If you wish to be married in British Columbia here are the steps you will have to follow in order to comply with statute laws. These apply to all marriages, including gay and lesbian marriages.
Application for Getting Married License in British Columbia
The Marriage Act requires that you obtain a marriage license before getting married in British Columbia. After getting the license you can get married by the next three-month.
The bride or groom must apply in person to the Marriage License Issuer in a community within the Province of British Columbia
Only one member of the couple needs to apply for the license, but you will be asked to provide identification for both the bride and the groom. Information required with identification will include:
- Full name, including given names
- Birthdate and birthplace
- Marital status
- Current address
- Payment should be paid at the application.
- The license will be provided application time and validation three months from the marriage license
- Marriage licenses are not refundable.
Who can get Married?
Anybody over 19 years of age can apply for a marriage license in British Columbia. Anyone under 19 years of age should take the permission of both parents. The local Marriage License Issuer has the required consent forms.
- No one under the age of 16 years can be married without the consent of the Supreme or County Court.
- You do not have to be a B.C. resident in order to be married here, but the license is only valid in this province.
- Blood tests are not required under B.C. legislation.
- Proof of divorce is essential if one or both parties were divorced within the last 31 days.
- No license may be issued until a divorce has been finalized by the courts (this is normally 31 days after the divorce decree has been issued by the courts).
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The Marriage Ceremony
In B.C., couples can decide a religious or communal ritual. Two people must witness either type of ceremony.
a. A religious representative of your choice performs religious ceremonies, as long as they are registered with the British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency under the Marriage Act.
b. Civil ceremonies are performed by Marriage Commissioners who are appointed by the Executive Director of Vital Statistics. Contact the Marriage Commissioner directly to make an appointment and arrangements.
Which Name Can You Use?
After finishing all the activities of marriage, you can get permission to use your spouse’s surname you also prefer to keep on with your own surname. This change is not a legal change of a person’s name or change to birth records. You can use your own surname at any time in the future.
Registering the Marriage
The religious representative or Marriage Commissioner who procedure the wedding ceremony will also help to complete the necessary Marriage Registration Form.
This form is then sent within 48 hours of the marriage ceremony by the religious representative or Marriage Commissioner to the Vital Statistics Agency, where the marriage is registered and a legal record is kept.
Proof of Marriage
At the time of the ceremony, your Religious Representative or Marriage Commissioner may provide you with a statement of marriage – this interim document can be used temporarily to prove that you are married.
After the marriage, and following the receipt and registration of the Marriage Registration Form, a permanent Marriage Certificate will be automatically mailed to the bride and groom from the Vital Statistics Agency.
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Frequently Asked Questions for Getting Married in British Columbia:
Are same-sex marriages really legal in British Columbia?
Yes. As a result of a BC Appeal Court’s decision, same-sex marriage became legal in British Columbia, effective July 8, 2003.
Is there any special exclusion affecting gay or lesbian couples who wish to get married in British Columbia?
No. All existing requirements for getting married in BC remain in effect for same-sex marriages in the province.
If I get married in British Columbia will my marriage be recognized in the country where I live?
Some jurisdictions will still not recognize the legality of your British Columbia wedding certificate. If you are coming to BC to get married, please contact the appropriate authorities in the jurisdiction where you are a resident to determine whether your marriage will be recognized.
How do I proceed with my plans for getting married in British Columbia?
There have various wedding organizations they can make all the required arrangements for you. They can also arrange all other aspects of your wedding from catering and wedding invitations to hotel reservations and honeymoon packages.
How type of events can arrange to get married in British Columbia?
The following is a sampling of the event package. You can choose whether you like it.
- Victoria Heritage Tour and Midevil Dinner
- Bungy Jumping
- Traditional English Afternoon Tea
- Trail Rides
- West Coast Hiking
- Golf Tournament
- Vancouver Island Tour and Dinner Theatre
- Cowichan Valley Wine Tour and Gourmet Dinner
- Whale Watching
- Vancouver Island Skiing
- Fishing Tournament
- Dinner Cruise
- West Coast Salmon Barbeque
- Gulf Island Tour
How much does it cost to be married in British Columbia?
The regular fees charged in order to obtain a marriage license and the fee for the services of a registered Marriage Commissioner is standard throughout BC and will cost less than $200CAD.
The fees they charge to make all the arrangements for your wedding ceremony will depend upon your personal needs, but the savings from the special pricing arrangements. Their suppliers will often offset the fee they charge you to take care of organizing your wedding.