The First Wedding at St Stephen’s

The first marriage took place in the Church on August 10th, 1863 between Thomas Skitch described as “farmer” and his bride Cecelia Luxmor of South Saanich, both 21 years of age.

A Message from our Rector

Congratulations on your engagement!

As one young woman said: ‘We spent so much time planning for our wedding, but very little time, if any, planning for married life.’

As you get ready to begin your new life together we want to do all we can to help you build a healthy marriage. We feel that a relationship with Jesus is the most important relationship we can have and will enrich your marriage and family life. We’re interested in where you are on your spiritual journey and would like the chance to get to know you, so we invite you to join us for worship on Sunday morning.

If you decide to make St. Stephen’s your spiritual home, then we’ll arrange for you to take the Marriage Preparation Course. Over a few sessions you’ll work on your relationship and see how your faith can help your marriage thrive. Being part of the church and completing the course are important steps in getting married at St Stephen’s. Please contact Rev. Rob if you have questions.

The Rev. Robert Szo  –


Special day, special place

Churches are special places and there are some things about a church wedding that you just can’t get anywhere else. St_Stephens_Wedding

  • A church wedding will add a spiritual dimension to your marriage. The ceremony includes God and looks to him for help and guidance. God’s blessing is the main attraction for many couples, whatever their beliefs.
  • You can make amazing vows, or promises, in a church. You can only make vows this big in a church. These vows, made in public, will help you to stay together and grow together. God and your church are there for you to help you keep your vows.
  • The Priest has a very particular role to play in your wedding. They can blend ancient tradition and modern experience to reflect your story. Because of the involvement of the priest, your wedding can be made personal, memorable, meaningful and beautiful.
In Church it’s marriage in the eyes of God, which makes the commitment even stronger. I mean not in yourselves, it doesn’t change your feelings, but for some reason it puts that spirit over you– of peace and comfort and strength . It’s more than legal. It’s different – it’s proper.
  • Church buildings offer beauty. The warmth and charm of a Church building helps make your wedding beautiful and wonderful.
  • Church buildings offer history. Imagine all the couples who have married in your local church, some of whom may well be your family. You can feel you’re becoming part of history itself, the bigger plan, by marrying in church as did your relatives. We know these sorts of connections can make your day even more special.
  • You can be involved in making choices about your ceremony.
  • For some people, a church simply seems like the proper place to get married. Churches can be described as ‘peaceful’, ‘serene’, or having an atmosphere that makes marrying there a particularly special experience.

A Christian Wedding Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Requesting wedding in a Christian church is an invitation to that church to help you prepare for a major event in your lives. It is also a sign of commitment to God, and an invitation to ask God’s presence and blessing upon your union. As a Christian faith community we take seriously our role, following both civil and church law governing marriages. A Christian wedding is an act of worship in which solemn, life-long vows are made before family and friends, and before God. We encourage prospective brides and grooms to join us for worship on Sundays in order to have a sense of who we are as a Church and to consider becoming active participants in our faith community. Advance Notice The Canon Law of the Anglican Church of Canada requires a minimum of 60 days notice before the intended date of the marriage. If either party has been divorced, the period of notice and requirements are different. Who may be married in an Anglican Church At least one of you must be baptized. Normally, people coming for Christian marriage do so because one or both are practising Christians and they desire to acknowledge God’s presence in their lives. Preparation Ordinarily you will be expected to meet the clergy several times prior to the wedding: to do the paperwork, discuss the church’s understanding of marriage and to plan details of the service. You will also be expected to take part in a formal Marriage Preparation course outside the parish. All clergy in the Anglican Church of Canada are mandated by the Church and their bishop to prepare couples for marriage. The Marriage Preparation course is intended to help couples explore their relationship and to provide tools to strengthen their life together. If either or both or you are divorced, the priest must get permission to perform the wedding from the Diocesan Matrimonial Commission. This requires some paper work on the couple’s part and an additional meeting with the priest. Most couples find this is a helpful process, but it does take extra time. Under normal circumstances six months notice is required. Applying for a Marriage Licence Before you can get married in British Columbia you will need to purchase a Marriage Licence from any Marriage Licence Issuer or any of the Vital Statistics Agency offices in the province. Only one of you needs to apply in person to a Marriage Licence issuer. A fee must be paid at the time of application and you will be asked to provide identification for both the bride and groom. For the address of a Marriage Licence Issuer office and current fees, please visit their web site at Who can get married?

  1. Anyone over 19 years of age.
  2. Persons under 19 years of age must first obtain consent of both parents. Your local Marriage Licence Issuer has the required consent forms.
  3. No one under the age of 16 years can be married without  the consent of the Supreme Court.

You do not have to take a blood test or be a BC resident in order to be  married, but the licence is only valid in BC for a period of three months. The Marriage Ceremony Once you have applied for and obtained your Marriage Licence and Registration of Marriage form, you are ready to plan your Marriage Ceremony. In BC couples can choose a religious or civil ceremony. There is no legal difference between these two types of ceremonies. Registering the Marriage After the ceremony, send the Marriage Licence and Registration of Marriage form to the Vital Statistics Agency where the marriage is registered and a legal record is made. Once registered, you will receive – at no additional cost – one standard large official marriage certificate. A marriage certificate is usually required as identification to change your name on a driver’s license, bank account, etc. If additional copies of the Marriage Certificate are required, you may complete an Application for Service form, available from any Vital Statistics office.