Requesting a Civil Marriage Ceremony

The City of Ottawa offers Civil Marriage Ceremonies at Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West, and in Orleans at 255 Centrum Boulevard.  Our ceremonies are simple and dignified and available in either English or French (bilingual ceremonies are not offered). The solemn service lasts approximately 20 minutes.

Ceremonies at City Hall are held weekly, Monday to Friday at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m.,  3 p.m. and 4 p.m., with additional openings on Fridays at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. and on Saturdays at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. The Orleans Client Service Centre offers ceremonies on Fridays at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.  Ceremonies are not performed on statutory holidays. 

A civil ceremony must be booked in person, in advance of the desired ceremony date. Please attend one of our Client Service Centres.

There are only 10 people permitted in the room at one time for the ceremony.  This includes the officiant, the couple, two witnesses and up to five guests.

Note: Our officiants are not available for off-site private ceremonies. To find an officiant please visit the Service Ontario website.

Want to know more?

For more information about civil ceremonies contact 3-1-1, option 6.

Eligibility

  • There are no gender, residency, citizenship or medical requirements.
  • Anyone over the age of 16 years old can get married in Ontario. If you are 16 or 17 years of age, parental consent is required.

Marriage Ineligibility

City staff will not solemnize the marriage of any person who they know, or have 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
  • 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, they may refuse to perform the ceremony.

What you need

  • A valid Province of Ontario marriage licence.
  • Two (2) witnesses: Couples must provide two witnesses (one for each partner) who must be present at the ceremony.
    • The minimum age requirement for a witness is 12 years old
    • The City of Ottawa does not provide witnesses
  • Identification: Couples must present one valid and original piece of government-issued photo identification for each partner, which confirms full legal name and date of birth.
  • Rings (optional)
  • Language interpreter:
    • Couples are responsible for bringing a language interpreter if any one of the four required participants (the couple and two witnesses) cannot understand the language in which the ceremony is performed (English or French).
  • Disability-related accommodations:
    • If you require a disability-related accommodation, such as a sign language interpreter or adequate space for a mobility device, please notify us in person when booking your ceremony or by email at ceremonies@ottawa.ca.
  • Capacity to marry:
    • If one or both parties to the marriage are 16 or 17 years old, the Consent of Parent or Guardian form would have been filled out and commissioned at the time of the marriage licence issuance. You must bring this form to your ceremony as the officiant is required to sign the form

Cost

The City of Ottawa charges $159.20 plus HST (2024) for civil ceremonies held weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For ceremonies held on Fridays at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. and on Saturdays, the price is $229.50 plus HST. 

Payment can be made by cash, cheque, Interac or credit card

Payment is due immediately upon booking your ceremony.

Rescheduling and requests for refunds: We require 48-hour notice.

  • You can reschedule or request a refund your civil marriage up to 48 hours in advance by emailing ceremonies@ottawa.ca
  • All refunds are subject to a $50 administrative fee. You are not eligible for refunds with less than 48-hour notice.
  • Marriage licence fees are non-refundable.
  • As a courtesy to others, if you are not present within 15-minutes after your scheduled ceremony, we will not proceed, you will need to reschedule at your own cost.

Request

A civil ceremony must be booked in person, in advance of the desired ceremony date. Please attend one of our Client Service Centres.

Note: A valid marriage license is required before booking a civil marriage ceremony. If you do not already have a valid Ontario marriage licence, please visit getting a marriage licence.