For many, the term Justice of the Peace (or JP or JOP) has become a catchall phrase on discussion forums, social media and blogs referring to any civil marriage officiant. “Going to the JP” means to hie oneself (or selves) to town hall for a quickie marriage. This is a disservice to the many Justices of the Peace. Especially, members of the Justice of the Peace Association. They are professional marriage officiants who customize beautiful and personal ceremonies. Beyond that, these pros guide their couples in every aspect of the wedding service. Professionals All Around In addition, members of the […]
Tag: marriage officiant
An unplugged ceremony is not about an acoustic guitar accompaniment – however lovely it would be. Having an unplugged wedding is a not-so-new trend. It means guests are asked to turn off all electronics. No texting. No posting to Instagram. And, no photos, either. Just. Be. Present. There are many reasons to ask wedding guests to put electronics away. Being present and focused on the special moment is certainly a worthwhile motivation. A no phones rule is one of the simplest ways to create an environment for all attendees to be mindful of the event. Encourage opportunities for your friends […]
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, […]
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 […]