Weddings can be booked in our sanctuary on:
- Saturday at 11am, 1 pm, 3 pm, and 5 pm;
- Friday at 1 pm, 3 pm, and 5 pm; and
- Sunday typically at 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm
Each wedding is given a window of two hours - designed to include decorating the church, having the guests arrive, having the wedding ceremony, mingling & departure and refreshing the church for the next event. This means that a couple with a wedding at 1:00 pm will have the church from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm for set-up, ceremony and strike down. The wedding ceremony itself takes between 25 to 35 minutes. It is a snug fit, but we are unable to offer longer times.
Weddings will not be performed at our church on Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and occasionally other dates. If for some reason Reverend Sanguin or our Minister of Music is unavailable we will assume responsibility for securing the services of another minister or organist. There is a set fee for the wedding and should you wish to provide special music of your own you would make payment arrangements, if they apply, with those musicians directly and in addition to our fee.
The cost of a weekday or Saturday wedding is $1,350. This fee includes payment for the minister, organist, custodian, wedding director and the use of the church. The cost for a wedding on a Sunday or statutory holiday is $1,950. (Additional charges apply if there is a request for one of our soloists or our choir to sing. Sessions needed with the Minister of Music for your own imported musicians will also incur a nominal fee of $35 extra.)
NB: Rates for weddings are subject to periodic adjustment.
The first step is to view the facilities.
· You can do so by attending any Sunday service (10:30 a.m.) when you will be able to see the church in daylight, hear the piano & organ being played and possibly experience our minister at that time as well.
- You may also arrange with the Wedding Director to view the church at regular bi-weekly site tours available every other Tuesday evening at 6 pm by appointment. A wedding package will be made available at that time.
Weddings can be booked by submitting a completed booking form and a non-refundable deposit to hold confirmed dates and times for both rehearsal and wedding:
$350 for a Friday or Saturday wedding; and
$450 for a wedding on a Sunday or Statutory holiday.
Please make cheques payable to Canadian Memorial Church. Tentative bookings will not be accepted. The marriage licence and the balance of payment are due in the Church Office two months before the wedding date. Please scroll down for more about the Marriage License and Balance Due.
You are welcome to contact our Wedding Director for assistance on any aspect of weddings at Canadian Memorial if you have not found what you need on this website.(NB: The web calendar is a fine reference for church availability however it may not always be 100% up to date. Please confirm your dates with the Wedding Director to avoid disappointment.)
Our church requires that couples being married here take a pre-marriage workshop. We can recommend the following two options:
The first is called, "The Two Shall Become One". This course is offered by our minister, Bruce Sanguin, and his wife, Dr. Ann Evans, at the Centre for Peace on selected weekends through the year. Contact the Wedding Director for information on course dates & registration for this course. The cost is $200 per couple for group sessions with Bruce & Ann, or, $500 for 5 hours of private sessions with Ann. See refer to the brochure "The Two Shall Become One" for more information. It is available in the wedding packet and at the church office.
In the Spring of 2011 there is a PreMarriage Course on May 13 / 14 which is open for registration.
Our church organist/pianist is available to provide the music at your wedding. A wedding sampler on CD has been created by Music Minister, Neil Weisensel, for your listening pleasure over time. You can take one home with you from the Site Tour in exchange for a $10 fee that is refundable upon return. Your wedding packet will also receive a Music Planner.
Should you require assistance for special requests you can contact the Music Minister directly. From time to time there may be a Music and Wedding Details Seminar available for you to take part in. Typically these occur only once or twice a wedding season.
There is an array of soloists and our Chancel Choir is also available to perform at weddings. A minimum of six weeks notice is required and the fee is $600. The Music Minister’s office number is (604) 731-6819.
Church Address and Maps for Wedding Invitations
On your wedding invitations please be sure and print the address as follows:
Canadian Memorial Church
West 15th Avenue & Burrard Street
Please be aware that Canadian Memorial is comprised of two buildings. Weddings are typically in the Church which is located at W15th & Burrard and the offices, church hall and meeting rooms etc are in the Centre for Peace which is behind the church across a laneway and is at 1825 West 16th Avenue. It works to avoid undue traffic through the Centre.
Adjacent to it is a 26 car parking lot with 4 additional wheelchair parking spots.
To view maps please click here.
Marriage License & Balance of Payment
You can apply for your marriage licence and registration by completing a Marriage Licence Application through the Vital Statistics website at www.vs.gov.bc.ca/marriage. Take the application with required ID and fee to a service provider listed on the Vital Statistics website and you will be issued a marriage licence.This also needs to be completed partially and if you plan to marry at Canadian Memorial your licence is due 60 days prior to your wedding date along with your balance of payment. Fill in the first half of your wedding licence when you receive it however do not sign the form. You and your witnesses will sign during the marriage ceremony.
Please take care to enter each of your care card numbers in the spaces marked PHN on the form (Public Health Number) and ensure that the information requested re both sets of parents is also completed before submitting your licence.
The bride and groom are required to enter the full & given names of each of their fathers and the full & maiden names of each of their mothers on the form. The city and country of birth of each parent is also required.
