frequently asked questions

  • Weddings

  • Funeral/Memorial

  • Groups

We are planning a destination wedding. What do we need to know?

Couples are free to have a destination wedding and have a legal marriage ceremony while away. This means you are legally married in whatever country you visited. Be aware of the rules and requirements of the resort in advance. Some require a 2-3 week advance stay, so bloodwork and other tests can be completed before they will issue a marriage license prior to the ceremony. After the ceremony, you will have to obtain your marriage certificate from that country. The marriage will not be registered in Canada.

If for some reason, the couple wants a divorce, the process must be done in the country you were legally married. A couple seeking a divorce had to go to the foreign country and reside there for 3 weeks or more in a hotel while the divorce paperwork is completed in that country. This resulted in added expenses, time off work and loss of vacation time, as both parties had to be present.

If you are Canadian, it is strongly suggested to have a small legal wedding ceremony in Canada before you travel to the resort for a "symbolic" wedding.  Often the resort will ask for the record of solemnization which proves you have already been legally married. It will not matter what date you celebrate your anniversary each year, however the couple must remember whenever asked on formal documents (taxes, etc.),they must state the date of the legal ceremony - not the symbolic one!

It will make it easier now and in the future, to obtain any marriage related documents, by being married in the country which the couple resides.

We have our destination wedding already booked and there is no time to have a ceremony here first, so we'll just get married in Ontario when we get back.

WRONG! You will be considered married in a foreign country and another legal ceremony cannot take place after you return. It is very important to get married first, before you travel for a destination wedding.

How much does a wedding license cost?

In Ontario, Marriage Licenses are available from most municipal city hall offices. Each region can set their own price. Prices vary from region to region. 

Doing a little research and comparing prices, may save you some money. A license purchased in Ontario is valid anywhere in the province.

Prices start at $120 and go up.

When should I book my officiant?

As soon as the reception venue is finalized or booked, the next call should be to book the Officiant. At the very least nine (9) months to one (1) year in advance of the date.

** In 2021 and 2022 ** - it is suggested 1.5 years in advance!

We are a same sex couple wanting extremely special ceremony. Do you have any suggestions on how a same sex couple can include their special journey of love in their ceremony?

You can tell your story, if you wish, during the ceremony or have a customized video prepared to play. There are many different unity ceremonies that can be done as well (handfasting, sand, candle and more) or you can involve your parents or all of your guests at the ceremony.

You can even state your views on inclusion, equality and same-sex marriage during the ceremony.

Are there specific locations to have a wedding ceremony or can couples be married anywhere they want? (Such as the 9th Hole of a Golf Course)

Couples can be married pretty much anywhere they would like. As long as there are two witnesses and the officiant. There needs to be somewhere to sign the Marriage Registry.

Couples can be married in the backyard of family or friends, any reception venue or other property as long as they have the permission of the owner to be there.

Do you help a couple customize their ceremony so it is very personal and uniquely their own?

Yes. Couples can have the entire ceremony customized with the exception of the legal statements required by law to be said by the officiant. From including a unity ceremony - there are many unique ones - to adding time capsules or remembering family who are no longer with us.

We would like to have our guests involved in the ceremony. Are there ways to do that?

If the couple agrees, I like to warm the guests up a bit before we get started and instruct them on their special role in the ceremony. The guests are excited to play their part and it makes for a unique experience.

We both have different cultural backgrounds. How can we include our cultural and religious traditions?

One of the easiest ways to handle a multi-cultural wedding is to allow one culture to dominate the wedding ceremony while the other culture dominates the wedding reception.

We addressed this in a blog post. Check it out here

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