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FAQ


  • A civil ceremony contains no religious elements (except for what the couple may add) and can be performed in a venue of your choice, depending on the area in which you will be married.


  • No. Even though in a traditional ceremony, the question of asking if there is anyone present who objects to the couple being joined in marriage is part of the ceremony, it is not mandatory and may be omitted if you wish.


  • No, however, Marriage Commissioners, as representatives of the Government of Alberta, must present themselves in respectable business attire.


  • Yes, you will need to get a marriage licence from any registry office in Alberta. Only Alberta marriage licences are recognized in Alberta for civil wedding ceremonies. Licences from other provinces are not accepted in Alberta.


  • All Alberta registry agents are authorized to issue Marriage Licences. A list of registry agents is available in the yellow pages under "Licence & Registry Services" or by accessing the Alberta Registries Internet site at www.gov.ab.ca/gs/information/registries/ran.cfm.


  • No. There are no residency requirements to get married in Alberta. Anyone can get married in Alberta so long as they secure a valid marriage licence and present it to the marriage commissioner.


  • As soon as possible after you become engaged or decide to marry, set up appointments to meet with 2 or 3 different officiant's, as some will not be available on your wedding date and some you may not like. It is important that you feel comfortable with the officiant who is performing the ceremony and that you feel that he/she is interested in you as a couple.


  • Yes, the Marriage Commissioner does have to be present at the ceremony; otherwise the ceremony is not legal.


  • No. Alberta does not register any marriages that occur outside Alberta, regardless if the couple is from Alberta or not. the jurisdiction in which the ceremony took place will register the marriage under their jurisdictional laws. The couple must obtain documentation supporting their marriage from that jurisdiction.


  • The designation of the marriage commissioner is to conduct civil non-religious ceremonies. If couples wish to incorporate prayers or religous readings to the ceremony, they are to designate a family member or close friend to verbalize their specific choice.


  • The answer is yes. As Marriage Commissioners are appointed by the Province of Alberta, as representatives of the government, they take their responsibilities very seriously. If for some reason the Marriage Commissioner is not able to marry you on your chosen date, he/she will first contact you and then proceed to find a suitable replacement.


  • There is no legal requirement for rings to be a part of a civil marriage ceremony and may be omitted. Wedding rings are traditional; there may be one ring or two rings. Some couples give each other a gift instead of rings if they have agreed not to have rings as part of their ceremony.


  • Yes. Two people, over the age of 18 years must be present at the ceremony and see the ceremony take place. They must sign the register after the couple. These two witnesses may be a part of the guest group in attendance or may stand with the couple. They may be any two adults (either male or female) present at the ceremony.


  • Yes. The following people MUST be physically in attendance at the ceremony: the two individuals wishing to marry, two witnesses, and the person performing the wedding ceremony. Alberta law does not permit a marriage by proxy. There are absolutely no exceptions.


  • Yes. Each couple must provide the required documentation (Registration of Marriage and Marriage Licence). Both legally required statements MUST be declared individually by all four individuals. Each couple may use the same two witnesses, or each couple may have their own witnesses.


  • There are many ways that children may be involved with the ceremony. As long as there are two adult (over the age of 18) witnesses present, the options are almost limitless. Discuss your ideas with your officiant who is knowledgeable of the variations available.


  • No legal requirements are necessary in order to celebrate a marriage renewal.


  • There are legal requirements and proof of current marital status must be provided at the time of application for Registration of Marriage and Marriage License.