MARRIAGE FAQs




How do we obtain a certificate of marriage (marriage license)?
 Both of you need to file your intentions together. You can go to any town clerk in Massachusetts. You do not have to go to the town where you work or live. You do not have to go to the town where you will be married.
 

Is there a waiting period after we apply?
 Yes. It takes three days to get a marriage license. This can be waived by a court order.
 

How long is the certificate valid?
 The license is good for 60 days.
 

What is the cost for a marriage certificate?

 The fee charged by the clerk varies by town. It’s best to contact the town clerk to find out.
 

Do I need to be a Massachusetts resident to obtain a license?
 No, but you must get married in Massachusetts.
 

Do we need to exchange rings?
 
No. Rings are not required in Massachusetts.
 

Do we need to get a blood test?
 No. Blood tests are no longer required in Massachusetts.
 

What do I need to bring to you the day of our ceremony?
 Please bring a photo ID for each of you, along with your unexpired certificate of marriage and any other paperwork the clerk gives you. If you will be exchanging rings, remember to bring them, but they are not required in Massachusetts. Also bring the fee for your wedding ceremony or the remainder of the fee if you paid a deposit. You can pay by cash or check on the day of your wedding, or you can pay with a major credit card one week in advance using the secure server on my website.
 

What should I wear?
 Anything you want. It’s your wedding!
 

What will you wear?
 
I usually wear a dark suit, but I am somewhat flexible. For one wedding, the couple asked if I would wear a Hawaiian shirt and a lei!
 

What is the fee for marriage?
 Fees are set by Massachusetts statute. A ceremony performed in the town where the Justice of the Peace resides (in my case, Franklin) costs $100. Ceremonies outside of Franklin are $150. For a simple ceremony, you can get married in my office in Franklin, which would cost you $100.
 

How can I pay?
 You can pay by cash or check or with a major credit card (one week in advance using the secure server on my website). 
 


When should I pay?
 If you are going to pay by credit card, you should pay one week in advance using the secure server on my website. You can also pay by cash or check on the day of the ceremony. At certain times of the year, I will request a deposit in order to book the date. You can pay the balance on the day of the wedding unless you want to use a credit card, in which case you should pay the balance a week in advance on my website.
 

How do I get a copy of my marriage license?
 Usually on the next business day following your wedding, I mail your certificate of marriage to the town clerk who issued it. Once they receive and review it, they will record it. You can contact the town clerk who issued it. It usually takes a week to 10 days to get a certified copy of marriage certificate.
 

When are we officially married?
 You are officially married as soon as I pronounce you married at the end of the ceremony. Please remember that you will not have a copy of your marriage license until it is recorded.
 

What about the ceremony?
 
Basically, the only requirements are that the couple enter the marriage under their own free will and manifest an intent to get married. The ceremony can be simple or elaborate. I specialize in simple ceremonies, but have performed ceremonies that are more complex based on the tastes of the couple.
 

Can I write my own vows?
 Absolutely. You can write your own vows or use standard vows. You can speak your vows or simply say “I do.” It’s your wedding, so I will accommodate your wishes.
 

Do I need a rehearsal?
 I recommend rehearsals for large, formal weddings. Usually they are unnecessary for small weddings. Again, it’s up to you.
 

Do you perform same-sex marriages?
 Absolutely. I have performed several same-sex ceremonies.
 

Do we need a witness?

 No. Massachusetts does not require a witness. A Massachusetts Justice of the Peace is the only required witness.