Here comes the bride to Hamilton City Hall

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Love is in the air at Hamilton's City Hall — finally.

The City announced Thursday (Feb.27) that civil marriage ceremonies and vow renewals will now be available at City Hall.

Starting April 6, couples will have the option to have non-religious marriage or vow renewal ceremonies performed by an officiant from the City Clerk's office in Council Chambers or Meeting Room 830.

This will be the first time that the city has offered this service to Hamilton residents.

Ceremonies are booked by appointment only and will be performed Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The fee for a marriage ceremony is $339 (that includes a non-refundable $113 cancellation fee) and a vow renewal will cost $56.50 ($28.25 non-refundable cancellation fee).

Marriage licenses and certificates are a separate fee.

No bubbles, candles, confetti, decorations or incense are permitted for the ceremonies and couples must have two witnesses. There's a $28 fee per witness IF the city has to provide them.

A City staff report from November 2019, recommended that council take the step to start offering these services because they were already available in most neighbouring municipalities and could prove to be a significant source of revenue.

“Over the last five years, the City of Hamilton has issued an average of 2211 marriage licences annually, with an interest from approximately 45 per cent of the applicants of the licences issued, for a civil marriage ceremony at City Hall,” the report said.

In 2019, the City of Hamilton said they issued 2,299 marriage licenses.

Couples interested in this service will have to fill out an online questionnaire and will have to consult with the officiant before the ceremony takes place.

For more information on Civil Ceremonies at Hamilton City Hall, visit the website.

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