Frequently Asked Questions - Wedding Officiant & Celebrant Ceremonies
Celebrant conducting wedding and funeral ceremonies and marriage officiant licensed by the Province of Ontario throughout Durham Region, York Region, Toronto and Ontario.
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FAQ

Q: What is your process once we book a ceremony with you?

A: Our process is somewhat unique in this “neck of the woods”.  As wedding celebrants, our primary goal is to custom write or at least customize and personalize your wedding ceremony.  To do that, we do not use templates as also contained in this FAQ section.  After the booking process has been completed, we send out to you some wedding ceremony information with certain documents, as well as a link to your personalized portal.  In the portal (among other things) is a questionnaire pertaining to your ceremony – each questionnaire is different depending upon the package selected.  We ask that you complete the questionnaire in advance of any in-person or Skype meeting.  Our questionnaire asks various questions so that we can prepare a ceremony that is right for you.  Upon meeting with you via Skype or in person (depending upon your ceremony package selection) we review the questionnaire in detail, answer any of your questions, obtain clarification on answers, and provide you with options as to the content of the ceremony.  At the same time, we can run through the order of the ceremony, the procession and any other details you wish to discuss.  We want you to feel comfortable about the ceremony and your wedding day.  We realize that the ceremony can be the most daunting of all of the events on your wedding day and we will do everything possible to make you feel relaxed and comfortable at the most special moment in time.

Q: Where can I hold my ceremony?

A: The only requirement for a ceremony is the couple, a valid Ontario license and two witnesses. Your ceremony can be held at your home, a golf club, restaurant or almost anywhere else you can think of. Even your own living room. It is your choice.. where ever your heart desires (within legal boundaries, of course), you decide!

Remember, most wedding venues are able to accommodate your wedding ceremony as well as the reception. Often there are outside locations with garden and landscape backdrops for ceremonies which make beautiful photographs (weather permitting of course).

Q: How much do wedding ceremonies cost?

A: The cost of a wedding ceremony with us can be as low as $350 for a traditional, no fuss ceremony.  Prices increase for a ceremony which is more customized and can include a written story about your journey together, at $425.

For personal, custom written celebrant ceremonies, those are $550 and include two meetings and the opportunity to review a written draft of the ceremony beforehand.

Please see our Wedding Ceremony Pricing and Packages page for detailed information.

Q: Can we put a hold on our date/time until we make a decision?

A: Regrettably we are not able put your ceremony time/date on a hold status without a booking fee/deposit of $100.

Q: Ceremony Start Time - Please Read

A:  Your “Ceremony Start Time”  (not “Guest Arrival Time” or “Invitation Time”)  is scheduled at the time you book your ceremony from the time provided to us by you.  That time is set aside just for you and your ceremony.

Your ceremony should start on time or within 15 minutes of the Ceremony Start Time.  Otherwise, if we have other ceremonies on the same day, your ceremony will be affected.  Should we have other ceremonies after yours, we may have to condense your ceremony or leave to conduct another ceremony booked that day to fulfill our obligation to other couples.  It is possible for us to return at a later time, subject to an additional fee.  If we don’t have to perform a ceremony for another couple after yours, and the wait time exceeds fifteen (15) minutes, an additional fee may also apply.

Q: Can we review and approve the ceremony?

A: Of course, all couples are able to review and approve their own wedding ceremonies which can be amended with the Custom Written Ceremony Package.  As wedding celebrants, our primary skill is in writing a custom ceremony for you.  Please note, however, that for other ceremony packages, additional fees will apply should you wish to approve drafts in advance – remember our goal is to create a ceremony just for you and they are always customized, subject to the ceremony package description parameters.  Additional work in meeting with you to review ceremony drafts for your approval takes significant time and for that, your ceremony will cost a little more.  We never send ceremonies out via e-mail – they are sensitive and can evoke significant emotion upon reading which is why we always meet with you in person to review drafts.  Please also see our FAQ relating to presenting a ceremony you have written.

