Photo credit: Ciuffa photography

When you and your partner decide to have a wedding, it requires some legalities as both of you will be registered as “married” in the Canadian Vital Statistics records. You have decided on the date that works best for you, your friends and family. Now what? It’s time to get your marriage license.

What is a marriage license?

Think of marriage license like an application. It is a piece of paper that you bring to your wedding. You’ll sign it in front of an officiant or marriage commissioner. Your officiant and witnesses will also sign it. After that, your marriage license gets sent off by your officiant to the Vital Statistics Agency. After three weeks, you will receive your legal Marriage Certificate that confirms you are legally wedded in Canada.

Important information to keep in mind.

  • Be sure to buy your marriage licence no more than 90 days before your wedding so that it’s valid when you sign it
  • Either you or your partner has to apply in person.
  • Apply for your marriage license in the province where your wedding is taking place.
  • Search for a marriage license office near you.

Documents and Information required for a marriage license in BC.

After you and your partner decide whether one of you go, or both of you go together, make sure you have all the following information:

Primary identification of BOTH you and your partner.

  • Birth certificate
  • Immigration form
  • Permanent residents card
  • Citizenship card

Information of BOTH you and your partner.

  • Full legal names
  • Birth dates
  • Place of birth
  • Address

Cost and payment

A marriage license cost $100 in Canada across all provinces. Remember to call to make sure what kind of payment your  license office accepts. If you have applied and are approved by AWW society as a donation recipient, remember to keep the receipt so that we can reimburse you after.

As of now, AWW only reimburses marriage licences for qualified applicants of our Elopement and Wedding plans issued in British Columbia. You can help us grant the union of marriage to those faced with terminal illness by donating here.

marriage license bc

What’s next after you have obtained your license?

Read it! Your marriage license consists of information needed for your ceremony.
After you familiarize yourself with your newly acquired license keep it somewhere safe and remember to bring it for signing on your big day.

Congratulations on your first steps to making your wedding day a reality. The next few months may be emotionally and physically stressful. Take care of your mental wellbeing; we wrote some tips on self-care so you can enjoy the process.

Marriage License Appointment Checklist:  AWW- Marriage License Checklist

Author Joann LamJoann Lam
A WIsh to Wed Blogger
She hopes to inspire and positively affect those around her little by little every day.