Teri Beth Ayre, Justice of the Peace
Now that you have decided you want to get married there are many questions that you may have. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions but please don’t hesitate to ask me something if you don’t see your answer here.
To receive a marriage license in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, both parties need to be 18 years of age and file intentions in person at any city or town clerks office in the Commonwealth (there are a few exceptions).
It does not have to be in the city or town you live in or are getting married in. Massachusetts no longer requires blood tests in order to be married.
You do not need to have any witnesses at the ceremony. Only the couple and the officiant is all you need.
The license can be picked up 3 days after applying, is good for 60 days and costs around $20-50.
After the ceremony the officiant will return the license to the clerk’s office of the town the license came from where it will be recorded. The couple may get a certified copy from the clerk’s office you received the license from. The officiant cannot give you a copy.
The officiant does not expect an invitation to the rehearsal dinner or the reception. As a general rule they will leave once the ceremony is over.
If you forget your license the day of the wedding you cannot be married. Many couples give the license to the officiant before the day of the wedding.
You can write your own vows or personalize your ceremony as you wish. As a general rule, there is no prescribed form of ceremony to solemnize a marriage. Much of the common wording you hear, even the exchange of rings is optional.
What about tipping? For the people providing your wedding services, tipping is never expected, but always appreciated.