Marriage and Weddings

COVID-19 Update:

Booking an Appointment
If you have arranged a marriage ceremony and require a marriage licence, please complete our on-line application and send an email to access@richmondhill.ca to arrange an appointment. Please include the Marriage Licence application number, ceremony date, and a contact phone number. 

Expired Marriage Licenses
A marriage licence is only valid for 3 months after it is issued however the Government of Ontario has made changes to the Marriage Act that allow couples to use their expired marriage licence if a province wide emergency is declared.

If your licence was issued between December 1, 2019 and July 24, 2020; and since the license was issued;
          1.  It has not been used (i.e., the couple has not married each other),
          2.  Neither party has married anyone else, and
          3.  Neither party has legally changed their name
and if you meet all of these conditions, your licence will be valid from July 24, 2020 – July 24, 2022. This also applies to Foreign Divorce Authorizations.

If your marriage licence was issued between July 25, 2020 and September 30, 2020, it has not been extended. These licenses were only valid for three 3 months from the date issued since there was no province-wide emergency during this timeframe.

Licenses issued between October 1, 2020 and February 10, 2021 are still valid and can be used until February 10, 2023. This also applies to Foreign Divorces Authorizations.

Licenses issued between January 1, 2021 and June 4, 2021 are still valid and can be used until June 4, 2023. This also applies to Foreign Divorces Authorizations.

Licenses issued after June 5, 2021 are only valid for 3 months from the date issued.

Marriage License Validity
Date issuedValid until
December 1, 2019 to July 24, 2020 July 24, 2022
July 25, 2020 to September 30, 2020 3 months from date issued (not extended)
October 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 February 10, 2023
January 1, 2021  to June 4, 2021 June 4, 2023
June 5, 2021 3 months from date issued (not extended)

We are unable to provide civil ceremonies at the City's Municipal Offices at this time.

Virtual Marriages
Couples cannot be married virtually (e.g., where the marriage officiant solemnizes a marriage though an online communication tool like Skype or Zoom). The Marriage Act requires every Ontario marriage to be solemnized in the presence of the parties to the marriage, at least two witnesses, and the marriage officiant – which makes a total of 5 individuals that need to be present at the ceremony.

As well, rules on physical distancing and face coverings must be followed. Reference in the rules on the Ontario.ca website for the province-wide shutdown to virtual services being permitted does not apply for marriage ceremonies as these 5 individuals must be present; however, guests may attend virtually.

Under the Marriage Act, Municipal Clerks are able to perform marriage ceremonies. This means that you can have a convenient and affordable wedding ceremony at Richmond Hill's Municipal Offices located at:

225 East Beaver Creek Road
Richmond Hill, ON L4B 3P4

The main Municipal Offices are closed on statutory holidays.

Age Requirements

Both parties participating in the wedding ceremony must be at least 18 years old to get married in Ontario. Written consent from both parents is needed for those who are 16 or 17 years old. Consent forms are available at all municipal offices within the province.

Ceremony

Ceremonies are performed by Office of the Clerk staff by appointment only. Our ceremony room holds up to 30 guests. We perform simple, non-denominational ceremonies that take about 15 minutes. The ceremonies are performed on Fridays between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Ceremonies are performed in English. You must arrange for an interpreter if you need one.

Call the Office of the Clerk at 905-771-8800 to book your ceremony or for more information about civil marriage ceremonies.

 

Please Note: If you have had a religious ceremony performed, in any country, a marriage licence cannot be issued to you as you are considered married.

 

Exceptions

Office of the Clerk staff will not perform ceremonies if:
  • One or both parties are under physical or mental force
  • One or both parties fail to meet the age requirements
  • The parties are related as grandparent, parent, child, grandchild, brother or sister
  • One or both parties are currently married
  • One or both parties are mentally ill or under the influence of alcohol or drugs and not able to understand the nature of the marriage contract and the duties, obligations and responsibilities that result from marriage

Cost

The cost of a civil ceremony is $372.90, including taxes. The Marriage Licence fee is an additional $160. You can pay the ceremony fees at the time of your pre-wedding meeting. We accept cash, debit, personal cheque, Visa or MasterCard.

Photography

Feel free to bring a photographer to your civil marriage ceremony.

There are also a lot of great locations in Richmond Hill for wedding, engagement and family photos. Learn more about photography locations and permits.

Pre-Wedding Meeting

You need to arrange a pre-wedding meeting before the date of your ceremony. Both applicants for the marriage must attend this meeting.
Witnesses
Two witnesses must be present at your wedding ceremony. The Office of the Clerk can provide witnesses for a fee.

Marriage Licence

If you plan to get married in Ontario, you can obtain a marriage licence at most municipal offices in the province.  

Obtaining a Marriage Licence 

Your marriage licence will expire three months from the date of issue. To receive a marriage licence, you must follow these steps:

  1. Complete a marriage application online and print it. Do not use all capital letters – information should be entered using both capital and lower case letters.
  2. Email access@richmondhill.ca with your name, phone number and application number to make an appointment at our municipal office to complete the processing. Only one person can attend the appointment. Call 905-771-8800 for further information.
  3. At your appointment, you will need to:
    1. Provide the completed application form, signed by both applicants
    2. Show two pieces of original government-issued identification for both applicants. Photocopies are not accepted. We accept:
      • Birth Certificate
      • Current Passport
      • Record of Immigrant Landing
      • Driver’s Licence
      • Canadian Citizenship Card
      • Permanent Resident’s Card
      • Change of Name Certificate
    3. Pay the licence fee of $160 by cheque or money order (payable to the City of Richmond Hill)

Divorce

If either marriage applicant is divorced, you are required to present an original or court-certified copy of the Certificate of Divorce. Photocopies are not accepted. You can get your divorce certificate from the court that granted your divorce. 

 Divorce Outside of Canada
If your divorce was granted outside of Canada, you must apply for foreign divorce authorization through Service Ontario. Application instructions and detailed information can be found at the Ontario Government's website. The Office of the Clerk can also provide a foreign divorce kit which includes copies of some of the forms required for the application. Please note that the authorization process can take up to 4 weeks. The City of Richmond Hill does not process applications for foreign divorce authorization and cannot accept completed application packages. The application must be sent to the Office of the Registrar General.