderful things you love about one another – but also some thematic imagery connected to something you both love that has deep meaning for you. Nothing gave me as much pleasure as seeing you together, and feeling how much you love one another. I loved your bohemian themed wedding and the lovely ways that you included your parents and your dear friends in the ceremony. Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of your special ceremony. I wish you a beautiful life together.
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer B. Married on 12/08/2018
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    We loved having Laura as part of our experience and were truly honoured.

    My husband and I are so happy that Laura was our officiant for our wedding. We loved having her as part of our experience and were truly honoured.

    There’s definitely a large group of officiants in the area but we chose Laura because she has such passion for what she does - it really shows. From the moment we first emailed to the first meeting, and then our wedding, she has shown us how kind, caring, and professional she is. We saw her attention to detail and was extremely pleased on how well her wedding service was executed. We are so grateful to know her and to have her perform our ceremony for us. She is a kind soul that really connects to the person she is helping. We had a few minor family and dog issues during the ceremony and she kept everything going very nicely. We didn’t feel the stress at all. We did sense one thing with Laura during that ceremony and that was how sincere and happy she was for us. When we did our vows and the ring exchange she looked so happy and moved by our words to one another that it made me feel like we were in front of a friend. Laura has a real connection to her clients, their families, and those unique moments. I highly recommend Laura and hope she continues to touch lives around her.

    Portrait Ceremonies's reply:

    Jennifer, your words mean so much to me. I’m so very touched. Thank you. To be able to get to know and to help wonderful people like you and Chris in this way is what brings me so much joy as a Celebrant. Your vows were beautiful and moving – there is so much love. Connecting with you and your families was a pleasure and honour. Wishing you all the best now and always.
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer M. Married on 11/11/2017
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    Laura is absolutely worth her weight in gold and our guests were actually telling us afterwards that ours was the best wedding ceremony they have ever been too. Laura worked incredibly hard to get to know Matt and myself well and tailored our ceremony so that it was a customized reflection of us which it was. She was super responsive, quick to offer advice and supremely well organized which was also appreciated.

    Portrait Ceremonies's reply:

    Thank you Jennifer! I love that your guests felt that way about your ceremony. I truly enjoyed getting to know you both, learning your stories and what makes your relationship so special and then being able to share that through your ceremony. Learning more about Scottish wedding customs and including them was great fun as was learning a little Gaelic for a marriage blessing. You have been a joy to work with and I wish you and Matt every happiness!
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer M. Married on 04/11/2016
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    We approached Laura with a unique ask - an intimate vow renewal for our 10-year wedding anniversary, including our young kids. It was a private ceremony for just the four of us, led by Laura. It was everything I imagined and then some. My husband and I were both thrilled with the attention Laura gave us and our kids and the beautiful memory she created for the four of us. Our day was so special and will be remembered fondly thanks to Laura.

    Portrait Ceremonies's reply:

    Thank you so much Jennifer for your kind words. I absolutely loved co-creating your vow renewal ceremony with you and Dave and was inspired by your reflections and insights as you prepared to renew your vows. Having the children be a part of it made it extra special and coming up with creative ways they could participate was fun. You are an inspiring couple and I'm grateful to have gotten to know you.
  • Suzanne
    Suzanne C. Married on 02/11/2019
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    Laura is AMAZING, makes the most beautiful ceremonies

    We booked Laura for our wedding and to say she is incredible is an understatement. We booked her after one Skype meeting because she was so kind and reassuring and we just got a great feeling from her from day one. The way she structures her ceremonies is unlike anything we had ever dreamed of. We really loved that we were able to pick from her variety of pre-written options for each portion of the ceremony so that it was personal to us. We also really loved how she privately asked for us to pick a theme and to answer a questionnaire about each other to add to the ceremony. When it came time for the ceremony she was a very calming presence to be around, especially when you have a crowd of people watching you, she really helped us to be in the moment as a couple. When the ceremony was over and we were meeting with our guests during cocktail hour, the first thing that was said to us by the majority of our guests was how they had never seen such a beautiful and touching ceremony as the one Laura put together for us. It really meant the world to us that we could have a ceremony that perfectly illustrated who we are as a couple and wasn’t just a standard ceremony. We cannot recommend Laura enough and anyone who books with her will definitely have a ceremony more beautiful than they possibly could have imagined. Thank you Laura for creating our dream ceremony!

    Portrait Ceremonies's reply:

    Suzanne and Collin, I am so touched by your kind words. I enjoyed every moment working with you and am so glad that you and your friends and family enjoyed the ceremony so much! You are a very special couple and I wish you every happiness in your marriage. Thanks so much for the opportunity to help make your day extra-special. xo
  • Angela
    Angela L. Married on 21/09/2019
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    Best decision we made!

    My husband and I got married about a month ago, and without a doubt, Laura's ceremony was the highlight of our wedding. At least 15 people came up to us immediately after and told us it was the most beautiful and personal ceremony they had ever seen, and more have said the same since. Working with Laura was wonderful from the start - she is exceptionally organized, prepared with helpful guides and templates, and walked us through every step. Using information she gleaned from us, she curated a beautiful, personal, meaningful, just-for-us ceremony that we will remember for the rest of our lives. I can't stress it enough - she is truly wonderful at what she does, and she was the best decision we made in our wedding planning process! If you are looking for a "cheap" officiant, remember that you get what you pay for - Laura's service is truly unbeatable and worth every penny.

    Portrait Ceremonies's reply:

    Angela, Thank you so much for this wonderful review. It means a lot to me that you saw such value for the investment you made. I put heart into every ceremony, and that heart came from you and Ben - inspired by all the beautiful things you shared with me about each other. I'm so glad that it was meaningful for you and for your family and friends. That means so much to me. It was a pleasure working with you!

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Millard Avenue L3Y 2A4 Newmarket (Ontario)

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