What do I need to do to get married in BC?

You will need to go to Service BC three months or less before your wedding date to get your marriage license. During covid you should be able to make an appointment in advance, and you will walk out with it on the same day. It costs $100 and one of you needs to go, bringing primary ID for both of you (drivers license, birth certificate etc.) The license is valid for 3 months. At your wedding, we will sign the license with your two witnesses, then I will mail it off and you will receive your marriage certificate in about 6 weeks.


How many witnesses do I need and how old do they need to be?

You need two witnesses, and your photographer can be one of them. In BC, there is actually no minimum age requirement. Myself and most officiants say 12 years and up. The main requirement is a full understanding of the legal documents they are signing.


You’re a Celebrant – what does that mean?

It means I am a highly trained ceremony professional, extensively schooled in the art of ceremony by the Celebrant Foundation and Institute. The Celebrant Institutes gold standard, college-level coursework means that all Celebrants begin their careers as master co-creators and performers of ceremonies that reflect the needs, beliefs and personalities of their couples. It also means your ceremony can be just as fun, creative and joyful as you  are – and that there are “no rules” or things we have to do – we truly get to make it all about you and your love!


You’re a Minister – what does that mean?

As a metaphysical minister, I work with couples from across the spectrum of religion, spiritual and lack thereof. The majority of my couples identify as non-religious, and are seeking a ceremony that is meaningful and full of love. I work with each of my clients to make sure I am using language that feels right to them and reflects their beliefs. 


What if you are sick on the day of and have to cancel?

In 5 years, I have missed only one wedding due to illness, and I was able to call an officiant friend, bring them a printed copy of the script, and connect them with the couple in less than 24 hours. I have a wide network of trusted colleagues who I can call upon in case of emergency. You will have your ceremony script in advance and if absolute need be a friend or relative could perform the ceremony for your guests, with the legal part done at a later time.


How far will you travel? 

I’ve traveled all over BC in the name of love and am happy to travel to you!


Can I bring my dog?

I do a ton of nature elopements with pets, and as long as your location is dog-friendly, your fur babies are welcome!


How many guests can I have with covid?

Currently, you can have 50 guests for an outdoor ceremony. Indoor ceremonies may have 10 people present.


Can we say our own vows?

Yes, always! This is YOUR wedding you can do whatever you want!


What do you wear?

I wear black and neutral tones like brown, beige, blue and green. I ask my clients their colors in advance and do my best to match!


Are you going to photobomb my kiss?

NEVER. This does not happen on my watch.


What is the process like for working on a personalized ceremony with you?

We start with a video call to get to know each other. There is usually lots of laughter – it is so important that we feel comfortable together! Once you have signed your contract and paid your 50% booking fee, I have homework for you – questionnaires that you fill out separately, telling me what you love about each other and what this commitment means to you. I then take your answers and our conversation, and create a personalized ceremony that includes your love story and fun rituals. You get to read it over and make unlimited edits, and I keep working on it until it feels  perfect!


What is the process like for an Elopement or Short & Sweet ceremony?

Again, we usually start with a phone or video call to get to know each other, and to get stoked about the awesome memories we are going to make! For the Elopement, I use a set script which you get to review in advance and make small changes if needed. For the Short + Sweet, you choose from 3 different scripts (Adventure Lovers, Romantic Soulmates, Spiritual Ceremony) and again you get to review and make changes in advance. The process is very easy, the main thing is that you show up with your marriage license and two witnesses!


Do you have ceremony ideas for blended families?

I love including your kids in your ceremony! There are lots of fun rituals we can do: Family Circle of Love, Vows to Kids, Kid’s Ringpop exchange, Family Handfasting and more. I make sure to mention and include your kids in the ceremony itself, to honor this big step for all of you!


What is your best advice for having the best wedding day ever?

Don’t sweat the small stuff – your attitude is the #1 determining factor of the experience you will have. I have seen couples get completely thrown off track by things going “wrong” – and I have seen couples laugh and shrug off the exact same things. It is pretty much guaranteed that your wedding day will not go exactly to plan, and being able to let go of the small things and focus on what truly matters  – this amazing human you get to explore life with – is all you can do. I like to think that your wedding day is a good example of what your marriage will be: you can’t control the weather, or other people, or so many little details, but you know that you with your person by your side, you can make it through anything. And that’s what really matters.

Have more questions? Reach out to me anytime, I'm always available to answer any questions.

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Sue Cairnie Ceremonies is based in the Okanagan, BC Canada, on the unceded territories of the Syilx Okanagan and Secwepemc Nations.
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