Can any person perform my wedding ceremony in Newfoundland?
What kind of paperwork do I need to get married in Newfoundland?
You are going to need two things to get legally married in Newfoundland.
1. a Marriage License.
2. a Marriage Commissioner.
Not only are there a variety of professional wedding commissioners located across Newfoundland - if you want to have a friend or family member marry you - it is possible to have them register as a temporary marriage commissioner in Newfoundland and Labrador.
FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF MARRIAGE LICENCE ISSUERS HERE
Debbie Squires Churchill worked with Service NL before she retired and is now a Marriage Licence Issuer says these are some things you need to know.
"If Covid is keeping you from having the wedding you were planning, just remember that you need only 5 people at your ceremony to make your marriage legal: you, your partner, the officiant and two witnesses (16 years old or older.)
Since Covid came into our lives last year, Service NL has been closed to the public and they are referring wedding couples to Marriage Licence Issuers (MLIs) to get their Marriage Licences."
Debbie says it’s a very easy process.
You can get a list of MLIs and more info on getting married in NL on the Service NL website.
Susan Perry - a Marriage Licence Issuer in St. John’s - says precautions are in place given the pandemic.
She explains, “We communicate by email or phone and I provide the necessary forms. I issue at curb side at my location. A chat and signage of the application form and licence is provided at that time.
Some couples inquire with Susan a year or two before their wedding day and have all the paperwork completed in advance of meeting. She suggests couples take care of details 5-6 months in advance especially if it is a summer or Christmas wedding.
Yes your best friend or a family member can marry you in Newfoundland.
In a recent CBC NEWS ARTICLE Zaren Healey White and Dean Doyle of St. John's say they had seen friends perform weddings, and having a friend officiate seemed like the perfect fit for their intimate vision.
"We always wanted our wedding ceremony to be as personal as it could be," said Doyle, "and I think having someone who knew us since very close to the beginning of our relationship [act as our officiant] was that kind of personal touch we wanted."
"It was just so important that it wasn't a script that had been used for other people," says White.
Here is the link to the NL Govt webpage with all the info on how to apply for a temporary marriage commissioner licence.
Craig Murphy, a popular wedding commissioner in NL says he can help your friend or family member ensure your ceremony is memorable for all the right reasons.
"If your loved one is a resident of NL they will have no problem getting the approval from Vital Statistics.
This is a great option for a more personalized feel or if you're looking to get married in a rural or adventurous location. If your loved-one officiant is willing then a coastline hike could be an exciting option."
To make sure temporary officiants are fully prepared and comfortable Craig offers consultations that include a fully detailed and customized script with instructions throughout. This also includes guidance completing the licence and legal documents that couples receive from the licence issuer.
"Some couples request that I conduct a rehearsal so their bridal party and officiant can have a thorough run-through and also have the opportunity to ask any necessary questions.
If the loved-one that couples would like to ask are not a resident of NL then they'll still need a marriage commissioner to be present for the legal elements. The loved-one can still conduct the majority of the ceremony."
Over on his website Craig has a page dedicated to the legal process before, during and after your ceremony.
You can find Craig's Guide here.
If you are looking for an experienced professional to lead your ceremony or to help coach your friend or family member - consider contacting the following for more information:
Kathy Dicks Peyton
Mehnaz Tabassum & Saif Ahmed