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
How many hours should I book my Wedding Photographer for? | Detail Photos | Wedding Planning | Saving Money
Is it worth saving a thousand dollars or so on your photography budget and taking morning prep photos with your friends on your phones?
Most couples booking a wedding photographer select an 8 or 12 hour collection.
Couples who book 8 hours of wedding day photography coverage generally receive 95%-98% of the photos couples who book 12 hours coverage receive and can save a thousand dollars or more on their wedding budget.
When asked how long they booked their wedding photographer for - Brides over on the Newfoundland Brides Planning Group weighed in with their thoughts, some had booked 12 hours coverage and others had booked 6 - 8 hours coverage.
“We had our photographer for 5 hours. Glad I did this when I look back as in reality, I’m only printing off so many pictures. For instance, as nice as it is to have someone photographing getting ready, what will you be doing with those pics later?”
Most couples don't end up printing or hanging photos of prep in their home.
The past few years have found more couples asking themselves what they will be doing with prep photos later and opting for 6 hours or 8 hours of photography coverage.
Many photographers and brides-to-be agree that there are only so many photos that can be taken of hair and makeup and the late night party before they start to look the same - some couples ponder whether they even want professional evidence of late night shenanigans.
Depending on your crew, vibe and style there can be fantastic candid moments during morning prep - it can also be an excellent time to build rapport between your photographer friends, and family - but for some couples this part of the day is less than magical and doesn't require professional documentation.
Morning prep is not always candid moments in matching bathrobes - it can be different for everyone and in the age of Instagram with ‘good enough’ cameras in everyones pocket - the reality is many couples are finding the easiest way to save some money on their wedding budget is cutting back on the early morning professional photos.
Morning prep - magical once-in-a-lifetime memories? Or maybe not so much?
How much is this kind of photo worth to you?
12 Hour coverage works better for some wedding days than it does for others - a lot depends not only on the size and speed / pace of the day, but also your personal style.
The vast majority of photos taken on your wedding day will be taken from about an hour before your ceremony start time up until just after you sit down for dinner. If your wedding ceremony is starting at 1:00pm or later 8 hours of coverage is going to get you everything from the end of prep to the start of the party.
Newfoundland Wedding Photographer Darren Hatt says - "Our most popular package is 8 hours. It covers most couples from prep to first dances".
Detail photos can be taken at anytime on your wedding day.
Will I miss out on detail photos if my photographer is not at my morning prep?
Detail shots are a great component to telling your wedding story.
Nice macro close up photos of details look amazing and are especially nice to have if you are planning on designing a wedding album. Detail images can be captured at almost any point during the day - not just in the morning.
Your photographer can sneak away with your details virtually anytime throughout the day - you do not have to book a photographer for 12 hours to get decent detail shots - ceremony site / reception site / the in between locations - detail shots can be taken at any time during the day as they only take minutes to set up - you can even be in them.
Detail photos can be taken anywhere on your wedding day,
At the end of the day the question of how long to book your wedding photographer for many is really a question of - how much is a professional photo in matching bath robes or a photo of your dress hanging worth to you?
Here's a quick look at the differences in cost for an 8 hour photography collection vs a 12 hour collection amongst Newfoundland Wedding Photographers.
Darren Hatt 8 Hour Collection - $2650 - 12 Hours $4150
Shawn Taylor 8 Hour Collection - $2500 - 12 Hours - $3500
Jennifer Dawe 8 Hour Collection - $3000 - 12 Hours - $4000
Recently over on the Newfoundland Brides Wedding Planning Discussion group the question of “How Much Is an Average Newfoundland Wedding Budget?” was asked.
The answers from Newfoundland Brides varied - $5k? 10k? 30k?
How much is the average wedding budget is a question economists and journalists across the country are constantly trying to answer.
Although the answer will vary from area-to-area - province-to-province - the CBC reports the average Canadian wedding comes in at about $30k.
Many magazines and industry insiders agree that $30k is a pretty popular budget amount for an average Canadian wedding.
Traditionally Newfoundland only sees about 2000 of those 160,000 weddings across the country with budgets across the board.
Things can vary budget wise - but most common wedding budgets seem to fall into a handful of ballparks including - $10k weddings, $30K weddings, $50k plus weddings and the increasingly popular 'we do what we want weddings.'
