Massachusetts Justice of the Peace :: Wedding Officiant

Massachusetts Justice of the Peace

Wedding Officiant Richard Griesel

Serving Boston, Cambridge and eastern Massachusetts

'Weddings with warmth and dignity'

Telephone: (978) 443-9381     email: JP@MASSJP.COM




What do we need to get married?

The mandatory requirements for a wedding in Massachusetts are:

1. The two people intending to get married

2. An officiant with proper authority to perform the ceremony and solemnize the marriage.

3. A valid marriage license. See more information about this on the LICENSE page.

Can we just elope?

Yes, but remember you need a valid Massachusetts marriage license and there is a three-day waiting period. Check the requirements on the LICENSE page.

Do we need blood tests?

Blood tests are not required in Massachusetts.

Do we need any witnesses present at our ceremony?

No. Massachusetts law does not require that witnesses be present at a ceremony performed by a Justice of the Peace.

Do we need rings?

No. While they are traditional, rings are not required.

Can we write our own vows?

Absolutely. Your own words can be used instead of the "repeat after me" words in my ceremony, or can be used in addition to them.

Do we have to speak at the ceremony?

Only if you want to. Massachusetts law provides a lot of latitude in what is, and isn’t, required at wedding ceremonies. You can get away with as little as just saying, "Yes" or “I do.”

Can others be included in the ceremony?

Definitely. There are many ways to include family members and friends in the ceremony. For example, your loved ones can do readings, walk down the aisle, carry the rings, participate in a candle lighting, and more. There are unlimited possibilities.

Can we include both Christian and Jewish traditions?

Definitely. We can also include any other special traditions you desire, or we can omit any religious reference.

Where can the ceremony be held?

Anywhere you want – outdoors, at your home, in MY HOME, at a hospitality site like the WAYSIDE INN with its Martha Mary Chapel in Sudbury, the PUBLIC GARDEN in Boston, or any other spot anywhere in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. For a list of links to other possible sites, see the VENUES page.

Do we have to hold a rehearsal?

A rehearsal is important if you are planning anything more than just a basic wedding. It gives everyone, not just the couple getting married, an opportunity to become familiar with their roles in the wedding ceremony. However, it is not a “must.”


What is the purpose of the pre-nuptial conference?


This meeting at my home in Sudbury sets the tone for your wedding ceremony. We can customize your ceremony with passages and readings that express your thoughts, feelings, and commitment. I have a number of services and vows available from which you can choose. The meeting also affords you the opportunity to become familiar with me as your officiant, and gives me the chance to know you a little better. It is for these reasons that I recommend a pre-nuptial conference. Should you decide not to use my services, there is no charge for the pre-nuptial conference.


On the other hand, if you "just want to get married," call me at (978) 443-9381 and we can set up a time and a place (like MY HOME) to do just that, even on short notice.

What will you wear?

For more formal weddings, I usually wear a plain black robe over my suit. However, if you prefer, I can forego the robe and just wear business attire.

For locations that call for sound amplification, I provide a portable audio system with a wireless lapel microphone.

What happens after the ceremony?

After the wedding, there is nothing for you to sign, nor will you receive any documents (even though you are legally married).

You will not automatically receive an official copy of your Certificate of Marriage. You must apply for this with the Town Clerk or City Clerk where you applied for your license. There is usually a nominal charge (about $10 to $15, varying by town) for each copy.

Officiants are not permitted to give you a copy. Instead, they are required (by law) to complete the Certificate of Marriage and mail it back to the Town Clerk or City Clerk from whom you obtained your license. Since I use Certified Mail for this purpose, I will set up the USPS website to send you a notification when your Certificate is delivered (if I have an email address for you.)

I advise you to obtain a copy of your Certificate of Marriage now and file it away with your other important documents (such as your Birth Certificates). You may not need it for many years, but it will be good to know that you always have a ready copy, rather than having to retrieve it from the Commonwealth at some date in the future.

Can you renew our vows?

Yes. I have a number of ceremonies for those who want to celebrate a renewal of their vows.




Copyright © 2002-2014 Richard Griesel, Massachusetts Justice of the Peace, JP Massachusetts JP

Massachusetts Justice of the Peace Richard Griesel is a member of the Massachusetts Justices of the Peace Association (MA Justice of the Peace Association - MJPA) and serves as an officiant for wedding ceremonies anywhere in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, including (but not limited to) marriage in the MetroWest area of Boston and the cities and towns of Acton, Allston, Andover, Arlington, Ashland, Bedford, Bellingham, Belmont, Berlin, Beverly, Billerica, Bolton, Boston, Boxboro, Boxborough, Boylston, Braintree, Brighton, Brockton, Brookline, Burlington, Cambridge, Canton, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Clinton, Concord, Danvers, Dedham, Dorchester, Dover, Everett, Fitchburg, Foxboro, Foxborough, Framingham, Franklin, Groton, Harvard, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Leominster, Lexington, Lincoln, Littleton, Lowell, Lunenburg, Lynnfield, Malden, Marlborough, Marlboro, Maynard, Medford, Medway, Melrose, Methuen, Milford, Millis, Milton, Natick, Needham, Newton, North Reading, Northborough, Norwood, Peabody, Princeton, Randolph, Reading, Roslindale, Quincy, Salem, Saugus, Sharon, Sherborn, Shrewsbury, Somerville, Southborough, Stoneham, Stoughton, Stow, Sudbury, Tewksbury, Wakefield, Walpole, Waltham, Watertown, Wayland, Wellesley, Westborough, Westford, Weston, Westwood, Weymouth, Wilmington, Winchester, Woburn, Worcester, Wrentham, Mass.  Massachusetts Justice of the Peace located at 149 Morse Road in Sudbury, MA 01776. JPs Massachusetts JP's