Massachusetts law does not require that witnesses be present at your ceremony.
You have decided to get married. How exciting! How thrilling! How romantic! How scary! How overwhelming!
Having made this decision you now open a door to an array of decisions. It would be an honor and a privilege for me to officiate your wedding and make your special day a wonderfully memorable experience.
From customized vows, to a personalized ceremony, I can help you put together a ceremony that reflects your individual personalities and provide a professional presence.
Justice of the Peace Services in Massachusetts
I have officiated weddings at a variety locations and venues in Massachusetts, from include very formal to very relaxed……the shores of the Atlantic, the shores of Walden Pond, public parks, mansions, elegant hotels, very cozy inns, indoors or outdoors, and just about every other place in-between that a couple may find romantic or meaningful to them!
Since 1982 I have been officiating weddings throughout Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. My couples represent the very young to the more mature, first timers as well as those marrying again, same sex, interfaith, same background, diverse backgrounds, and renewals and commitments.
I was even privileged to be able to jointly perform a ceremony at the Old South Church with a wonderful Minister from there!
Getting married is a big step. I take the responsibility of helping you move into that next chapter of your lives very seriously, while enjoying and celebrating your big day.
I’ve had the pleasure of officiating many weddings for Massachusetts couples across the state. Read a few testimonials:
“We would like to thank you for your services at our ceremony. Our whole family really enjoyed themselves and commented that they thought we were friends with you. They were amazed we only met once for such a personalized ceremony. We really appreciate your personal touch.”
-Peter and Bonnie, Boston, MA
“Thank you so very much for officiating our beautiful wedding. The ceremony was lovely, and full of significance and meaning for the two of us. As our justice of the peace, we enjoyed working with you, and thank you for being a part of our memories.”
-Dave and Monica, North Shore, MA
Frequently Asked Questions
Sorry, but no. Massachusetts law prohibits me from legally marrying you without a license in hand.
No, you are free to create your own ceremony any way you choose. The only necessary requirement is that you must be legally declared married by your Officiant.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that it is your Special Day and you can create your ceremony by working with your Officiant.
The ONLY required part of the ceremony is the Pronouncement of Marriage. Under Massachusetts law, you must be pronounced married by your Officiant in order for the marriage to be legal. Every other part of the ceremony is optional.
When you select your Justice of the Peace, make sure you choose one who will work closely with you and design a ceremony that best reflects who you are as a couple and a ceremony that you are comfortable with. For example, if you wish to write your own vows make sure the Justice you choose is receptive to that. Likewise, if you are not comfortable with speaking in front of an audience, make sure your Officiant understands that and keeps your verbage to a minimum. If you follow this advice, your ceremony will flow smoothly.
This will vary according to what a couple wishes to include in their ceremony. This can include readings, traditions, and music. The typical ceremony however, will be 15 to 20 minutes in length.
If you are having a small, informal ceremony a rehearsal is not usually necessary. A rehearsal, however, is recommended for larger and more formal ceremonies.
For a simple civil ceremony, a Justice of the Peace may charge a fee of $100 to solemnize a marriage within the Justice’s home community or $150 if the ceremony is performed in any other municipality in the Commonwealth. Additional fees may be charged for prenuptial counseling, rehearsals, custom ceremonies and other special requests by the couple.
** Please note the Commonwealth allows Justices of the Peace to pass along any parking fees incurred which relate to officiating for your ceremony.
After the ceremony, I will complete the section of the license for the Officiant and return it to the City or Town Hall that issued it. After they record your marriage, you will be able to get a certified copy from them for a small fee. If you wish, I can provide you an unofficial wedding certificate which may be suitable for things such as hotel upgrades, etc.
When you fill out your application to get married, there is a designation that asks what your surname will be after marriage. If you are changing your name, that is where you indicate it. And if you’re not changing your name, you indicate there as well. Once you have been pronounced married, and the license is filed, your name is legally changed!
Then the fun part.
First, get an original Marriage Certificate from the City or Town Clerk that issued your Marriage License. Then start by calling Social Security at (800) 772-1213 and following the automated instructions. Or go to www.socialsecurity.gov.
You will also need your Marriage Certificate to update your Massachusetts driver’s license. This also requires a personal appearance at the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
And don’t forget to notify credit card companies and banks, the Post Office, employers, schools, etc. And you will need to update your voter registration, insurance policies, mortgages and other loans.
One important note: Wait until after your honeymoon to update your passport which needs to match the name on your plane ticket.