Wedding Policy


The ministers and members of Edith Rankin Memorial United Church are delighted and honored to assist couples in their wedding plans. It is our desire to extend to couples the utmost hospitality as they anticipate not only their wedding day but, more importantly, their marriage that follows it! We have both a beautiful facility for a wedding and a creative, supportive community of faith for the continuing encouragement and strengthening of couples and families. We believe that a strong and vibrant faith has never been more important or more relevant for healthy marriages and families. Research and experience demonstrate a strong correlation between a healthy, well-nurtured spiritual life and healthy, well-nurtured marriages and families. Because Edith Rankin is a congregation of creative, friendly, future-oriented people of faith, we expect couples who wish to get married here to “make themselves at home” among us and discover the opportunities, challenges and immense “real life” satisfactions of exploring and sharing the riches of a faith-based life.

Setting the Date

Every couple (i.e. both parties) wishing to be married at Edith Rankin must first be interviewed in person by one of the ministers who will normally, though not necessarily, approve the request. No request will be approved without a personal interview with the couple wishing to be married. Weddings to be held in Edith Rankin usually require at least three months notice.

Preparation for Marriage

Wedding plans have a way of taking over a couple’s life! It’s an exciting time and the activities, efforts – even the stress – of everyone involved are understandable. Edith Rankin’s ministers and staff want you to be well-prepared for the big day, relaxed, confident and able to enjoy what you’ve worked so hard to accomplish. We also want you to be well-prepared for your marriage. This means:

  • Every couple will be required to participate in at least 2 interviews with the Officiating Minister in addition to the preliminary interview. The main focus of these interviews will be the couple’s relationship, the wedding service and the personal commitments and faith values participants bring to it.
  • Every couple and each individual will be given opportunity to arrange additional sessions with the Officiating Minister, or other appropriate counselor, to discuss matters pertaining to the growth of the relationship, concerns, anxieties and other issues. Every couple will be expected to participate in any marriage preparation or couple enrichment program/event which may be offered by Edith Rankin during the year (six months before to six months after the wedding).
  • Every couple can anticipate appropriate expressions of continuing interest, support and encouragement from Edith Rankin faith community following their wedding. Couples can expect our prayers and best wishes for their continuing happiness, mutual well-being and lasting joy.
  • Parents, family members, friends may all be well-intentioned and even offer some helpful suggestions now and then. But the ministers and staff of Edith Rankin will discuss plans only with the couple unless there is cause and consent to do otherwise.

Planning the Service

The Officiating Minister and other Edith Rankin support persons are committed to helping couples celebrate their wedding in ways that respect the integrity of their own faith and values. Nevertheless, Christian and United Church faith values as well as the communal values of Edith Rankin will be honored, respected and even celebrated in the service. There will be adequate opportunity for creativity and flexibility in the service and couples will be partners in the planning with the Officiating Minister.

Licence or Banns

The Marriage Act expressly states: “No marriage may be solemnized except under the authority of a licence … or the publication of banns.” Most couples will obtain the authority of licence from the issuer of licences at any Ontario municipal offices (City Hall, etc.) and must be dated not more than three months prior to the wedding. It is recommended that couples acquire a licence sometime within 4-6 weeks before the wedding. There is a provincial charge for this service and applicants will be required to show proof of age and identity (usually a birth certificate). If divorced, you will be required to produce your decree absolute or a notarized copy of same. You need to deliver your licence to the church office at least two weeks before the day of your wedding. The Marriage Act also permits the solemnization of marriage under the authority of publication of banns (a licence issued by the church) subject to specific circumstances. A couple may discuss their eligibility with the Officiating Minister. Under the Marriage Act, “Banns shall not be published where either of the parties to the intended marriage has been married and the marriage has been dissolved or annulled.”

Anticipated Costs (Facilities and Honoraria)

A reasonable donation is customary to support our marriage ministry as well as honoraria (gifts of appreciation) for the minister, organist and others who will offer their time and service. These will be discussed at the preliminary interview.

For more information, or to make an appointment, please contact the Church Office.