Q: What are Special Elements?

Special Elements are mini-ceremonies incorporated into your wedding ceremony which add something extra special to your wedding. Special elements are traditions brought forth from other countries, different religions or historic times. New special elements are emerging as popularity increases. Adding different traditions to your wedding ceremony can make your ceremony even more special and symbolic. No two couples have travelled on the same path to arrive at their wedding day and therefore their wedding ceremony should reflect that. It is what makes you unique as a couple that should be captured in your wedding ceremony, and special elements assist in achieving that goal.

Q. I really loved the ceremony - can I have a copy of it?

We are often asked by couples (because they loved their ceremony) if they can have a copy of it.  We really understand how important it is to have a keepsake of your wedding ceremony throughout your happy marriage.  At one time, only those who purchased a Celebrant Ceremony package were routinely given a presentation copy of their ceremony.  However, given increasing requests for a copy of a very special ceremony, upon request, a copy of your ceremony in a presentation folder can be provided to you for a nominal fee of $50.  However, please note that this is for you to keep as a reminder of your wedding ceremony but the text of the ceremony cannot be reproduced in any way.

Q: We are not affiliated with a church, can you accommodate us?

A: Yes, we are able to assist you if you are not affiliated with a church. We are able to officiate many different types of ceremonies. Please call or e-mail us and we will be able to create a wedding ceremony which is just right for you.

Q: We want a really short ceremony, can you do that for us?

A: Yes, we can make the ceremony as short as you want provided the correct words are included in the ceremony which are required by the Marriage Act of Ontario. We can provide you with those words in advance so that you will be familiar with that part of the ceremony.

Please bear in mind that most wedding ceremonies are over very quickly and cannot be repeated as such. Many couples have regretted very short ceremonies and told us that they wished they had allowed more time for such a memorable and meaningful event.

Q: How do I book my ceremony with you?

That’s easy. Here are the steps:

  1. Confirm our availability for the date, time and location of your ceremony;
  2. Select a wedding package from our available wedding packages; and
  3. Book your wedding ceremony with us through our online booking system which will be available to you upon request.  That includes payment of a $100 non-refundable deposit (by bank e-transfer or credit card), and signing your wedding ceremony contract.
Q: Do you use Ceremony Templates?

A: Absolutely not.   As wedding celebrants, all ceremonies are personalized; we do not use templates or expect you to compile your own wedding ceremony – unless you really want to.

We provide you with information and a questionnaire so that you can let us know about your wishes for your ceremony and any important details about you, your relationship, your family etc.  Your questionnaire responses, as well as discussions we have with you, provide us with the right information to create a wedding ceremony just for you (within the parameters of the ceremony package selected).

To respect your privacy, we will not let others view your ceremony in any way – it is for you to experience at your wedding ceremony.

Because of all this, ceremony samples will not be provided to anyone.

Couples that book a Celebrant Ceremony will have the opportunity to review a draft of their ceremony at our second meeting and any changes or additions will be made and will be delivered on your special day.  Those couples will also receive a presentation copy of their ceremony on their wedding day.

Q: Can we write our own ceremony for you to present and deal with legalities?

A: Of course!  We realize that many couples may want to write their own wedding ceremony and we would be happy to present the ceremony on their behalf.  However, there is specific legal wording which would have to be included and we would obviously review it for you in advance to ensure that your marriage will be legal!  Usual ceremony fees will apply and usually covered by the I Do Package or Personalized and Planned package (should you require additional assistance or require any certain special elements to be added).

Q: Can we have a friend conduct our wedding ceremony?

A: Definitely!  We always support couples who wish to have a friend prepare and present a wedding ceremony while we attend the ceremony and deal with the legalities.  We can also review the ceremony, if required.  However, it is a misconception that less time is involved in this process and that fees would be reduced.  In fact, time spent by a celebrant and officiant can increase when others are preparing and presenting a ceremony and we must ensure that all legal requirements are observed in a number of ways.  Remember also, that we would still be on site for the same amount of time as well.  Please contact us for information.

