Deciding to get married is an exciting thing, and of course, the wedding is a lot of fun – but without taking care of the legal stuff, a wedding is just an expensive party. In Ontario there are a few things you need to have in order to make sure you are legally married.

Marriage Licence

In order to get married, you will need to obtain a marriage licence, luckily you can pick these up at most city halls in the province. When applying for a marriage licence, both you and your future spouse need to be present, and you will need to bring 2 pieces of government issued ID:

  • government-issued birth certificate, including any change of name certificates
  • valid passport
  • record of immigrant landing
  • Canadian Citizenship Card
  • valid driver’s licence
  • valid Ontario Photo Card

Getting Remarried: If this is not your first trip down the aisle, you will also need to bring proof of divorce in the form of one of the following:

  • the final decree
  • the final judgement
  • a certificate of divorce

Publication of Banns

If you and your future spouse are members of a church and attend regularly, you have the option of being married by a publication of banns. During the three weeks leading up to your ceremony, the banns are announced during church services. Please note that if you or your spouse has been married before, you will need to apply for a marriage licence.

After “I do”: Marriage Certificate

Once you are officially married, and that marriage has been registered, you are able to apply for your marriage certificate. This is different from a marriage licence and is used to show proof you are legally married, apply for certain social benefits, settle an estate and change your last name.

While the legal parts of planning aren’t nearly as exciting as say picking out your dress, they are equally important. Making sure that you have everything you need to be legally married will reduce your stress and ensure that everything runs smoothly.