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Going to the chamber, going to get married

Published on

Jack Poirier

Special to The Journal

Nancy Wright-Laking is excited about Sarnia’s latest proposal; just don’t expect her to put on the Elvis suit.

Sarnia will begin offering marriage services in the New Year, and when asks who is overseeing the nuptials the City Clerk aptly replied, “I do.”

“A lot of people just want the opportunity for a wedding at City Hall that is basic and simple,” said Wright-Laking, a trained marriage officiant. “We will offer that option.”

Sarnia’s entry into the wedding business was approved by council in a recent 6-2 vote.

Wright-Laking, who has eight years experience hitching couples in other jurisdictions, said she is looking forward to the opportunity.

She hopes to offer weddings one Friday per month, most likely in the afternoon, as long as it fits with current staffing schedules.

The ceremonies have no religious connotations and will initially be performed in council chambers, although they could later expand to include city parks.

Three inquiries have been received already.

Sarnia won’t be offering any Viva Las Vegas-style weddings. The services will be “very dignified,” Wright-Laking said.

“It’s one of the nicest things that I can do in my work day as a clerk,” she said, noting public interest is what spurred the initiative.

Having officiated at her own Godson’s wedding, as well as another that allowed a terminally-ill family member to be there for the big day, Wright-Laking said she enjoys providing the heartwarming ceremony.

A service will cost $250, plus the wedding licence, and be open to anyone legal entitled to be married under Canada’s Marriage Act.

About two hours of staff time is required, which will include an initial meeting with the couple to plan the ceremony.

For more information, contact the City Clerks Department at 519-332-0330.


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