British Columbia is a beautiful place to get married. Here's what it takes to make it happen.
Anyone can get married in British Columbia, not just residents. However, everyone is required to get a BC Marriage License. Licenses are valid for a term of three months, must be applied for in person, and cost $100. Service BC offices in Golden or Invermere can accept applications, as well as the marriage commissioner in Field, Kim Chapman.
People under 19 years of age must first obtain the consent of both parents to apply for a marriage license.
If one or both individuals were divorced within the last 31 days, proof of divorce must be provided. No license is issued until the courts finalize a divorce.
In British Columbia, couples can choose a religious or civil ceremony, which must be witnessed by two people. A religious representative registered with the Vital Statistics Agency is needed for a religious ceremony. A civil ceremony must be performed by a marriage commissioner appointed by the Chief Executive Officer of the Vital Statistics Agency. There are marriage commissioners throughout the East Kootenays. I spoke with a few of them recently. See the full list of commissioners at the end of this post.
Simone Ward is a long time resident of Golden, and has been serving as a marriage commissioner for more than 5 years. In that time she has officiated the weddings of both her son and her daughter. She was flown in to Mt Assiniboine Lodge for one particularly memorable wedding. "It's still a thrill for me to get to be a part of somebody's special moment," said Simone.
Peter Menz is Golden's newest marriage commissioner. He came to town a few years back and has been loving the chance to be involved in so many unique and special weddings. Most of the weddings Peter has done were outdoor, taking full advantage of the incredible scenery in Golden. One couple had Peter ski with them for the day of their wedding, stopping part way down a run at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort to say their vows.
Andy Stuart-Hill has some great stories from the many weddings he has officiated in and around Invermere. So many, in fact, he's considering writing a book. At it for several years, he's a seasoned pro with more than 300 weddings under his belt. He enjoys being witness to the joy and happiness that each wedding brings, he loves working with people, and he brings a great sense of ceremony to each event. "I thoroughly enjoy the occasion of it all," Andy said.
Marriage Commissioners in Golden, BC Peter Menz • 250.344.4696 Simone Ward • 250.344.5622
Marriage Commissioner in Field, BC Kim Chapman • 250.343.6441
Marriage Commissioners in Invermere Andrew Stuart-Hill • 250.342.0186 Heather Meadows • 250.342.6562 Rosemary Bradford • 250.342.6122
Marriage Commissioners in Revelstoke Beverly Wiege • 250.837.2494 Janice Sessa • 250.837.2422
Marriage Commissioners in Kimberley Len Robbins • 250.427.4766 Emma Head • 250.427.7458
Marriage Commissioners in Cranbrook Marilyn Dakin • 250.427.2552 Donald Bens • 888.916.4321
Marriage Commissioners in Fernie Jennifer Cronin • 250.423.4337 Edward George Ralfe • 250.423.6844 Shannon Takacs • 250.278.3463
All information presented here is from the BC Vital Statistics Agency website. Find the approved wedding ceremony, consent forms, information on where to apply for a marriage license, and further details on the how to marry in BC page.