Q: Can quick elopements be accommodated?

A: Yes! – As long as you have obtained your marriage licence in Ontario, quick elopement ceremonies can be performed at any time. We will always do everything we can to accommodate a spontaneous or last minute ceremony as we don’t want anyone to have to spoil their wedding preparation time by hunting for an officiant.

Q: What are your Wedding Ceremony Terms and Conditions - AKA Fine Print?

FEES AND DEPOSIT:

A non-refundable deposit in the amount of one hundred ($100) dollars is to be paid at which point the Officiant will reserve the date and time of the Ceremony for the Couple and the Officiant will set aside the date and time for your wedding.  Access to our client Wedding Ceremony Portal will also be made available to the Couple at that time containing valuable information and resources for the Wedding Ceremony.  Regrettably we are not able put your ceremony time/date on a hold status without payment of the deposit.

The full balance of any unpaid fees including ceremony fees, and travel fees, rehearsal fees, if applicable, shall be received by the Officiant fourteen (14) days prior to the date of the Ceremony.

The Deposit is transferable to another date and time as long as the Couple requests the change in writing at least fourteen (14) days prior to the Ceremony date and the Officiant is available.  If the Officiant is not available at the new date and/or time, all fees paid in excess of the Deposit will be refunded upon request from the Couple.

FORMS OF PAYMENT:

The Deposit and the Final Balance may be made electronically via bank e-transfer, PayPal or credit card.

PRIVACY POLICY

We ask for certain personal information for use in the preparation of the Couple’s wedding ceremony and to complete required legal documents pursuant to the Marriage Act of Ontario. We keep your personal information up-to-date, accurate and relevant for its intended use. We rely on the Couple to let us know if their address, telephone number or other information they provide to us changes, so that we may provide you with the best possible service.

Under no circumstance will we lend, sell or otherwise distribute this information to any other group, organization, or commercial entity.

CHANGES:

Changes to the wedding ceremony including, but not limited to the date, time, and/or location of the Wedding Ceremony must be communicated in writing by the Couple and approved by the Officiant with respect to availability in writing before it is confirmed.

CANCELLATION AND REFUNDS:

Cancellations must be communicated in writing.  If written notice of Cancellation of Services is provided by the Couple at least fourteen (14) days prior to the Ceremony Date, all fees paid in excess of the Deposit will be refunded.  If written notice of Cancellation of Services is provided by the Couple less than fourteen (14) days prior to the Ceremony date, the Couple shall be responsible for full payment of Services, except for travel fees, if applicable.

If written notice of Cancellation of Services is not provided by the Couple, the Couple shall be responsible for full payment of Services, including travel fees, if applicable. If written notice of Cancellation of Services is provided by the Couple, the Officiant shall be released to make commercially reasonable attempts to re-book the date and time of the Ceremony.

In the unlikely event that the Officiant is unable to perform the ceremony due to unforeseen circumstances, the Officiant will provide a replacement Officiant at no additional cost to the Couple.

SCHEDULE:

The “Ceremony Start Time” advised by you shall be considered to be the actual Ceremony Start Time and not “Guest Arrival” time.  Any changes to the Ceremony Start Time shall be communicated by the Couple to the Officiant, in writing, fourteen (14) days prior to the Ceremony Date.  Changes in the Ceremony Start Time shall be subject to the availability of the Officiant.

MARRIAGE LICENCE:

It is the Couple’s responsibility to acquire a valid Ontario marriage licence and provide the marriage licence to the Officiant in advance of the Ceremony when the Services are rendered. The Couple must be aware that failure to have a valid marriage licence at the time of the Ceremony means that the Officiant cannot legally perform the marriage.

GOVERNING LAW:

The validity, construction and enforceability of these Terms and Conditions shall be governed in all respects by the laws of the Province of Ontario.

