- Marriages performed in Alberta are valid throughout the world. Check with your local authority if in doubt.
- Blood tests and waiting periods are not required for marriage in Alberta.
- Two witnesses of at least 18 years of age are required for the ceremony. It is not necessary that the witnesses have prior knowledge of the couple being married.
- Both the bride and groom must be at least 18 years of age, or possess the necessary written consent.
- Marriage ceremonies may be performed with the aid of an interpreter if the bride or groom do not understand English.
Alberta Marriage Licence
Prior to being married, couples must obtain an Alberta Marriage Licence from a Registry Office in the province of Alberta. It is valid for 3 months from the date of issue.
To obtain the license, both the bride and groom must present themselves and provide the following documents:
- Proof of identification (eg. driver’s licence, passport, birth certificate)
- Full name of father, and birthplace of father
- Maiden and full name of mother, and birthplace of mother
- If widowed; Death Certificate of former spouse
- If divorced; Decree Absolute
The Marriage Licence is given to the person conducting the marriage ceremony, and is not returned.
A Marriage Statement (certificate) is provided at completion of the wedding ceremony, but this is not a registered document. To obtain the official registered Certificate of Marriage, it is necessary to apply to the Alberta Vital Statistics Registry.
The appropriate form can also be obtained at any registry office (with the Marriage Licence). Marriage Licences and applications for the Official Certificate may be purchased in Banff. They are not available in Lake Louise.
To pre-arrange your marriage licence contact:
The Banff Registry www.thebanffregistry.com
Address: Wolf & Bear Mall, 229 Bear Street, Banff
If documentation is in order, it is possible to obtain a marriage license and be married on the same day.
- In Alberta, the person who performs a civil marriage ceremony is called a Marriage Commissioner. In other parts of the world he or she may be called a Celebrant, a Justice of the Peace, a JP, or an Officiant. Religious ceremonies are performed by ministers, priests, rabbis, or some other clergy.
- Marriage Commissioners are appointed by the Alberta Government, but are not salaried employees and are not subsidized. Rates may vary between commissioners.