Requirements for a Legal Marriage in Ontario
The Marriage Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. M.3, section 20 (1) states: “No person shall solemnize a marriage unless he or she is authorized by or under section 24 or is registered under this section as a person authorized to solemnize marriage.”
We are officiants licensed by the Province of Ontario to provide marriage services. We have received training from and are sponsored by the Canadian Unitarian Council. For the purpose of performing a marriage ceremony, we are legally equivalent to a Minister or Priest, Justice of the Peace, Judge or Marriage Commissioner.
Lay Chaplains are not members of the clergy but we are happy to work with you to incorporate your own faith tradition into your ceremony, if you wish. We can perform weddings anywhere in the Province of Ontario but we concentrate on eastern Ontario, especially Kingston and the surrounding area.
In Ontario, you may not be legally married by a friend or relative unless they are registered to perform a marriage under the Marriage Act. However, we are happy to include a friend or relative who wishes to be involved in your ceremony. They are very welcome to write special wishes to be read during the service, to offer another reading or special music or help to assist with any portion of the ceremony that does not include the required legal wording.
You must have a marriage license before a wedding ceremony can be performed. Marriage licenses are issued by local municipalities (Kingston, Napanee, Gananoque, Prince Edward County,) to all eligible couples. Click on one of the links below.