Civil Weddings

In Nova Scotia, civil wedding ceremonies can be performed by:

  • a Judge of the Family Court or Provincial Court
  • a Justice of the Supreme Court
  • a Justice of the Peace

Civil weddings can be scheduled at a courthouse, or can take place outside of a courthouse.

Civil Weddings in Courthouses

If you want your ceremony to be performed in a courthouse, please contact your local Justice Centre.

Each courthouse has a designated marriage scheduler who will assist you and inform you of dates and times available. They can give you a fact sheet on courthouse weddings that will help you plan your ceremony.

Civil Weddings Outside of a Courthouse

If you would like your ceremony to be held in your home or some other location that is special to you, please contact a local Administrative Justice of the Peace.

Administrative Justices of the Peace are listed by county, but are authorized to perform ceremonies in anywhere in the province of Nova Scotia.

Justices of the Peace will do their best to accommodate individual preferences to ensure that your important day is a memorable one. You should discuss your specific wishes and preferences for your wedding day with the Administrative Justice of the Peace who will be performing the ceremony beforehand.

Cost for a Civil Wedding

The cost for a civil wedding in a courthouse in Nova Scotia is established by the Nova Scotia Cost and Fees Act. Current information about the cost of a courthouse civil wedding can be provided by courthouse staff.

The cost for a civil wedding outside of a courthouse is $ 200. The cost for a wedding rehearsal (if required) is $ 100. The Administrative Justices of the Peace can also bill for expenses, if applicable, for mileage, parking, and tolls.

Application for Appointment as Administrative Justice of the Peace to Preside over a Civil Wedding

If you wish to preside over a civil wedding, please email civilweddings@novascotia.ca for more information..

Applications for single wedding appointments will be accepted and processed. Please submit applications at least four months in advance of the wedding date as the application process involves completion of the application form, provision of a criminal record check, two letters of reference, a current resume, an interview, and an application fee. Once interviews are completed, recommendation is made to the Minister of Justice with respect to appointment.

Applications for term appointments will no longer be processed.

Marriage Licenses

You must obtain a marriage license prior to your wedding. The marriage license must be given to the person officiating at the ceremony, at least three days prior to the ceremony. Marriage licences are not be issued by the courts. A list of where marriage licenses can be obtained is available at courthouses or following this link.

Questions

If you have any questions about the civil wedding program, please e-mail