In Alberta, unless you’re getting married in a religious establishment, you will need a Wedding Officiant (aka Marriage Commissioner) to legally marry you.
“It doesn’t matter” is something we often hear when we ask our clients what type of individual they wish to marry them. We’re pretty quick to advise our couples otherwise; who marries you really is so important!
Oftentimes when we hear the word “wedding” we immediately think about the reception… the supper, the party, the decor, the cake, etc. Obviously, we LOVE those parts of every wedding, but the ceremony is one of the most important aspects of that day.
Think about it… why are you having this day to begin with?
Why did you invite your guests? Why are you funneling thousands of dollars into this day? Why are you spending months and months perfecting details, choosing THE dress and having your own personal Pinterest party night after night when you know you should be sleeping (no shame, but you know we’re right)?
Well…BECAUSE YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED!
And here’s the thing, without the ceremony, it’s not a wedding – it’s just an amazing party!
Yes, you can have a symbolic ceremony and then later go and sign your marriage documents or vice-versa, but unless there are extenuating circumstances, this isn’t what most couples would purposely choose for their wedding day.
In our experience and in no particular order, the 3 best sources are:
Our general recommendation is ASAP, generally 9-12 months before the wedding or as soon as you have your wedding date and venue booked.
Now, this recommendation varies from planner to planner but it’s a fairly common consensus. Officiants are BUSY, frequently booking a year or more in advance and often filled with back to back ceremonies on popular wedding days like Saturday, so getting to those superstars who you vibe with early on matters.
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, we recommend selecting 2 or 3 to meet with face-to-face, via video messaging or at the very least a phone conversation. This, again, is a very important step that is often skipped with many couples never meeting or actually talking to the person that is marrying them until the rehearsal, or even worse, their wedding day. Let that sink in…. this person is going to MARRY YOU!
A ceremony is so special, so personal and so symbolic of the rest of your life together. How can someone who performed a simple transaction over email have any idea who you are as a couple and truly personalize the ceremony to your personalities and wishes?
“But he / she had us fill out a questionnaire”….. cool, but a questionnaire can never replace human interaction. That questionnaire is important, absolutely, but should only be used as a guide to get to know you better as a couple and as a memory trigger of the conversations you’ve had. It should not be the only reference to guide something so special.
Back in agreement? Perfect…here are some important questions and things to consider when selecting your officiant:
Enjoy the process, this is so special!
Questions or thoughts? Feel free to get in touch! We are always happy to chat.
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