Plan on getting married in Alberta Canada? Yay, Congratulations. We got engaged and married in this province too, and chose a destination wedding! In this post, we will share all the essential tips and a step-by-step guide on how to get married in Alberta.
So let’s get started!
Getting married in Alberta: Tips on how to get married in Alberta
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If you’re getting married in Alberta, there are a few things you’ll need to take care of before your big day. The first step is getting your marriage license, which you can do at any Alberta Registry office.
Then you’ll also need to find a wedding venue and catering service, as well as a reception venue if you’re not hosting the reception at the same location as the ceremony.
Once you’ve taken care of the basics, it’s time to start planning the fun stuff!
Alberta is home to some amazing destinations for weddings, so be sure to check out our list of the best places in Alberta below.
And finally, don’t forget to take care of your wedding attire. Alberta has a wide range of wedding dress shops, so you’re sure to find the perfect dress for your big day.
How to get married in Alberta: Step by step guide
Getting married in Alberta can be a wonderful and memorable experience. Here are the steps you need to take to make it happen:
1. Get your Alberta marriage license
The very first step to getting married is applying for a marriage licence. This can be done through your local registry agent office in Alberta.
You will need to provide identification and proof of citizenship, as well as pay the required fee. It is not required to have Canadian citizenship to apply for this license.
To be eligible to apply and get an Alberta marriage license, you must do the following
- Provide documents like an ID, passport, along with your personal information, and the full names and birthplaces of your parents (including your parent’s maiden name)
- The age of the person getting married must be 18 years old or older
- Not be married. Or be divorced, or widowed
- An Alberta marriage license is valid for an Alberta marriage only and it has to be conducted anywhere in Alberta
- There are no residency or citizenship requirements
- Pay a fee of $40 CAD for the marriage license
Remember, there is no waiting period for getting a license. As soon as you apply and meet the requirements, you are given the license.
This license will be valid for 3 months from the date of application.
An Alberta marriage license is one of the most important documents, so keep it safe!
Here is a list of Alberta registry agent offices in the province
2. Find the perfect venue and catering services
Once you have your marriage license, you can start planning your wedding (or finalize the details)! One of the most important aspects of any wedding is finding the perfect venue and catering services.
There are many beautiful venues in Alberta to choose from, as well as a wide variety of catering options. Do your research and find the best fit for you and your guests.
If you want to ensure your wedding goes off without a hitch, it may be a good idea to hire a wedding planner.
Wedding planners can take care of all the details of your wedding, from the catering to the music. They can also help you find the perfect venue and deal with any last-minute emergencies.
Our Banff wedding was amazing, thanks to our planner, who was based in the Canadian Rockies!
3. Have your bachelorette party or any get-togethers
This is a fun way to celebrate with your closest friends before the big day.
4. Plan your wedding ceremony and reception
Determine what type of ceremony you want, what music you’d like to have played, and the overall tone and theme of the event.
Salil and I opted for a civil ceremony, and our wedding planner found the perfect officiant to get us married!
Our wedding in Alberta was seamless and it was just the two of us.
We celebrated our reception back home in India. There are many resort hotels and wedding venues (both indoors and outdoors) where you can plan and host your reception party!
The person performing the wedding: You will find that there are two terms used with people who perform marriages – commissioners and officiants.
The difference between them is,
- Marriage commissioners perform civil or non religious marriages for or near their communities.
- Marriage officiants are people with the legal authority to perform a marriage.
5. Make final preparations
Finalize the details of your wedding and make sure everything is in order. Our planner in Alberta was super helpful in arranging for everything including a wedding photographer!
6. On your BIG day! Documents + Marriage ceremony requirements
After taking these steps, all that’s left is to say your vows and enjoy your new life together.
But remember to carry your Alberta marriage license with you on the wedding day.
- The Registration of Marriage/Marriage license is a two-part document.
- The officiant who performs the marriage will keep the marriage license portion of the 2 part form and send the Registration of Marriage portion to Alberta Vital Statistics for registration.
- The final information (about the wedding) is added to the Registration of Marriage and it is signed during the marriage ceremony.
- This is required to be submitted, and then she/he will provide you with a Civil Marriage Statement or Proof of Marriage (this is not the marriage certificate). Ensure this is kept in good condition and not folded.
- You will need this to apply for a certificate, which is a legal document.
Now, relax and enjoy your wedding ceremony and reception. Don’t forget to capture those moments 🙂
Our story: We don’t exchange any vows on the day of the wedding, we followed along as our marriage officiant said. He said, ‘may their love and marriage be as strong and mighty as the Canadian Rockies!’ (and that’s all we wished for!)
7. Registering your marriage
After the wedding, everything is not done yet. The married life has just begun, and so is another trail of documentation.
First, your Alberta marriage is to be registered with the Alberta government. A marriage can be registered for one year from the date of marriage at no cost.
If you register it after a year, extra fees are applied. A marriage certificate cannot be issued until the marriage is registered.
A Registration of Marriage form (2 part document) is a permanent legal record. When you apply for and receive a marriage license, you will also get a Registration of Marriage form to be used at the ceremony. The top part is a Registration of Marriage and the bottom part is the marriage license.
After a marriage is registered, you can order marriage documents such as the certificate from a registry agent.
All the information on a marriage certificate is taken from the Registration of Marriage form, so ensure they have been entered accurately.
Once you have received all the documents, you may change your own last name, and update government, bank, and travel records with the information.
Best Alberta Wedding Destinations
Alberta is a beautiful province in Canada with plenty of stunning wedding destinations to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a rustic country wedding or a glamourous city affair, Alberta has something to offer every couple.
Here are some of our favorite wedding destinations in Alberta:
Banff National Park: If you’re looking for a dramatic backdrop for your wedding photos, Banff National Park is hard to beat. The park features towering mountains, pristine lakes, and lush forests, making it the perfect location for a romantic outdoor wedding.
We got married in Two Jack Lake, and our photos were taken at Lake Minnewanka in the summer of 2016. It was an amazing experience!
Edmonton: If you’re looking for a city wedding with all the bells and whistles, Edmonton is a great choice. The city is home to some of the country’s top wedding venues and caterers, as well as a wide variety of trendy shopping and nightlife districts perfect for your bachelorette party.
Calgary: Calgary is another great option for couples looking for a city wedding. The city is home to a variety of luxurious wedding venues, including historic and elegant downtown hotels.
Jasper: Jasper is a beautiful mountain town that’s perfect for couples looking for a more rustic wedding. The town is home to some of the country’s most picturesque wedding venues, including charming lodges with views and rustic mountain resorts.
If you are getting married in Alberta, these are some great locations to consider. Keep in mind that there are many other beautiful places to get married in the province, so don’t feel limited by these suggestions, simply choose the place that is perfect for you and your spouse-to-be.
We hope this article has helped you get started on planning your dream Alberta wedding.
Congratulations on getting married in Alberta!
More Expat and Living in Canada Guides:
- Reasons to move to Canada: My story
- Canada Moving Checklist + free download
- Moving Abroad Packing List
- Finding a job in Canada for new immigrants
- How to move to Canada from India