Sunday, September 28, 2008

Making it Official

I'm happy to announce, we've booked a marriage commissioner to officiate our wedding ceremony; another item checked off the list. Woohoo!

cartoon found here

Originally, we hoped to have a friend officiate the ceremony. In the US, anyone can legally marry a couple, if they become ordained through an online course offered by the Universal Life Church. Quick. Simple. Painless. However, after some quick research, I discovered that not just anyone can legally pronounce us "husband and wife" in BC.

Unfortunately, Canada does not recognize this simplified method of becoming an ordained minister. The protocol is more stringent, more time consuming, and more uhhhh "particular" up here; back to the drawing board we went.

In the Province of BC there are two categories of people licensed to perform weddings:

1. Religious Representatives - of which there are two types:
  • a pastor/priest/minister/rabbi associated with the specific house of worship where the wedding ceremony will be held
  • an ordained reverend or minister not associated with any specific house of worship
2. Marriage Commissioner (replacing the justice of the peace) through the Government of BC.

We decided to go with a private marriage commissioner as appointed by the Marriage Act of British Columbia, mainly because there is a set amount they are allowed to charge for their services. For a very reasonable fee of 75.00 (additional 25.00 for rehearsal), plus a mileage fee of .49cents a km, a BC marriage commissioner will perform your wedding ceremony. You can search for marriage commissioners in BC here

After reading through various recommendations on the "west coast" section of the weddingbells forum, we decided to give Bob Buzza a call. He had our date free, and asked for our pertinent information. He mailed us a basic wedding ceremony booklet, but encouraged us to create our own unique ceremony. For no extra fee, he meets with the couple before the wedding day to discuss their wishes, and perform a mock run through of the ceremony; he also encourages questions by email and/or phone.

Bob was a pleasure to speak with over the phone. He was warm and friendly, and made me feel comfortable right away; all good attributes to have in a marriage commissioner. He chuckled when he learned Huxley is our "best dog" and prefers when a couple creates a wedding ceremony unique to their personalities. All in all, he sounds like a great guy. I'll let you know more once we meet with him in person in the spring!

For further information on how to get married in BC, take a peek at the Vital Statistics of BC website.

If you prefer a more hands on marriage commissioner, and are willing to pay a bit more money for the experience, I've heard a multitude of good things about Reverend Brent Sheppard. The Rev falls under the second category of religious representatives. He is not governed by the province of BC, and therefor sets his own fees (350.00 + travel fee for ceremony and rehearsal), however, I've never heard a single complaint about the cost. If we had it in the budget, I would definitely have given him a call! Find out more at his website: Hey Rev

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Less than a year...feeling the pressure!

I can't believe it's September already! I always feel so old when I say that, but honestly, the time is just flying by.

When we first became engaged, we had 25 months to plan for the wedding. We chose a long engagement for a number of reasons. My brother was getting married in the summer of 2008 in Ontario, so we wanted to give everyone a bit of a break from all the wedding fever; we needed some time to save money, and I wanted plenty of time to plan. It was almost frustrating being that far out from the wedding, as I felt like there wasn't much we could do so far in advance.

I'd review the 12+ section of various online wedding checklists, and other than finalizing a budget, creating a guestlist, and searching for a venue, there wasn't much else listed! We even managed to finish a few "to dos" from the 9-12 month section.

Now, in what seems like the blink of an eye, we've jumped from 25 months to 10 months, and there are things on our checklist that aren't complete! And from what I understand, it's only going to get worse from here on in.

image source

Although I am feeling a bit of pressure, I am not feeling stressed. Something I know is a direct result of our choice to have a long engagement. Instead of searching for venues and photographers and competing with other brides for our date, we're working on invitation design, and centerpiece ideas.

So why the pressure? Because that 6-9 month checklist section is fast approaching, and there are a bunch of items on there that need to get done! Fall is upon us, Christmas is right around the corner, and before we know it, we'll be 6 months out from the wedding. When the planning started, the idea of getting married seemed so surreal. We were forever commenting "we have plenty of time" to browse magazines, read wedding blogs, collect photo references, and search out vendors; something we can't really say anymore ;)

Truth be told, I don't mind the pressure so much, as it means we're getting that much closer to the moment when my boyfriend/fiance finally becomes my husband! And that much closer to the HONEYMOON!! Can I get a woot woot!!