Looking for a stress-free, iconic and beautiful way to get married that also shows off your love for your city? Then a Vancouver City Hall wedding may be right for you! After marrying thousands of couples across Vancouver and dozens at City Hall, we’d love to help you tie the knot in the heart of Vancouver.

Keep reading for everything you need to know about getting married at Vancouver City Hall! 

Please note: The information below is accurate to the best of our knowledge as of Oct 2023. Please consult the City of Vancouver’s official website for the most up to date information. 

vancouver city hall council chamber wedding
by Jelger & Tanja
ring exchange at vancouver city hall elopement
by Jelger & Tanja

Heads up: Getting married at Vancouver City Hall isn’t like in the movies!

Getting married at Vancouver City Hall might be different than what you think a typical City Hall wedding entails. In the movies, and in other jurisdictions around the world, a couple can walk into City Hall on a whim and just get married by any city official. This is often seen as the quickest, easiest and least formal way to get married. “We’ll just go down to City Hall and get hitched!”

In Vancouver, and in most of Canada, this isn’t how it works. In BC, marriage licenses are handled provincially, so city staff and officials working at City Hall can’t marry you. You also can’t waltz in whenever you feel like it; weddings at Vancouver City Hall must be booked ahead of time and often book out months in advance.

Essentially, think of a Vancouver City Hall wedding like booking any other wedding venue. You’re booking the space and working with an experienced, efficient team who are very organized in running weddings. However, like with any venue, you’ll need to bring in your own vendors, including your own officiant, and book in advance.

What do you need to have a Vancouver City Hall wedding?

In order to get married at Vancouver City Hall through their Council Chamber micro-wedding package you’ll need to:

Young Hip & Married’s Intimate Elopement + Photography package works perfectly for Vancouver City Hall weddings. In this package, you’ll have a short and sweet elopement ceremony conducted by a licensed wedding officiant and a photographer to capture all of the special moments before, during and after your City Hall wedding.

What happens during a Vancouver City Hall wedding?

A wedding at Vancouver City Hall takes place in the Council Chamber. The couple and wedding officiant will stand in the centre of the chamber while guests can sit in the semi-circle seats around them. Each couple is given a 30 minute time slot for their ceremony, which often leaves extra time for photos and signing the marriage licence.

Once the ceremony is over, couples can ring the ceremonial bell over the chamber doors to mark the occasion. Many couples then continue taking wedding photos inside and outside the building.

ringing the bell at vancouver city hall wedding
above & feature image by Jordyn Keller Photography
ringing the bell at vancouver city hall elopement
by Jelger & Tanja

How much does it cost to get married at Vancouver City Hall?

To get married at Vancouver City Hall costs $275+GST for up to 10 people on Thursday dates or $550+GST for up to 20 people on Friday dates. Please note that these costs are current for 2023 weddings; reference the City of Vancouver website for up to date costs and inclusions.

This cost includes a 30 minute time slot in the Vancouver City Hall Council Chamber for you, your guests and your vendors to conduct your ceremony. Only ceremonies are permitted, no receptions, and you are not allowed to have any food or drinks besides water. City Hall is also a scent-free premises, so skip the perfume and cologne!

Importantly, the City Hall fee does not include any of your vendors, such as your wedding officiant or photographer, and it does not include your marriage licence. You will need to pay for these things separately and in addition to the City Hall venue fee.

How many guests can you have at a City Hall wedding in Vancouver?

Vancouver City Hall offers two packages for their Council Chamber micro-weddings: up to 10 attendees on Thursday slots and up to 20 attendees on Friday slots. Note: This number includes the couple getting married and any wedding vendors. So instead of counting guests, you’ll need to count the number of people in the room.

At a minimum, you will need five people in the room to be legally married: the couple (2), the wedding officiant (1) and the witnesses (2). For a Thursday wedding, you can invite 5 more guests (or 4 if you want to hire a photographer). And for a Friday wedding, you can invite 15 more guests (or 14 if you want to hire a photographer).

