Town of Erin plans to perform marriages for residents looking to tie the knot

ERIN – Residents looking to tie the knot may soon be able to do so in the Town of Erin’s council chamber – and there is also an option for those looking recite their vows elsewhere.

Council heard from clerk Lisa Campion on the idea of the town being authorized to provide marriage solemnization on Oct. 5.

“Our goal is to be a one-stop shop for municipal services,” Campion said in an interview with the Advertiser.

“We want to be able to serve our residents in the best capacity that we can and with respect to marriages, it’s offering both of those services, not just the licensing.”

In the meeting, council received the report and authorized a bylaw for the adoption of a civil marriage solemnization service in the town.

Campion will now be licensed to perform non-denominational marriage ceremonies.

She said marriage licenses and officiating has been on the town’s list for quite some time, adding licensing was a priority for 2021 but the town was hit with some delays as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were able to start the licensing once we reopened, which was in September,” she explained.

“There was a lot of residents interested in that service and we thought ‘okay, now’s the time to start that phase two,’ which is the officiating.”

On how the service works, Campion explained she would have a consultation with the couples on when and where they want to get married. From there, she will work with them to put together the ceremony.

Campion said the town will likely have four scripts from which residents can choose. Minimal decor such as flowers and balloons will be permitted, but there will be restrictions on items like confetti.

She explained the town will perform the ceremony and facilitate the paperwork so couples can later get their records.

“We basically do their ceremony and then we register their marriage with the division registrar and within six to nine weeks after their marriage date, they can apply for the actual marriage certificate which is the official record of marriage.”

For $250, Campion will marry couples in council chambers during business hours. For couples looking to get married in council chambers after hours, that cost will rise to $350.

Other venues are also available. To have Campion perform a ceremony at another location in Erin, the cost is $400.

She noted there will be capacity restrictions as well as COVID-19 restrictions that must be adhered to.

“I think it really comes down to our commitment to providing service excellence for our residents,” Campion explained.

She added the town’s interested in seeing what the numbers will look like but for this service, they’re not looking at revenue.

In terms of how the service will be received, she said with the pandemic, the town might see an uptake from people who may have pushed off their weddings, but at the end of the day, it’s not about how many couples make use of the service.

“With this specific service we’re not concerned about the numbers, we’re not concerned about issuing targets,” she explained.

“If, at the end of the day, we can provide an additional service to our residents, we’ve achieved our goal.

“If it’s one, if it’s four, if we were able to provide this new service to you and be part of your special day, that’s what we want to do.”

Campion said she’s looking forward to being a part of the newly-authorized service.

“I’m really excited,” she explained. “My job is very technical in nature and obviously there’s still some legislative things that have to be taken care of with this process but … to be part of the actual ceremony and be part of a milestone for them, I’m personally excited about that.”

She added just having the residents come in for licences and seeing their excitement and hearing their stories has her excited.

In an email, Campion stated the town is waiting on formal paper work to be processed and is hoping the service will be ready within the next month, but it will be dependent on the division registrar’s processing time.

The town will provide an update service is finalized.