Civil Marriage Ceremonies

​The Municipality of Chatham-Kent offers civil marriage ceremonies by appointment only. Couples wishing to be married are required to have a valid  Ontario Marriage Licence and to attend a pre-ceremony consultation with the Clerk.


Booking & Cost

Ceremonies may be conducted in the Atrium, Council Chambers or back patio of the Civic Centre, 315 King Street West, Chatham, between 8:30 am - 3:30 pm, Monday through Friday, conditional to the Clerk's schedule. The fee for this service is $250+ HST ($282.50).

Ceremonies may also be conducted outside of regular business hours, including weekends, at off-site locations conditional to the Clerk's schedule. The fee for this service is $350 + HST ($395.50). A mileage fee may be applicable.

For more information, contact the Municipal Clerk at 519-360-1998 x 3200 or ckclerk@chatham-kent.ca.

A $50 + HST deposit will be required when booking the ceremony. The balance of the fee is payable on or before the pre-ceremony consultation with the Officiant.

Changes to date and/or time are allowed at no additional charge, provided that the location and Officiant are available.

No refund will be issued if the ceremony is cancelled on the day of the ceremony, or if the applicant(s) do not show up for the ceremony.

The $50 deposit will be forfeited if the ceremony is cancelled.


Ceremony

A maximum of 12 guests will be allowed in the Atrium, Council Chambers or back patio.

Taking pictures will not be permitted during the ceremony. An opportunity will be provided for photos before the ceremony begins, during the signing of the registry, and after the ceremony is complete.

Videotaping of the ceremony may be permitted subject to certain limitations at the discretion of the officiant.

Candles, confetti, rice, bubbles, etc. are NOT permitted on any municipal grounds.

Minimal decorations, such as flowers or balloons are permitted. Decorations that are to be affixed to the walls or furniture with tape or staples are NOT permitted.

For further information, contact the Clerk's Office at 519-360-1998 x 3200 or email ckclerk@chatham-kent.ca.


Witnesses & Certificate of Marriage

Applicants are required to have two (2) witnesses. There is no minimum age requirement for a witness, however, a witness should be able to understand and appreciate what is taking place and be able to give evidence of such at a later date, if required.

It is the applicant's responsibility to provide an interpreter if they do not speak English and/or require language assistance. The interpreter should not be one of the witnesses. The interpreter will be required to sign a form confirming that he/she has interpreted the wedding ceremony.

The Record of Solemnization of Marriage given at the ceremony is not a legal record. Approximately eight weeks after the ceremony, you may apply to the Office of the Registrar General to obtain an official Certificate of Marriage. 


Frequently Asked Questions

1. When and where can ceremonies be conducted?

Ceremonies may be conducted in the Atrium, Council Chambers or back patio of the Civic Centre, 315 King Street West, Chatham, ON, between  8:30 am - 3:30 pm, Monday through Friday, conditional to the Clerk's schedule.

Ceremonies may also be conducted outside of regular business hours, including weekends, at off-site locations conditional to the Clerk's schedule.


2. What documents are required for a Civil Marriage Ceremony?

Before meeting with the officiant, you should have obtained your Ontario Marriage Licence (valid for three months from the date of issue). A pre-ceremony application form can be completed during the pre-ceremony meeting with the Officiant.


3. Who may officiant at our wedding?

For civil ceremonies, the Officiant appointed by the Municipality of Chatham-Kent may perform the ceremony.


4. Does the Marriage Licence have to be purchased in Chatham-Kent in order to get married in Chatham-Kent?

No, a marriage licence may be purchased anywhere in Ontario to be married anywhere in the Province of Ontario.


5. Are witnesses required for a Civil Marriage Ceremony?

Yes, all couples must have two (2) witnesses present during the ceremony.


6. Is there a minimum age requirement to be a witness for a Civil Marriage Ceremony?

The Ontario Marriage Act does not establish a minimum age requirement for witnesses, however, a significant factor in determining the suitability of a witness should be his/her ability to understand and appreciate what is taking place and his/her capacity, to give evidence of such at a later date, if required.


7. How many attendees can I have attend the ceremony?

There is a maximum of 12 people who can attend a civil marriage including the couple and their witnesses.


8. May a reading from the Bible or a blessing be included as part of the ceremony?

The officiant may not perform any type of religious ceremony in keeping with the spirit of the Ontario Marriage Act which requires civil marriages to be "non-denominational," however, the couple may wish to have someone other than the Officiant provide a reading such as a poem.


9. Who registers our civil marriage?

After the ceremony, the couple receives a "Record of Solemnization of Marriage" from the Officiant who performed the ceremony. The Officiant will forward the completed and signed marriage licence to the Office of the Registrar General for registration. Your marriage must be registered before you can obtain a Certificate of Marriage from ServiceOntario. You should allow approximately eight weeks after the ceremony before applying for a Certificate of Marriage.


10. Do I have to go through a legal name change to use my spouse's surname?

Once you are married you can assume your spouse's surname. You do not have to go through a legal name change. Assuming a name is not a legal name change, it does not change your birth certificate. If you choose to legally change your last name, you can find out more information at ServiceOntario - Change Your Last Name.


11. How do I schedule a civil marriage ceremony or ask more questions?

For more information, contact the Clerk's Office at 519-360-1998 x 3200 or ckclerk@chatham-kent.ca.