by Sharon Auld
We’ve been sharing tips for planning a Canadian Rocky Mountain Destination Wedding in Banff, Canmore, Lake Louise and Jasper, here’s Tip # 4 – Marriage Requirements in Alberta, Canada – What you need to know.
So you’re planning on getting married in the Canadian Rockies – congratulations! Now what? Well, first off know that when you are married in Canada your marriage is valid most everywhere in the world and you can pretty much be married anywhere in Banff National Park. If you are flying into Alberta the closest airport to the Rocky Mountains is the Calgary International Airport. It’s approximately 1.5 hours to Canmore and an extra 15 minutes to the town of Banff. Lake Louise is approximately 30 minutes from Banff. If you are wanting to be married in Jasper National Park, you may want to fly into the Edmonton International Airport. Of course, you can reach Jasper from Calgary via the beautiful Icefields Parkway as well.
Prior to your marriage, you will require an Alberta Marriage Licence which can be obtained from any registry office in Alberta. A valid marriage licence indicates that you’ve met the requirements to get married in Alberta and it’s valid for three months from the date of issue. So what do you need to obtain the marriage licence?
- You will need to fill out the application (your wedding planner can assist you with this prior to your arrival in Canada) and then you and your partner must appear in person at any Alberta registry office. It does not have to be the closest registry office to where you’re getting married. Count on this taking about an hour, but sometimes, especially in winter it may be less!
- Proof of identification (passport, driver’s licence, birth certificate etc.)
- Full name of Father and birth place of Father
- Maiden name of mother and birth place of mother
- If divorced, decree absolute
- If widowed, death certificate from former spouse
Once you are married you will need a marriage commissioner to perform your ceremony and two witnesses over the age of 18 to attend your ceremony (your wedding planner and photographer are usually happy to assist). The marriage licence is given to the person performing the ceremony and a Marriage Statement (certificate) is issued after the ceremony but is not a registered document. You must apply to the Alberta Vital Statistics Registry to obtain the official registered Certificate of Marriage. Applications for the Official Certificate may be purchased in any registry office. Here’s more:
- Cost: Approximately $125.
- Residency Requirements: you do not have to be a resident of Canada
- Age Requirement: 18 years of age
- Waiting Period: none
- Blood tests and physical exams: not required
- Marriages may be performed with the aid of an interpreter if the couple does not speak English.
- Same sex marriages are allowed
No blood tests or waiting period means that you can be literally married on the same day that you arrive into Canada (keep in mind most registry offices are not open on weekends)! At Naturally Chic, we are pleased to assist couples with elopements or weddings on relatively short notice!
Here are a few marriage commissioners in the area, find the complete list of Alberta Marriage Commissioners here:
Here are some local registry offices in Canmore, Banff and Jasper (please note that the Banff Bureau is the closest registry agent to Lake Louise):
Banff Bureau of Licensing & Registrations Ltd.
Unit 15 Wolf & Bear Mall 229 BEAR ST, BANFF
Downer Ventures Ltd.
Canmore Registry 104-837 MAIN ST, CANMORE
303 PYRAMID AVE, JASPER
Please note that requirements can change so contact Service Alberta for updated information. For more information on getting married in Banff National Park read Tip #3 – 30 Tips for Planning a Canadian Rocky Mountain Destination Wedding in Banff, Canmore, Lake Louise and Jasper.
Contact Naturally Chic at 1.888.679.9056 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on planning your Canadian Rocky Mountain Destination wedding.