Civil Marriage Ceremonies Performed by Municipal Clerk

Chatham-Kent Council, at its May 29, 2023 meeting, approved the recommendation that the Clerk (or designate) be authorized to offer Civic Marriage Ceremonies.

Section 1.1 of O. Reg 738 under the Marriage Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. M.3, authorizes the Clerk of a local municipality to solemnize marriages under the authority of a licence.

Civil Marriage ceremonies will be conducted at the Chatham Civic Centre Atrium, Council Chambers or back patio of the Civic Centre, 315 King Street West, Chatham, ON, during regular business hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, with each service lasting approximately 30 minutes. After-hour ceremonies, not at the Civic Centre, may be discussed with the Clerk.

A civil marriage does not have any type of religious ceremony in keeping with the spirit of the Ontario Marriage Act which requires civil marriages to be non-denominational.

There will be three types of ceremonies the couple can choose from including a same-gender marriage ceremony.

“As Municipal Clerk, I am honoured to have the authority to officiate non-religious, legal civil marriage ceremonies within Chatham-Kent. It is a privilege to be able to share in the couple’s special day”, said Director of Municipal Governance and Municipal Clerk, Judy Smith.

Ceremonies will be booked according to the Clerk’s (and designate’s) schedule and pre-booking is required. There will be a maximum of 12 people who can attend a civil marriage including the couple and their witnesses.

A fee of $250 is charged for each ceremony.

For more information on civil marriage ceremonies, please see the Chatham-Kent website.

For more information contact:

Judy Smith
Director of Municipal Governance and Clerk
Municipality of Chatham-Kent