Immediately after your wedding, your marriage license will be mailed to the Department of Vital Statistics where your marriage will be registered in government records.
NB:If your payment for the Balance Due is made by cheque, we thank you in advance for writing the date and time of the wedding in the memo line for easy reference.
Same Sex Marriage
Legal barriers to granting a marriage license to same sex couples are now removed. Gay or Lesbian couples are welcome to have their wedding at Canadian Memorial. The Minister will discuss alternatives to the conventional Marriage Counseling if that is more appropriate in your circumstances.
Rehearsals at Canadian Memorial are a vital component of the wedding process and typically occur on the Thursday evening before your wedding. They comfortably take about three quarters of an hour. It is an opportunity to finalize wedding plans and run through the flow of the wedding. Families, members of the wedding party, as well as the wedding couple themselves, get certainty about the wedding ceremony and how it will go.
The church has two candelabra which couples like to use at the ceremony. It is up to the wedding clients to provide the candles for these. They each hold seven candles for a total of fourteen preferably 12" no-drip candles. NB: White candles photograph better than dark-coloured candles.
If you wish to perform the unity candle ceremony you will need four additional such candles plus a centre pillar candle. You may also use candles to represent family members who are absent or deceased and then you would add that number to the total. Please refer to the diagram in the packet to clarify.
Bring candles and holders, boxed and clearly labeled with your names, wedding date and time, and give them to the Wedding Director at your rehearsal time. She will set the stage on your wedding day and begin lighting the candelabra one half hour before the ceremony is to start.
Order of Service
We recommend that you send your ceremony to the minister one month prior to the wedding date. The standard United Church wedding service is posted on the web under Wedding Resources. Here you are invited to choose portions of that service by cutting and pasting your personal selections into a Word document and in this way gradually building your ceremony.
When you are finished, email the file as an attachment to Reverend Sanguin with your names and wedding date and time at the top. Be sure to insert the names into the blanks all the way through the printed ceremony that he will use during the service. Take care to articulate how you would like him to present/introduce you at the end of the service and have it written in. The minister will respond with any comments or suggestions. Once the draft order of service is approved, he will return it to you - copying it to the director to use at the wedding rehearsal. It's a good idea to bring your own copy of the approved service to the rehearsal.
Our minister, Bruce Sanguin, is available for guidance should you wish to make innovations in your service and will work with you to accommodate them.
Some couples wish to have a printed Order of Service for guests to read. We do not provide these but the following is an outline of a typical Order of Service if you wish to print your own:
- Lighting of Family Candles
- Welcome and Statement of Purpose
- Opening Prayer
- Scripture and Poetry Readings
- Minister's Address to the Guests
- Minister's address to the Couple
- Statement of Intent
- Affirmation of Support
- Prayer before the Vows
- Exchange of Vows
- Exchange of Rings
- Holy Kiss
- Lighting of the Wedding Candle
- Presentation of Married Couple
- Signing of the Register & Documents
(Program covers for wedding ceremonies can be purchased at religious bookstores such as Marian Distributing Centre, Dogwood Books or Pilgrim Books.)
There are three parking places in front of the church on West 15th Avenue that we reserve for the bridal party (we request that residents and public keep those spaces open for wedding vehicles, but compliance is voluntary). Limited parking is available for guests in our parking lot accessed by West 16th Avenue. The west entrance of the church is wheelchair accessible (accessed either from West 15th Avenue or the laneway).
Canadian Memorial Chancel, with flowersThe church has two pedestals 26" high and one pedestal 41" high on which to place flower arrangements. Flowers for an 11:00 a.m. wedding can be delivered to the church’s front doors an hour before the ceremony. Couples scheduled after 11:00 a.m. should discuss their flower delivery with our Custodian on their rehearsal date. Any flowers or decorations which you bring must be removed immediately after the ceremony.
We have 20 white tulle bows which you may use if you wish, or you may bring your own. (Please use masking tape when affixing decorations to the pews.)
The length of the centre aisle is 72 feet, from the inner door to the base of the chancel steps.
There are some days when your wedding will have to accommodate decorations already in place in the church. The church sanctuary is decorated with appropriate floral and greenery arrangements on the Saturday before Easter, Thanksgiving and Remembrance Day. For Advent and Christmas, artificial and real evergreen boughs and poinsettias enhance the chancel. A decorated tree is placed at the front of the church about two weeks before Christmas. This is removed before New Year's Day. Queries may be directed to the office who can put you in touch with the Liturgical Arts Committee, who will be happy to discuss this in more detail.
We ask that you inform your guests not to throw confetti, rice or birdseed in or near the church.
We co-operate fully with your photographer, giving ample opportunity for good pictures. Please ask your photographer to speak to the minister before the ceremony. During the ceremony, only non-flash may be used. Videos are allowed with discretion. The church cannot be used as a studio for pre- or post-wedding photography, however we will try to accommodate a short photo session for inclement weather.
We do have a hall in our Centre on 16th Avenue which is suitable for small receptions, rehearsal dinners or for a gathering while wedding photos are being taken elsewhere. We do not allow alcohol to be served or consumed on our premises. We can give you further information on request (see Facilities page).