Post # 1
Hey ladies, maybe you can help me out… is it required or only traditional to sign the license/register during the ceremony? I live in the U.S. and haven’t been to many Canadian weddings, but my Toronto wedding planner indicated she thought it was required to sign it publicly. Our officiant is also American, so isn’t able to offer much guidance on this.
And on a similar note, are there any particularly "Canadian" wedding traditions that you are incorporating into your wedding?
Post # 3
I don’t know if the signing is required or not, but every wedding I’ve been to has included the signing during the ceremony. And I’ve only ever been to weddings in Canada.
I’m trying to wrack my brain for wedding traditions that are "Canadian". There are variations by geographic locations, which may vary widely.
We have "Stag and Does", also called "Jack and Jills" or "Buck and Does", though they are not required events. This is a dance held a few months before the wedding, and it is often open to the public (though not always). Guests pay for admission, pay for drinks while at the dance, and often there are games such as: guess the serial number on the $100 bill, guess the number of jelly beans in the jar, or lotteries to win a prize. The purpose is to raise money for the wedding … and of course, to have some fun.
This resource is a good one for "Canadian" traditions, both wedding-related and all other parties: http://www.askoxford.com/worldofwords/wordfrom/party/. I haven’t been to a kitchen party yet (I’m in Ontario) but I’d like to go to one!
Apparently, there’s a tradition to pay to dance with the newlyweds to fund their honeymoon, mentioned here: http://www.videobabylon.ca/canadian_wedding_traditions.html and again here: http://www.canadianbridal.ca/2008/07/23/wedding-traditions-canada-celebrating-a-marriage-with-canadian-flair/. However, I have never seen or even heard of this idea before today!
The latter website also mentions a trousseau tea. More details on the troussea tea are available on the above askoxford link.
There are also traditions for marriages for those who serve, just like for every country’s armed forces. Some of these traditions are unique to each branch of the armed forces; in addition, some are unique to Canada’s Armed Forces. I don’t know them very well, so I wouldn’t pretend to give information.
Post # 4
Its just a tradition. Our officiant gave us the option to sign before the ceremony, during the ceremony or after.
We are choosing to sign the document right before the ceremony in my bridal suite. This only works if you choose to see the groom before the ceremony, as we are doing so we can take our pictures together.
You can also sign the document right after the ceremony in a private room if you like.
Post # 5
Just a Tradition as far as I know. You need 2 witnesses to sign as well as you two and your officiant.
Post # 6
The pay to dance thing I believe is actually a Phillipino custom perhaps??? It is not Canadian (or Western Christian) tradition whatsoever. I know it is a foreign custom.
Post # 7
Typically your document witnesses are your Maid/Matron of Honor and Bridesmaid or Best Man. This is the other reason it is done at the tail end of the ceremony.
It is only by signing the document in front of witnesses that an officiant can declare you to the public as husband and wife, wife and wife, or husband and husband. Therefore typically the signing of the license/registry occurs post vows, post any religious aspects of the ceremony – after the I do’s. You the couple, and your Maid/Matron of Honor & Bridesmaid or Best Man sign the license and the registry for the government to acknowledge the marriage. Even if you don’t sign your license during the ceremony, you may be required to sign the registry.
Then your officiant can present you as married to your guests.
It may seem like wasted time to someone from out of country, but in reality, this represents the civil union part of the ceremony that makes it legal in our country. Your Canadian guests are likely to expect to see it occur this way, and may evenbe confused by not being able to witness it.
Hope this helps.
Rebecca Wellum I.W.P.P
Budget Wise Bride
Post # 8
I’d never seen the pay to dance thing, either, but I found it listed on several websites (which I listed in the above post) as also being an old-fashioned canadian tradition. So I assume that it is both Canadian and Philipino (and other country’s traditions, too).
Post # 9
The money dance is part of MANY traditions…common in filipino, spanish, some european, etc. I don’t think it has anything to do with religion.
I don’t think Canada as a country has any specific wedding traditions as the majority of the population comes from all parts of the world. It’s down to personal, family or religious preference.
It’s the norm to sign the certificate during the ceremony… whether is before the kiss, after the kiss…I think is entirely up to you.
Post # 10
It is certainly necessary to sign the certificate and register either right before or immediately after your officiant pronounces you married. The officiant has to complete their paperwork as well and send it to the government as soon as possible, because it can take up to 12 weeks to be registered. I suggest applying for your offical marriage certificate as soon as you can ( 1 week or so after you’re married, or back from your honeymoon) I was expecting a long wait, but got mine in about 4 weeks that way.
As for traditions, the pay to dance thing is definitely not a "Canadian" tradition, but more of a tradition that has been adopted from European/Asian traditions by many people.
A "Jack and Jill" party is generally more of a… rural tradition, at least where I’m from in Canada. As an example: the last one I went to was about an hours drive north of me, and they put an ad in the local paper to invite everyone around. Basically everyone gets drunk and spends money on raffles, 50/50 draw etc. The purpose is to make money for the bride and groom.
Post # 11
Hehe … Torontonians called anything that’s not common in Toronto “rural”.
I can say that as a former Torontonian, SarahW, so I’m not slighting you. I’ve had friend from Toronto consider Ottawa a “town”. (Hardly!)
Jack and Jills are pretty common. In rural areas, they tend to be called “stag and does” or “buck and does”. But in other cities (such as Ottawa), they’re usually jack and jills. They don’t always make money, but they usually do. (Ours did not; it raised money for the Canadian Cancer Society and was more of an after-party after the bridal shower).
And signing the marriage register must be witnessed, but it must be witnessed by your witnesses. It doesn’t need to be witnessed by everyone who was there, so it can be done privately afterwards. You can check with a local city hall licensing official for more info. Also, I recently found out that technically the certificate can only be signed AFTER the vows. As a legal technicality, signing is indicating the ceremony has ALREADY taken place. But unless someone pursues the legality of your marriage on a technicality (such as for an annulment), that’s not a big deal either way.