What You Need To Know
Getting Married in British Columbia
Congratulations! You are engaged and want to get married! Now you need a Wedding Celebrant to officiate your marriage in the Okanagan, but have questions on what else you need to know, or do.
Have no fear… As a Celebrant, I’ve put together a list of the most Frequently Asked Questions from couples.
I hope this gives you some answers to help get things rolling.
And remember, we can always arrange a time to speak and help you out even more…
What is a Life-Cycle Celebrant?
A Life-Cycle Celebrant is a modern-day ceremony officiant who creates and performs personalized ceremonies like weddings and celebrations around the life-cycle for everyone, no matter their beliefs. Interested in learning more? Then feel free to read more here: www.celebrantinstitute.org
Can a Celebrant legally marry us?
Yes! If your Celebrant is an ordained Minister and registered with BC Vital Statistics, they are able to sign the Marriage License and Marriage Register.
After your wedding ceremony, your Celebrant sends your license to BC Vital Statistics to register your marriage and you will get your marriage certificate delivered to your home address.
Celebrants are legally qualified to perform weddings within their province, sometimes beyond.
Does the Celebrant sign the Marriage License?
Yes, the witnesses, the couple and the Celebrant as your Officiant are signing your Marriage License and Register.
How much does a Wedding Celebrant charge?
If we are talking about costs of a Celebrant to create and officiate your wedding ceremony you have to be aware that there will be ranges.
It all depends on location, what YOU are looking for, and the level of personalization.
Everything between $350-$2.000, below and beyond also possible in many different locations.
You see, it is difficult to frame the pricing on a Standard base.
No ceremony is the same, each one is unique, reflecting your values, beliefs and your story that brought you to this moment of marrying the person you love.
Celebrants put a lot of work into getting to know you and the creation of your one-of-a-kind ceremony.
Let me put it this way: if you are looking for a simple and straight formal act of signing papers to get married, you will be better off to hire a commissioner.
If you want a personalized ceremony that speaks for you, touches hearts and remains unforgettable think about getting in touch with a Celebrant and ask what they can offer.
They are happy to get to know you and usually offer a no-obligation consultation where you can talk about options and go from there.
How do we get married in BC?
You purchase your Marriage License sometime within 3 months prior to your wedding date (licenses expire after 3 months!): https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/life-events/marriage/marriage-licences
On the day of your wedding you, your witnesses, and your Celebrant/Officiant sign the Marriage License and Marriage Register. Then you are done. Your Celebrant/Officiant takes care of you getting registered in order to receive your Marriage Certificate by mail. Easy! 😊
How can we get our Marriage License?
You pick your most convenient location to purchase your Marriage License from an Issuer with your ID (Birth Certificate, Immigration Form, Citizenship/PR Card): https://connect.health.gov.bc.ca/marriage-offices
What do we need to think about for our wedding ceremony?
- Marriage License
- 2 Witnesses to sign the documents with you
- How many guests are you thinking of?
- Vendors (Venue, Officiant, Planner/Day Of Coordinator, Photographer, Videographer, DJ, Caterer, Florists, others)
- If you like to include any rituals with any items involved, please provide them yourself at the rehearsal/ceremony
- Who will participate in the wedding party?
- Do you have a theme?
How long in advance should we book the Officiant/Vendors?
When you are getting engaged, enjoy your few days of bliss…and then make things happen! Approximately 12-9 months in advance makes sense to have some choices available.
Many venues and officiants are booked up a year in advance.
The later you are taking care of getting your vendors in place, the slimmer your chances to get what and who you want, and it can be a stressful process.
Ask your Celebrant for recommendations, most of them have already worked with fantastic vendors…😊
Do we have to write own vows?
The nice thing is, you CAN (we love it), but you don’t HAVE to, if you are working with a Celebrant.
Whether you write your own vows, or you pick standard vows (ask your Celebrant), or your Celebrant can write your personal vows based on your story – we are here to help and there is no limitation in what you are looking for.
Everything from “Spotlight on!” to “We don’t like being the centre of attention!” is possible.
Aren’t these great options?
Can we include family and friends in the ceremony?
Why not letting them do readings or participating in personalized rituals?
Brainstorm with your Celebrant about options and ideas – this is a fun part to do!
What if we don’t want a traditional/religious ceremony?
Celebrants are here for you if you are looking for a unique ceremony that reflects who you are, your beliefs, values, and your story.
This means, you decide what kind of ceremony you envision for yourself with your individual love and spirituality.
Take the time and talk to a Celebrant about your dreams and visions – they will pretty sure come up with some magnificent unique ideas that speak to you and your loved ones.
What if we don’t have a venue available – can we still get married?
Celebrants are legally certified to sign the Marriage License and Register wherever you will get married (within the province).
All you need is a Celebrant/Officiant and 2 witnesses that hike up the mountain with you, stand with you in your backyard, or dip their toes in the water with you at your beach wedding.
Having said that, please always check on public locations such as beaches and parks – some regions and spots require permissions or weddings may not even be allowed.
How long are ceremonies on an average?
It always depends on what you are looking for and what you want to include into your ceremony.
But on behalf of your guests’ buttocks and their engaged anticipation, your average ceremony should not take longer than 30 minutes, including processional, recessional, and everything in between.
Many officiants experience a nice flow and good vibe with 15-25(ish) minutes ceremonies from short and simple to more elaborate weddings.
What do we need for a vow renewal or anniversary ceremony?
Just bring your love, your memories, your rings, and/or meaningful items for the occasion…:D