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Massachusetts Officiants

Credit : Friendly Crossways Retreat Center

Your wedding ceremony will be conducted by a member of the clergy, a Massachusetts Officiant or a Justice of the Peace.

If possible, you should select an officiant that knows both of you. This will allow them to personalize the ceremony for you. Unless the two of you belong to the same parish, this may be difficult to do.

Take the time to meet with more than one officiant and select the person that made you feel the most at ease. Be sure to ask for references, plus other pertinent questions. Below are questions you should include in the interview.

  • How long have you been officiating ceremonies?
  • What will you wear to the ceremony?
  • May we write our own vows?
  • Can you provide a list of traditional vows?
  • May we select readings? Do they need to be religious?
  • Will there be a rehearsal for the ceremony? If so, when?
  • Can we bring our own musicians or vocalists?
  • Are there restrictions on wedding attire? (ex. bare shoulders, back, head)
  • Are there restrictions on using flash photography?
  • Are there locations for the couple to wait for the ceremony to begin?
  • Are guests allowed to throw rice? To blow bubbles?

1 Day Marriage Designation/Officiant for a Day

In Massachusetts, a couple can choose to have a family friend or relative perform their wedding ceremony. In order to become a "Justice of the Peace" for a day, you must fill out an application from the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth. The process takes 4-6 weeks to complete.

After filling out the application and sending it back, you will then receive a letter from the Secretary of Commonwealth granting permission for the person to perform the wedding ceremony. The letter will give you further instructions to complete the process. There is a $25 fee to apply.  Find complete details and an application.