If you’re reading this article, chances are you just got engaged or you and your partner have finally decided to tie the knot. Congratulations on this new chapter of your lives! Now the planning begins. Before you dive into the nitty-gritty like choosing the venue and wedding dress, it’s best to check out the legal requirements for a smooth wedding planning journey.
We’ve listed the steps to help you understand the process easier.
Getting Married in Ontario
Step One. Apply for a Marriage License
Before you can get married, you need a marriage license. If you’re having a church wedding, you can choose to get a banns form from your church.
For those getting a marriage license, you need to prepare 2 pieces of government-issued identification. They accept:
- government-issued birth certificate, including any change of name certificates
- valid passport
- record of immigrant landing
- Canadian Citizenship Card
- valid driver’s license
- valid Ontario Photo Card
When you have that ready, you can apply for a marriage license online. Fill up the form truthfully with your partner. Download and print the file so that you can date it and sign. When that’s done, you will receive an appointment number. Because of the pandemic, getting your license is by appointment only. You can check your municipality’s website for the appointment link as well as the fees you need to be ready for.
On the day of your appointment, only one of you will be allowed to go inside due to the health protocols. As long as you have the identification requirements, application form, and appointment schedule, you can have your license in 15 minutes.
Step two. Plan your Wedding.
Due to COVID-19, only a legal wedding officiant, the couple, and two witnesses are needed for this special affair. You can choose between an elopement style of wedding or an in-office signing of papers.
You can rent out a small venue, have it in the officiant’s office, or even at home. Make sure all health and safety protocols are followed for the welfare of everyone in attendance.
Step three. Get Married
On the day of your wedding, your chosen officiant will perform the marriage ceremony and is in charge of giving you the Record of Solemnization of Marriage. Your two witnesses will sign the marriage license, completing it. Once that’s done, your officiant registers your license to the province of Ontario. You can order your marriage certificate 10 to 12 weeks after your wedding date.
Step four. Getting your marriage certificate.
You must order your marriage certificate. This is the legal record of your marriage. Once you have this, you have the legal document proving your union under the eyes of the law.
The province of Ontario has a good website to check out for marriage services. We encourage you to check out your municipality’s website for its own rules and regulations, too.