Civil Marriage Ceremonies
The City of Windsor now offers civil marriage ceremonies in Council Chambers at City Hall, 350 City Hall Square West. Previously, only Judges and Justices-of-the-Peace were allowed to solemnize civil marriages. Ceremonies, available in English only, are simple and dignified. The solemn service lasts approximately 20 minutes. The service time booked should be approximately 1 hour to allow for photo opportunities etc. If an interpreter is required, more time would be needed. Same day service for civil ceremonies is not available.
Civil ceremonies will be performed Thursdays and Fridays at 9:15 am, 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 2:45 pm and 3:30 pm at City Hall for a fee of $250. All ceremonies must be paid in full at the time of booking.
All fees are in addition to the $135 non-refundable marriage licence fee. Fees are payable by debit or credit card (MasterCard and Visa only) and cash (Canadian funds only). Personal cheques are not accepted. Ceremonies are available by appointment only. Both applicants must attend an interview with the officiator and bring photo ID and the marriage licence to the interview. Couples preferring to reserve a special date and time must do so in-person at the Office of the City Clerk, Council Services located at 350 City Hall Square West, Room 203. Certain dates and times throughout the year are not available for bookings, including Statutory Holidays.
- A partial refund will be given to couples who cancel the marriage ceremony within 48 hours. However, after 48 hours, ceremony fees are non-refundable. Marriage licences are non-refundable.
- A valid Province of Ontario marriage licence: Couples are requested to obtain or supply a valid Ontario Marriage Licence. A marriage licence may be obtained at the Office of the City Clerk, Council Services in Windsor located at 350 City Hall Square West, Room 203. Marriage licences are also available from any local municipality in Ontario. Visit our marriage licence web page for more information and additional requirements.
- Two (2) Witnesses: Couples must provide two witnesses (one for each partner) who must be present at the ceremony, as indicated in section 25 of the Marriage Act. The City of Windsor does not provide witnesses.
Identification: Two pieces of valid identification for each applicant are required (photocopies are not acceptable).
The first type of identification must be one of the following:
- Birth Certificate - along with any Change of Name Certificate(s)
- Valid Passport
- Record(s) of Immigration landing or Canadian Citizenship card - along with photo identification
The second type of identification must be one of the following:
- Valid Driver's Licence
- Photo Health Card
- Government-issued photo identification
- Divorce: Divorce judgments or orders are not acceptable.
- Marriage after Divorce: If divorced in Canada, the couple must provide the original or a court-certified copy of the certificate of divorce when purchasing the licence. Photocopies will not be accepted. If divorced outside of Canada, please contact our office at (519) 255-6100 ext. 6139 for further requirements
- Language Interpreter: Couples are responsible for bringing a language interpreter, if required, for a language other than English.
Officiants and the ceremony itself: City staff, trained and designated by the City Clerk, will act as officiants to solemnize the ceremony. The civil marriage service will be a non-denominational and solemn, ceremony, which adheres to the requirements of the Ministry of Government Services.
City staff will not solemnize the marriage of any person who he or she knows or has reasonable grounds to believe lacks capacity to marry. Circumstances rendering a person ineligible for the civil marriage include:
- One or both parties are under physical or mental duress
- One or both parties fail to meet the age requirements (both parties must be at least 18 years old to get married in Ontario. Parties who are 16 or 17 years old may marry only if they have the consent in writing of both parents)
- 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 intoxicating liquor or drugs and incapable of understanding the nature of the marriage contract and the duties, obligations and responsibilities that result from marriage. If the person solemnizing a marriage has any doubts as to the mental capacity of the parties, or one of the parties, he/she may refuse to perform the ceremony.
The City of Windsor offers civil marriage services to all eligible couples, following the June 10, 2003, Ontario Court of Appeal decision, making same-sex marriages legal in Ontario.