You must have a marriage license issued by the state of Massachusetts. To obtain one, both members of the couple must apply to the city or town clerk in any community in Massachusetts. It does not necessarily have to be where you live or work. Be aware that marriage license fees vary from city to city. Blood tests are no longer required in Massachusetts. There is a mandatory 3-day waiting period including Sundays and holidays. The license is valid for 60 days. Only a court waver through a probate or district court can eliminate the waiting period.
A Massachusetts resident may marry at the age of 18. A birth certificate may be required to show proof of age.
A Justice of the Peace ceremony does not require witnesses although some religious ceremonies do.
Yes. I will help you to do so. The critical element is evidence of a promise and the concluding pronouncement “by the authority granted me by the state of Massachusetts…”.
It depends on what you want. A simple, basic ceremony can de done in 10 minutes. Readings, rituals, and musical selections can make your ceremony as long as an hour.
You usually provide the location. If you wish to be married in a park, you may have to apply to the city or town for a permit. Some couples choose to be married in their homes or backyards. I have also performed some very small weddings in my home and front yard.
I often perform holiday weddings. These are popular dates!
I would be happy to write them into your ceremony in a meaningful way.
Not necessarily. I recommend rehearsals if there are many attendants, readings and musical selections. I can help you orchestrate a rehearsal, but there is an additional charge just for my presence.
I usually wear a robe.
I do appreciate your thoughtfulness but generally do not accept, as I would not know any of your guests. Please save yourself the expense. I do like a photo for my album and appreciate any favor that is given to your guests as a keepsake. I do accept gratuities if you are pleased with my services.
I am forbidden to do so by law. I return it to the city or town where it was granted after filling out the appropriate parts, signing it, and recording it in my register. You can then obtain a certified copy from that city or town hall for a nominal fee about a week after the ceremony when the license has been registered.
In the rare event that I am unable to celebrate your wedding, I will try to secure a replacement among several friend JPs or from our professional association who will do the designated ceremony at the agreed upon price.
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