top of page
  • Writer's pictureMagy Aguiluz

Unveiling the Essentials: Requirements for a Wedding in Vancouver, BC

Updated: Jan 21

Wedding in Vancouver, BC, Decorations at a Vancouver wedding, sunny day, park

Are you ready to tie the knot in the breathtaking city of Vancouver, BC? Vancouver is a dream location if you want a beautiful and intimate wedding. Many people dream of a large, luxurious wedding with many guests, but there are others whose dream is to share this special moment with the people closest to and dearest to us. Vancouver opens the doors for your imagination to fly and you can do something both big and intimate. In British Columbia, weddings are held throughout the year, and the truth is that you can practically get married wherever you want, you only need a permit from the province, a commissioner, and in case you want to do it in a public place, you need a permit for that specific place as well. You can have a wedding in the snow, with an impressive view of the snow-covered pines, also in spring with the beautiful view of everything disappearing and if you enjoy the heat a Summer Wedding will be magical.

Planning a wedding is a journey filled with love, excitement and a touch of stress. But fear not! We're here to help you navigate the essential legal requirements in order to get married in Vancouver, BC.

Before you dive into the planning process, it's essential to understand the legal requirements for getting married in Vancouver, BC. Ensure you have the necessary documentation, such as a valid marriage license and identification, to make your union official. Don't forget to check if there are any specific guidelines or waiting periods you need to follow.

Table of Contents

Obtaining a Marriage License for a Wedding in Vancouver, BC

The first and foremost requirement for a wedding in Vancouver, BC is obtaining a marriage license. You and your partner must visit the British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency to apply for the license. Ensure you have valid identification, such as passports or birth certificates, and be prepared to pay the required fee. The agency will guide you through the process and provide you with the necessary documents.

The permit that is required from the province is very easy to request, you only need IDs of the couple, the payment, which is CA$100, and they will ask you a couple of basic questions such as: address, if you have been married before, country of origin, etc. The following link will take you to the list of places approved by the province to issue a marriage license.

Waiting Period

There is a short waiting period after obtaining the marriage license. You must wait at least 24 hours before having a civil ceremony. This waiting period allows time for any potential objections to be raised. If you choose to have a religious ceremony, the waiting period is still applicable, but it can be waived if you obtain a letter from the religious representative who will perform the ceremony.

Marriage Officiant

You have the freedom to choose a marriage officiant who will solemnize your marriage in Vancouver, BC. Whether you prefer a religious leader, a civil marriage commissioner, or a judge, ensure they are registered with the Vital Statistics Agency. Your chosen officiant will guide you through the ceremony process, including the exchange of vows and signing the marriage license.

To find a commissioner approved by the province of BC to get married, you just have to enter here and you can search in the city where you want to get married and it will show you the different options commissioners have.

After the ceremony, the commissioner will send the documents to the province so that in the coming weeks you will receive your marriage certificate.

Rates to keep in mind

A base civil ceremony includes one hour for ceremony preparation, meeting with the couple, rehearsal, travel time, and performing the ceremony.

Base Civil Ceremony (CA$75) + GST (CA$3.75) = CA$78.75

Additional Fees

Marriage commissioners are permitted to charge additional fees for the following:

  • time spent over the one hour included in the base civil ceremony: $25/hour billed in 15-minute increments

  • mileage (distance traveled to and from the marriage ceremony and rehearsal): $0.57/km

  • parking or ferry costs (if applicable)

(This information is from

Marriage commissioners ask for fees and provide a receipt before the marriage ceremony to avoid interruptions before or after the ceremony. However, the couple getting married is responsible for any additional costs incurred by last minute changes.


To make your marriage official, you must have at least two witnesses present during the ceremony. These witnesses must be at least 19 years old and have the legal capacity to understand the nature of the ceremony. They will sign the marriage license as witnesses, validating your union.

Celebrate Your Love

Once you've met all the legal requirements, it's time to celebrate your love and plan your dream wedding in Vancouver, BC. Consider the scenic beauty of the city, with its stunning waterfronts, mountain vistas, and urban charm, as you choose the perfect venue and create lifelong memories.

In the City of Vancouver they allow you to have small outdoor weddings and they have a list of options that you can review it.

I recommend you always follow the rules of the place where you want to have your ceremony, take into account the number of guests you want to have since many places, even outdoors, have a limit of people.

weeding in Vancouver

Remember, while this blog post provides an overview of the requirements for a wedding in

Vancouver, BC, it's always important to consult official sources and obtain up-to-date information to ensure compliance with the legal regulations. Now that you're equipped with the essential knowledge, you can embark on your wedding planning journey with confidence and excitement. Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials, and may your wedding day be everything you've ever dreamed of in beautiful Vancouver, BC!

Show off your best smile on this special day that will be the best accessory you can wear and enjoy every moment of your day because it will be worth it and will remain in your memory forever.


bottom of page