Marriage Ceremony Rites & Usages

BC Marriage Ceremonies

  • All ceremonies performed by Clergy Support Memorial Church clergy must be conducted by Appointed or Ordained ministers and registered with Vital Statistics.
  • We do not conduct civil ceremonies.
  • Our clergy are required to display their credentials to all couples they meet.
  • All marriage ceremony requirements below apply.
  • A BC Marriage Licence and Registration of Marriage form is required.

For a marriage to be legal in BC it must meet the following requirements:

  • The marriage licence must be valid on the date of marriage.
  • The Marriage Licence and Registration of Marriage document must be given to the minister.
  • At the end of the marriage ceremony, the minister may provide the couple with a proof of marriage document.
  • The ceremony must take place in BC.
  • The ceremony must have the required text according to the Marriage Act, e.g. the words of impediment.
  • The minister’s registration with the provincial government must be current.
  • The couple and 2 witnesses over the age of 18 must be physically in the presence of the minister marrying them.
  • Marriage by proxy, is not allowed.
  • Couples may add certain elements to the ceremony: e.g. the unity candle, the handfasting ribbon around the hands at the vows, wine ceremony,  prayers and readings and blessings from various religions. If in doubt about a particular element run it by the Chief Governing Official.

The witnesses and the couple must meet the following requirements:

  • The couple must 19 years of age or older.
  • Witnesses must be 19 years of age or older.
  • Cannot be cognitively impaired.
  • None of the wedding party may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • The couple and the witnesses must be fluent in the languages being spoken at the marriage ceremony and fully understand the English documents they have to sign.
  • If a person in the wedding party (couple and/or witnesses) are not fluent in English, an interpreter/translator may be required – talk to the minister marrying you.
  • When an interpreter/translator is required, it’s the couple’s responsibility to provide one.
  • During the ceremony, the ‘Registration of Marriage’ must be signed by the couple, 2 witnesses and the minister.
  • Your Marriage Register must be used for every marriage ceremony.
  • Any other requirements the Church should add by notifying the minister.
  • If any of these rules raise questions, please discuss them with your mentor or the Church’s Chief Governing Official.