Planning

Preparation is key to a great ceremony


The following list outlines several wedding ceremony planning issues that should be reviewed, discussed and decided upon prior to the actual event.

This list is also available as a PDF document. Click here to view, save and/or optionally print the following list.



  1. What's required before we can have the ceremony?

    The bride and groom must be 18 years of age, or possess the necessary written consent in order to obtain a marriage licence. Contact a registry agent for details if consent is necessary.

    All couples must have a marriage licence which can be obtained from a registry agent. The licence is valid for three months. The registry agent must sign the marriage licence for it to be valid.

    To obtain a marriage licence, both the bride and groom must be present at the registry and have proof of their identity (e.g. driver's licence, passport, birth certificate). If either person has been divorced, final divorce papers must be provided. Each person must also provide the following information: the full name and the birthplace of their father, the maiden and full name of their mother and her birthplace.

    The marriage licence is provided to the marriage commissioner and following the wedding ceremony, this document will be completed and sent by the marriage commissioner to the government for registration of the marriage. The married couple receive proof of their marriage in the form of a civil marriage statement completed and signed by the marriage commissioner following the wedding ceremony.

    Two adult witnesses are required for the ceremony.

    Couples may be married in the same day they obtain their licence. There is no waiting period.

  2. What are the fees?

    Licence: Marriage licences fees are determined by the registry agent you choose. They are usually about $75.

    Ceremony: $250 for a simple service. More elaborate services can be negotiated. Travel and rehearsal fees, if applicable, may apply and are to be paid directly to the marriage commissioner. Fees are payable to Graeme Morton – Marriage Commissioner and due prior to the wedding date.

  3. Where can I have the ceremony performed?

    Any suitable location of your choice. Together we will design a ceremony that is unique for you. Should you have any special requests for your ceremony, feel free to discuss them with me. If the ceremony is to be held outdoors, you may want to consider planning for an alternate venue in case of foul weather.

  4. Set a date/time and location for the pre-wedding meeting(s).
  5. Set a date/time and location for the rehearsal (if required).
  6. Set a date/time and location for the ceremony.
  7. What will be the dress requirements (formal or informal)?
  8. How many people will be in the wedding party?
  9. Number of guests expected?
  10. Who will be your marriage solemnization witnesses (need 2 witnesses)?
  11. Will rings be exchanged? If so, who will carry the rings?
  12. Is anyone giving away the bride?
  13. Is anyone doing a special reading, song or other performance?
  14. Is a table arranged for signing the documents?