(Please view fees at the bottom of this web page OR click on the FEES Link to the right of this page.)
REQUIREMENTS TO MARRY IN MASSACHUSETTS
1. Couple getting married (18 years or older)
2. The Justice of the Peace / Officiant
3. A valid marriage license (Massachusetts Certificate of Marriage)
Marriage License and Officiant Payment: are due before the ceremony begins. There are two reasons for this. First, and most importantly, an officiant cannot perform your ceremony until they view the expiration date on your Marriage License. This is required by Massachusetts law. Secondly, once the ceremony ends, couples are very excited to go and take part in the picture session of their wedding. An officiant does not feel comfortable, nor do they want to interfere in this special part of your wedding. In addition, most JPs must leave to perform other ceremonies. Therefore, to make it easier for all, it is best to put the officiant payment in the same envelope with the Marriage License and give it to the best man since this must be handed to the officiant upon arrival of your ceremony. By giving this to the best man the officiant does not have to overwhelm the couple with having to ask for this when they are so busy trying to get ready for the most important moment of their lives -- their wedding!
Ceremony Time and Guest Arrival: It is extremely, extremely important that all guests arrive on time so that the ceremony can start on time. While it is normal for ceremonies to start a few minutes behind for one reason or another, any additional time after that is going to prove to be costly to the couple getting married. This could mean additional cost for the reception hall having to pay their catering services / employee salaries for overtime, the limousine driver, the officiant, photographer, DJ, etc. While I have never, ever charged for additional time, it is becoming more of a timing problem for me as an officiant when wedding ceremonies do not start on time. I often conduct two ceremonies in one day, so I schedule them with enough travel time, as well as enough time to get to each ceremony early enough in the event that I am needed for any last minute changes. I would never, ever want to be late for your ceremony, so I ask that this not happen to other couples who I have committed myself to that day for their ceremony as well. This is where it is very important that you do your best, as a couple, to make sure that this does not happen. An idea to get your guest to arrive on time is for you to tell your guest that your ceremony is at 4:00 p.m., when it is really going to start at 4:30 p.m. This way, there will not be an additional cost to you, at least from my end.
Rehearsals: There will also never be any additional cost to you other than my fee of $200.00 for my attending your rehearsal, if however, your wedding party shows up on time.
IMPORTANT: PLEASE NOTE THAT I WORK FULL TIME, THEREFORE, WITH THAT IN MIND, AND BECAUSE OF RUSH HOUR TRAFFIC, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME TO ATTEND REHEARSALS BEFORE 7:00 P.M.
RELIGIOUS / NON-RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES
While I am Catholic, I am not a practicing Catholic. Therefore, I will and do perform all types of ceremonies based upon your religious belief. However, in an effort to not insult anyone because I am not familiar with your religion, I never, ever incorporate any religious quotes in a ceremony unless I am asked to do so. And because I am not familiar with your religion, I will always rely on you to help me with whatever it is that you want me to say or do to assure that it is done correctly. Each and every one of my vows are special, unique, individualized and very meaningful for each of my clients. Having said that, if you want me to include a particular religious quote, I am very happy to do so. I am very open-minded towards all faiths and beliefs.
Non-Denominational Ceremonies: A non-denominational is a ceremony that is not of a particular denomination and is based upon what couples want for their ceremony.
ReligiousCeremonies: A particular denomination (e.g., Jewish, Catholic, Baptist, etc.) or combination of denominations; characterized by defining religious rituals or traditions from one or more denominations.
Non-Religious Ceremonies: There is no religion attached to this ceremony whatsoever. However, your ceremony is just as meaningful, warm, special, and loving as with any other ceremony. You can be as creative as you wish with your vows.
InterfaithCeremonies: A combination or blend of religions ranging from only some religion to being entirely religious.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE CEREMONY
Can a couple select their own vows?
Do we have to speak at the ceremony?
Can we Include Others in the Ceremony?
Do we Need Rings?
Do we Need Witnesses at the Ceremony?
Where the Ceremony is Held?
Do we Have to Hold a Rehearsal?
Is it necessary for a Pre-Nuptial Meeting With Our Officiant?
What does an Officiant Wear at a Ceremony?
How Does a Couple Renew Their Vows?
Therefore, I cannot, and will not, allow others to take credit for materials that I have written, and will, without a doubt, pursue the matter legally. If you are using materials written by Carol J. Merletti I will pursue it.
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