4 tips to having the best Edmonton wedding ceremony!

Your wedding will be perhaps the biggest day of your life thus far. And your marriage ceremony is the most important part, the moment you’re probably the most excited about! Maybe you’re amped about seeing your beautiful future partner walk down the aisle, or seeing all of the people you love in one place, supporting and loving you both.

All the info on what constitutes a marriage in Alberta is here. You can do something traditional, or do your own thing. You can sign the paperwork in front of your celebrant and witnesses, and then exchange intimate vows to each other in your backyard, or have 400 guests assembled in a house of worship – both celebrations of love are equally valid and special. Just don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Feel free to ask your marriage celebrant for ideas if you’re not sure what might work – they’ve seen a lot of different ceremonies, and can give you suggestions.

I’ve been an Edmonton wedding photographer for over 20 years, and been lucky enough to witness many gorgeous ceremonies and cool ideas, both conventional and unconventional venues, ceremony scripts and styles. As your wedding photographer, I’d love to give you referrals to great marriage commissioners and locations I’ve worked at before, or other gorgeous locations I really want to work at. Please don’t hesitate to ask your vendors if you want to plan something different, or if you are having any issues finding a great venue for your Edmonton wedding ceremony or celebration.

What’s the most important thing about your wedding ceremony? That it’s meaningful to you both. Whether that means you write your own vows, include important cultural elements, or involve your parents/children or loved ones, don’t feel pressure to follow the script. Follow your hearts – it’s about love after all – and do whatever you need to make this moment meaningful to you both.

Here’s a selection of tips, ideas and suggestions from Edmonton wedding ceremonies I’ve photographed.

  1. Pick a meaningful location. Check out the captions below for more info and specifics.
Shef and Ash were married at the Barrel Room at Blind Enthusiasm Brewing, above Biera, in Richie – they love this neighborhood, and spent a lot of time together here, and they also wanted to take their wedding photos walking their cute doggos through Mill Creek Ravine, which is close by. The vibe here is amazing and so is the food – Richie Market is centrally located and close to everything!
Kerry and Eugena held their unconventional Edmonton outdoor wedding at Belgravia Arts Park, on the labyrinth, which is just down the street from their home. It’s a special place to them both. They live so close that their cat even wandered over from their house to join the ceremony!
Do you love the mountains? Pyramid Lake/Pyramid bench in Jasper National Park is a beautiful lookout, and there’s seating for your guests! This spot is always magic, and the island is amazing to explore for photos – plus it offers gorgeous mountain views only 5-10 minutes from the Jasper townsite. It can be very busy on weekends during the summer, but a weekday wedding here is sheer bliss!
Jessica and Will were married in her parents’ gorgeous backyard in Edmonton in an intimate, family filled ceremony- lots of kids, good food, gorgeous music, laughter and a few tears. A backyard wedding offers you so much flexibility, is convenient and a comfortable vibe for your guests, you can self cater or get all of your favorites without worrying about your venue’s catering agreements and minimums… and it’s so comfortable and easy for getting ready. You can hire bartenders or have a self serve bar/punchbowl, etc. I’m going to write a whole blog post on backyard weddings soon because I love them so much. Get in touch if you’re planning an Edmonton backyard wedding.
Pamela and Carrie-Ann also got married in the backyard of their cute little house in Parkallen, surrounded by their loving friends and family who hilariously and spontaneously showered them in leaves after the ceremony, to the delight of the friends watching from afar on Zoom. Backyard weddings became really popular in Edmonton during the pandemic, and I hope this trend doesn’t change.

I have so many awesome photos of Edmonton backyard weddings. Here are a couple more faves if you’re looking for even more inspiration to DIY it in your own yard!

Yes, of course there’s great hotels and ballrooms and other bigger popular venues too, I’m using this opportunity to promote something different, things I’ve seen recently and loved. If you’re planning something at a larger venue or a community hall, that’s great too!

2. This next tip is SO IMPORTANT – Take a freaking breath!!!! Spend a few moments with your wedding party and family to soak in the joy, both before the ceremony and after. Hug those special people tightly, take a deep breath, just soak in the love. These moments are everything – and please don’t worry if you’re 5 minutes late – your guests don’t mind. Just one more minute to make such a meaningful memory isn’t going to hurt anyone.

3. Involve your kids or your doggos in your Edmonton wedding! If you’re worried about entertaining the little ones, find a babysitter, that way mom and dad can have fun too. You can even hire wedding day dogsitters who will walk your dog to burn off the excess energy, deliver them to your ceremony (even wearing a bow tie if you want), and give them attention, treats, and love.

4. Feel your feels! If you feel like you need to cry or laugh or make a silly face, just go for it. Don’t stress about your makeup – waterproof mascara exists for a reason, and we can fix your makeup after the ceremony if we need to. This moment is going to happen once and only only, and it’s gone in a flash – please don’t edit yourself.

Wait – only 4 tips? YEP! That’s just the thing – it doesn’t have to be complicated! Find a good officiant whose vibe you like – or find a friend/loved one to speak at your ceremony and make it truly personal. Please ask lots of questions of your vendors and venue if you’re not sure what you need to do.

And just do you. That’s what makes it so meaningful for you and memorable for your special guests.

Cheers to you both and I hope you have the best Edmonton wedding ceremony experience ever!

Published by Buffy Goodman Photography

Edmonton based wedding and destination wedding, family, and portrait photographer

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