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  • A Justice of the Peace/Celebrant must have a valid marriage license in hand to officiate or solemnize your wedding. No witnesses are required in this civil ceremony. The Justice of the Peace/Celebrant’s signature is sufficient.
  • To apply for a license,
    • Both parties must appear jointly in person with identification in any Massachusetts City/Town Clerk’s Office.
    • If either is under 18 years of age, a court order must be obtained from a probate or district court.
  • The fee for a license varies from city/town to city/town.
  • Massachusetts no longer requires blood tests
  • There is a mandatory 3-day waiting period which can only be waived with a court order. The license or “intention to marry” is valid for 60 days from the date you file and can be used to marry in any city or town in Massachusetts. When you pick up the license, check it for accuracy or you may later be charged for corrections.
  • There is no prescribed form of ceremony and no particular words are essential, but there should be evidence of a promise or contract to take each other as marital spouses.
  • Once you have been pronounced a married couple, the Justice of the Peace/Celebrant completes Section 20 on the license, signs it, and returns it to the city or town hall from which it was obtained.
    Couples can then obtain for a fee a certified copy of their marriage license from the City/Town Clerk’s Office which issued the license. State law prohibits a Justice/Celebrant from making a copy of the license for a couple.
  • Fees are set by state law and a Justice of the Peace/Celebrant may charge the maximum amount of $100 within his her home community or $150 outside of his/her home community. Justices of the Peace/Celebrants may charge additional fees for prenuptial consultations, conferences, customized ceremonies, special requests and rehearsals, as long as these charges are disclosed in writing forty-eight hours before these services are delivered.
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