How To Become An Officiant In Ontario (2024)

Getting ready for a wedding is tasking, nerve-wracking, dopamine-inducing, and edifying, all at once. These days, getting a person not affiliated with religious institutions to be a wedding officiant in Ontario is an attractive option that many couples consider. It’s like experiencing a typical Presbyterian wedding but in a secular setting. 

The most popular way to become an officiant in Ontario is to get a clerical role with the provincial government, which will give you sufficient information about the laws and regulations guiding civil marriages and unions.

The job of an officiant comes with numerous responsibilities – well, this is expected because it takes a lot of processes and actions that have been streamlined and fine-tuned together to create the magic that is a wedding. 

How To Become An Officiant In Ontario

You must be registered with the Department of Consumer and Business Services in Ontario, the provincial Registrar General, and you must belong to an established continuing religious body.

You can also earn a practicing licence by studying law in an accredited college, getting paid employment as a judge or justice, or through the Ontario legal system by gaining significant practical experience.

To earn a licence, you must be a resident of Ontario or have a parish or pastoral charge in Ontario and be duly recognized by a religious body to perform marriages. The Registrar General can also grant you a temporary registration.

Some requisite licencing courses are available to you for free:

1. Ordained Christian Officiant Training

This course is offered by the Christian Leaders Institute and facilitated by generous Christian partners who believe in the cause of free ministry training.

2. Christian Wedding Officiant Program

If you’ve been asked to officiate a wedding program on short notice, then this program is perfect for you. The program includes only four credits to complete, after which you will be given an officiating licence.

3. Ordained Officiant Minister Program

If you consider a more fulfilling and permanent role, this program will help you transition smoothly from a marriage officiant to a wedding minister. 

Also, you can opt for courses that will help you further understand your responsibilities as an officiant.

Courses such as:

  • Wedding ceremony writing
  • Wedding ceremony basics
  • Marriage licencing
  • Wedding officiation
  • Business proposal writing
  • Accounting and bookkeeping
  • APractical business management skills
  • Provincial regulations
  • Wedding planning
  • Human psychology and public speaking will aid your interpersonal relationship skills as you spend a lot of time interacting and speaking with potential clients.

What Are The Skills I Need To Be An Officiant in Ontario?

What makes a great officiant? It goes beyond joining two people in holy matrimony, signing their marriage licence, and boils down to the little actions and pieces that make up the occasion. Your clients expect a flawless delivery, which should take top priority in your deliverables.

Working with people generally requires a lot of patience, especially when dealing with people under a lot of stress and pressure.

Having a can-do spirit is also a necessary skill to have. It comes in handy when tiredness sets in and worry takes over the minds of your client. Hey, it’s their wedding, so it is okay to ease their minds and reassure them about the big picture. 

Ever heard of the phrase, “the heart wants what it wants”? It comes into play when planning a wedding with your clients. They have the perfect picture in their minds for years, and they cannot give it up, so you have to try to understand what they truly desire for their big day. 

You should feel comfortable working with a client without holding any bias against their race, social or religious group, and sexual orientation.

Some other core skills you will be needing for a successful career are;

1. Attention

You can have everyone’s attention for the time required to oversee the occasion completely.

2. Total control

You can control the situation no matter what. 

3. Communication

Your communication prowess is on a grand scale. You should have no issues expressing your needs and expectations.

4. Planning

You should adjust and readjust the plan until it fits the desired purpose if need be.

5. A persuasive spirit

When all fall short, you should be able to persuade them, in the right way, about the next steps and the alternatives available to them.

Can Anyone Officiate a Wedding In Ontario?

The short answer is no. Unless the couple involved is having a spur-of-the-moment kind of wedding, most people take time to inquire about the processes involved and stick to certain set rules to start their “happily ever after.” 

If you’re considering a career as an officiant, you have to follow due process and get a civil or religious licence to officiate wedding ceremonies.

Can I Become An Officiant Online In Ontario?


Some websites offer “free” licencing that will give you an instant ordination, as easy as ordering a box of pizza. These websites define ordination and officiating licenses in the way you want. 

There is no way to cut corners during the process of acquiring your licence, especially when there’s a wedding you have to officiate as soon as possible. 

Truthfully, these websites have no statement of credibility, legal, or religious affiliations. So you shouldn’t try to get a licence online. 


How Much Can An Officiant Earn?

Typically, you can set your rates as an officiant in Ontario. Factors like your legal standing authority, years of experience, capabilities, popularity, and “after-sales” packages affect your rates.

The minimum amount for a beginner officiant is $100, while most couples spend between $200 and 450 to get officiated on their special day.

You can charge as high as $1000 if you’re sure of your premium services, and your portfolio includes a list of high-ranked weddings. If you can satisfy the couple’s hope and successfully hold the attention of their guests to ransom, plan and coordinate the wedding bureaucracy, you can expect a fat paycheck.

Going digital will also do a lot to increase your yearly earnings. You can advertise skills on your website, join social groups to access a larger client pool, and increase your visibility.

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