Choosing a marriage commissioner has a lot of factors that people don’t think of and usually gets left until the last minute. It depends on your style and budget, but there are other factors to consider. Here is a list of important details to consider when choosing a marriage commissioner for your wedding!
1. The first thing you need to think about is not forgetting this step until it’s too late. Just like all your other vendors, the best ones normally book up fast! Start looking for commissioners at least a year out of your wedding date to ensure that the one you want will have availability.
2. Look specifically for a commissioner locally, or the area you are getting married in. Marriage Commissioners have to stay within their own province in Canada. It is possible to have a marriage commissioner get a temporary license in another province, but if there are available commissioners in other provinces, the job will be held for them first. Marriage commissioners are also listed by city/town on the local government website to reduce mileage charges for the client and make it easier for the clients and the commissioners to meet up if necessary. This does not mean you cannot hire a commissioner listed in a different town as we can travel.
3. Budget isn’t a huge topic in the province of Saskatchewan as marriage commissioners here are set by the Marriage Unit to charge the same amount for a rehearsal and ceremony as all others. Where this differs is each commissioner can choose to charge for additional meetings and mileage. Other provinces run a bit different, so you should check into the costs and make a informed decision.
4. Lastly, the biggest part of choosing a commissioner is your style and personality preference. You will want a commissioner that will compliment your wedding style and formality. Many commissioners are traditional and have set ways to do things, others customize and work with the clients for their weddings. A great way to find a commissioner is to get recommendations from family, friends, and other vendors that know the area. Its also a good idea to call or email and ask some questions of your potential commissioner. Schedule a meeting to find out if they would be a good fit before hiring on the spot. Once you narrow down and hire your marriage commissioner, you’ve taken care of the most important part! Remember, no matter how pretty and perfect the wedding is, it does need to be legal! The rest are sprinkles on top!
• Getting married abroad – there are processes to hiring abroad but you can also legally get married prior to your ceremony abroad and then there may be less hoops to jump through.
• Location – if you are wanting to get married in a field or on a hill or anywhere that might require some hiking, you may want to consider age and activity level. Chatting with you commissioner will help you determine what they are comfortable doing.
• Family members or religious aspects – wedding commissioners are technically not allowed to provide services in a church unless the church allows it or it is a back up location for weather dependency. Marriage commissioners are not supposed to preform religious ceremonies or reads. You can always find a commissioner that is willing to let a family member(s) or other step in to accommodate this aspect of a ceremony and still put forth the legality of the ceremony.
With these helpful guidelines, I hope you find your perfect commissioner!
-Chantal Day, Marriage Commissioner, Carlyle SK.