Wedding Officiant

LGBTQ+ Welcoming Officiants

Having the right marriage officiant for your ceremony is important for all loving couples. This is especially true for same sex, queer, transgender or non-binary couples. While marriage equality is the law of the land, sadly some vendors didn’t get the message. Feeling safe and supported when planning your wedding is a must. Therefore, when selecting the person to lead the ceremony, it is reassuring for couples to know that they are welcomed and accepted before that first inquiry. Feeling Safe and Supported There are two aspects for consideration. First of all, it is vital that the JP or notary welcome all loving couples. […]

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 […]

Love is Stronger than COVID-19

Marriages are About Love COVID-19 is proving that marriages really are all about love. Delaying the big shindig, couples are working with their justices of the peace and getting creative, marrying despite, and oftentimes, because of, the uncertain times. Mariel Mingola and Ryan Rowell found their Justice of the Peace, Angie Scraders, on findaJP.com. The couple had plans for a ceremony and reception, but now, because of the coronavirus, it will be just them. And soon. They didn’t want to wait. JP Angie found an out-of-the-way, scenic spot at a local park for an intimate ceremony. Mariel and Ryan postponed […]

Five Reasons Why a JP is Right for You

Engaged to be Married? Looking for that perfect officiant? We’ve got five reasons why a JP is the way to go! Deciding on what type of wedding officiant to solemnize your marriage can feel overwhelming. There is the religious route – but that isn’t for everyone. A friend? Nah. We’ve written about the many problems when an amateur gets involved. But a Justice of the Peace? Indeed, they offer the best of all worlds. These are the five most common reasons couples choose a JP as their wedding officiant. Read on, to know for sure if a JP ceremony is right for you. […]

Have Your Cake And Eat It Too!

So, you are thinking of having a friend or family member officiate your wedding. That is, well, okaaaay. Kinda. Sort-of. Maybe? If you are determined to go down this path, we encourage you to hire a professional to make sure that at the end of your ceremony your marriage is legal. Yes, that is right. Legal. This is because up to 90% of amateur officiants make serious mistakes that can jeopardize health insurance, buying a home, or dare we say – divorce settlements. In the age of internet officiants, your bestie from college might seem like the way to go. […]

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 […]

Future Shock: The Wedding Ceremony of 2050

While our concept of marriage continues to evolve, surprisingly the wedding ceremony itself has remained remarkably the same. Ask any Justice of the Peace and she will likely confirm that even the most modern couple will not abandon those features of the wedding ceremony that connect them to romance and tradition, most notably the opportunity to voice “I do!” So what is changing about the wedding ceremony? What will it look like in 35 years? If today’s trends are any indication (and of course they are), many weddings will be all about technology. (Surprise!) Virtually married? Bi-location: Your children’s wedding […]

Put Some Humor in the Wedding Ceremony

So you’re determined that your wedding be “one of kind” and extraordinary.  You’re even thinking about adding a bit of whimsy to your ceremony to capture the spirit that makes the two of you such a signature couple. But how do you strike the right tone?  Let’s face it, your wedding day is supposed to be a solemn occasion.  You’ll be entering into a serious life commitment.  You don’t want to come across as silly or disrespectful. Yet, a little humor can go a long way towards lightening up the tension and encouraging appreciative smiles among your wedding guests. With […]

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 […]

How Small Was the Wedding? Only Thee and Me!

With the pandemic, tiny weddings are increasing in popularity. That makes this throwback even more relevant for today ~ editor, July 2020. My favorite (actually, only) weddings are the smallest possible: only the couple and me, the officiant. In my years as a Justice of the Peace, I’ve only officiated at two weddings but I’ve married three couples. Yes, one of the weddings was a double ceremony. (And one other thing made this event unusual: they were all women.) That wedding took place at the home of one of the couples. The four women had created a moving ceremony in which […]

What’s the Difference Between a Legal Marriage and a Wedding Ceremony?

Updated: Legal Marriage vs. Marriage Ceremony, published November 23, 2020 A bride-to-be posted a great question on Ask a JP because it gets at one of the most commonly confused facets of getting married: the distinction between the legal and the ceremonial. When we think of weddings, we tend to think of the legal and the ceremonial as being intertwined and integral to each other. While this is typically the case, it doesn’t have to be. Here in Connecticut we have very specific laws about who is eligible to marry, who may officiate a marriage, and other technical details associated […]

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, […]

Be On Time for Your Wedding

“I entreat you to start your ceremony no more than 15 minutes after your scheduled time…” Your JP can have two to three ceremonies on your wedding day so please try to start your ceremony no more than 15 minutes after your scheduled starting time. Every ceremony is important to each bride & groom and your JP wants to do the best job possible. The confirmation email I now send couples lists all my fees, several ways to contact me (and me, them) and the telephone number of the wedding location… AND a gentle reminder to START ON TIME!” Find […]