Welcome and thank you for coming to the Weddings section of our website. You will find a fairly extensive treatment of our wedding service here. Should there be anything further you wish to know please contact our Wedding Director at Canadian Memorial Church, Vancouver BC.
Booking a Wedding
Weddings can be booked in our church sanctuary on:
- Saturdays at 11am, 1 pm, 3 pm, & 5 pm;
- Fridays at 1 pm, 3 pm, & 5 pm; and
- Sundays at 1:30 pm & 3:30 pm
Each wedding is given a total of two hours - designed for decorating the church, having the wedding ceremony, taking photographs 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 typically takes between 25 to 30 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, either Reverend Sanguin or our organist are 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, wedding director, custodian and the use of the church. The cost for a wedding on a Sunday or statutory holiday weekend is $1,950. (Additional charges apply for special requests eg for one of our soloists or our choir to sing at your ceremony. Sessions needed with the minister of music for your own imported musicians will also come with a nominal fee of $45 extra.) NB: Rates for weddings are subject to periodic adjustment.
Typically, the first step is to view the facilities. You can do so by:
- attending a Sunday service at 10:30 am - a time when you can see the church and its famous stained glass windows in daylight and hear the organ being played.
- Or you can arrange with the Wedding Director to view the church at regularly scheduled site tours available Tuesday evenings by appointment only.
Weddings can be booked by submitting a completed booking form with a non-refundable deposit attached to hold confirmed dates for both rehearsal and wedding times:
- A minimum deposit of $350 for a Friday or Saturday wedding; and
- A minimum deposit of $450 for a wedding on a Sunday or Statutory holiday.
Cheques can be made payable to Canadian Memorial Church. The marriage license and balance are due in the Church Office two months (60 days) before the wedding date. Please scroll down for more about the "marriage license and balance due date &.
You are welcome to contact Marion, our Wedding Director, for assistance on any aspect of weddings at Canadian Memorial if you have not found what you need on this website. Our web calendar is a fine reference for church availability however it may not always be 100% up to date so please make sure to confirm your dates with the Wedding Director.
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 run by our minister, Bruce Sanguin, and his wife, Dr. Ann Evans, at Canadian Memorial Centre for Peace on selected weekends through the year. Contact the Wedding Director for information on registration for this course. The cost is $200 per couple for the group sessions with Bruce and Ann, or $500 for 5 hours of private sessions with Ann. See the brochure & The Two Shall Become One & for more information. It is available at the church office.
The offering in the Spring of 2012 of the premarriage course, “And the Two Shall Become One” at Canadian Memorial is scheduled for:
April 13, 14, 2012 (Friday eve 7 - 10 pm / Sat 9 am - 4 pm) – for details follow the link directly below
Please use the following link to access further details from the brochure for “The Two Shall Become One”.
Our church organist/pianist is available to provide the music at your wedding. A Wedding Sampler 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 refundable deposit. You will also receive an easy music planner in your wedding packet.
Should you have special request with regard to music you can contact Neil directly. From time to time there may be a Music & Wedding Details Seminar available for you to take part in. Typically these occur only once a wedding season.
Our Chancel Choir is also available to perform at weddings though a minimum of six weeks notice is required and the fee is $600.
Contact the Music Minister at his office number (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
It is good to be aware and inform your guests that Canadian Memorial is comprised of 2 buildings. Weddings are typically in the church at W15th & Burrard and the offices and church hall etc are in the Centre for Peace which is behind the church across a laneway at 1825 West 16th Avenue. We try to provide the most direct route for wedding guests.
Adjacent to the Centre is a 26 car parking lot with 4 additional wheelchair parking spots.
To view maps please click here.
You can apply for your marriage license and registration by completing a marriage license application through the Vital Statistics website at www.vs.gov.bc.ca/marriage. Application can be made within 90 days of your wedding date. Submit the application with required ID and fee to Vital Statistics at their Provincial Government office at #250 - 605 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC or another Marriage License Issuer listed at the same website as well – or - check the website for possible on-line options.
Fill in the first half of your wedding license when you receive it, however do not sign the form till the wedding. Please take care to enter each of your care card numbers in the spaces marked PHN on the form (Public Health Number) and that the information requested on both sets of parents is also completed before submitting your license to the church.
The bride and groom are required to enter the full name 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 for the marriage license. Please bring the license and the balance of your fees to the church office two months prior to your wedding.
