Sylvan Lake’s Barb Fenske has been part of more than 2,000 weddings during her career as a wedding commissioner.
Fenske became a commissioner 22 years ago, but has been involved in other people’s weddings since the age of five.
She started out singing at weddings, and before that, wearing curtains as a pretend veil before finding herself as an officiant.
“You think once you’ve done 2,000 weddings, you’ve seen it all… no way,” said Fenske, who once performed seven ceremonies in one day.
Throughout her career, she has set out to make sure every ceremony she performs is different.
Fenske says the only limitation is participants’ imagination.
“If you tell me what your vision is, and you can’t find something, together, we’ll figure it out so that you get the day that you want, and that’s what’s fair,” explained Fenske.
Fenske is stationed in Sylvan Lake, but can go anywhere.
She has performed weddings in Eckville, the West Edmonton Mall and the ski jump at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.
Fenske has even gone as far as jumping from a plane for a wedding.
“Don’t ever ask ‘can I?’ It’s just ‘how are we going to make it work?’ Because there’s never no,” said Fenske.
“You just have to think outside that box and make it so special to them.”
Being a wedding commissioner is a lot of commitment and it is to be taken seriously, Fenske says.
“If your photographer doesn’t show up, somebody’s got a camera. DJ doesn’t show up, somebody’s got music somewhere along the line.
“If your caterer doesn’t show up, there’s takeout. If your officiant doesn’t show up, you just have a great party,” said Fenske, adding she considers it an honour when someone asks her to officiate their wedding.
“I just make it exactly what they want it to be.”