Civil marriage ceremonies will be conducted in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 255 Christina Street North, Sarnia, Ontario on Fridays at 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, or 3:00 pm (some exceptions apply). City Hall closes at 4:30 pm, all guests must vacate the building before that time.
To get a marriage licence, you will need to:
2 pieces of government-issued identification for each person getting married. One piece of identification must include your photo.
Examples of government-issued identification:
- government-issued birth certificate, including any change of name certificates
- valid passport
- record of immigrant landing
- Canadian Citizenship Card
- valid driver’s licence
- valid Ontario Photo Card
Fees to be paid in full;
Marriage Licence Fee for 2021 – $150.00
Civil Marriage Ceremony Fee for 2021 – $300.00 (cash, credit or debit) payable one week from the date of booking. Ceremonies reservations that are not paid for within one week will be cancelled and available for another couple;
An administration fee of $50 will be charged if the ceremony is cancelled less than 48 hours from the date of the ceremony, or the applicant(s) do not show up for the ceremony. No exceptions will be made this this policy.
Applicants must obtain their marriage license from the City of Sarnia in advance of the ceremony to ensure that all paperwork is acceptable to the Clerk in order to proceed with the ceremony on the scheduled date.
A mandatory pre-ceremony consultation meeting will take place within 30 days of the ceremony (approximately up to 1 hour). This can be done the same day the marriage license is obtained. Applicants must pre-book this appointment with the City Clerk, Deputy Clerk, or Customer Service Manager.
To be scheduled a minimum of five business days prior to the ceremony unless changed at the discretion of the Clerk, Deputy Clerk, of Customer Service Manager;
Marriage License to be presented and left with the Officiant (date issued to be within three (3) months prior to ceremony) at the pre-ceremony consultation;
Name, address and telephone number of two witnesses (must be 14 years of age or older). Staff Witnesses are available for $50 per ceremony if required.
The Council Chambers is reserved for 40 minutes. Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the ceremony to allow time to review any final details. Please be mindful and tell any guests that the ceremony must start on time.
- Alcohol or other stimulants are not to be used by the celebrants or their witnesses prior to the ceremony. If the Officiant believes that alcohol or other stimulants have been used, the ceremony will not proceed.
- In order to maintain the dignity of the marriage ceremony applicant’s attire and guest’s attire should be appropriate to the occasion.
- It is the applicants’ responsibility to provide an interpreter if either do not speak English and/or require language assistance. The interpreter cannot be one of the witnesses. The interpreter will be required to sign a form that he/she has interpreted the wedding ceremony as per requirements.
- The taking of photographs is generally not permitted during the ceremony. An opportunity will be provided for photographs before the ceremony begins, during the signing of the register and when the ceremony is complete.
- Absolutely no candles, bubbles, confetti, rice, bird seed etc. are allowed in or on the grounds of the municipal offices or property.
- The celebrants for the civil marriage ceremony will consent to defend and indemnify the City of Sarnia for any loss or damages incurred by their invitees. The celebrants shall agree that the City of Sarnia will not be held responsible for personal injury or damage, nor for the theft or loss of any personal property of anyone attending City Hall on the invitation of the celebrants.
- The celebrants shall be responsible for the conduct and supervision of all persons admitted to the Council Chambers and shall see that all regulations pertaining to the event are strictly followed.
- Minimal decorations (e.g. flowers or balloons) are permitted; however, such must be approved by the Officiant in advance of the ceremony. Decorations may be placed 15 minutes prior to the ceremony and removed within 15 minutes of the conclusion of the ceremony.
- Music is not provided in the Council Chambers. If you’d like to have music, it is your responsibility.
- The Council Chambers may only be used for civil marriage ceremonies conducted by municipal staff or designates appointed by the Clerk.
- If personal vows are to be made, they are to be reviewed by the Officiant at least five (5) days prior to the ceremony. It would be appreciated if a written copy of the personal vows is brought to the pre-ceremony meeting, or an electronic version is emailed to the Officiant prior to the pre-ceremony consultation.
- The Officiant is only responsible for performing the ceremony and therefore not responsible for other activities for the ceremony (i.e. photography, wedding planning, and organizing).
Customer Service Department
255 Christina Street North, 1st Floor