There is a lot of confusion about destination marriages in Canada. Marriages are covered under two distinct statutes. One is the Canada Marriage Act, but then each province has its own Marriage Act. All provinces are not the same. As a marriage Officiant in Ontario I can only speak to how legalizing a destination wedding works in Ontario. You don't 'have' to do anything to make your marriage legal. But you do have to take certain steps to have your marriage registered and to be able to access all of the benefits to which you are entitled once married. Make things easy one yourself and avoid any future confusion and additional expenses. Obtain a marriage license from your municipal office. You may be married the same day that you receive your license. Locate an Officiant who will perform a 'quick ceremony' for you. Shouldn't take more than about 10 minutes. I hove done them at restaurants and at fast food places. The Officiant then looks after the registration of your marriage. Then go and enjoy your 'wedding' at your destination. No one other than the bride, groom and Officiant needs to know about the registration ceremony. Oh, don't forget about the 2 witnesses - often strangers are more than happy to be witnesses.
I have been told that the Dominican will no longer perform a Destination Wedding unless you can prove that your marriage has been registered in your home country. Best to do the marriage registration ceremony about a week before you leave for your destination wedding.
Two couples have told me that it can cost thousands of dollars to have a destination wedding registered in Ontario. You cannot register your own marriage - you need an Officiant/clergy registration # [sometimes a municipal clerk will do this for you - but don't count on it]. A lawyer cannot register your marriage as they do not have a registration #.