Part of Marriage

Recognizing religious groups to conduct marriage ceremonies

Religious organizations must be recognized by Vital Statistics to perform lawful marriages in Alberta.


Before applying for recognition by Vital Statistics, a religious organization must have a church or congregation established in Alberta at the time of its application to Vital Statistics, and either

  • be active and incorporated within Alberta for at least 3 years, or
  • demonstrate they have been established and incorporated in Canada for at least 3 years, are currently recognized to perform marriages in at least one other Canadian province/territory and have been performing marriages there for at least 3 years

A religious society or religious denomination must demonstrate that it is sufficiently well established regarding its continuity of existence, and recognized rites and usages respecting the solemnization of marriage to warrant the registration of its religious representatives with Alberta Vital Statistics.


There is no cost for a religious organization to become recognized by Alberta to perform marriages.

How to apply

Get your religious organization recognized

Step 1. Complete the application form

The religious organization’s governing authority must complete the application form.

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Application for Registration by a Religious Body to Perform Marriage Ceremonies form

Step 2. Gather supporting documents

The following documents must be provided for the religious organization:

  • Certificate of Incorporation
    • related incorporation documents from Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction
    • incorporation must be under Alberta’s Societies Act, Religious Societies’ Land Act, or Companies Act; or as an Extra-Provincial under the Business Corporations Act
  • the religious organization's constitution, charter document and by-laws that demonstrate the nature of the religious organization, including:
    • provision for ordination
    • appointment and dismissal of clergy/religious representatives
  • summary of religious sacraments, tenets, beliefs, etc., including the marriage ceremony
  • proposed proof of marriage document that will be given to couple at the marriage ceremony

Step 3. Gather supporting information

The following information must also be provided on behalf of the religious organization:

  • date and place of incorporation, or founding of the religious organization
  • length of continuous operation in Alberta
  • address of the regular meeting place(s)
  • scheduled working days and hours of worship
  • number of members/believers 18 years old or older and living in Alberta
  • name, address and telephone number for the governing authority (for example: the chairman, president or elder elected to represent the organization to Vital Statistics)
  • minutes from scheduled meetings and/or appointment documents confirming the governing authority
  • names, address and telephone numbers of clergy/religious representatives living in Alberta that are to be registered to perform marriages

At its discretion, Vital Statistics may ask for more documents to verify continuity and proof of existence, proof of ordination, proof of registration in another jurisdiction, etc.

Step 4. Send the application

Email, mail, fax or courier your application, and the applicable supporting documents and information to Vital Statistics.


Connect with the Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction Contact Centre:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-7013 (Edmonton and area)
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-422-4225

For the deaf or hard-of-hearing:
TTY: 780-427-9999 (Edmonton and area)
Toll free TTY: 1-800-232-7215 (in Alberta)

Email: [email protected]

Vital Statistics
Box 2023
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4W7
Attention: Marriage Unit

Vital Statistics
Document Reception
John E. Brownlee Building
10365 97 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3W7
Attention: Marriage Unit