As you begin to plan your wedding, you may think that it is a fun idea to have a friend or close family member officiate your wedding. Now, depending on where you live in Canada, this may be possible, however, if you live in Ontario, one must be legally allowed to officiate weddings. In order for that to happen, this individual must be:
- A Judge or Justice of the Peace
- A City clerk employee who is able to conduct city hall weddings
- A priest, rabbi, or other clergy members in good standing to officiate weddings
None of the above? You may need to opt for an alternative solution. Here are some ways that your friend or family member can participate and you will still be legally married.
Option #1: Have two ceremonies:
If you really want to have a friend officiate your wedding, you can opt to have a legal ceremony first and then your full ceremony with your friend on your wedding day. The only things you will need for this ceremony are a marriage license and two witnesses.
Option #2: Have an officiant oversee the proceedings:
Some officiants will allow your friend or family member to ‘officiate’ the wedding with their oversight. They will need to step in for the legal part of the ceremony, but the more sentimental parts can be conducted by your friend or family member.
Option #3: Have your friend become ordained:
While it is tricky and fairly costly– it is possible for laypeople to become ordained as clergy in Ontario. The Humanist Association offers non-denominational officiant training for those wishing to become ordained. However, the training is costly and time-consuming– taking over a year to complete. Consider this option carefully.
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If your friend says yes– celebrate! Your ceremony will be unique and incredibly meaningful. However, since they are relatively inexperienced– do them a favour by setting them up for success:
- Write a ceremony script that includes important points and any legal requirements needed for a wedding ceremony.
- Give them a dress code: a black business suit works well to make sure they look good without overpowering you or your wedding party.
- Provide a microphone
Remember, that having a friend or close family member officiate your wedding seems like a really great idea, but can be costly and time-consuming. So, don’t be offended if your friend says ‘thanks, but respectfully, no’. You can still find a meaningful way to involve them in your day.
Why must Canada always make you jump through loops and make it so expensive to do anything? Seriously! So unless you are in an organized cult, like Catholics and such, you can perform a wedding. Have we not proved there is no such thing as god and all that crap? Also, organized cults should have no place in politics. Although I do see why they are, as like politicians they all lie and bury their dirty secrets.
I want my cousin to ordain my marriage how do i go through with it what would he need
Your marriage is NOT “ordained”. If you want your cousin to conduct a marriage ceremony, it’s possible for that to be done, if he/she is a licensed wedding officiant with the Province of Ontario. If this is not the case, hire a licensed wedding officiant, & that person will guide your cousin through what she/he is permitted to do. As for the legal aspects of the ceremony…the licensed wedding officiant will do that part.
I am a Nova Scotia Administrative Justice of the Peace and officiates NS weddings. I have a close friend who has moved to Ontario and would like for me to officiate for her. Is there a process I can be appointed in Ontario for one ceremony ?
I would like to be able to officiate weddings , how do I start the research. I am a layperson.
Hello, a member of my family asked me to officiate a wedding. I’m an Ontario resident, they’re in Manitoba, and getting married in Manitoba too. Does this information still apply? Thanks in advance.
I am a Minister of the Universal Life Church Monastery since 2016. I am allowed to perform a civil wedding in Ontario, CA?
I’m wondering the same thing…..
Dear Sonia Reynolds,
Thank you for the information. You may want to edit the first paragraph of the introduction to this page/site. I assume you wanted “happen” instead of “happy”.