'We do what we want' couples generally shy away from tradition and spend $1500 - $5000 on an epic party - usually in the form of a private residence or renting out a restaurant or a couple cabins for the weekend to celebrate casually with friends and family.
Ever had Mary Browns for 50 delivered? - It's usually good times.
Basically there are options for an amazing day at almost any budget.
St. Johns based wedding photographer Jennifer Dawe says she can help any bride save on their wedding day budget.
Many planning their Newfoundland wedding find answers to their questions and save money over on the Newfoundland Brides Wedding Planning Discussion group, Dawe who created the group in 2014 says joining in on the local discussion can be a great way for local brides to save money.
“I created two Facebook groups to help couples with their wedding planning.
The first was the Newfoundland Brides Wedding Planning group, where brides could chat about everything to do with planning here in Newfoundland.
It took off overnight, and since then, it's been the primary local resource for couples looking to tie the knot here in our province.
The second group was a spin-off of the first. The Newfoundland Brides Buy and Sell group is filled with listings for all kinds of used and brand new wedding items.
With over 13,000 members, the buy and sell group has almost everything you could want to purchase for your wedding is listed. You name it, you can likely find it there, at an incredible price. It is the easiest way to save money during your planning process.”
So its time to pick music for your reception and you aren't sure which songs to go with?
After witnessing thousands of formal dances here are some thoughts.
The most unique first dance song I have seen would probably be 'Nothing Else Matters' by Metallica - complete with an air guitar solo by the bride. It was unique - but I wouldn't say it would work for all
- but there are some classic songs that can work for almost any situation.
Amazed by Lonestar, Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran along with Feels like Home by Chantal Kreviazuk and Push by Sarah Mclachlan always go over well for the first dance.
Most of the time it isn't finding the first dance song with your fiancé that is an issue - but more finding a song to dance with your Grandparents or a random family member - 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' or 'What a Wonderful World' - are great gender neutral songs that work well in Grandparent or step-parent dance situations.
Parent dances can get interesting - Simple Man - both the Skynyrd and Shinedown versions happen a lot for the Mother Son dance - I think it has a lot to do with that opening line..."Well momma told me...when I was young...."
I recently was at a wedding where the parent dance song was supposed to be "You've Got A Friend In Me" from Toy Story - and the DJ accidentally played "You've Got A Friend" by James Taylor - the best part is either one of those songs works pretty well.
The Beatles can work well in a bunch of situations - from "In My Life" to "All You Need is Love" - there are a bunch of Beatles songs that appeal to all ages and work well at weddings.
When all else fails - "100 Years" by Five For Fighting can make things pretty emotional on the dance floor. Just Sayin'.
Chat with your DJ - this is what they do - having a professional DJ at your wedding elevates it to another level - and ensures you have a flawless evening.
I cannot stress enough how much of a difference having a mic savvy DJ host you event will have on your reception and the flow and pace of the evening.
Choose who you let on the mic wisely it effects the entire vibe.
If you are choosing to go with an iPad in place of a DJ the most common songs to consider are:
1. "Billie Jean" - It's an instantly recognizable up beat multi generation Michael Jackson classic.
2. "Unchained Medley" - lots of slow dancing starts with this Righteous Brothers classic and its super familiar to older family members.
3. "Uptown Funk" - Marc Ronson featuring Bruno Mars usually goes over well with everyone the past few years and is usually played within the first 5 songs to get everyone on the floor
4. "I've Got a Feeling" (Tonights Going to Be a Good Night) - by the Black Eyed Peas was sort of replaced by Uptown Funk to get the floor going - sometimes they are played back to back.
5. "All of You" - by John Legend has been popular since it came out
6. "Cant Stop The Feeling" - by Justin Timberlake is usually well received and makes a great wedding party intro song - if kids are there they love it too because it was on the Trolls soundtrack
7. "Any Ed Sheeran Song" - Ed Sheeran almost anything goes over well - especially Thinking Out Loud, Photograph and Shape of You.
If you are planning a Newfoundland based wedding be sure to check out the wedding vendor page to find a list of local DJs.
In the carefully curated world of social media – should one unplug at their wedding or embrace technology and run with a custom hashtag?
Some food for thought on maximizing technology and your wedding day.
