Will you marry us?


LIZ MAC

What its takes to have a friend or family member officiate your I dos.

You and your special someone are getting hitched, but you never dreamed of a three-tier wedding cake—much less some religious figure blessing your union.

Obvious isn’t you, and all your favourite sitcoms feature a scene with loved ones presiding over vows, meaning you’d adore a special someone green-lighting your first legally-married smooch.

And while it’s a great idea, it isn’t as easy as the magic of TV makes it appear.

If you really want it to be you best bud’s legal blessing, they’ll need certification. And no, that infamous website promising you can “get ordained online in five minutes or less” is not legal in Canada. (But really, five minutes? Do you want a wedding or a Lean Cuisine?)

A full-fledged registration of clergy, according to the Nova Scotia permit directory, requires a resident to “be in good standing in some ‘established religious body’” or have 25 consenting adults sign a petition vouching for the applicant’s religious role.

If your friend doesn’t have time to start a cult before your wedding, they can submit to the Department of Justice and become a registered Justice of the Peace—so long as they pass the required training course. (Although, to make things a bit more complicated, the office is currently so flooded with applications they aren’t taking any new inquires until further notice.)

Another option that’ll induce fewer grey hairs? An officiant middle man, like All Seasons Weddings Ceremonies can have “one of [their] licensed officiants on site then later they register your wedding with the Government”—meaning their presence makes it official, but your friend still gets to run the show.

But, if your friend doesn’t plan on presiding over future weddings, officiating in any capacity could be a lot to ask of them. An easier option for all? Employ their great reading voice to share a beloved verse.

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