Creating your own wedding

Not everyone who gets married does it in a church, with a priest in a religious ceremony.

Not everyone who gets married does it in a church, with a priest in a religious ceremony.

For those who choose to go a different route there are people like Dr. Mark Ryan, a marriage commissioner in Red Deer and Central Alberta.

Ryan has been a wedding commissioner for six years and in that time has performed nearly 350 weddings of all types with all kinds of unique people and formats.

“It was a way to continue to work with people in an atmosphere that was really fun,” said Ryan.

“Marrying somebody is an exciting thing to do.”

Ryan said the bride and groom aren’t the only ones with nervous energy in the wedding, he feels it to when he is performing the ceremony.

“The neat thing about a civil wedding is that the bride and groom can create their own wedding. They can make it however they want,” said Ryan.

Recently he was in conversation with two separate couples who are planning weddings.

One is having the traditional wedding in a hall in front of hundreds of people, but the other wedding is a little unconventional.

“They live on a farm and they’re going to have hay bales for everyone to sit on and he and his groomsmen are going to arrive on quads,” said Ryan.

“They’re going to come up some embankment on quads.

“She’s going to arrive in a horse and carriage. They can all be so different.”

Last summer he officiated a wedding with an Alice in Wonderland theme. Ryan dressed up as the Mad Hatter to preside over the wedding.

Ryan said this summer is looking particularly busy. August is the month that books up first and already he is set to preside over 15 weddings. He even has some Saturdays where he will officiate five different weddings.

Marriage commissioners are appointed by the minister and are separate from justices of the peace. If someone wants to contact a marriage commissioner they can go through the Government of Alberta website, www.alberta.ca, and can find one in their area.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

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