Become a marriage commissioner

Eligibility

To be an Alberta marriage commissioner you must meet the requirements of the Marriage Commissioner Position Profile.

Role

The role of a marriage commissioner is to perform civil (i.e., non-religious) marriage ceremonies in accordance with Alberta legislation and ensure the dignity and solemnity of the occasion is maintained. The marriage commissioner accurately completes legal documents and provides customer service excellence by offering flexible ceremony options to accommodate a couple’s wishes for their wedding ceremony.

Requirements

To be a Marriage Commissioner you must:

  • be 18 years old or older
  • be a resident of Alberta
  • have a valid Alberta driver’s licence and your own vehicle
  • be fluent in English (written and spoken)
  • live in the community where you will perform marriages
  • have experience providing customer service
  • have well developed presentation skills
  • be experienced in public speaking before small and large audiences
  • have a working knowledge of and readily available access to the Internet
  • be mature, self-reliant and well-groomed
  • be willing to conduct your duties with impartiality and be available to perform all types of weddings except religious ones
  • be prepared to commit a large amount of time to the position, including evenings, weekends and holidays
  • not be involved in any activity that may cause or be perceived as a conflict of interest

Marriage Commissioner Position Profile (PDF, 3 pages)

Note: To download a PDF document, right-click and select 'save as' and save to your computer.

Conflict of interest

A conflict of interest exists when a marriage commissioner:

  • has a private business or provides a wedding or non-related service and is unwilling to provide their marriage commissioner services separate and apart from their private businesses or services
  • uses or communicates information that was obtained in their capacity as a marriage commissioner to further, or seek further, the private interest of the marriage commissioner, their spouse, family members or any other person
  • is a clergy or religious representative of a religious organization
  • is an owner, operator or employee of an Alberta Registry Agent office

Assets

Additional skills that will be helpful in fulfilling your role as a marriage commissioner include:

  • fluency in other languages (both verbal and written)
  • experience as a marriage commissioner
  • experience with ceremony protocol

Responsibilities

Provide information and expert advice to public inquiries:

  • information and advice provided must be accurate
  • responses must be timely, courteous and professional
  • ensure all enquiries are addressed

Preparatory arrangements:

  • attend interviews, meetings and rehearsals to discuss details and customization as required/requested
  • willingness to dedicate sufficient time to make each and every ceremony a success for the wedding couple
  • manage/communicate expectations with the couple

Provide marriage ceremony flexibility:

  • open to different and untraditional venues
  • open to performing marriage ceremonies any day and at any time of the day, including evenings, weekends, and at unconventional times
  • provide various ceremony options (e.g., rose ceremony, sand ceremony, etc.)
  • open to incorporating cultural or ethnic customs

Perform civil marriage ceremonies:

  • provide marriage services for all types of weddings
  • demonstrate an open-mind to customizing a ceremony while ensuring legal requirements are met
  • articulate clearly and audibly for the venue
  • handle interruptions and difficult situations
  • provide advice to better ensure a stress-free and memorable ceremony

Maintain professional conduct:

  • must be responsible, professional and committed to delivering a high quality government service that has legal components
  • organize, schedule and confirm availability for ceremony date and time
  • be punctual and arrive prepared for meetings, rehearsals and ceremonies
  • keep meetings, rehearsal and ceremony commitments
  • actively listen to a couple’s requirements, issues and concerns
  • dress professionally and appropriately for the occasion
  • perform each ceremony in a professional manner respecting the dignity and solemnity of the occasion
  • respectfully represent the Government of Alberta and marriage commissioner appointment

Legal Requirements / Documentation:

  • ensure all legal requirements are met
  • perform all marriage commissioner duties in accordance with legislation
  • the Registration of Marriage, Civil Marriage Statement and Register for Civil Marriage Ceremonies must be completed accurately and legibly
  • registrations of Marriage must be sent to Vital Statistics or brought to a registry agent within two days of the ceremony
  • a Register for Civil Marriage Ceremonies must be maintained on an ongoing basis
  • full knowledge of policies, procedures and related legislation associated with performing a marriage

Mentorship:

  • new marriage commissioners are expected to seek out and establish mentor relationships with existing marriage commissioners. (Existing marriage commissioners are expected to mentor new marriage commissioners.)
  • create networking prospects within the marriage commissioner community

Knowledge, skills & abilities

  • ability to be thorough and accurate when completing legal documents
  • excellent communication skills
  • innovative and impromptu problem-solving skills
  • strong organizational skills
  • strong interpersonal skills, including a strong aptitude for dealing with difficult people and sensitive situations
  • experience delivering excellent customer service
  • strong decision making skills
  • solid understanding of Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) principles
  • ability to work with people to achieve a common goal

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

Register as a religious marriage officiant

Marriage Commissioner Position Profile (PDF, 3 pages)