Health & Beauty
A Marriage Commissioner is a person appointed by the provincial government to conduct civil marriages. In order to be married in this province, a Newfoundland and Labrador marriage licence must be obtained from a marriage licence issuer.
The first kiss a bride and groom share at the close of the ceremony has carried special significance through the centuries.
Many cultures believed that the couple exchanged spirits with their breath and part of their souls were exchanged as well.
Original air date: 2005*
*For current pricing information, contact Wendy@WendysWeddingWorks.com
Wendy Squires-Ennis, Marriage Commissioner
Wendy and her husband Shawn had a civil wedding ceremony in 2000, and even then they personalized a few things in their ceremony. Little did she know then that in 2003 she would become a marriage commissioner and begin Wendy’s Wedding Works, where she herself would officiate wedding ceremonies.
Because of her time as a professional videographer from 1995 to 2003, Wendy learned about the things couples liked and disliked about their wedding ceremonies. She always thought that as a couple, you should have control of your ceremony; and therefore, she allows you to make all of the decisions, while offering friendly suggestions along the way.
Wendy has made a career of being a marriage commissioner. Wendy can take bookings over two years in advance, or if you have already applied for your marriage licence, can officiate your wedding within a day or two. There are no classes to attend and no restrictions. Wendy will travel within two hours of St. John’s for your wedding, and she officiates weddings at any time of the day and any day of the week. Same-sex marriage is legal in our province, and Wendy prides herself on treating all couples equally.
With Wendy as your marriage commissioner, you will reap the benefits of her expertise. She will dedicate time to your wedding, and it is evident that she really cares about your special day. Her passion for weddings will shine through as she reads your wedding vows. Her growth to 70 weddings a year shows that her clients have been very pleased with her work. Quite often she sees previous couples or their family members again at other weddings. And who better to marry you than someone who is so happily married herself?
Your Wedding, Your Way!
When Wendy was appointed marriage commissioner for the province on Newfoundland and Labrador in 2003, she wanted to revolutionize wedding ceremonies by combining the beauty and elegance of a formal ceremony with the relaxed atmosphere of a personalized wedding. She worked diligently to create an approach to wedding ceremonies that would do just that.
You may still proceed down the aisle in your formal gown to beautiful music and with a parent by your side; but instead of a church or courthouse, you may be under blue sky in your garden, in your reception facility or on a beach, at your family cabin or that special place where you met. You may decide to keep things simple with only two witnesses or invite everyone including the postmaster - the choice is yours.
You personalize the wedding ceremony to suit you and your family, such as writing your own vows. You may choose from Wendy’s sample ceremony, while incorporating any ideas of your own. Because your ceremony is personalized, it can be described as being spiritual without being religious. Your children are welcome, and Wendy can show you several options to involve them in your ceremony.
Once Booked with Wendy…
Once payment of the non-refundable deposit is received, you will be confirmed and you will be emailed the receipt, as well as the sample ceremony template for your perusal. You may take your time going through the sample privately and make any necessary changes. You may call Wendy at any time with questions or concerns.
You will meet with Wendy a week or two before the wedding, once you receive your marriage licence from a marriage licence issuer. This is also when any remaining balance is due. During the meeting you will go over the details such as ceremony wording, layout, music, legal papers, etc. If you are coming here from away only days before the wedding, you can meet without the licence and arrange a drop-off once it is received. When you leave this meeting, you can rest assured that the formalities for your ceremony are ready.
All of the things you’ve disliked about weddings in the past can now stay in the past. For the very first time, you are able make all of the decisions about your ceremony. Except for the legal vows and your pronouncement, the rest is entirely up to you. There are no surprises! In order to avoid regrets which often occur during the ceremony, take control by making choices that are right for you.
The average ceremony is twenty minutes long, but it can range from five minutes to thirty minutes, depending on what you choose for your ceremony. You and your guests will benefit from the relaxed atmosphere. For those who may have issues surrounding your civil ceremony, the familiarity of a unity candle, a scripture reading or a musical solo, can often help to bridge the gap. Your ceremony will have no restrictions, and Wendy will work with you to design the ceremony that is perfect for you and your family.
Whether this is your first wedding or not, having your ceremony personalized will be a beautiful experience. Your family will play an active role in your wedding ceremony, especially your children with such duties as presenting the rings or signing your marriage register if they are sixteen years of age or older. You can remember loved ones who have passed with a memorial candle, represent the union of your two lives with a unity candle or a sand ceremony and exchange roses as your first gifts as a newly married couple. You can even write your own vows. You are limited only by your imagination.
On the Big Day…
On the big day, Wendy will arrive at least thirty minutes early to help make sure that things are set up properly and that everything is done in a timely fashion. She will work closely with the videographer, photographer, decorator, musicians and staff to help things go more smoothly. Wendy is very thorough as your advocate. Her attention to detail will ensure that things are done well.
Throughout the ceremony Wendy will manage everything. She will guide you and your wedding party and will even cue the musicians. Although one is included, most people do not need a rehearsal for this reason. Don’t worry, Wendy will speak slowly and clearly when it is time for you to repeat your wedding vows.
Following the recession, Wendy will wish you luck, pose for a photo if you wish and mingle for a short while before heading out, probably to another wedding. You will receive a keepsake binder with a transcript of your ceremony and a keepsake marriage certificate. Thank you in advance, but you do not have to reserve a dinner for her, as she looks forward to going home to her family once her work day is done.
Types of Ceremonies
If you want to be married outside of the church, then a civil ceremony is for you.
Wedding Vow Renewal
Whether your 5th, 10th, 25th or 50th, your anniversary is a great time to renew your wedding vows. It makes for a great surprise! Why not involve your children and grandchildren in the celebration of your life together. This is also useful if you were married in another country and now wish to renew your vows in front of your family and friends, here in NL.
Some people choose to express their love without legal documents. Whatever your reason, we will work with you to design a ceremony just for you.
Most of Wendy’s weddings are located outdoors under blue sky, amongst trees or by water. Why not take advantage of the natural beauty our province has to offer? Here are some of Wendy’s unique weddings:
• Sunrise during the Summer solstice at Cape Spear, while whales appeared below.
• Midnight on New Year’s Eve, overlooking the St. John’s harbour with fireworks
in the background.
• On the LaMonche suspension bridge, 1.5 km in the wilderness.
• At a cabin with a hockey stick honour guard for their recession.
• Outdoors at a cabin, on New Year’s Eve, on a dock overlooking a frozen pond:
and we all wore snow suits, including the couple (their new Ski-doo suits were
in lieu of formalwear).
• On the rocks in the middle of Manuels River.
• Everyone dressed up like Gamblers and Dandy’s, hats and guns included.
• 20 minute speed boat trip to Woody Island Resort.
• Movie, Valentine’s, Wicken, Goth and Halloween themed weddings.
• Couples RODE away by motorcycle and ROWED away by boat, from their garden
• Hospital room and hospital chapel, to allow loved ones to be present.
• The groom changed his surname to the bride’s surname to help continue her
family’s lineage in Canada.