How to Choose a JP

The Value of a JP

More than the Pronouncement In the beginning, “Yes, I will marry you!”  Then the fun and a lot of fretting began!  You are now planning the wedding of your dreams and everything costs A LOT!  Your rings have been chosen with loving care. You are on the hunt for the perfect venue. The most fabulous wedding dress and/or special outfit has got to be found. At any cost! The flowers…oh the flowers! DJ? Band? Or both? You must have the Venetian dessert table – nothing less will do! You are ready to spare no expense for your perfect day. That […]

Make Sure your Wedding Ceremony Fits Your Circumstances!

How times change! Not so long ago, the idea of living together before marriage was socially unacceptable.  While some couples dared to try it, they dared not do so openly – for the judgment of society could be cruel.  Gay couples also were in jeopardy of social condemnation. In 2014, however, living together before marriage is the rule — the “new normal.”  And gay relationships too are becoming mainstream in the eyes of most Americans.  Often the old words and assumptions underlying the “traditional” wedding ceremony don’t work anymore and need to be updated. The outdated Victorian notions of the “virgin” bride and groom – and […]

The Rainbow Logo

One of the most meaningful wedding ceremonies I have performed as a New Hampshire Justice of the Peace was on Loon Mountain in September, with a panorama of the White Mountains before us. Rather than that priceless vista, however, it was the couple and our special connection that made it memorable. It all started when they came across a picture of me standing in front of a rainbow flag. The two women had wanted to be married for years but were stymied by the laws of their home state, North Carolina. When the US Congress repealed the infamous DOMA, the […]

Make Your Wedding Ceremony Your Own — the Modern Way!

If you are determined to break with convention by designing your own wedding, you are not alone.  These days, Justices of the Peace are being asked to officiate at more creative and non-traditional wedding ceremonies. This trend is seen in the chosen attire, the wording of the ceremony, the style of music, and even in the way a couple travels down the aisle. Modern weddings often reflect a couple’s lifestyle and personality. Wedding attire, for example. I’ll never forget the couple who dressed quite casually —  in jeans, while the groomsmen wore vests and the bridesmaids wore cowboy boots. The bride placed no requirements […]

Whom should you ask to marry you? A JP, of course!

Having been a Justice of the Peace for several years, and having been married more than once myself, I think it is safe to say that I have heard the question “Will you marry me?” probably more than most people. Usually it starts with a phone call that goes something like this: “Hi, I’m getting married and wanted to talk to you about your JP services.” Or “I found your name on www.findajp.com. I’m getting married in February. Can you help me?” And more than a dozen times, “Your listing on findajp.com says you do short notice. My wedding is […]

Choosing a Wedding Officiant

This article was updated and revised on March 25, 2021. Choosing a Justice of the Peace to perform your marriage ceremony ought to be more important than the invitations you select, the food you serve, or the music you choose. Spending time selecting JPs to interview—summing up in a conversation the details of your romance, the hopes and dreams you share—is indeed very personal business. Just like the chemistry in finding your life partner, finding the right person to officiate is of special consideration. For me, the right combination of seriousness, humor and understanding makes the partnership comfortable and exciting, […]