Frequently asked questions

  1. Can a friend/family member marry us?
    Short answer - probably not! In Ontario only licensed Officiants, some city clerks and Justices of the Peace are able to legally marry people. BUT ... we're happy to perform the legal aspects of a ceremony either during, before or after a ceremony performed by someone who is not licensed!
  2. How far ahead of time should we get the licence?
    Marriage licences are good for 90 days and we generally recommend that you don't leave it until the last minute, especially if either party has been divorced or is not a Canadian citizen.
  3. Will I automatically get my marriage certificate?
    NO!!! And you won't get any notification from the government that they've registered your marriage and they don't automatically send a certificate, YOU HAVE TO APPLY YOURSELVES 6-12 WEEKS AFTER YOUR WEDDING!
  1. How do I get a marriage licence?
    Marriage licenses are issued by municipalities, and you can get married anywhere. You can download the application at ontario.ca then you bring it in with ID and any other documentation (e.g. divorce decree). The cost varies by municipality but is usually around $130-150.
  2. What paperwork does the Officiant do?
    At the wedding your Officiant will complete the licence and the marriage register (kept by the Officiant) and you'll be given the Record of Solemnisation. The signed licence is the legal record of your marriage and the Officiant is responsible for sending it to the Registrar General.
  3. How much can we customize our ceremony?
    There are only three parts of a marriage ceremony which are legally required - statement of intent, witness affirmation and declaration of marriage. Everything else is personal choice including ring exchange, vows, readings, blessings, hand fasting, candle and unity ceremonies, etc.
  1. Do we have to have music?
    Music isn't a requirement but it is traditionally used for the processional (coming down the aisle) and the recessional (going back up the aisle). Some couples also choose to have music while doing the signing, but others choose to sign after the ceremony.
  2. How much does an Officiant charge?
    Fees are set by each Officiant or agency and most Officiants will charge additional fees for travel outside their local area and also for rehearsals. We offer reduced rates Sunday-Thursdays and also offer a Military discount.
  3. How long is a marriage ceremony?
    This depends on your Officiant but our weddings generally run about 15 minutes for a simple ceremony. With entrance and exit and signing we recommend you allow about half an hour.
  1. Should we have a rehearsal?
    It all depends on how big your wedding is going to be - if you have a big wedding party, music, processional, etc we really recommend you have a rehearsal. This gives your Officiant the chance to walk you through from start to finish so everyone knows what they're supposed to do on the day.
  2. Are there costs for travel?
    Yes, most Officiants will charge an additional fee for travel depending on time and distance.
  3. Can we have a prayer or scripture reading in our ceremony?
    As Secular Humanists we don't include any religious elements or language in our ceremonies but we'll be happy to put you in contact with someone who will!