Dale Desmarais - Justice of the PeaceDale Desmarais - Justice of the Peace  
Q & A's

Introduction/consultation - This can be a phone call or a personal meeting and is included in the cost of the ceremony. We will typically discuss expectations on both sides. I will ask about your personalities, how you met, and how long you would like your ceremony to be, as well as my responsibilities in regards to record keeping and registering your marriage with the town/state. I will also discuss when you need to get your marriage license and how you obtain it.

Upon receipt of your non-refundable deposit, which is 50% of the cost of the services that I am to provide, I will send to you, via e-mail, 4 sample ceremonies for you to consider. These are just a guideline and can be edited in any way that you choose*. I encourage all of my couples to add anything to the ceremony that will make it more personal. You can also add readings, songs, unity candles, sand/wax ceremonies, etc. to include other people into the ceremony. I do ask that you get your final ceremony to me, via e-mail, no later than 2 weeks prior to your rehearsal date or ceremony date (whichever comes first) in order to give me time to practice your ceremony and get comfortable with the verbiage and cadence so that I can do my best on your special day.

Rehearsal (If you choose to have one) - I recommend that every couple has a rehearsal, if possible, to best prepare all people involved in your day. We will line up, practice walking down the aisle, coordinate the father (or person that walks the bride down the aisle) hand-off of the bride to the groom. We will also review the bouquet hand-off, overview of the ceremony, the rings and any other facet of your ceremony that warrants practice. We will go over this as many times as you need to feel comfortable. I ask that you bring your marriage license and final payment to the rehearsal so that we can settle up and avoid this piece on your big day.

Ceremony - I will arrive a minimum of 15 minutes before your ceremony is scheduled to begin. I will check in with the bride first to ask if she has any last minute questions. I will then join the groom and wait for the ceremony to begin. And all that is left is the fun part!

The ONLY required part of the ceremony is the Declaration of Marriage. Under Massachusetts law, you must be pronounced married by your officiant in order for the marriage to be legal. Every other part of the ceremony is optional.

When you select your Justice of the Peace, make sure you choose one who will work closely with you and design a ceremony that best reflects who you are as a couple and a ceremony that you are comfortable with. For example, if you wish to write your own vows make sure the Justice you choose is receptive to that. Likewise, if you are not comfortable with speaking in front of an audience, make sure your officiant understands that and keeps your verbiage to a minimum. If you follow this advice, your ceremony will flow smoothly.

Although I am based in Western Massachusetts I will gladly travel from the Berkshires to Worcester.

I also happily perform late notice and last minute ceremonies, as well as renewing of your vows ceremonies. In addition, it is my honor to wed active military pro bono. Please call for information.

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