FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

I am often asked questions by soon-to-be-married couples. Here are the ten I hear most often. If you have more questions, you may want to download my complete FAQ document.

  1. What is a Civil Ceremony?
  2. What do I need to do?
  3. How much does it cost? Do you require a deposit?
  4. Can we add any religious components to the ceremony?
  5. How far in advance do I have to book?
  6. Do you perform same-sex marriages?
  7. What is your availability?
  8. Do you have a place we can come to for the ceremony?
  9. Will you come to my home for the ceremony?
  10. Can you provide witnesses?

1) What is a Civil Ceremony?

Many people choose a civil wedding ceremony. This may be because of convenience, lack of or conflicting religious traditions or even time constraints. Civil marriages, just like marriages performed by clergy, are legal contracts between two persons and require actions and agreements between the parties. They can be as formal or informal, sentimental or streamlined, traditional or creative as the couple wishes.

2) What do I need to do?

Simple!

  • arrange for a Marriage Commissioner to officiate at the ceremony;
  • obtain a Marriage Licence from any Alberta Registry within 3 months of your ceremony;
  • arrange for two witnesses to be present at your ceremony (anyone over the age of 18); and
  • choose a venue
The Marriage Commissioner will guide you through the rest of the process.

3) How much does it cost? Do you require a deposit?

I have two fee options from which to choose.

OPTION 1:
The most successful wedding ceremony starts with us establishing an easy relationship. I would be happy to meet with you as many times as you choose, to chat about the progress of your plans, answer questions, and offer some suggestions (perhaps more than you bargained for) based on my experience as Marriage Commissioner. I will chat with you about your vision of the ceremony and how best to achieve it, assist with the creation of your own perfect ceremony, and thoroughly discuss the logistics of how the ceremony will unfold to minimize any uncomfortable surprises. This option also includes a rehearsal (guarantees a good night’s sleep before the wedding for all of us) a keepsake copy of your ceremony, and of course the registration of your marriage with the government.

OPTION 2:
The second option is for those couples who are looking to simply legalize their marriage. Often this a perfect choice prior to a destination wedding, or for couples choosing to marry legally first and perhaps celebrating with a large group of friends and family at a later date. There are as many reasons as there are couples to choose this option. You will have a number of ceremony samples from which to choose, the exchange of rings is optional, it can be held in a smaller, more intimate setting - any location that is meaningful for you (café, pub, restaurant, your home). I will meet you at your chosen location, prepare the Marriage License, chat with you a bit about what will happen, and before you know it, you will be married!

DEPOSIT:
I don't require a deposit. I'm happy to go ahead and confirm the date and time with you via email, and then receive full payment when we meet once you have your Marriage License in hand.

P.S.
There is an additional mileage fee for all ceremonies outside the city limits.

4) Can we add any religious components to the ceremony?

I am appointed to perform weddings only in accordance with the laws of Alberta and by virtue of this appointment not authorized to perform religious ceremonies. However, if you would like to incorporate some religious aspects into your ceremony, you may invite others to contribute to the ceremony through the offering of prayers or readings etc. I am completely comfortable having you do this - I just am not authorized to do it myself.

5) How far in advance do I have to book?

With appropriate documents (ID, proof of marital status if previously divorced) you can obtain your Marriage Licence and be married on the same day. You may have some challenges finding a Marriage Commissioner available on very short notice, but if you are flexible in your timing you are probably fine. As long as I have no other appointments scheduled and am available, I’m happy to accommodate a short lead-time.

6) Do you perform same-sex marriages?

Yes, I certainly do officiate at same-sex marriages and am registered with the Pride Centre of Edmonton as a resource. I’m in favour of love.

7) What is your availability?

I am available 24/7/365 as long as I have no previously arranged commitments.

8) Do you have a place we can come to for the ceremony?

I prefer you to find a location that is meaningful for you even if it is to be a simple ceremony. It could be in your home, a park, hotel, restaurant, coffee shop, helicopter (yes!), streetcar, inside, outside . . . anywhere that will personally resonate with you, and will create a memory to cherish.

9) Will you come to my home for the ceremony?

Yes, of course. Home is where the heart is . . .

10) Can you provide witnesses?

I have facilitated many couples choosing to marry as simply and anonymously as possible (a.k.a. elope!). Although I do not provide witnesses for weddings, it has always been an adventure in trust and serendipity to find witnesses once we have arrived at the venue. The perfect witnesses have always emerged . . . just as though they had planned on attending your ceremony when they left home. I am delighted by the reaction of strangers who ‘step up’ and ‘get into’ the spirit of such a joyful occasion, and confident that you will be thrilled by the memories and even friendships this process of trust can generate.