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  • Writer's pictureDan McEwing

New Rules for who can legally perform your Ceremony

*** Post Edited ***

I have received a lot of flack over this blog post from local Professional Wedding Officiants, and perhaps rightfully so. I've already said it at the end of my post but I want to say it here first and foremost.

I always recommend hiring Professional Wedding Vendors, they have the experience and expertise to make sure your day is perfect. You should only proceed with the following information If you are absolutely sure that you want your Friend / Relative legally performing your Ceremony. This person will have a lot of weight on their shoulders and if they don't perform their tasks appropriately there may be legal repercussions.

See Below for the initial post.

If you spend any time in a local Wedding Planning Facebook group you will eventually hear this question...

'I want my favorite Uncle to perform my Wedding Ceremony, how can I make that happen?'

While there has always been a way to make this possible the rules around it have made it exceedingly difficult to make happen. The usual workaround has been to meet with a legal officiant to perform the legal ceremony days before your 'Ceremony' and then have your Friend / Relative perform a "For Show" Ceremony.

The province of Alberta has recently made some changes that make it much easier for you to choose a close relative or family friend to legally perform your Wedding Ceremony, making it much more personal as well as saving you some money.

The details on becoming a "Temporary Marriage Commissioner"

* The Commissioner must be 18 years or older

* The Commissioner must be a permanent resident of Canada

* The Commissioner is appointed for one day

* The Commissioner is only authorized to perform a civil (non-religious) marriage ceremony in Alberta

* The Commissioner cannot charge a fee to perform a marriage

* The Commissioner cannot represent themselves as a permanent marriage commissioner or solicit business of this nature

There is no cost to becoming a Temporary Marriage Commissioner and according to the Provinces website the application can take up to a week to process the application so plan accordingly!

This is the link to the information on the province's website...

I do have a couple of Caveats to the information I've provided above. I will always recommend hiring a professional to look after one of the most important days of your lives. A professional will have the know-how to deal with unforeseen circumstances and will have the skill to ask the right questions to ensure that your Wedding Ceremony is personalized to you and your Fiance.

If you have any questions feel free to reach out.

*This information is true to the best of my knowledge as of Feb 15 2020. It is up to you to verify local laws to ensure that your Marriage is legal.

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