Dr. James M Sullivan
This is YOUR wedding. As your family and friends honor you, you will be giving them — and giving yourselves — a time to treasure. So much of your planning efforts will go into your reception. Shouldn’t important attention also be given to the ceremony that officially and lovingly binds you to each other? Formal or informal — we will work together for exactly what you want your ceremony to be. Count on it being gracious and memorable.
Weddings I’ve performed have ranged from backyard picnics to embassy ballrooms. My favorite was a Seussical wedding. The bride, groom, and I wrote the entire ceremony in the verse of Dr. Seuss! Each wedding is a reflection of a couple’s histories, memories, personalities, talents, interests, and shared loves.
We start with an initial meeting, during which we will discuss all the things you want in your ceremony. This includes music, readings, types of vows, and everything about you: your families, how you met and became engaged, your shared memories and interests, etc. I will help you with ideas and direct you to resources that will help you too. After this initial meeting, we can continue to communicate by text, phone, and email, as much and as often as necessary until you are both satisfied with everything.
An officiant’s fee reflects the time and quality of the services provided. You have the use of all my skills as a published writer, a public speaker, and a vocal performer. My full-time job is working many years with my wife as marriage and family counselors. So if you can’t agree on something, I’ve been trained to work with you to a successful resolution! So the fee is based on: the amount of preparation (the Seussical took quite a bit); the time (the planning meeting, a rehearsal at the venue, the gift shown below);and the distance (the Danbury area vs. the Connecticut shore). A simple, local wedding with no meeting or rehearsal necessary can be as low as $250. A meeting with follow-up planning, travel to the rehearsal, the wedding, and the elegantly framed words of the ceremony will obviously range upward.
The framed piece (in Apple Chancery script, not shown here) are the words of an actual ceremony, designed by the couple, and performed by me. Only the names have been changed:
THE WEDDING CEREMONY
UNITING IN MARRIAGE
Jane Doe and John Does
SEPTEMBER 22, 2019
FOX HILL INN
Welcome to this marriage celebration, uniting Jane and John. We are honored to be invited here as witnesses to your union.
It all began when you were aged 12 with friendship and hockey at Bethel Middle School. Then, after 10 years, there was the reunion at Jane’s sister’s birthday party in Stamford. After four and half years of dating, you were engaged this past December. All of your planning, John, your dinner in the rain and your box-within-a-box, only resulted in Jane saying, “Just give me the ring.”
And today you will be joined together in a sacred bond that is intended never to be broken. From this day onward, you must lead a life of love that will join you ever closer together. You are challenged to live a life in sickness and in health, for better and for worse. But at the same time your love must include the respect and the courage that allows each of you to stand alone, to make unique contributions to the world, to each other, and to your own selves.
The first reading is from a Shakespeare sonnet and will be read by the bride’s aunt, Mary Doe.
The second reading is “The Art of Marriage” by Wilford Peterson and will be read by the groom’s godfather, Peter Does.
We will now perform the ritual of the sand and invite the bride’s and groom’s parents to join us. Jane and Joe, these bottles of sand symbolize what once were your separate lives and separate families. Each grain of sand, in their separate containers, represents a unique and separate moment, decision, feeling or event that helped shape you into the individuals you are today. Representing their family, Janis and Donald Doe pour in one color of sand from their separate container into the common vessel, and Cynthia and Bill Does do the same. There is a blending here, a merging. Just as these grains of sand can never be separated, so shall be your marriage. Now Jane and Joe pour their container of sand to merge and blend. As you pour, please repeat together after me: You are my love for all eternity. My heart is like so many grains of sand, blended with you and in you.
EXCHANGE OF VOWS
I, John, take you, Jane, here present, to be my lawful wedded wife. To love, honor, and cherish you in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, as long as we both shall live.
I, Jane, take you, John, here present, to be my lawful wedded husband. To love, honor, and cherish you in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, as long as we both shall live.
EXCHANGE OF RINGS
John, take and wear this ring, as a sign of my love and fidelity. It is a symbol of my love and my honor for you, a circle that has no beginning and no end.
Jane, take and wear this ring, as a sign of my love and fidelity. It is a symbol of my love and my honor for you, a circle that has no beginning and no end.
What has been joined together here, let no one separate.
Jane and John, you came here as two single people and leave as a married couple, united to each other by the binding contract you have just entered. Your individual concerns and your worries, your gifts and your joys, now belong to each other.
PROCLAMATION OF MARRIAGE
Therefore, in accordance with the law of Connecticut and by virtue of the authority vested in me by the State of Connecticut, I do pronounce you husband and wife.
You may now kiss the bride.
Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you, Mr. and Mrs. Jane and John Does.
With Sincere Best Wishes,
Dr. James Sullivan
Justice of the Peace
How to contact Justice Dr. James
Please use the provided contact form below. If you contact this officiant directly, please let them know you found them on findaJP.com!
Send an email to Justice Dr. James
Jim – Thank you for traveling so far to officiate our marriage. Your personal touch during the ceremony will always be remembered. Sincerely, Susan and Shawn
Dear Dr. Sullivan,
We wanted to take a moment to thank you for being a special part of our wedding day. Thank you for making the entire wedding process a smooth one for us. You were such a pleasure to work with. Everyone loved our ceremony and your kind words. Thank you so much for the beautiful gift. We found the perfect spot in our apartment to hang it up, so that we will always remember that special day. Thank you again.
Harrison and Michelle Margolis
Thank you for a beautiful ceremony yesterday. The beautifully framed plaque of vows is so beautiful and some thing we will treasure forever.
The new Mrs. Spremullo
Thank you so very much for being the officiant at our wedding!! It was such an amazing day for us to have all of our friends and family together in our new home.I am so glad you were part of our joyous day. Thank you for the beautiful memories and also for the framed vows which we treasure!!
Thank you so much for the beautiful way you led our wedding ceremony. You calmed our nerves by reassuring us that everything was going to go perfectly — and it did. Your guidance in giving us choices carried us every step of the way. I can’t tell you how many people complimented us on the ceremony!
Thank you for hosting our wedding at your beautiful home. The backdrop of the waterfall in your backyard was perfect for pictures! We hope all the years ahead will be full of the joy we felt that day.
Thank you for performing our ceremony at Franco’s. It was exactly as we had planned it. Though we’ve been together for 22 years, we were eager to make it “official,” and we’re so happy it was you who officiated.
Sharon and Mary
Thank you for officiating at our wedding. You made us feel so comfortable, and we received many compliments on the ceremony. We were so glad the Fox Hill Inn told us about you, and the people at Fox Hill were everything you said they’d be. Thank you too for the beautiful plaque of our vows.
What a perfect day, and so happy you were the one to lead the ceremony! Curt was certain, after experiencing your leadership with Will’s wedding, that you would be the one to perform ours. Beautiful day! Beautiful people! Thank you so very much.
Kerry and Curt
They say there are no such things as coincidences. So it must have been a blessing that after all these years of my life coinciding with Colleen’s and yours intersecting with my dad’s, that the Fox Hill referred you to us as one of their preferred JP’s!
Thank you for helping to make it the experience of our lifetimes!
Dara and Matt
Dear Dr. Jim,
Thank you once again. All you knew was that we wanted to get married outdoors in a garden/park setting. You took that and made everything about the ceremony absolutely perfect. You knew how to handle the kids, the dogs, and anything else. It was a beautiful beginning to our life together!
Laura and Thomas Nelson