Calgary couple distraught after unlicensed wedding officiant marries them

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Calgary couple distraught after fraudulent wedding officiant performs marriage
WATCH: A Calgary couple is looking for answers after learning the man hired to perform their wedding was a fraud. The family is now asking the man responsible to return their money and apologize to avoid facing any charges. Josh Ritchie reports. – Oct 21, 2019

A Calgary couple’s wedding has gone from a dream to a nightmare in a matter of weeks.

Laura Jorritsma and Thomas Martin had been dating for over eight years before deciding to tie the knot.

After their August nuptials, Jorritsma and Martin were confused as to why their wedding licence hadn’t been filed, which led them to look into the man they hired as their officiant.

The man who said his name was Akeam Francis allegedly told the family he was a licensed officiant and this was his first gig, which helped them look the other way during some obvious mistakes during the ceremony.

“He didn’t do the vows that we wanted to do, he didn’t do the sickness and health, he didn’t do richness and poorness,” Jorritsma said. “He didn’t even say, ‘You may now kiss the bride.'”

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In the weeks after the wedding, the family came to find out more about Francis, and that he had allegedly lied about receiving his wedding licence.

Francis does not appear on Alberta’s official wedding officiant list.

Now the family is out $250 and more importantly, the couple isn’t officially married.

Global News reached out to Francis to meet for an interview, and after saying he “felt nervous” about the situation, he refused to return our calls.

Both Jorritsma and Martin said they don’t want someone to be charged because of this and would prefer to just forget the situation altogether.

“I would just like him to apologize, reach out and have some humility and realize he did make a serious mistake,” Jooritsma said. “It would be excellent if he could provide back that money we spent so I could pay to reissue the licence and certificates and find another officiant.”


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