The Government Alberta is making it easier to officiate the wedding of a friend or family member as a “temporary marriage commissioner.”
An applicant can apply online to receive a one-day marriage commissioner appointment, in order to officiate the wedding of a loved one at no cost.
The decision to allow family and friends to officiate weddings for other family members came after the province heard feedback from Albertans.
“We heard from Albertans that they wanted to have family or friends officiate their weddings and that there were too many restrictions around who could serve as a temporary marriage commissioner,” said Tricia Velthuizen, spokesperson with Services Alberta.
“We started a pilot project in November 2019 that removes some of the red tape and restrictions for temporary marriage commissioner appointments.”
New guidelines have been released that outline certain stipulations on the appointment.
There are a few conditions on the temporary appointment, including that the applicant must be over 18 years of age, a permanent resident of Canada, they cannot charge a fee, they are only appointed within Alberta, they cannot represent themselves as a permanent commissioner, and they are only appointed for one day.
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The application also requires signature of the applicant, and of the two individuals getting married.
According to the program’s website, the application can take up to one week to process — but hopefully your friends and family give you a little more notice than that.
If your appointment is granted, a Temporary Marriage Commissioner Appointment Certificate and an instruction package will be emailed to you, so you’re not on your own trying to figure out how to appropriately officiate a wedding.
“We will be evaluating the pilot project this spring and will determine any next steps,” said Velthuizen.