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Imagine turquoise waters, snow-capped mountains, overarching evergreen trees, metropolitan cities immersed in the middle of the wilderness and the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. Congratulations, you’ve just pictured Canada! Because of all of the above and more, we’re starting a three-part series on how, why, and where you should get married in Canada. Buckle up and get your airport tickets ready, part one is ready for take off!
Photo Credit: Ameris Photography
- With such a diverse landscape, you can find the venue of your dreams somewhere in Canada! Not to mention, if you’re coming from the United States, the exchange rate is in your favor and planning a budget friendly wedding will be even easier! On average, an American wedding runs you about $27,000 where that same wedding in Canada will be around $17,000. All in all, it’s hard to find a more picturesque setting that will also save you a significant amount of money!
- You can marry someone of the same or opposite sex! Not to mention they have some of the best LGBTQ-friendly honeymoon destinations. Canada believes in love and wants to be there to support yours.
Photo Credit: Clean Plate Pictures
Requirements for Getting Married in Canada
- Is it necessary to be a resident?
- No! Some territories require an enforced waiting period between getting your license and the ceremony itself, so just be sure to look at the Canadian Tourism Board for that information.
- What will I need when applying for a marriage license?
- Both you and your fiancé will need to be at least 18 years old and provide either a passport or a birth certificate. If you have been in a previous marriage, you will also need to provide a proof of divorce or death.
- How much is a marriage license?
- This depends on what territory you are in. It can range anywhere from $20CAD (about $15 USD) to $120CAD ($90USD).
- What’s the process?
- Very similar to the US, you will have to apply for a marriage license in the territory that you are getting married. Once you pay and show proof that you are eligible for marriage (see marriage license application question) you will be approved. You will then have to wait your enforced waiting period based on province before the actual ceremony. After the ceremony, you will have a temporary proof of marriage that is filed with the Office of Vital Statistics. If you want to receive the official license, you will have to contact their office.
- Are there any religious requirements for the ceremony?
- No, it is totally up to you. If you do decide to perform a religious ceremony, they can be officiated by the appropriate parties which are available in all provinces and territories. However, some may have requirements surrounding the number of witnesses present and different wedding traditions that will need to be performed.
Photo Credit: Matt + Lena Photography
Best Canadian Wedding Destinations
Don’t worry, we’ll go more in-depth on our favorite Canada venues to get married at in our next segment! To kick it off, we want you to check out these 10 breathtaking cities to consider for your wedding or even honeymoon:
- Calgary, Alberta
- Toronto, Ontario
- St. John’s, Newfoundland
- Whistler, British Columbia
- Banff, Alberta
- Montreal, Quebec
- Vancouver, British Columbia
- Quebec City, Quebec
- Halifax, Nova Scotia
- Muskoka, Ontario
With an array of landscapes and popularity, one of these cities may be perfect for you.
Photo Credit: Katch Studios
Canadian Wedding Traditions
While very similar to US traditions, French roots definitely come into play as well. Consider adding some of these fun and unique ideas to your wedding week!
- Before weddings, they have a special dance to raise money to pay for the ceremony and reception
- The bride and groom meet before the wedding and drive together to the church. On the way there, the family follows in a procession with all of the windows down, yelling to the bystanders, who in return, yell out their best marriage advice and well wishes for the new couple.
- Canadians do a money dance with a twist! During the reception, the unmarried siblings of the bride and groom coordinate a fun dance complete with eclectic colored and patterned socks. Guests will throw money at the comical dancers and all of the proceeds are contributed to the new couple and them starting their lives together. The funnier the better!
Photo Credit: Jordan Brittley
Now you have to ask yourself the question, is Canada right for my wedding? From the exchange rate to the undeniable beauty, we find it hard to ignore! If you do decide to venture to our northern neighbor, consider incorporating a few Canadian traditions or themes to your wedding. Maybe even an authentic maple syrup as a party gift! Stay tuned for more as we give you the inside scoop into your potential new wedding destination. Until next time, eh?!