Immediately after your wedding, your marriage license will be mailed to the Vital Statistics Agency where your marriage will be registered & a wedding certificate issued.
NB: Your balance of payment is also due two months prior to your wedding date so please submit this together with your license. If your payment for the balance due is made by cheque, please write your last names and 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 have been removed. Gay or Lesbian couples are welcome to have their wedding at Canadian Memorial and we are happy to discuss alternatives to conventional marriage preparation if you prefer.
Rehearsals at Canadian Memorial are conducted by the wedding director. They 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. The wedding party and family members can expect to get certainty about all aspects of the wedding ceremony and how it will go. A rehearsal notice will be sent to a couple a couple of weeks before the rehearsal date with complete guide and information about this event.
The church has two candelabras which are available to use at the ceremony. It is up to the wedding couple to provide the candles for these. They each hold seven candles for a total of fourteen preferably 12" candles. NB: White or cream candles are said to photograph much better than dark-coloured candles.
If you wish to perform the unity candle ceremony you will need four additional tall candles plus a centre pillar candle. You may also bring memorial candles of any size and shape to represent family members who are absent or deceased. Please refer to the diagram in the FAQ pages of the wedding packet to clarify.
Bring candles and holders, boxed and clearly labeled with your names, wedding date and time, and leave them with the Wedding Director at your rehearsal time.
Order of Service
At Canadian Memorial you are able to create a wedding ceremony that is tailored to you. The standard United Church - Order of Service is posted on the web under Wedding Resources and there are several samples for each item for you to choose from. You are invited to copy and paste your personal selections into a Word document and in this way gradually build your ceremony. In the timeline given in our wedding packet we request that you send your ceremony to the minister one month prior to the wedding date
Our minister, Bruce Sanguin, is available for guidance should you wish to make further 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. The following is an outline of a typical Order of Service if you wish to create 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
- Blessing & Declaration
- Holy Kiss
- Lighting of the Wedding Candle
- Signing of the Register & Documents
- Presentation of Married Couple
- Recessional (Program covers for wedding ceremonies can be purchased at religious bookstores such as Marian Distributing Centre, Dogwood Books or Pilgrim Books.)
There are three or four parking places in front of the church on West 15th Avenue that we reserve for wedding vehicles (we request that residents and public keep those spaces open on these occasions but compliance is voluntary). Limited parking is available for guests in our parking lot accessed by West 16th Avenue and there is plenty of street parking. The west entrance of the church is wheelchair accessible (accessed either from W15th Ave or the laneway).
The church has two pedestals 26 & high and one pedestal 41 & high on which to place flower arrangements. Wedding flowers can be delivered to the church’s front doors an hour before the ceremony. Couples with weddings scheduled after 11:00 a.m. should discuss their flower delivery with our wedding director at the time of their rehearsal date. You will be responsible to arrange the pick up and transport of any flowers or decorations immediately after the ceremony.
You are welcome to borrow one of two types of pew bows that we have at the church or choose to bring your own if you so desire. (Please use only masking or scotch tape, ribbon or florist hooks when affixing decorations to the pews.)
NB: The length of the centre aisle is 72 ' from inner door to the base of the chancel steps.
There are some occasions when your wedding will have to accommodate decorations in place in the church. The church sanctuary is decorated with appropriate floral & greenery arrangements on the Saturday before Easter, Thanksgiving & Remembrance Day. During Advent and through Christmas, evergreen boughs and poinsettias typically enhance the chancel. A decorated tree is placed at the front of the church several weeks before Christmas. This is removed before New Year's Day. Queries may be directed to the director who will put you in touch with the Liturgical Arts Committee who will be happy to discuss this with you in more detail.
Please inform your guests not to throw any kind of confetti, rice or birdseed in or near the church.
Photography & Videographyy
We co-operate fully with your photographer & videographer, giving ample opportunity for fine pictures. Please ask your photographer & videographer to speak to the minister before the ceremony for our protocols. Videos are allowed with discretion. The church cannot be used as a studio for post-wedding photography, however we try to accommodate a short photo session especially in inclement weather.
The Great Hall in our Centre on W16th Avenue is suitable for small receptions, rehearsal dinners or for a gathering while wedding photos are being taken elsewhere. We can give you further information upon request (see Facilities page).
For further questions or concerns you are welcome to call the wedding director for assistance.