Oak Bay United Church welcomes couples, regardless of gender who wish to live in Christian marriage.
We are pleased you wish to be married according to the forms and traditions of Christian marriage and that you wish to have the service at OBUC.
Membership in our church is not a requirement. We would warmly welcome you to our service of worship at 10 am Sunday so that you might have an opportunity to become familiar with our community.
The Context of Faith
Church has long provided ceremony for couples who:
Recognize the God – given gift of their relationship,
Wish to enter into a life-long relationship of love, and
Seek God's blessing and grace as they make this commitment to one another.
The Church understands this ceremony as a declaration of covenant, a solemn promise outwardly expressed that:
Names the sacred gift of the relationship;
Declares the intention of the two people involved to live together in mutual respect,
compassion, forgiveness, and love;
Calls upon all participants to fulfill the privileges and obligations of the relationship; and
Intentionally acknowledges God as a sustaining and creative presence in the relationship where each person can grow and be nourished in grace and wisdom.
As a church we have two responsibilities:
To honor the desire of the couple to make this covenant before God; and
To support a couple in deepening their relationship with God and with each other.
The Marriage Ceremony
The marriage ceremony is celebrated at Oak Bay United Church in the sanctuary. Requests for a celebration of marriage ceremony in a different location should be discussed with the Minister.
The Minister plans the order of worship with the couple. While there are legal requirements that must be met, there is an opportunity to reflect your special love and commitment to one another within the ceremony. Couples may write their own vows in dialogue with the Minister.
Marriage Preparation Courses
We encourage couples to consider a marriage preparation course. These courses generally focus on giving couples knowledge and skills that will help make their marriage the best possible and, as well, help couples take a realistic look at the challenges of commitment while offering some strategies for success.
Two locations in Greater Victoria offering this service are:
Island Pastoral Services at 250-472-2851 or
offers a marriage preparation course.
The Chaplaincy Office of the University of Victoria, 250-721-8338 also offers a course entitled “Growth Together.
Please advise at the time of booking if you are planning your ceremony with a Minister from another church.
The United Church of Canada website: http://www.united-church.ca/exploring/marriage/statements offers a detailed set of statements as well which you may want to read online.
Feel free to ask our Ministers, Rev. Dr. Keith Howard or Gaye Sharpe if you have any questions or would like further clarification. Keith Howard can be reached at 250 598 5021 ext 204 or
, Gaye Sharpe can be reached at 250 598 5021 ext 203 or
You will be able to plan your wedding music with the Music Minister. Please contact Gordon Miller, Music Minister at 250 598 5021 or
Booking your wedding
You can book your wedding at OBUC by contacting the office at 250 598 5021 or
. You will be asked for a deposit at this time. Half the deposit is refundable with 30 days notice prior to the wedding date.
You are required to obtain a marriage license. In Victoria, you may get a license at any Coast Capital office in the capital district or the BC Vital Statistics Agency.
The license must be in the hands of the minister at least one day before the wedding service. The license is good for three months and it is recommended that you obtain a license early.
Visiting Ministers must bring their own register of marriages book or provide one of the OBUC Ministers with proof of their legal authorization to solemnize marriages so that they can use Oak Bay United Church register of marriages book.
The fees are $250, based on one meeting, a rehearsal, and the wedding ceremony.
The church holds 245 persons and is equipped with an elevator for disabled access. The center aisle is 40 feet long. There is a grand piano but no organ. The sound system is state of the art with two television and two projector screens. There are comfortable armchairs rather than pews in the sanctuary.
OBUC has parking for the wedding party in front of the church and a parking lot with 43 car capacity. In addition there is parking on surrounding streets.
The suggested form for the address of the church on invitations is:
Oak Bay United Church
Granite and Mitchell Street
Victoria BC V8S 4P9
The church mailing address is:
Oak Bay United Church
1355 Mitchell Street
Victoria BC V8S 4P9
A rehearsal for all of the wedding party, including parents is necessary for formal weddings. The rehearsal usually takes 45 minutes to 1 hour and is booked with the Minister. The balance of fees owing are payable at the rehearsal. The rehearsal time is included in the fee. If you have not given the marriage license to the Minister, please bring it to the rehearsal.
OBUC has two formal wooden flower pedestals available for use or the couple may choose their own flower containers.
There are two white candelabra which hold 6 candles each, available for use.
Photographs and Video
Photographs may be taken during the processional, the signing of the documents, and the recessional. Photographs during the marriage service are not permitted. Flash is distracting during the rest of the service as is the movement of people standing up to take pictures. Videotaping is permitted from a stationary position in the Sanctuary (to be arranged prior to the ceremony).
Confetti and Rice
Confetti and rice are not allowed as they pose clean up challenges.
OBUC has a ground level, carpeted hall which seats a maximum of 210 available for receptions. We do not provide catering services. There are large round tables and chairs available for use. The kitchen is available for serving and reheating only. Wine is permitted, if a liquor license is obtained. The marriage couple is responsible for obtaining the license and providing a copy to the church office 48 hours before the wedding ceremony.
The fee for use of the hall for receptions is $250. (A lesser honorarium for OBUC contributing members).
OBUC wants your wedding to be a wonderful celebration. We provide a coordinator to answer your questions, show you the sanctuary and guide you through the booking process and answer any ongoing questions you might have. You can reach the coordinator through the church office at 250 598 5021.
To download a PDF version of this policy document, please click here.