Q: What about the marriage licence - how do I obtain one?

A:  Yes, you will need to obtain a valid marriage licence. Your marriage licence should be no more than three (3) months old on the date of your wedding. Your marriage licence must be applied for in person at any city or town hall in Ontario. Two valid pieces of Government issued identification must be presented at that time and at least one piece of ID must contain a photo (a health card is usually not accepted). If you are unable to apply together, one person can attend to apply for the marriage licence with identification for the other. A fee is payable which is slightly different for each city or town. If anyone has been married before, an original or Court certified copy of the Certificate of Divorce must be presented as well. The marriage licence (providing all supporting documentation is in order), will be issued at the same time. Please follow this link for additional information: http://www.ontario.ca/page/getting-married.

Q: Can my ceremony be e-mailed to me?

A:  The short answer is no, never.  We do not e-mail ceremony scripts.  All ceremonies are copyright protected and cannot be reproduced.  For those who purchase the Celebrant Ceremony package, we will meet with you to go through a draft of the ceremony in person.

Q: Do I need to book a wedding rehearsal with you?

A: Well, yes and no.  However, a form of rehearsal is always recommended.  It will assist you in preparing for your wedding ceremony and ensure that everything runs smoothly.  There is nothing worse than feeling unsure as to what is happening next on the most special day of your life.

Larger venues which hold a lot of wedding ceremonies often provide (within the cost of holding your ceremony) access to the venue prior to your wedding for your rehearsal. In addition, there will often be an experienced member of staff/event planner there to assist you with your rehearsal (a good idea to check if you are not sure) – so in that case, unless you specifically want us to be there, we are not really needed.

For smaller venues, which may allow access for an hour or so without assistance of a member of staff, then yes, you may want us there to assist you with your rehearsal.  There is an additional fee of $125 for Monday to Thursday rehearsals and $175 for a Friday to Sunday Rehearsal.

Alternatively, you can run your own rehearsal if you wish at the venue or elsewhere.

In any event, rehearsals are ALWAYS recommended. You will definitely be glad that you took the time to rehearse for your special day when it actually happens!

Q: I am feeling a little overwhelmed, wedding planning can be exhausting, help?

A: Don’t worry, we know the right questions to ask and we can put the ceremony together for you without adding to your stress. You have enough to think about and because we specialize in the art of ceremony, you can pass all that on to us.

Q. What does the ceremony look like/what is the order or flow of ceremony?

This may be a little more than you want but here is a detailed outline of a wedding ceremony.  As you can see many parts are optional and often couples opt for a simpler ceremony.  On the other hand, lots of couples want to make the most out of their special moments when they agree to be married:

General Order/Flow of Wedding Ceremony

The order and content can be changed with the exception of the legal components including the pronouncement of marriage which must be included at some point throughout the ceremony and dealt with by us.

Guests Arrive and are Seated (background music suggested)

Grandparents, then parents (that are not escorting the couple) take their seats

Entry of groom and groomsmen

 Procession of bridal party then bride, both with processional music

Opening Words and Introduction, including appreciation of guests for coming long distances, etc.

Acknowledge parents/close family [optional]

 Details about reception/cocktails/dinner – [optional]

Opening poem/reading [optional]

Declaration of Intent – I Do, etc.

Symbolic request for support of marriage by parents/all guests for the bride/groom [optional]

Words about marriage

 Personal words about the couple

Second poem/reading [optional]

Introduction to exchange of vows

Wedding vows (personal (if any) followed by or preceded by legal)

Introduction to exchange of rings

Ring exchange with appropriate wording

Blessing/good wishes/symbolism regarding rings

Unity Ceremony, Handfasting or other mini-ceremony [optional]

Pronouncement of marriage

Legal document signing (background music is appropriate)

Blessing/good wishes regarding marriage

Introduction of newly married couple (Mr. and Mrs./first names as married/husband/wife. etc.)

Recession with music

Find out more about our packages and pricing: