Jacqueline Hoare is a Marriage Commissioner for the Province of Alberta and has been officiating weddings for the last 8 years and a half years and she is very passionate about celebrating love and marriage. In the last eight years, Jacqueline has performed hundreds of wedding ceremonies weaving heart and humour and each couples love story into every ceremony creating lifetime memories.
Click on the video to check out my interview with Jacqueline! The transcript is available below the video.
Anna: Describe what a typical wedding service looks like (the flow, the length, any additional information)
Jacqueline: I Love LOVE and I am very passionate about celebrating the lives people live. In the last eight years, I have had the privilege of performing hundreds of wedding ceremonies. My goal is to create a meaningful ceremony with heart and humour. At the end of their wedding day, I want my couples to walk away feeling like they have been swept up in a total experience, which they, their family and friends will cherish and remember forever.
A wedding ceremony is a chapter in a story which tells the past, celebrates the present and looks forward to the future. It is the heart of the wedding. I encourage my couples to have some fun and be authentic to themselves in the planning of their special day. My goal is to tell a unique story for every couple. Every word is carefully prepared. Whether they have a clear picture of their ceremony, or they have absolutely no idea, we’ll work together to create a meaningful, personal, and magical ceremony that they will never forget. That includes a simple, but meaningful ceremony, to a ceremony designed to incorporate rituals reflecting their personal faith, beliefs and culture. I’ve performed ceremonies in living rooms, grand hotel ballrooms and mountaintops. I welcome the challenge of creating and working with each couple to write the perfect ceremony that tells their love story.
I will help them create a ceremony that’s “THEIRS” – be it fun, unique, intimate, traditional with a “twist” or even something simple. It won’t be a boring ceremony that everyone’s heard a hundred times before – it will be theirs. If a couple would truly like to laugh and enjoy their day, I am here to help create a magical lifetime memory!
The typical ceremony that I officiate to is 20 minutes in length depending on what is included i.e. sand ceremony, hand fasting, rose ceremony etc.
Anna: What kind of information does the bride and groom have to provide to you?
Jacqueline: Each couple is required by the Province of Alberta to obtain a marriage license from their local registry office as well as to have two witnesses over the age of 18 present at the ceremony. When I meet with my couples for our pre-wedding planning meeting 3-4 weeks prior to their wedding day. I ask a series of questions that allow us to get to know each other a little and I love to hear the story of how they met and their engagement story, as well as to identify what they would like to include in their ceremony, if the Bride and Groom have any special readings or symbolic ceremony additions that they would like to include.
Anna: How much do you charge? (Follow up question: Do you charge extra to file the marriage license and for travel?)
Jacqueline: My fee for my services are . . . $275.00 plus GST for the couple to come to my home for an intimate elopement ceremony or $350.00 plus GST to officiate a ceremony at a location of their choice in the City of Calgary. I do have a travel fee that I charge if I am required to go out of the city for a ceremony. (an additional $0.55 per km plus $50.00 per hour for travel time).
There is no additional charge to file the marriage license as it is a part of my responsibility as their marriage commissioner. I do have a charge of $50.00 if a Rush Registration is required where I have to go the registry to have it completed as soon as possible.
Anna: Do you attend the wedding rehearsal (and if so, is this extra?)
Jacqueline: I do offer to attend and lead the wedding rehearsals if required for a fee of $175.00, however, I also provide my couples with a free rehearsal plan that they can customize to run their own rehearsal, which many couples are happy to take advantage of.
Anna: Do you join the party at the reception?
Jacqueline: I am honored to be invited to the reception, however, typically, I do not attend as I usually have more than one ceremony in a day and my family would miss me.
Anna: How many times do you meet with the couple before the day?
Jacqueline: After our initial email or telephone communication, I meet with my couples once for our pre-wedding planning meeting. I am happy to communicate via Skype, telephone and email leading up to the wedding as they plan their wedding day to answer any questions or to provide some guidance or vender referrals if requested.
Anna: Do you have any advice to couples writing their own vows?
Jacqueline: Keep it simple and speak from your heart. (I do offer some starter ideas for vows if they would like)
Anna: What is the funniest/oddest/most memorable moment from a wedding you’ve officiated?
Jacqueline: I have had many memorable weddings that I will never forget . . . magic happens in the simplest moments usually when something funny comes out of the couple’s mouths unintentionally during their vows . . . or when a child in the wedding party or a animal creates magic just by being who they are . . . I have had the privilege to marry 3 different couples where their ‘until death do us part’ was not that far off and they are living and loving for each precious magical moment. I have gone up in a helicopter to marry at the top of a mountain, had an authentic pirate wedding on the nose of a ship, and a magical beach wedding in Cabo San Lucas, a wedding in a castle and one in front of a Teepee with the groom in full native headdress . . . next year I am so excited I am being sent to Orlando Florida to officiate a wedding at Disney World. So yes, I am willing to travel! Each and every wedding has magic that stays with me and each couple touches my heart . . . so it really is hard to pick just one.