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Performing a Friend’s Wedding Ceremony

Can I get ordained online, such as with the Universal Life Church, and legally perform a wedding ceremony in Ontario? In short -No.

You can, however, perform a Symbolic Ceremony. And during the ceremony, you would say that you are facilitating or performing the wedding, rather than referring to yourself as an Officiant.

You see, weddings in Canada are governed provincially and vary from province to province, so I’m writing a guide on how to officiate a friend or family member’s wedding, while still using the services of a wedding officiant for the legalities granted to an ordained Minister.

Other terms commonly used are Celebrant, Marriage Commissioner, Wedding Minister, Wedding Clergy.

To be an Officiant in Ontario, a person must be ordained by an organization that has been approved by the province and has a contract with the province to licence their members to perform weddings. Members who are licensed are given a Clergy Registration Number that is entered on the couple’s marriage licence. And, a licensed person must abide by the Ontario Marriage Act. Licensed Wedding Officiants in Ontario are listed on the Ontario Registered Religious Officiants List: Registered marriage Officiants - Datasets - Ontario Data Catalogue

How to work with an Officiant

There are several options available for couples who are wanting a friend or family member to conduct their Symbolic Ceremony.

1. The couple and two witnesses can meet the Officiant. They can sign the paperwork before, or after the wedding. Legally, they will have a cere-mini to agree to marry one another, sign the licence, and the Officiant would declare them married.