Marriage Ceremony Rites & Usages

Our Nova Scotia Wedding Ceremonies

  • Revised & reapproved at our annual meeting June 18, 2019.
  • All ceremonies performed by a Clergy Support Memorial Church clergy registered with Vital Statistics are religious ceremonies.
  • We do not conduct civil ceremonies.
  • All marriage ceremony requirements below apply.
  • A legal marriage licence is required.

For a marriage to be legal in Nova Scotia it must meet the following requirements:

  • The marriage licence must be valid on the date of marriage.
  • Current ID is required from the bride and groom before the solemnization takes place.
  • The Registration of Marriage/Marriage Licence document must be given to the marriage officiant.
  • The ceremony must take place in the Province of Nova Scotia.
  • The ceremony must have the required text according to the Marriage Act, e.g. the words of impediment.
  • The marriage officiant’s registration with the provincial government must be current.
  • The officiant should show the couple a current ‘registration of clergy’ certificate  as soon as possible in the reservation process. This will help reduce the couple’s anxiety!
  • The couple and 2 witnesses over the age of 16 must be physically in the presence of the marriage officiant.
  • Marriage by proxy, is not allowed.
  • Couples may add certain elements to the ceremony: e.g. the unity candle, the handfasting ribbon around the hands at the vows, wine ceremony,  prayers and readings and blessings from various religions. If in doubt about a particular element run it by the Chief Governing Official.

The witnesses and the couple must meet the following requirements:

  • The couple must 19 years of age or older.
  • Witnesses must be 16 years of age or older.
  • Cannot be cognitively impaired.
  • None of the wedding party may be under the influence of a drug or alcohol.
  • The couple and the witnesses must be fluent in the languages being spoken at the wedding ceremony and fully understand the English documents they have to sign.
  • If a person in the wedding party (couple and/or witnesses) are not fluent in English, an interpreter/translator may be required – talk to your marriage officiant.
  • When an interpreter/translator is required, it’s the couple’s responsibility to provide one.
  • During the ceremony, the ‘Registration of Marriage’ must be signed by the couple, 2 witnesses and the marriage officiant.
  • Your Marriage Register must be used for every wedding ceremony.
  • At the end of the marriage ceremony, the marriage officiant will provide the couple with a proof of marriage document.
  • Any other requirements the church should add by notifying the cleric.
  • If any of these rules raise questions, please discuss them with your mentor or HQ staff.