In the late 1970s Ted Simmons, a probation officer and former clergyman, became concerned about the way wedding ceremonies outside the church were performed. In his work in the courts, he saw couples arrive for a civil ceremony with a Justice of the Peace. After only a very few minutes, they would leave the office married, but looking crestfallen. The wedding ceremony was over.
He believed that many couples wanted a ceremony with more dignity, meaning and significance than this brief legalizing event. This significance was traditionally found in church related ceremony. However, in to-day’s society, many people live their lives outside the sphere of organized religion and do not have access to these sacralising events.
With his background as a clergyman, Ted felt that he could provide this service in a non-church setting. Thus, with the assistance of his wife, who was a church organist, he opened the Wedding Chapel in Hess Village. The first wedding ceremony was held in May 1980.
In March of 2008, a fire destroyed the chapel in Hess Village, so a new chapel had to be created at, 100 Main Street East in Hamilton. In addition, historical sites were also added to wedding options and Heritage Weddings & Coordinators was born.
From 2020 to 2023, the pandemic took a toll on the business of weddings everywhere. As part of restructuring, the Heritage Wedding chapel move again, this time to 133 Ottawa Street North. The vibe on Ottawa Street is positive and optimistic—more suitable for weddings.
For over 40 years, our Wedding Chapels and historical locations have been providing beautiful settings and meaningful ceremonies for couples, their families and their friends.