Marriage Vows – Abby Charchun

There can’t be a wedding without marriage vows right?  Commissioner Abby Charchun will officiate over Carolyn and Ryan‘s ceremony when they renew their vows at The Pop-up Wedding.   We’re inviting Calgary Brides and Grooms to join in as wedding guests, April 13th at Kensington Riverside Inn.  Get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a real wedding and meet fantastic wedding vendors that can help you with your own wedding.  Here’s what Abby had to say about her style…

Tell us why you began officiating weddings?

I started officiating weddings when it was still possible to be a temporary marriage commissioner in Alberta– over 14 years ago. I married my practicum teacher first and then my hair stylist next. By the time I was ready to marry my third couple, the Government had suspended temporary ordainments so I had to apply to become a permanent marriage commissioner. I was on the waiting list for 5 years. There are only so many commissioners assigned for a given area so it takes a long time to secure a position – and that’s after being short-listed. I was finally ordained as a permanent commissioner in 2005 and have been happily marrying couples every since. I am nearing 1000 weddings over which I have presided – which is an incredibly special milestone for me and my family. I feel a great deal of gratitude getting to do what I do. 

What makes you different than your competitors?

I don’t consider my fellow commissioners my competitors. I’m really glad there are so many different people to choose from. The style and personality of every commissioner is different so I encourage couples to interview commissioners and really consider who they want to perform their ceremony. Couples should feel safe and connected to the person who they choose as their commissioner. Don’t choose simply based on price point alone – your commissioner is a person who is a major part of your big day.  So: be choosey.  I bring a lot of humor to the experience. I really like to get to know people and understand what they want. I like to get an idea of the mood or experience they are trying to achieve on their big day. I am known for offering couples a lot of options when choosing the words that will be said on their wedding day. I don’t want to perform “cookie-cutter ceremonies”. I like focusing around the intentionality of the experience. I want people to feel that their ceremony reflects who they are and will be memorable for them and their guests.  I also like to remind couples that ultimately, the day is about their love and that energy should drive their decisions.  My motto is:  “Your day – your way”.  It’s my job to ensure that the couple is staying connected and truthful to themselves. 

It’s such an honour to renew the vows of my long-time friends, Ryan and Carolyn. I was so moved when I was asked to perform their ceremony. The experience of marrying people you know and love is amazing. I hope that I can bring some of the brilliant magic I got to witness at their first wedding – 16 years ago. Love rules!  

Abby also married Alix and Lowell Williams of Ed Williams Menswear a few years ago.  Our Pop-up Groom Ryan, will be dressed head-to-toe in menswear from Ed Williams.  Small world!


Image from Mark Eleven Photography

Complimentary tickets are still available to Calgary Brides and Grooms by calling Kensington Riverside Inn at 403-228-4442.  Come meet Abby on Sunday!


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