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Katelin
Newbie August 2021 British Columbia

Out-of-province Wedding

Katelin, on August 30, 2020 at 22:48 Posted in Plan a wedding 0 7
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My fiancé and I live in Alberta, but are getting married at my family cabin in BC. We really want to have his stepfather preform the ceremony, but aren’t entirely clear on our options to make it legal. Has anyone done this before??


We’re thinking of going to the courthouse in AB the week before we leave and just getting legally married there. But will they put the date of our planned wedding on the marriage certificate? Or will we wind up with 2 marriage dates?

7 Comments

Latest activity by Vinod, on September 3, 2020 at 21:54
  • Vinod
    Featured August 2017 Ontario
    Vinod ·
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    You will have your official wedding at the city hall with the date provided. The wedding in BC is for your guests and family to witness though its not legal and repeating the vows and putting the rings on each other again. The marriage certificate would be issued there in Alberta and not BC.

    The decision of going to BC for the full wedding would require the marriage certificate from there itself and not Alberta in advance. A list of Pros and Cons would make it better to know which province is your chosen place to get married.

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  • Christiana
    Frequent user November 2020 British Columbia
    Christiana ·
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    Yes unfortunately you're right that BC is very weird about who they let perform weddings and non-religious options are quite limited (marriage commissioners) or can end up being expensive (officiant companies).

    If I were in your position I would get legally married in Alberta and then have your ceremony as planned. You're basically never going to look at your marriage license again after you sign it so I wouldn't stress about having two different dates. I know a lot of people do this if they get married in Mexico because there are apparently also some strange requirements there with witnesses.

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  • Amanda
    Featured August 2021 British Columbia
    Amanda ·
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    You could defiantly do that for sure. My fiance and I are arriving in Kelowna a week before our wedding, so we'll be getting the paper work done within that time. But we're not having a family member performing our ceremony, we're having a pastor so our wedding date will be on our marriage license.

    I don't think the date can be adjusted once you get married at the courthouse to your "wedding date"

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  • Katelin
    Newbie August 2021 British Columbia
    Katelin ·
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    Ah, that could work! Our ceremony is in Sicamous, so there are cities around. So we could go to the courthouse there and get officially married a day or two in advance, and then have his stepfather preform the ‘ceremony’ day of? Do you know if the date could be adjusted then? I don’t know why, I just don’t like the idea of having a certificate that says one date, but then celebrating our anniversary on another...
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  • Katelin
    Newbie August 2021 British Columbia
    Katelin ·
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    BC is pretty weird about it all. Basically you CAN’T have a friend or family member legally officiate. And the one gentleman in the area who officiates weddings (it’s a kind of remote location, so not many options) said that he can’t/won’t do it with someone else. So I feel like our only option is to go to the courthouse before we leave AB and get married there, and then have my fiancé’s stepfather ‘officiate’ the ceremony, even though we’ll technically already be married. I just don’t know if we can put a different date on our certificate than when we went to the courthouse?
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  • Amanda
    Featured August 2021 British Columbia
    Amanda ·
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    My fiance and I are also from Alberta getting married in BC next summer. If you get legally married in Alberta, it will have the date that you got married on not your other date. The only option you have is to get a marriage license from BC. Depending on where in BC your getting married in, just stop by a place that does the paperwork. My fiance and I are doing that when we arrive in Kelowna.

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  • Geneviève
    Super September 2020 Ontario
    Geneviève ·
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    We live in NS and are getting married in ON. You have to get the marriage license from the province that you’re getting married in, so if you want your wedding in BC to be the legal one, you’d need to get your marriage license in BC. The certificate is valid in other provinces though in case you need it for name changes/other legal stuff in Alberta after you’re married.
    As for officiant legalities, there should be information on the provincial website on who can marry who and so forth. Hopefully someone on here can provide better insight on that question!
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