Updated: May 27, 2022
Who can witness a Marriage?
This question is a very common one for engaged couples when they plan their wedding.
Some engaged couples believe that only the best man and maid of honour can do the witness signing. This is not true – any two people can witness the marriage, including any other wedding party member, a sibling, close friend, or even someone special like a grandparent, great Aunt or someone who is very close to you.
Couples must provide the two witnesses required according to section 25 of the Marriage Act of Ontario. There is no set minimum age for a person to be a witness to a civil ceremony; however, the officiant must be satisfied that the person understands what he/she is signing. They also must understand English and not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as also must be the bride and groom.
Each of the parties to the marriage, the two witnesses and the authorized marriage officiant must sign the marriage licence and the record of solemnization. Some couples ask that there be more than the two witnesses, so I also provide a souvenir marriage certificate (which isn’t a legal wedding certificate) that can be signed by any number of witnesses or even the couple’s own children.
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Being an official solemnization witness is a very important duty, so choose someone who you know would feel very proud and honoured to fulfill this important requirement for you two.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
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