Frequently Asked Questions


What is a humanist ceremony like?

You can think of a humanist ceremony as what you’d get at City Hall, only way better. Why? Because you’ll work with your Officiant to prepare what will be said. You get to choose poetic readings that you like, and have your friends or family read them during the ceremony. You can include a special ritual like a hand fasting, candle or sand ceremony too (but you don’t have to).  

In a secular humanist ceremony, there will be no mention of God or religion. For a better understanding of what humanism is, click *here*. There will no be statements like “man & wife” or “love, honour & obey”, but there will be meaningful words such as love, commitment, team, support, togetherness—the good stuff. There will be a ring exchange, vows, and some legal things that have to be said too. It’ll be great! You’ll get to sign off on the final ceremony--either by giving a lot of input, or just a little. It’s up to you.

How long is the average humanist wedding?

About 15 -25 minutes. Wedding length
varies depending on the words, readings, rituals and music chosen by you. Elopement style weddings can be as short as 10 minutes!

Can I see some samples of humanist weddings?

Of course you can. I have lots of samples of humanist weddings, and readings as well. I’ll share them with you.

When does the Officiant arrive and leave?

I will arrive approximately 15-30 minutes prior to the ceremony and leave 15-30 minutes after.

How do I obtain a Marriage License Application?

You can apply for a Marriage License no more than three months prior to your wedding date. The marriage license is valid anywhere in Ontario for 3 months from the date of purchase. A Marriage License can be obtained from the clerk of most cities, townships, towns or villages - check your municipal blue pages. Either of the persons being married must apply in person to the Marriage License Issuer to obtain a license. They 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. 
Contact your municipal office for the current fee for purchasing a Marriage License. Here is information from the Province of Ontario where you can download the Marriage Licence Application form and find a local city hall, town hall or municipal office.

How do I obtain a Marriage Certificate?

Although it is not necessary, if you desire a Certificate of Marriage, you should allow approximately 8 to 12 weeks from the date of your marriage before applying for your marriage certificate (although you could get it sooner).

You will have two options; you may purchase a “Certificate” (which includes basic information such as name, date and place of marriage) or “Long Form” (which includes basic information and all signatures). You then complete and mail the application with the appropriate fees to: 
Registrar General 
Office of the Registrar General Ministry of Consumer and Business Services P.O. Box 4600, 
3rd Floor -189 Red River Road Thunder Bay, Ontario
 P7B 6L8 

Business Hours are: 
Monday to Friday 
8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Fax 1-807-343-7459

Toll Free: 1-800-461-2156 (If calling within Ontario), or 

1-416-325-8305 (From the 416 area code and outside of Ontario).