Member Support

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

Support Topic: Supporting Couples

Unplugged Ceremonies

An important discussion to have with your couples is about the use of electronics. Do they want their guests to use them during the ceremony, or would they like everyone to unplug? As the leader of the ceremony, it is your responsibility to set the tone and convey your couple's wishes. If they are unsure about how to proceed, share with them this article about unplugged weddings. It will help them think through their options. How-To Say It Following is some suggested language to share your couple's wishes. Modify the message so it reflects your own style - and of . . .

Commitment Ceremonies

There are many reasons a couple may want a commitment ceremony without actually getting married. As a professional who performs all sorts of lifecycle ceremonies, of course you'll oblige. Why Not Tie the Knot? The particular reason a couple chooses not to make their union legally binding is peripheral. Despite that, it is important for officiants to understand some circumstances that could be driving decisions. Marriage is a legal act that may influence child support, alimony, divorce settlements One party is already married to another and for whatever reason cannot or will not end the previous marriage One or both . . .

Avoid Cancelation Crises

One never knows when the unexpected might happen. A family emergency, illness or an accident can interrupt even the most prepared person's plans. Inclement weather can create dangerous driving conditions. Indeed, there is no good answer when forced to choose between between safety and a commitment.  No matter the cause, having a plan will save everyone worry. [wcm_nonmember] This member support information is for JPus members only. If you have a membership, please log in. Purchase a membership here.[/wcm_nonmember][wcm_restrict plans="membership-plan-ultimate, membership-plan-region, membership-plan-neighborhood, membership-plan-hometown, membership-plan-basic"] Create a Network One of the many benefits of a Justice of the Peace Association membership . . .

Marriage is a Legal Contract

Sometimes, when couples become engaged, they are so full of love that they forget that marriage is a legal undertaking. This is an important recognition that sets the professional officiant apart. Along with ensuring that both parties are consenting to the union, it is good to be a knowledgeable resource about the implications of marriage. This doesn't mean that the officiant should be doling out legal or financial advice. Au contraire. Instead, when relevant, introduce the topic and direct the couple to do their own research. The following is a primer. Social Security Benefits The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program . . .

LGBTQ Couples Welcome!

On June 26, 2015, the US Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v Hodges made marriage equality the law of the land. Sadly, some marriage officiants continue to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, non-binary and queer couples. Indeed, sometimes loving couples share their painful stories about officiants refusing to perform their ceremony. With this in mind, letting LGBTQ couples know that you are inclusive can alleviate any unease they may have before they contact you. Code of Ethics Of course you welcome all couples. After all, you are a member of the Justice of the Peace Association. In other words, as a member . . .

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 . . .

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 . . .

Don’t Cancel that Wedding: Alter it

Before the coronavirus pandemic (BC), cancelations were frustrating. Especially when an officiant had already spent hours thinking about a couple’s unique love story, and then formulated it into their personalized ceremony – only to be replaced by online Uncle Bill. Now, after COVID-19 has become part of everyone’s vocabulary, they are even more tricky. We are all on edge. Our country is facing a crisis, and the wedding industry is on the economic front line. (We say this with complete reverence to our healthcare professionals, who are battling this virus in the most literal sense.) This is an opportunity for . . .

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 . . .