Question from Courtney:
My boyfriend and I would like to have a commitment ceremony, not a wedding. How do we find a local officiant or other information on how other people may have done it. Are there web sites that you recommend.
Answer from Bridal Expert Angela:
Hi Courtney and congratulations. I am a marriage commissioner, certified wedding planner, and a non-denominational minister, and I do a lot of commitment ceremonies. A commitment ceremony is basically a wedding ceremony without the marriage license. A traditional wedding ceremony is really a commitment ceremony in front of family and friends, and then the couple signs the marriage license to make it a legal commitment in the eyes of the government. We call it a wedding.
I usually find that couples take a basic wedding ceremony and change it to reflect who they are and what they want to say in their commitment to one another. They tend to include family and friends in key roles to make it a personal statement. Really, a commitment ceremony is free form, and you can create it any way you like.
If you actually want to get married (legally), and just have a ceremony without a traditional wedding, a marriage commissioner is the way to go. Each province has a list of marriage commissioners available online. A marriage commissioner will let you create whatever type of ceremony you want, as will most non-denominational ministers. Most have many templates for you to choose from to help plan a ceremony that is perfect for you.
Good luck, and if you have further questions, feel free to ask.
Angela Fiebelkorn, Ask The Expert