Officiants authorized to solemnize a marriage

For your marriage to be valid, it must be solemnized by an officiant recognized by law and authorized to solemnize marriages. This requirement applies to all marriages, whether the ceremony is civil or religious.

To be certain of your choice, you can consult the register of officiants This hyperlink will open in a new window. kept by the registrar of civil status.

Civil solemnization of marriage 

If you wish to marry in a civil ceremony, your marriage must be solemnized by an authorized person, such as:

  • a clerk or deputy clerk of the Superior Court;
  • a notary;
  • a mayor;
  • a member of a municipal or borough council;
  • a municipal officer.

You can also ask a relative or friend to solemnize your marriage, provided he or she meets certain conditions.

Religious solemnization of marriage

If you choose a religious ceremony for your marriage, the officiant will be a minister of religion authorized to solemnize marriages in accordance with the rites of the religion concerned.

Officiant's right of refusal

A minister of religion may refuse to solemnize your marriage if:

  • the conditions prescribed by the religion concerned have not been met;
  • there are obstacles to the marriage in the view of the religion concerned.

Marriage solemnized by a close relative or friend

You and your intended spouse can agree to ask a close relative or friend to solemnize your marriage. For example, the designated officiant could be:

  • your parent;
  • your father-in-law;
  • your grandfather;
  • your sister or half-brother;
  • your best friend.

You can also ask a person who is not a close relative or friend, such as your neighbour or your favourite teacher, to act as officiant.

First, you should ask the person concerned if he or she is willing and able to take on this role.

The person must then apply to the registrar of civil status to become a designated officiant.

After receiving authorization to act as a designated officiant, the person will have the same responsibilities and perform the same tasks as any other officiant.

Last update: April 6, 2023


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