Many people say that Niagara Falls is the Honeymoon Capital of the World, a reputation spanning over hundreds of years. While this is true, Ontario is a "wedding-Mecca" in general, offering every type of nuptial in every imaginable setting. Maybe you are a local, looking to figure out civic marriage process before you get started. On the other hand, perhaps your home is on the other side of the planet, looking for a fun destination weddings.
Regardless of whether you are getting married at Casa Loma--or in your backyard--the procedure is exactly the same.
My name is Brother Jeremy and I am a registered wedding officiant serving all of Southern Ontario. If you have any questions, please drop me an email.
Who Can Officiate A Wedding In Ontario?
While your bestie may be pressuring you to perform the wedding, ask them if they are registered to solemnize marriages in Ontario. This designation is attributed to both religious and secular officiants, some working for the government and others in a private setting. Examples of qualified officiants include: judges, city clerks, Rabbis, pastors and humanist celebrants. Each is assigned a unique identification number, used to complete the marriage license after the ceremony is performed.
For religious couples, there is (in effect) two marriage ceremonies. In other words, while the civic marriage binds the two legally, the Bible ceremony does so before God. Perhaps religious is not the right term, alternatively the term "traditional" can be more appropriate.
Ontario Marriage License
Here is an a blank copy of an Ontario Marriage License. You will need to purchase one from City Hall prior to your intended date of marriage. It is valid for a period of 90 days from the date of purchase. Your copy will come partially filled out, with the personal details included by the signatures blank. Do not write on this document; hand the complete wedding package to the officiant on the date of the wedding.
If you are looking to get your Toronto marriage license click here.
If you are looking for your Markham marriage license click here.
If you are looking for your Whitby marriage license click here.
If you are looking for your Oshawa marriage license click here.
As with many things related to the government, the civil wedding ceremony is rather dull and straight forward. To simplify the matter, the officiant needs to ask:
1) Whether the couple is "qualified" to go forth with the wedding, provided that there are no unresolved issues (such as someone being lawfully married to someone else).
2) If the couple each understand the nature of the commitment and consent to go forward.
Unlike traditional weddings, there is no requirement for rings, vows, speeches, processionals or wedding dresses. While they do much to enrich the function, they are not required under law.
Provided that all the requirements are made, the wedding can be performed at any venue within the province. Even if you originally chose to get married in Niagara Falls, you can easily switch it to Toronto if circumstances change.
Here are some elements of a Traditional wedding ceremony:
2) Arched wedding canopy
3) Bible/Scripture reading
5) Biblical marriage license
If you vow to do something, you promise to follow through. Perhaps the biggest promise that you can ever make, these commitments are a cornerstone of the traditional wedding ceremony.
Some examples include:
I Promise To...
1) Be your biggest friend, ally, and confidente.
2) Remind you why I chose you, day after day.
3) Put our family first.
4) Listen to your secrets and keep your promises.
5) Lift you up when you are down.
6) Emphasize compassion over vengence.
7) Be your biggest fan.
8) Walk beside you on our Faith Walk.
9) Slow down and enjoy the small details, the daily, the mundane.
10) Be the husband/wife that you deserve.
You have probally heard the popular refrain "for richer or for poorer, in sickness or in health, from this day forward as long as you both shall life"?
This is based on the Bible, mandating eternal marriage between one man and one woman. It has its room in the Genesis narrative, where God took a rib from Adam and gave it to Eve. While we look-and act-differently, we are equal in the eyes of the Almighty. Each person is given unique gifts and talents, each with a unique personality and gender. We must use all of our faculties in the service of Goodness, starting with treating our spouses as they deserve.
The wedding ceremony is the first date of this journey, starting with each party illustrating their intentions before friends, family, and God.
Name Change After Marriage (in Ontario)
Western Tradition dictates that a bride takes her husband's last name. It is not a hard process, much simpler than changing your name for other reasons. The term used is "assume" and requires a trip to Service Ontario or other Government offices.
Before making your appointment, make sure that you have all of the required documentation/identification.
With respect to each office, bring the documents that you want to reflect your assumed name.
2) Driver's license
3) Health Card (OHIP)
You will need your marriage license, not the record of somenization that the officiant gave to you after the ceremony.
Ontario Marriage Certificate
After your wedding ceremony you will need to sign some legal documents. They need to be signed by:
1) Husband and wife
3) Two (2) witnesses.
Once the paperwork is complete it is sent to the Provincial Registrar in Ottawa.
After waiting a couple weeks, please click here and order your permenant copy. You will use this to change all of your documents, as illustrated above.
You can choose either the short or long form copy.