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Ready, set ... get married!

Marriage is one of the fundamental institutions of civilized society. In millions and millions of households across America it is the cornerstone of the family unit. It also formalizes and certifies the greatest commitment two people can make in life: the commitment to each other.

The requirements for marriage in Massachusetts are important to understand: but they are also quite simple and uncomplicated.

Two people who intend to marry must both be at least 18 years of age, and they must obtain a valid marriage license from a city or town clerk. Once a license is issued, it is only valid for 60 days. If the license expires by even a single day, the couple must obtain a new one before they can legally marry. The Massachusetts license is also ONLY valid within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. However: as long as a license is obtained from a city or town clerk in a Commonwealth municipality, the marriage can take place literally anywhere statewide.

For planning purposes, always keep in mind there is a three-day waiting period from when you file your Marriage Intention to when you can pick up your Marriage License:

You CAN have the three-day waiting period waived. Because sometimes .... love can't wait!

But it won't come cheap: you will pay a $195 fee to obtain what is called a "Marriage Without Delay Waiver." Your city or town clerk can instruct you on how to apply for one at a courthouse near you.

A civil marriage ceremony is authorized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and is available to anyone - regardless of faith or other considerations. Among those authorized to perform a civil marriage is a Justice of the Peace - (such as JP Cosmo Macero Jr.)

Justices of the Peace in Massachusetts are appointed by the Governor after being reviewed by the Governor's Council - and they are designated specifically and almost exclusively to perform civil marriages. If you are searching for a JP near you to officiate a marriage ceremony, it's a good idea to always consult the Massachusetts Justices of the Peace Association - to make sure you choose a JP who is a member in good standing. The MJPA is the professional association for JPs in Massachusetts. It provides ongoing training and education on new trends and developments related to civil marriages, and also establishes a Code of Ethics - a series of best practices for JPs

For a consultation about your wedding plans or to simply ask questions and learn more, email:

gister your marriage, the person performing your ceremony needs to complete the license and return it

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