Member Support

Articles to improve your JPus experience and maximize the power of your membership

Support Topic: Professional Development

Liability Insurance – Options

Oftentimes, members ask about liability insurance. And they should! In today’s litigious society, having insurance protects you. Plus, some wedding venues are now requiring it. Previously, we covered the different types of liability insurance and what each offers. At that time, membership was polled. In addition, we discussed the importance of insurance. Now, in this second article, we are providing specific resources to help our members secure coverage. Disclaimer The following information is intended to be a helpful resource to our members. With this in mind, users of this material agree to the following: The Justice of the Peace Association makes . . .

Liability Insurance – Who Me?

Updated May 1, 2021 More and more, we are hearing about wedding venues requiring marriage officiants to carry professional liability insurance. “Whaaa? Me? I’m just in-and-out. Barely there,” say some. “What could go wrong?” they ask. Well, really, any number of things could happen. It is wise to be protected. In light of this, following are some insurance basics. First, read through the background information we’ve prepared. JPus is doing the legwork, gathering particulars and checking out insurance providers. Our plan is to give members some more information to help you make the best decision for your circumstances and needs. Please . . .

Are Vows Required?

A common question we receive from JPus members is about the vows. Couples don't want to say them. "Just sign the license", they may say. They just want to be -- married. So, what's an officiant to do? The answer depends on the state. But, none of the states that JPus/findaJP is active in requires any specific language to be used. Review the Requirements in: Connecticut | Florida | Maine | Massachusetts | New Hampshire | Vermont Connecticut No specific words must be said between the couple. Rather, the officiant must make sure that the marriage license has the correct . . .

Collecting Payment

Money can be an uncomfortable topic for some people. Nonetheless, as a professional wedding officiant you are operating a business. You are dedicated to giving your clients the best wedding ceremony they could have imagined. You hone your skills, network with others, stay on top of the latest trends, and you belong to JPus, an organization for pros. Couples are hiring you to perform a service. Naturally, you should be compensated fairly. Set Expectations Spell out verbally, and then in writing, what the payment expectations are. This is good practice, whether or not you use a formal contract. Be friendly. Language . . .

Outdoor Winter Marriages

The advice from healthcare professionals is clear. During the pandemic, if you will be around others, it is best to be outdoors where air circulates freely. For this reason, encourage your clients to have their ceremony at an outdoor location. As the weather gets colder, be prepared for winter elements. Tricks of the Trade Wear a robe, and under it dress warmly! For instance, layer your clothing. Start with a good pair of thermals as a base layer to keep you toasty. No matter what is underneath the robe, it provides a professional, put-together presence. Don appropriate foot wear. Not . . .

Exploring Our Own Implicit Bias

Implicit bias is how our unconscious attitudes, beliefs and stereotypes affect how we think about and treat other people. When we understand these thoughts, we can choose how we process that information.  The spring of 2020 was momentous, and will hopefully be remembered as a reckoning for our country. A time when a majority of our fellow citizens became more alert to racial discrimination and injustice. In this vain, each of us share in the responsibility to make our communities welcoming, safe and respectful for everyone. To expose and confront racism. This includes taking an active role to make change . . .

Couple Changed Their Mind

The ceremony went off without a hitch. But now that it is over, the couple wants to be unhitched. Or, preferably, never hitched at all. What’s a JP to do? You witnessed the affirmation. And now, the couple says they don’t want to be married. They ask you, their officiant, not to submit the paperwork. To pretend like it never happened. Like, um, you never met us. Okay? Well, not so fast. Each state’s laws are presented differently, but all essentially say the same thing. Once the officiant solemnizes the marriage, he or she must record it and process the . . .

Prison Weddings

Officiating in a prison or Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility takes preparation.  The Marriage License Like weddings that take place outside of a detention center, a marriage license is required before an officiant may proceed with a ceremony. After the not-incarcerated member of the couple applies for the marriage license, the town clerk goes to the facility to obtain the incarcerated person’s signature. The couple must also apply for permission to wed, secured from the warden. Behind the Scenes Help Having a buddy on the inside can make your experience smoother. Connect with the prison chaplain or social worker. This will . . .

Trafficking: An Introduction

Marriage as a Doorway for Traffickers Human trafficking is when people are treated as objects and bought, sold or exploited for another’s benefit. Coercion, fraud, threats or violence are used for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor or sexual slavery. Marriage is used as a doorway for traffickers. Trafficking happens to adults and children, people of all genders, races, religions and socioeconomic statuses. Definitions Trafficking: No movement is needed. Someone may never leave their home and be trafficked. Sex Trafficking: Trafficking of adults for sex by force, fraud, or coercion in strip clubs, brothels, massage parlors, street prostitution, or . . .

Marrying Foreigners

What documentation is needed when a non-US citizen is being married in the United States? If one or both parties of a couple are not US citizens, then there are specific rules to be followed. It doesn't matter what their country of origin is. They apply to all foreign nationals. As a wedding officiant, you can provide valuable guidance to couples. If the couple intends to reside in the United States:  The foreign national must receive a K-1 visa from the US Consulate, and the marriage must take place within 90 days of entering the country. If the marriage doesn't take place . . .

Asking for Testimonials

Including testimonials on your findaJP profile is a simple way to demonstrate to prospective couples that you can be trusted. They give you credibility. It isn't necessary that the testimonial have a wow-factor (though that doesn't necessarily hurt.) What you want to demonstrate is that other couples have worked with you and been pleased with your services. Overcoming awkward Some people feel uncomfortable asking couples for a reference. No need to be. The easiest way to get a testimonial is to just ask. After the wedding, send the couple a note. Ask them how they thought the ceremony went. Tell . . .

Life Cycle Events and Milestones

Promote all the services you provide. Include life cycle (or Rites of Passage) events in your profile! To attract more contacts, add a section to the About Me section of your profile that includes Life Cycle events. First, keep the primary focus on nuptials. But then, if you lead other ceremonies, let visitors to your page know it! Search engines will find you when someone is looking for these other services. In addition, couples who look for you to officiate their wedding might come back to you for future needs too. Baby Blessings, Namings and Adoptions Oftentimes, after couples marry, . . .