If you’d like to share your Vancouver City Hall wedding with more people, wifi is available in the Council Chamber and you’re encouraged to share your celebration virtually. Who doesn’t love a virtual Zoom wedding?

Can you decorate the space at City Hall?

Yes, you are able to decorate the Council Chamber at Vancouver City Hall for your wedding, but there are some rules you’ll need to follow!

  1. You must provide your own decor. City Hall won’t be putting a floral arch together for you.
  2. You must be able to pack in, set up, tear down and pack out all of your decor during your 30 minute slot. You won’t have access to the space early to decorate and you can’t stay beyond your 30 minutes to clean up.
  3. All decor must be zero-waste. City Hall stipulates that this also means “vases for flower bouquets may not contain any water.”
  4. You cannot affix your decor to the space in anyway. No tape, tacks, nails or anything else. Your decor, just like the proverbial cheese, must stand alone.
  5. You are not permitted to have balloons, bubbles, confetti or rice inside or outside City Hall.

Given the strict rules and limited time, we suggest you stick to pretty basic decor, if you bring any decor at all. The Council Chamber room has a very distinct look that would be difficult to cover with decor, given the rules above. Instead, we encourage you to embrace the look!

Remember, you can always take wedding photos against a different backdrop before or after your Vancouver City Hall wedding.

Young Hip and Married Vancouver City Hall wedding in the council chamber
by Jordyn Keller Photography
guests looking on at couple getting married at city hall
by Jordyn Keller Photography

Where should you take wedding photos at Vancouver City Hall?

As you can see by scrolling through this post, there is no shortage of beautiful places to take photos in and around Vancouver City Hall!

Your ceremony photos will take place in the ceremony space, the Council Chamber. After that you can take photos in the building, as well as around the striking exterior and in the City Hall Garden, giving you a perfect mix of urban concrete and lush greenery.

Keep in mind that spaces around City Hall are not exclusive, meaning you’ll have to share them with others and they can’t be reserved for your wedding photography. Also keep in mind that City Hall is a busy workplace, so while you can snap a few photos on your way out, it wouldn’t be appropriate to plan a full photoshoot inside the building.

Many of our elopement couples will continue onto a secondary location for more photos, such as to a nearby beach or park. Our photographers would be happy to work with you to decide on a location so you can get the elopement photos you’re looking for!

What Vancouver City Hall wedding dates are available?

Vancouver City Hall makes select Thursday and Friday morning and afternoon time slots available for weddings. In 2023, there were 1-4 dates available per month. As of the time of writing, there are no dates left for this year.

To find out about 2024 City Hall wedding availability, you can subscribe at the bottom of this webpage for updates.

black and white vancouver city hall portrait
by Jordyn Keller Photography

Is there parking at Vancouver City Hall?

Yes, there is parking available for your Vancouver City Hall wedding. Free parking is available for two wedding cars and one officiant car during your ceremony in a designated area.

Note: You will need to move your car after your ceremony time if you want to stick around City Hall for photos. Otherwise, there is paid parking available on the streets around City Hall for you and your guests.

What is City Hall’s cancellation and refund policy for weddings?

Vancouver City Hall’s cancellation and refund policy for weddings is as follows, “You may reschedule if you contact us at least 60 days prior, and if a new time is available within four months of the original date. No refunds.”

Keep in mind that you’ll also need to work with the cancellation and refund policy of your other vendors, such as your wedding officiant and photographer, if you need to change or cancel your elopement. You can check out Young Hip & Married’s refund, cancellation and change policy for elopements here.

wedding portrait outside vancouver city hall
by Jordyn Keller Photography
wedding portrait outside vancouver city hall building
by Jordyn Keller Photography
vancouver elopement portrait on the beach
by Jelger & Tanja

Book your Vancouver City Hall wedding today!

Ready to book your Vancouver City Hall wedding? Click here to book your City Hall wedding time slot! For more information, check out the city’s wedding webpage.

And don’t forget to book your wedding officiant and photographer too! Young Hip & Married would love to help you tie the knot at Vancouver City Hall where we can celebrate your love for each other and your love for your city. Learn more about our Intimate Elopement + Photography package here!