Please note that as of March 18th 2020 the GTA has suspended issuing marriage licenses. Until this is over please stay safe and stay positive. Love will outlive the pandemic…..Clare
“To thine own self be true” ….. Shakespeare knew what he was talking about. For your wedding celebration, staying true to yourself, your values and your dreams is important. I believe people should be able to marry who they want, in the way they want, so I became a Humanist Officiant licensed by the Registrar General and the Ontario Humanist Society to provide legal, secular wedding ceremonies in Ontario. Humanist ceremonies don’t use religious language but are respectful of both your wedding wishes and your cultural traditions. Your wedding day is all about you and I enjoy working with couples to make it memorable. Your ceremony will be personal and special and one that you will cherish after it’s all over. My goal is to make your ceremony the part of your wedding that you will worry about the least and will remember the most. Whether you already know exactly what you want to say or if you need a little inspiration I will be your ceremony partner and support. I really love what I do and that makes every couple important to me.
I also offer officiant services for End of Life/Celebration of Life. When you lose someone you love it’s very hard to deal with saying goodbye. A Humanist officiant can relieve you of the burden of planning what to say and how to celebrate the life of your loved one respectfully and joyfully.
A little about me.
After a career in communications I decided to take my daughter’s advice and do something that actually had meaning for me. I realized that the values of Humanism aligned perfectly with the way I lived my life. Being an officiant allows me to provide a non-judgmental service to people at important milestones in their lives, sharing in their joys and sorrows. Instead of working on inspirational but impersonal email campaigns, I now get to actually live in the moment, in person, with real people.
I’m married with two children and two dogs. I read widely and love to garden, hike, ski and laugh with my friends. If possible I will always choose being outside over housework of any kind. I’m the Registrar of the Ontario Humanist Society and my favourite Humanist is Gene Roddenberry.
Please contact me at email@example.com if you would like more information, to check availability or book a ceremony.
How to Get Married
Finding someone you want to spend your life with is the hardest part! But now that you have decided to get married there is also some important legal housekeeping. Here’s how it works.
Contact me for a meeting
This is where we will get to know each other and talk about your wedding. If you decide to book me as your officiant then we will sign a contract and you give me a deposit. After this we will work together on your ceremony to make sure that it’s everything you dream of.
Get a Marriage License
You are responsible for getting your marriage license – without it I can’t perform your ceremony. You can get one from any municipality in Ontario and use the license in Toronto or any other Ontario city. The license fee can be paid by cash, money order, certified cheque, or credit card. It’s valid for 3 months and there is no waiting period – you can get married right away if you want. Either or both of the people to be married can get the license, just bring your ID. There are no citizenship or residency requirements to apply for a marriage license in Ontario. If you are divorced you must provide either the original or a court-certified copy of your certificate of divorce, or Decree Absolute.
Get Your Witnesses
You must have two witnesses present over the age of 18 for your ceremony.
At the end of the ceremony, you and your witnesses will sign the license and Marriage Register. As your Officiant I will give you a Record of Solemnization of the Ceremony and within 48 hours I will file your license with the Province so your marriage will be legally registered. After 6 to 10 weeks you may apply for a Certificate of Marriage Registration from the Registrar General. Please note there is currently a huge backlog at the Registrar General so if you apply for your certificate online and are told your marriage is not registered don’t panic! Currently it can take longer than 12 weeks to get weddings registered.
You are invited to provide me with feedback about my services at any time. Complaints relating to misconduct, incompetence or incapacity as set out in the Ontario Humanist Society Ethical Principles and Humanist Officiant Profile (available at www.ontariohumanists.ca) may be directed to the Chair, Ceremonies Committee, Ontario Humanist Society, 265 Gore Street, Almonte, ON, KOA 1A0 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
From the moment we met and through the entire process, Clare was a joy to work with. In our initial meeting, she took a genuine interest in us, our lives, and what we wanted for our ceremony. She helped us to figure out how we wanted everything to flow and her experience and care made everything run smoothly. The sample ceremony she gave us was so appreciated and her thoughts on how to tweak it for our needs made a huge difference. She was professional, but also very warm and personable. We were thrilled that she was part of our wedding. Samantha and Justin
Choosing an officiant for us was not an easy task, as we did not want a religious ceremony, but once we met Clare we both agreed she was the perfect one for our wedding. Genuinely friendly, personable, responsible and simply kind and welcoming, she was the kind of person we were looking for. Everything went perfect for our ceremony, and Clare was great in getting us ready for it. She offered a script to get started, helped with the readings, and even accommodated our request to have some phrases in Russian, which she learned and pronounced perfectly. She took the task very responsibly, and we got many compliments on the ceremony. Thank you for making our special day a beautiful one. Alesia and Alexander.
My husband and I were married by Clare in mid September, 2019. It is a second marriage for us both so we were looking for a personalized and meaningful service that suited our age. Clare was wonderful and easy to work with from suggested service options to her accommodating small last minute changes. I highly recommend Clare as an officiant for any ceremony! Laurie and Brian
We wanted to send you a quick note to sincerely thank you for everything that you did for us on Saturday and over the last year since we met that fateful day at the Cafe! The ceremony that you put together was absolutely perfect. All of our friends and family shared this sentiment. We also very much appreciated your advice and assistance as we set up the ceremony space and last minute ceremony details on Saturday. Bonnie and Grant
What’s Humanism Anyway?
I asked myself that same question. Turns out I’ve been a Humanist all along. Maybe you are too, so if you are interested here is some more information.
Humanism is a non-religious ethical philosophy, a way of life and a way of thinking, that involves adherence to strong ethics, an emphasis on human rights, and respect for the Earth and its creatures. A Humanist works toward creating a more humane and responsible world, with a commitment to reason and compassion. Humanists believe:
- The universe is natural, neither for us nor against us
- Natural events have natural causes
- We human beings are part of nature and have kinship with all life
- Morality is a challenge to be figured out by human beings from experience and our interactions with others
- Compassion, empathy and reason are a natural guide to deciding right from wrong: we are responsible to ourselves and to each other to do what’s right
- Human beings are communal animals: people need each other and learn from each other
- Reason is a useful and powerful tool for solving problems, and the methods of science help us understand ourselves and the universe we live in
- Humans are presented with possibilities and opportunities, living together on a crowded planet; we should work on our problems, learning from others, and not ask or expect supernatural intervention to solve them
- What happens to us often results from choice and by chance, through the actions of the natural world and how we interact with others; it is not determined by stars and planets, or by gods or other supernatural forces
- There are no promises of special privilege to anyone, neither is anyone doomed or afflicted
- We all have ideas. It’s right to be open to learn from others and hear their views
- Individual freedom of choice and freedom of expression is part of being human and worth defending