Wedding Coordinator’s and Magazines suggest that the first two things you should book are your Wedding Venue and Wedding Officiate.
We agree. All the time, energy and cost put into your planning your wedding deserves careful consideration about who will Officiate your ceremony. An important decision which should not be left till the last minute. We receive bookings up to two years in advance. Choosing the right wedding Officiate can make or break your wedding day experience for you and your guests. You want to start the day off on a positive and entertaining note, which is what a good Officiate will aim to do.
One of the top three fears of most people is “Public Speaking”. Make sure your Officiate is capable and qualified as a “Public Speaker”, meaning that he/she is comfortable in front of any sized group, with an ability to put people at ease and communicate in a warm, friendly fashion. When we meet with couples or do "Getting Married" workshops we find that they are not always sure who can marry them in BC. So, we thought we would add some "Officiate Info and Questions" to help you make an informed and comfortable choice.
In the Province of BC there are three categories of people licensed to perform weddings:
MARRIAGE COMMISSIONERS: Local Marriage Commissioner’s (MC's) were introduced in 1982 replacing the JP (Justice of the Peace). For more info and to see a sample of the "Civil or Courthouse style Ceremony" visit The Vital Stats website. Each community seeks and commissions 7-10 local citizens to perform a short Civil or Courthouse Style ceremony. Cost will run you $100 - $200 dollars for a Civil Ceremony only, taxes, Government fees, travel/mileage and usually no rehearsal, and no spiritual/religious content.
RELIGIOUS REPRESENTATIVES : A religious representative can include any local Minister, Priest, Rabbi, credentialed by any institution/denomination fully recognized by the Provincial and Federal Government. You’ll most likely have a lengthy Religious Ceremony, in their facility or church, which may require you to become a member, take counseling and indoctrination classes. Cost will usually run you $500 - $1500 dollars, which should include the Officiate, the building, custodian, wedding host and sound technician.
MARRIAGE CHAPLAINS: In the Greater Vancouver area there are a handful of Marriage Chaplains. We are Ministers, licensed as Religious Representatives, but do not work in, nor are we associated with a traditional church environment. What that means to you is that we have no religious agenda and are able to be very flexible, offer a variety of wedding styles, anytime and anywhere. We like to attend the rehearsal and seek to provide a warm and friendly style of ceremony, approximately 20-25 minutes in length. Cost will run you about $300-$500 dollars and include the Ceremony, Rehearsal, Taxes and Fuel/Travel to the Rehearsal and Ceremony, as well as any related Office/Admin time required in preparation for the Ceremony, the Rehearsal and the registration of your Marriage.
OUR SUGGESTION: The best advice we can give you is to book early and choose someone who “fits your budget and that you feel comfortable with”. In all 3 categories of Wedding Officiates there are good and not so good, so do take a little extra time to make your selection. It’s important! Unless you have a reliable referral or have seen them in action, meet with them first, have a cup of coffee ( any excuse for Starbucks is a good excuse!) and get a sense of their style and essence.
Click on each tool to see a sample.