How to choose the witnesses of your civil marriage in Quebec?What is the criterion for choosing witnesses for our civil marriage in Quebec? Who can I choose for my civil wedding in Quebec?
The choice of witnesses to your civil marriage in Montreal, Québec can raise several questions. Know that it is at two levels, the legal aspect of marriage and that of personal choice. For the future spouses, a family member, friend or loved one is a natural choice to witness the celebration of their civil marriage. However, it is important to emphasize that beyond the sentimental aspect of the choice of witnesses, the other level, the legal aspect implies that the roles and responsibilities of the person are well understood.
There are conditions, by law, in Quebec, to unite or marry civilly. In the conditions related to the solemnization of marriage, the Quebec Department of Justice has established rules regarding witnesses.
Thus, in Quebec, during a marriage celebration, you must agree to marry before two witnesses whose role is to:
- · witness that consent was given, in order to be able to testify about it later, if necessary;
- · sign your declaration of marriage.
A distinction to be made between the witness to the act of publication and the witness to the ceremony
The role of the witness at the wedding ceremony is completely different from that of the witness at the act of publication. Regarding the latter, during your meeting with the notary, the act of publication is prepared and, on this occasion, the future spouses must be accompanied by an adult witness of their acquaintance. The witness must know the two future spouses. But he or she does not have necessarily to be one of the witnesses to the future marriage.
That being said, you can choose who you want to witness your wedding. But to make your choice, let us review what his role or roles will be.
1) Witnesses, like the future spouses, must be physically present at the ceremony. It is therefore important to make sure that they are willing and that they can be there on the date and time of the ceremony.
2) The witness must understand his/her role. Therefore, you can choose whoever you want as a witness. If your child meets this condition, you have the right to nominate him/her even if he/she is not 18 years old.
3) The witness must be able to attest to your consent. And testify, if necessary.
4) The witness must sign your declaration of marriage
Documents and information to present to your officiant concerning witnesses to the civil wedding ceremony
The officiant of your marriage must be able to confirm the identity of your witnesses for the validity of your marriage. You must first provide their name and a copy of a valid piece of identification. In the case of a minor child, the parent or legal guardian must also present consent for the child.
Let us take an example.
Would you like one of your children to be one of the two witnesses at your wedding? A minor child can very well be a witness at a wedding as long as he or she understands his or her role, is present at the ceremony, can attest to your consent and can sign your declaration of marriage. If all these conditions are met, there is no problem. As we mention attesting to your consent and signing your declaration, very young children (less than 7 or 8 years old) are not a desirable choice to witness your union.
Beyond the legal aspect, the witnesses will have more or less other tasks, responsibilities, or roles, depending on the marriages. The witness may or may not make a speech at the celebration; the witness can accompany the future spouses in their preparations; the witnesses can even in some cases accompany the spouses and their families on their honeymoon. But it all depends on the personal choice of the couple getting married. The only aspect that cannot be avoided is that of meeting the legal conditions and rules. If you still have questions about the choice of your marriage witnesses, consult your notary.Contact us now!