Justice of the Peace Alan Ulrich JP

Do we need any witnesses present at the ceremony?

Massachusetts law does not require that witnesses be present at your ceremony.

I forgot the marriage license. Can we still get married?

Sorry, but no. Massachusetts law prohibits me from legally marrying you without a license in hand.

Is there a certain format we have to follow?

No, you are free to create your own ceremony any way you choose. Here is a sample format. The only necessary requirement is that you must be legally declared married by your Officiant.

How long does the ceremony take?

This will vary according to what a couple wishes to include in their ceremony. The typical ceremony however, will be 15 to 20 minutes in length.

Do we have to have a rehearsal?

If you are having a small, informal ceremony a rehearsal is not usually necessary. A rehearsal, however, is recommended for larger and more formal ceremonies.

What are your fees?

Fees begin at just $100.00 for a standard civil ceremony within my hometown of Reading. Additional fees apply for ceremonies outside of Reading, rehearsals, renewal of vows ceremonies, etc.

How do we get a copy of the marriage license after the ceremony?

After the ceremony, I will complete the section of the license for the Officiant and return it to the City or Town Hall that issued it. After they record your marriage, you will be able to get a certified copy from them for a small fee. If you wish, I can issue you an unofficial wedding certificate which may be suitable for things such as hotel upgrades, etc.

How do I change my name?

First, get an original Marriage Certificate from the City or Town Clerk that issued your Marriage Licence (most cities and towns charge about $10.00 each). Then start by calling Social Security at (800) 772-1213 and follow the automated instructions. Or go to www.socialsecurity.gov. They’ll send you your new Social Security card at no charge.

You will also need your Marriage Certificate to update your Massachusetts driver’s licence. This also requires a personal appearance at the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
And don’t forget to notify credit card companies and banks, the Post Office, employers, schools, etc. And you will need to update your voter registration, insurance policies, mortgages and other loans.

One important note: Wait until after your honeymoon to update your passport which needs to match the name on your plane ticket.