Getting Married

Ceremonies

Alberta has 2 kinds of ceremonies - religious and civil.

A marriage ceremony must be performed by an authorized marriage officiant. It can either be performed by a registered religious marriage officiant or an appointed marriage commissioner. Both are equally legal in Alberta.

Religious ceremony

  • religious ceremonies are performed by a registered marriage officiant (religious representative or clergy person) registered with Vital Statistics to perform marriages
  • all marriage ceremony requirements apply
  • a marriage licence is needed

Civil ceremony

  • civil ceremonies are performed by appointed marriage commissioners
  • all marriage ceremony requirements apply
  • a marriage licence is needed
  • a civil ceremony requires each person getting married to declare the following 2 statements in front of the intended spouse, both witnesses and the marriage commissioner:
    • 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 you, (name) to be my lawful wedded (wife/husband/spouse).

Marriage ceremony requirements

For a marriage to be legal in Alberta it must meet the following requirements:

  • the marriage licence must be valid on the date of marriage
  • the Registration of Marriage/Marriage Licence document must be given to the marriage officiant
  • the ceremony must take place in Alberta
  • the marriage officiant must be appointed by/registered with the Alberta Government to perform marriages in Alberta
  • the couple and 2 adult witnesses must be physically in the presence of the marriage officiant
  • marriage by proxy, where you would send someone to get married for you, is not allowed
  • The witnesses must meet the following requirements:
    • be 18 years of age or older
    • cannot be cognitively impaired
  • the couple and the witnesses must be fluent in the languages being spoken at the wedding ceremony and fully understand the English documents they have to sign
  • if a person in the wedding party (couple and/or witnesses) aren’t fluent in English an interpreter/translator may be required – talk to your marriage officiant
  • when an interpreter/translator is required, it’s the couple's responsibility to provide one
  • none of the wedding party may be under the influence of a drug or alcohol
  • during the ceremony, the Registration of Marriage must be signed by the couple, 2 witnesses and the marriage officiant
  • At the conclusion of the marriage ceremony, the marriage officiant will provide the couple with a proof of marriage document.

    Contact this service

    780-427-7013 (Edmonton)

    310-0000, then
    780-427-7013 (toll-free)

    8:15 am - 4:30 pm (Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)

    Related services

    Find a registry agent
    Order a marriage certificate
    Correcting a marriage record