Obtaining Your Marriage Licence
You must obtain your marriage licence; your officiant can’t get this for you. Neither can your mom, your wedding planner of your best friend. This one is on you.
You must obtain your marriage licence in the province in which you are getting married. Not the province where you live (if it’s different from where you’re getting married). Not your favourite province. Not the province where marriage licences are the cheapest. If you live in Alberta, vacation in PEI and are getting married in Manitoba, you have to obtain your licence in Manitoba.
Your marriage licence is valid for 90 days. Licences must be applied for in person by BOTH members of the couple with acceptable ID. The fee for obtaining a marriage license is $100 and vendors cannot charge any more for this document.
To find a marriage licence vendor in Winnipeg click here.
You MUST bring your marriage licence to your wedding ceremony. Pro tip: keep your wedding rings with your marriage licence so you don’t forget it! Assign a responsible person from your wedding party or family to bring the license and rings to the ceremony and ensure that your commissioner knows who will have these items.
After the Ceremony
Phew! You did it. You got married. Congrats! Here’s what happens with your marriage licence once it has been signed by you, your officiant and your witnesses on the big day.
Your officiant will send your signed marriage licence and all other paperwork to Vital Statistics Manitoba, where marriages need to be registered. You don’t need to worry about registering your marriage – we’ll do that for you!
Receiving Your Marriage Certificate
To receive your marriage certificate, you must order it. No marriage certificate or other marriage documents will be automatically sent you. If you do not order a marriage certificate, you will just have to take our word for it that you are legally married!!!!
Along with your marriage license, you will receive an application for a marriage certificate. You must complete this document (along with credit card payment info) in order to receive a marriage certificate.
We can file the application on your behalf along with the marriage license when the ceremony has been completed. The first step in processing the documentation is for your marriage to be registered. This can take 6 - 8 weeks depending on the time of year. Only after the marriage has been registered will your application for a marriage certificate be processed. Add another 6 - 8 weeks before you will receive your marriage certificate in the mail.
Only when you have received the marriage certificate can you begin the process of changing a surname (if you so choose).
To complete an online application for your marriage certificate, click here.