How To Find a Justice of the Peace to Officiate Your Wedding

Some couples do not want to go through all the preparations that are involved in a traditional wedding ceremony. Others prefer to have a simple wedding ceremony with only members of the family and/or close friends present. Others want to have a non-denominational wedding ceremony so as not to offend the parties who have different religious affiliations.

A wedding officiant is some who is authorized to perform a wedding ceremony, whether it is a member of the clergy or a secular official that is allowed by the state to legalize a marriage. Secular officials include mayors, judges, justice of the peace, and public notaries. A wedding officiated by a secular official is called a civil wedding. If you want to find a Justice of the Peace to officiate your wedding take a look at the tips below.

  • Make sure that you and your intended both agree that you want to have a civil wedding ceremonies. There may be extenuating circumstances that can help you decide to go for a civil wedding and it is best that both parties are in agreement on the eventual choice.
  • Prepare all the paper work required for your civil wedding. You still need to have a marriage license before you can get married. The marriage license should be issued in the area where you intend to get married.
  • You have the option to write your own wedding vows if you find it necessary. In most cases the ceremony for a civil wedding is short and simple and may or may not have include some words of advice from the Justice of the Peace.
  • Some Justices of the Peace have their own websites where you can check the requirements, including the rates that have to be paid to the wedding officiant.
  • Decide how you want the civil ceremony to be conducted. You can have a simple ceremony that will not require a rehearsal. If there are other people who will participate in the ceremony, you can request the Justice of the Peace for a rehearsal.
  • Decide where you want to hold the wedding ceremony. The Justice of the Peace will not require you to present yourselves in his office, although that is ideal. You can hold it anywhere you want and request the Justice of the Peace to either wear a robe or a business suit.
  • Visit the office of the Justice of the Peace in your city or town and make inquiries on how he conducts a marriage ceremony. Inquire about the requirements and provide him with the necessary documents before the actual date of the wedding. Book your wedding date with the office of the Justice of the Peace. In some cases you will have to pay in advance or right after the ceremony. You may also be required to have a pre-nuptial meeting with the Justice of the Peace where he will give you advice and ensure that you are ready to get married.
  • Make sure that you are comfortable with the Justice of the Peace you have selected to officiate your wedding. It is one of the most memorable moments in your life and you want to have good memories of it. Although a civil wedding ceremony can take anywhere from fifteen to thirty minutes make it a memorable one by careful preparation and selection of the officiant.

It is quite easy to find a Justice of the Peace to officiate your wedding. The key is in identifying the right Justice of the Peace and abiding by the requirements for the wedding to be legalized. Do note that the Justice of the Peace will not issue the marriage certificate. He will have to mail it to the town hall or the city hall and you can get it after a few days from the town or city registry.


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