Marriage commissioners provide couples with flexible nonreligious options for their wedding. Any person performing a marriage ceremony in B.C. must be registered with the Vital Statistics Agency. Use our online search to find a marriage commissioner in your area.
COVID-19 UPDATE: Marriage Commissioners have been advised of the Provincial Health Officer’s restrictions on gatherings, and her advice to the public that ceremonies and celebrations involving large gatherings be postponed at this time. They are also aware of their options of either to proceed or not with weddings as they see fit.
One option presented to Marriage Commissioners is they may require further restrictions on the number of guests at wedding ceremonies to five people; the couple and two witnesses. If social distancing is not being practiced, Marriage Commissioners may refuse to proceed until the ceremony can be managed in an appropriate manner. Large weddings should not be planned at this time.
Some couples are being creative. For example: the Marriage Commissioner meets the couple and two witnesses in the back yard while guests are up on a deck, or they have the wedding in a field where the Marriage Commissioner, the couple, and witnesses are social distancing at one end of a field, while guests form a semi circle further back in the field. But again it is emphasised, that large gatherings should not be occurring.
The Agency is trying to keep Marriage Commissioners from exposure, and therefore the ceremony should remain somewhat isolated. If there is a way of including a greater number of people from a distance, Marriage Commissioners have the flexibility to work with the couple to plan an appropriate and safe ceremony.
The Marriage Act prohibits couples from being legally married virtually or remotely. Both parties to the marriage must be present in person along with the officiant and two witnesses.
Couples deciding to postpone their wedding to a date after their marriage licence has expired may request a refund directly from Vital Statistics by calling 250 952-2681 or toll-free within B.C. 1 888 876-1633.
Find out how much the services of a marriage commissioner cost by reviewing the fees listed on this page.
Search for Marriage Commissioners
To search for marriage commissioners in your area, click on Search for Marriage Commissioners.
Marriage Commissioner Fees
A base civil ceremony includes one hour for ceremony preparation, meeting with the couple, rehearsal, travel time, and performing the ceremony.
|Base Civil Ceremony||$75.00|
Marriage commissioners are permitted to charge additional fees for the following:
- time spent over the one hour included in the base civil ceremony: $25/hour billed in 15-minute increments
- mileage (distance travelled to and from the marriage ceremony and rehearsal): $0.55/km
- parking or ferry costs (if applicable)
Marriage commissioners ask for fees and provide a receipt before the marriage ceremony to avoid interruptions before or after the ceremony. However, the couple getting married is responsible for any additional costs incurred by last minute changes.
Note: Vital Statistics does not authorize marriage commissioners to provide wedding planning, or consultation services.