Tag: justice of the peace

A Winter Solstice Wedding Ceremony

Aren’t you smart to have chosen December for your wedding! Your celebration will match perfectly the festive mood of the holidays.  But could there be another reason why this time of year feels so right, one stirring deep in your DNA? Quite possibly! What is it about the month of the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year for those who live north of the equator? In ancient times, our ancestors celebrated the solstice with a long night of revelry and feasting. Living closer to the rhythms of Nature, they understood that the solstice marked the beginning of lengthening […]

Beyond “I Do”: Incorporating Religious Elements (or Not) in your Wedding Ceremony

If you are planning a wedding, you may be wondering which elements of your marriage ceremony are absolutely required by law and which are optional.  How much of the ceremony can you create from scratch to reflect your and your fiancé’s beliefs and sentiments? Saying “I do” before a person licensed by the State to marry you is all you need to get married. But that is not nearly enough for most couples. Most desire a much richer ceremony, one that is particularly meaningful to them.  And we Justices of the Peace are eager to help you fashion the wedding ceremony that you […]

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 […]

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 […]

I Love Small Weddings

I’ve married people in all sorts of places – from town halls to “posh” venues. Yet so often the weddings that move me deeply are the small, unassuming affairs. They are the kinds of weddings that I think about again and again, over a cup of coffee the next morning or the next year.  These lovely little weddings occur in the corner of someone’s living room in front of a china cabinet or in a back yard under a blossoming apple tree. The bride is always beautiful in a freshly ironed dress. The groom is always handsome in a freshly […]

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 […]

Weddings Don’t Have to be Expensive

While big expensive weddings remain popular, many couples confide that they just cannot afford a fancy affair. Thus I offer the following suggestions for having a beautiful and memorable occasion without all the cost. First, let’s talk about location. Banquet halls are lovely, but they often come with a steep price tag. For those who want to avoid that expense, options abound. Couples can save  money by having their wedding at home. If that isn’t possible, perhaps a friend or relative might offer theirs. Or if the couple met while walking their dogs in a local park, they might want […]

Bring back the real JPs!

Is the title “Justice of the Peace” destined to become a generic term for marriage officiant? Not so long ago, most states elected or appointed JPs whose primary duty was to perform marriages. Today many of those states have abolished that role and that official title. Justices of the Peace in Nevada, Texas, Florida and other southern and western states are primarily the lowest level of court justice for whom officiating at marriages is a subordinate (and happy) perk of the office. In some states, a law degree is a prerequisite; in others, not. The New England states are the […]

Why a Justice of the Peace Blog?

You landed on findaJP.com because you’re planning your wedding — or perhaps it’s your civil union, vow renewal, baby naming or retirement ceremony, to name just a few kinds of ceremonies for which you might be seeking a JP. The JPs on findaJP.com have cumulatively performed ceremonies like yours thousands of times and are eager to share with you what they have learned. They want your ceremony to be wonderful. That’s why they are JPs… because there’s no greater high than being part of the joy of a wedding day! So while you’re visiting findaJP.com, please listen in occasionally. What’s […]