Hashtags and Instagram are great – however consider a large part of your family hasn’t figured out Instagram yet - and of those who have - most probably don’t really understand what a hashtag is or how to use it properly.
Your friends may understand social media inside and out - but many family will have no clue and you may spend hours after your wedding trying to tech support your Uncle and his extended family through how to find and share your photos – there are secure digital alternatives that work great and are user friendly – if you have a tech savvy crew consider using Google Photos.
Google photos is more secure / private than Facebook or Instagram and offers a ton of features that make it a top contender for compiling and sharing your guests cell phone photos – not only can the bride or groom create and invite guests to a master group – they can track comments, create albums and more on the spot.
Most couples don’t have a completely unplugged wedding – but are opting for an unplugged ceremony.
Not only does an unplugged ceremony allow you guests to be present and distraction free – it also allows the professionals to get their shots without having to compete with Uncle Bob and his iPhone in the aisle.
Ensuring your officiant is aware of your wishes is essential and a sign will help convey the message - many couples tie their “unplugged ceremony” sign into their decor – allowing them to add a taste of their humour / style.
If you go with a hashtag a few things to remember - always search the hashtag first - there have been embarrassing mix-ups where couples use a common last name or seemingly random letters that turn out to be not so random and stand for something else.
Try to keep your hashtag simple and not too clever - your last names and the year usually do the trick - the wedding I was at that had #mrandmrsmadeofpizza - just didn’t work out so well.
Whether you want to have an unplugged ceremony or hashtag things up – be sure to make a memorable and effective sign letting your guests know your wishes.
Photos and Words by: Shawn Taylor
"Should I make a shot list for my photographer?"
Many photographers have been to hundreds of weddings - they usually understand how a wedding day flows. From hair and make up to late night shenanigans - photographers and videographers have a front row seat to the entire day - they have seen what works and what doesn't - your photographer can usually offer great advice and will know what works well when it comes to timing and flow of the day.
There are basically only a handful of ways most wedding days flow - we can help you make sure your day flows as smoothly as possible. We see most days from start to finish - every wedding is different - but we can usually help you avoid / deal with common issues - basically most couples do this once - many of us have done this hundreds of times - we can help you make your wedding day timeline run as smoothly as possible.
You shouldn't feel any need to hand your photographer a list from a magazine or a website - ideally you want your photographer looking through their viewfinder and not at a clipboard.
Most photographers will take thousands of photos throughout the day - if you have spent money on something or taken the time to make something happen we are going to capture it - if there is something totally random it would make sense to mention or make special note but generally speaking - you shouldn't have to hand you photographer a list with like - 'Shot #132: Bride walking down aisle.' - if you feel the need to tell your photographer they need to take a photo of you walking down the aisle its probably best to consider another photographer.
There is one list I appreciate in helping make the day run more smoothly - and that is the list of the family formal groupings - by name - it allows your photographer to herd cats efficiently during family formals - it ensures that part of day runs super smoothly and that you won't miss the combinations that are most important to you and your fiancé.
A family formal shot list also helps you to mathematically figure out how much time you need for formals - 5 groupings - 15 groupings - 50 groupings - at roughly 3 minutes per grouping - these all take different amounts of time - knowing your combos ahead of time allows you to budget your time efficiently and ensure no one is left out.
"It is so important to be present. The day goes by very fast."
Take some time for just the two of you to sneak away before the end of the night.
I always take 10 minutes towards the end of the night to be alone with my couples - not only do we capture some unique after sunset images - but it also gives them a ten minute break to be alone - they are a celebrities for the day - and everyone wants their time - its important for them to take some time for themselves.
"You will never regret doing you."
Do you. Make decisions based on what you and your fiancé want - not what your great aunt says should happen. There are no rules. Well okay maybe a few - but do you.
Have someone who has been to a bunch of weddings look over your timeline - there are a few small tips and tricks that can help make your day flow smoothly.
If you hire a photographer or videographer talk to them about things - they have seen everything from prep to dance floor many many times - they know what works and pitfalls to avoid.
I can't stress being present enough - don't try to micro manage every minute of the day - come your wedding day the planning is over - let your hair and makeup team, your officiant, your photographer, your DJ and venue staff do what they do best - enjoy your day - take it in.
"You'll blink and it will be over."