GETTING MARRIED IN A UNITARIAN CEREMONY
II. GENERAL INFORMATION
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
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
First Unitarian Church of Victoria
may be rented.
Professional musicians or friends may provide the music.
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:
- 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.
- Photographs taken during the service may only be taken without a
- Professional photographers should be made aware of these
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.