Civil Marriage Ceremony Applicant’s Check List
- Obtain a Marriage License Application at your municipal office
- Obtain a valid Marriage License in Ontario
- Complete a Civil Marriage Solemnization Checklist with Marriage Officiant
- Pay all required fees (included in this package)
- Review Civil Marriage Ceremony Guidelines (included in this package)
- Determine a location for the Ceremony
- Make arrangements for 2 witnesses
- Choose Vows for your Civil Marriage Ceremony
(All fees payable in advance)
It is recommended that the marriage license be purchased 3 months before the proposed wedding date.
Identification is required when purchasing a marriage license. Original birth certificate and driver’s license. Photocopies are not accepted. Marriage Officiant will advise if other documentation is needed.
Civil Marriage Service Guidelines
1. The Township of Black River-Matheson currently offers civil marriage services. The service is a non-denominational and dignified ceremony, which adheres to the requirements of the Marriage Act for the Province of Ontario.
2. Civil Marriage ceremonies are a minimum of 15 minutes. However, they can last up to 40 minutes depending on the chosen vows. The service time booked would be approximately one (1) hour to allow for unexpected delays, photo opportunities and use of interpreter if required.
3. Civil Marriage Ceremonies can take place anywhere in the province of Ontario.
4. Services can also be conducted in the Council Chambers. The Chambers are available during regular business hours 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.
5. It is recommended that a pre-ceremony meeting be scheduled with the Marriage Officiant five (5) days prior to the ceremony.
6. Alcohol or stimulants are not to be used by the Applicants or their witnesses prior to or during the Ceremony. If the Marriage Officiant has reason to believe that alcohol or other substance have been used, the Ceremony will not proceed.
7. It is the Applicant’s responsibility to provide an interpreter if they do not speak English or French and/or require language assistance. The interpreter cannot be one of the witnesses. The interpreter shall be required to sign a form confirming that he/she has interpreted the wedding ceremony.
8. There is no minimum age requirement to be a witness, however, it is recommended the individual be at least 16 years of age. A witness must be able to understand the importance of the service and be able to provide evidence of such at a later date, if required. It is the Applicant’s responsibility to provide the witnesses.
9. The Record of Solemnization of Marriage provided at the ceremony is not a legal record. Approximately 12 weeks after the ceremony you may apply to the Office of the Registrar General to obtain an official Certificate of Marriage.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What documents are needed for a Civil Marriage Service?
Before meeting with the Marriage Officiant you should have completed a Marriage License Application and purchased an Ontario Marriage License (valid for three (3) months following its date of issue.)
2. Who may officiate at our wedding?
For a Civil Marriage, only the Clerk of the Township and appointed Marriage Officiant may perform the ceremony.
3. Where can we hold our wedding?
A ceremony can be performed anywhere in the province of Ontario.
4. Do we have to purchase our Marriage License in Black River-Matheson to be married in the municipality?
No. You may purchase your Marriage License anywhere in the Province of Ontario.
5. Are witnesses required for a Civil Marriage Ceremony?
Yes, the couple must have two (2) witnesses present during the ceremony, preferably over 16 years of age.
6. May we include readings from the Bible or have a Blessing at our ceremony?
While the Clerk/Marriage Officiant may not perform a religious ceremony, in keeping with the spirit of the Ontario Marriage Act which requires civil ceremonies to be “non-denominational”, couples may wish to have someone other than the Clerk/Marriage Officiant provide a reading or a blessing.
7. Will the Clerk/Marriage Officiant marry same-sex partners?
Yes. There is a constitutional requirement in Ontario to issue marriage licenses.
8. Who registers our Civil Marriage?
All parties must sign the Record of Solemnization and the Statement of Marriage. The Marriage Officiant will forward the Statement of Marriage to the Office of the Registrar General and the Record of Solemnization is given to the couple.
9. How do I change my last name?
After the marriage ceremony, there are three options either spouse may consider in regards to retaining, assuming, or legally changing their last name;
Option 1: Continue to use the same last name
Option 2: Assume the use of the spouse’s last name
Option 3: Legally change the last name
If either individual would like to proceed to changing the last name, you must contact Service Ontario. This can only be done once you have received a copy of your Marriage Certificate.
For more information on Civil services, Please contact Cassandra Child, Clerk/Treasurer/Marriage Officiant:
Phone 705-273-2313 ext. 311