Marriage License:

This is the most usual procedure. A marriage license is required for a legally valid ceremony. A marriage license may be obtained from any authorized office for the issue of marriage license in the Province.

In Victoria, licenses may be purchased (CAN$100) at the Vital Statistics office at 818 Fort Street (phone 250-952-2681), Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, or from any Coast Capital Insurance outlet, which also have Saturday hours (9:30 AM to 5 PM). If divorced, you might want to have your divorce papers with you, but at the Coast Capital outlet near here, I'm told they take the word of the divorced person.

Until the forms are reprinted, two men may strike through "Bride" of "Bridegroom" on the left, and "Bride" on the right, writing "Groom". Two women may simply strike through "groom" in "Bridegroom". The couple would decide whom to enter on which side, but elder on the left is common.

A license is valid for use for three months of the date of issue. The license should be brought with you when you meet the Minister to plan the ceremony.

A Ceremony Independent of a Civil Contract:

A church marriage ceremony may take place independently of a civil contract having the force of law. This is the normal procedure in most European countries. Unless a marriage certificate is produced in advance, the ceremony will include a declaration that this is not a legal contract within the meaning of the Marriage Act of British Columbia.

This option was used by same-sex couples in conjunction with a marriage contract, prior gay marriages became legal.

Requirement as to Age:

No marriage of any person under the age of nineteen years can take place without the prior consent of his or her parents or guardians.


Place of Ceremony:

There are many appropriate places for a ceremony to be held. The homes of couples, parents, and of friends may be used. Outside settings such as parks may be selected, but alternate plans should be made in case of rain. The First Unitarian Church of Victoria may be rented.


Professional musicians or friends may provide the music.

Marriage Certificate:

In British Columbia a certificate of marriage will be mailed by the registrar to the address of the first person on the marriage license about two weeks after the ceremony.


No members of the wedding party or ushers should drink alcohol before the service. By law, the service cannot proceed, if in the opinion of the person officiating, either the bride or groom is under the influence of liquor or drugs.

The officiant will not perform a ceremony where there is an open bar or if any person present seems intoxicated. It Would Be Best If No Alcohol Is Served Prior To The Ceremony.


When the service takes place indoors, Photographs may be taken as follows:

  1. Flash cameras may be used for photographs of the Bride arriving, for the signing of the registers, the kiss, and for a photograph of the recessional after the register has been signed.
  2. Photographs taken during the service may only be taken without a flash.
  3. Professional photographers should be made aware of these stipulations.

Taping and Videotaping:

There is no problem with the use of a tape recorder or the videotaping of the ceremony, as long as the equipment is used unobtrusively in a way that does not detract from the overall atmosphere.

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Last modified: Saturday, 19-Mar-2016 09:10:44 PDT