How To Become A British Columbia Marriage Commissioner
The private Marriage Commissioner program administered by the Vital Statistics Agency has been in operation since 1982. The program was developed in response to a public demand for a more flexible alternative to the traditional "Court House - Civil Marriage" which was restrictive in content, time and place.
The program has grown to a current level of over 340 Marriage Commissioners performing approximately 57% of the roughly 22,000 marriages solemnized in British Columbia each year. The global provincial gender mix of marriage commissioners is almost equally divided between male and female. The initial appointment is for a 5 year term and one 5 year renewal. Because of the amount of training involved, the Agency does not provide "Temporary Appointments."
The fee that a Marriage Commissioner can charge for a ceremony is legislated through the Marriage Act. For a listing of chargeable fees and rates, click here.
The role of the marriage commissioner is to advise the couple of the legal requirements and options available to them with regard to different ceremonies and to ensure that the dignity and solemnity of the occasion is maintained.
The current marriage commissioner program provides a couple with additional flexibility on their special day. There are now no restrictions to time or location of the ceremony, and a couple may write their own vows or have other specific wishes or needs included in their ceremony.
Marriage Commissioners are not authorized to provide ceremony planning, coordinating or consultation services, which are provided by commercial vendors.
Marriage Commissioners are recruited from eligible candidates who reside in the individual communities where the services are to be delivered. Applications received from outside the posted community may not be considered. These persons are identified as a result of their application made following the placement of an advertisement on this web site. Interested applicants are short listed and interviewing follows with successful candidates being appointed and trained. An eligibility list may also be established at this time.
Potential candidates for appointment must generally meet the following criteria:
- Retired or semi-retired from steady employment;
- No involvement in any activity that may cause actual or perceived conflict of interest;
- Known and active in their community;
- Mature, articulate, self-reliant and well-groomed;
- Must have their own transportation;
- Knowledge of and access to the internet.
The service of Marriage Commissioner is virtually "on demand", therefore the duties can potentially consume a large amount of time, including evenings and weekends.
The Vital Statistics Agency monitors the demand for Marriage Commissioner services in each community. Individual Marriage Commissioner activity is reviewed on an ongoing basis and evaluated against the number of appointments and volume of marriage events occurring in a given community. In addition, opportunities can be created by a Marriage Commissioner vacating an established appointment.
All vacancies within the province are advertised on this website. Due to the enormous interest in the program, the Vital Statistics Agency is unable to maintain applications on file until a vacancy is advertised.
|There are no vacancies at this time.
If there is a vacancy shown above in your community, click on the community name and download the pdf version of the Application for Marriage Commissioner Program. Please note: Applications from candidates who do not reside in the above posted community may not be considered. Print the application, complete it and return the form either by mail to:
Marriage Commissioner Program
Vital Statistics Agency
Ministry of Health
PO Box 9657 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria BC V8W 9P3
or by fax to:
1 800 998-7966 or
if in Victoria 250-952-9140
If you have any questions about the information provided above, please contact us by clicking here.