Do I need to get a blood test to get a Marriage Licence?

No. Blood tests are no longer needed to get married in Alberta.

What name do I sign on the Registration of Marriage during the ceremony?

Sign the Registration of Marriage with the same name you used and signed on the Marriage Licence Application. The name you sign on the Registration of Marriage identifies who got married. This does not reflect what your new name will be if you decide to change it to your spouse’s name.

Do both the partners have to be present at the ceremony to get married?

Yes. The two individuals wishing to marry, two witnesses and the person performing the wedding MUST all be physically present for the ceremony. Alberta law does not permit a marriage by proxy. There are no exceptions.

Do I need wedding rings to get married?

Wedding rings are traditional. However, there is no legal requirement for rings to be a part of a civil marriage ceremony and may be left out if you wish. There may be one ring, two rings, or no rings. The choice is yours. Some couples give each other a gift instead of rings.

Do I need a licence to get married?

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.

Do I need witnesses in order to get married?

Yes, two witnesses over the age of 18 must be present at the ceremony, and must sign the register after the couple. The witnesses do not have to stand with the couple – they may just be part of the guest group. As long as the two witnesses signing the register are present at the ceremony and see the ceremony take place.

Under-aged children may take part in the ceremony, even as best man or maid of honour, however, they cannot sign the register until they are 18 or older.

Can my dog take part in the ceremony?

Yes, your dog may take part in the ceremony as far as possibly having the rings hung around its neck, or just being there, as long as the dog is on a leash.

Does the Marriage Commissioner have to be present at the ceremony?

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

During the ceremony, do we need to ask if anyone objects to the marriage?

No. Part of a traditional ceremony is to ask if there is anyone present who objects to the couple being joined in marriage. This is not mandatory and you may ask for it to be left out.

How much can I customize my civil ceremony?

The entire civil ceremony may be customized except for two statements that the Alberta Marriage Act specifically requires the couple to each declare during the wedding ceremony. The wording cannot be altered. The statements musts be made before the marriage commissioner and the two adult witnesses. The couple must each state:

♥ "I do solemnly declare that I do not know of any lawful impediment why I, (name) may not be joined in matrimony to (name)."

♥ "I call upon those persons present to witness that I, (name), do take thee, (name), to be my lawful wedded spouse or partner."

Any changes to the standard ceremony, no matter how minor, must be forwarded to the Marriage Commissioner at least two weeks prior to the wedding day.

Can we write our own ceremony?

Yes, you may write your own ceremony providing that the mandatory words specified under the Alberta Marriage Act are included. Any changes to the standard ceremony, no matter how minor, must be forwarded to the Marriage Commissioner at least two weeks prior to the wedding day.

Can I have an outdoor, midnight summer wedding ceremony?

Yes. You may have your ceremony where and when you like as long as it is in Alberta. Note that not all marriage officiants will be able to perform all your special requests. You may have to contact a few until you find one who is able to accommodate all of your wishes. Many marriage officiants will also have some ideas on how to make your ceremony special.

Is there any waiting period for non-residents to get married in Alberta?

There is no waiting period to get married in Alberta.  It is possible to get your marriage licence and get married on the same day if all your documents are in order and you have a marriage commissioner to perform the ceremony, and two witnesses to be present.