Wedding Ceremony FAQs

Toronto Ceremonies with Choice-Martin FrithMost of the wedding ceremonies at which I officiate are in the Greater Toronto Area.  Are you planning on a wedding further afield? Let’s talk. I will happily travel to your wedding destination.

A wedding is an important event in a couple’s life. While it is an exciting time, you may at times feel challenged by all the preparation a wedding ceremony and reception requires.

My FAQs highlight typical questions I’ve been asked as I’ve helped couples prepare their humanist [non-religious] wedding ceremony.  If you don’t find the answer to your question, you can contact me with yours.

How can we be sure Martin is Licensed?

It’s an important question to ask! And yes, Martin is registered with the Office of the Registrar General to legally perform wedding ceremonies in Ontario.

You can confirm my registration by clicking on this link of Licenced Officiants. Once you put my last name; Frith; in the search bar, you will see my name “Toronto, Frith, Martin” highlighted.

You can also view a copy of my Registration.

What is a Humanist Officiant?

A Humanist Officiant has undergone training and credentialing by the Humanist Association of Canada to perform “Rites of Passage” for anyone desiring humanist or non-religious ceremonies.

In Ontario, Humanist Officiants are licensed by the Province to solemnize marriages under the Marriage Act. All officiants are required to maintain membership in the Humanist Association of Canada.

To confirm my registration see the list of religious officials and their locations, registered with the Office of the Registrar General to legally perform wedding ceremonies in Ontario.

How do I actually “get married?”

If you are getting married in Ontario, you can have a civil ceremony performed by a judge or a justice of the peace or a religious ceremony by clergy including Humanist Officiants.

During the ceremony, when the legal requirements are met including the signing of the Marriage Licence the marriage is then “solemnized” and you are legally married.

To confirm my registration see the list of religious officials and their locations, registered with the Office of the Registrar General to legally perform wedding ceremonies in Ontario.

How do I obtain a Marriage Licence Application?

You can purchase a Marriage Licence in Ontario no more than three months prior to your wedding date.

A Marriage Licence can be obtained from the clerk of most cities, townships, towns or villages and is valid anywhere in Ontario – check your municipal blue pages or one can be downloaded from the Ontario Government Website.

One or both of the persons being married must apply in person to the Marriage Licence Issuer to obtain a licence. You will need to bring identification, such as a birth certificate (along with any change of name certificates), current passport, Record of Immigrant Landing or Canadian citizenship card, along with photo identification, for both the persons.

There is a set fee for purchasing a Marriage Licence. Contact your municipal office for the current fee. The current fee in the City of Toronto is $140 (HST does not apply).

We do not live in Toronto. Do we need to come to Toronto to get a licence?

No. All municipalities in Ontario issue Marriage licences. You can apply in your local municipality however one or both of the persons being married must make the application in person.

What if I have been divorced?

If one or both members of the couple are divorced, documentation relating to each divorce will be required. If you live and were divorced in Canada, you must bring the original or court-certified copy of the final decree, final judgment or certificate of divorce to your local municipal office when you are purchasing the marriage licence.

If you live or were divorced outside of Canada, you may be required to submit documents to the Provincial Government several weeks prior to applying for a licence. Contact your local municipal office for further information or check the Ontario Government Website for additional requirements on Getting Remarried in Ontario after a Divorce.

Do we automatically receive notification that our marriage has been registered?

No! To have proof that the Province of Ontario has registered your marriage, you need to purchase a marriage certificate. You can order a marriage certificate about 6-8 weeks after your wedding date.

A Marriage Certificate is the legal record of your marriage. It lists the date and place of the marriage, and names of the people who were married.

At your marriage ceremony, you will be given the Record of Solemnization of Marriage from the Officiant. It is considered a souvenir document and not a legal record. The official who performed your marriage is required to forward the Marriage Licence you signed on your wedding day to the Office of the Registrar General for registration.

How do I obtain a Marriage Certificate?

Although it is not required, I encourage every couple to purchase a Marriage Certificate. A marriage certificate is the legal record of your marriage. 

You can order your marriage certificate about 6-8 weeks from the date of your marriage. You will have two options; you may purchase a “file size” (which includes basic information such as name, date and place of marriage) or “Long Form” (which is a certified copy of the marriage licence signed on your wedding day).

You can purchase your Marriage Certificate online or you can complete the Request for Marriage Certificate and then mail or fax the application with the appropriate fees to the address below.

Office of the Registrar General
P.O. Box 4600
3rd Floor
189 Red River Road
Thunder Bay, Ontario
P7B 6L8


When I get married does my name automatically change?

Couple’s frequently assume that getting married changes a bride’s name. Getting married does not legally change a name. Although either partner may legally assume their spouse’s name (you may choose to use your spouse’s surname), this does not constitute a legal change of name.

You must elect to legally change your surname (family name) as a result of marriage or a common-law relationship. You may change your surname to the surname your partner had immediately before the union or to a surname combining both your surnames in either order. If you change your name within 90 days after your marriage, there is no fee.

For more information regarding changing your name, go to the Ontario Government Website or contact the Office of the Registrar General at 1-800-461-2156, or (416) 325-8305 in the Toronto area.