Joe Lapiana Justice Of The Peace

A Member of Massachusetts Justices of the Peace Association

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You must have a Massachusetts marriage license to get married in the Commonwealth, whether or not you live in Massachusetts. You can’t use an out-of state license for marriage in Massachusetts.

You can apply for your marriage license at any city or town-hall in Massachusetts. You do not have to go to the town in which you live, nor the place in which you will hold your wedding. Any town convenient for you may issue your license. When applying for your license, both of you need to go – together. But only one of you need to go back and pick up the license.

How Old Must We Be?   You must be 18 or older to obtain a marriage license.  Females must be at least 12 and males at least 14 with parental consent or a court order is necessary for those under age. Massachusetts law requires that both Bride and Groom apply together for the marriage license. This is called filing your intentions and takes place in the city or town clerk's office.

What About Medical Exam?  The Commonwealth abolished this medical exam for venereal disease effective in 2005.  Therefore, it is no longer a requirement to obtain a marriage license in Massachusetts.  If you have in further question regarding this matter, you may contact the: Bureau of Communicable Disease Control Department of Public Health, 3O5

South Street, Boston, MA

O2130, 617-983-6940.

Is There Any Waiting Time?   There’s a three-day waiting period from the day you file your marriage intentions to the day you may pick up your marriage license. Your marriage license is valid anywhere in Massachusetts for sixty days from the date you first filed.

Can We Obtain a Waiver of the Waiting Period?  if both parties are residents, or non-residents, or one of each, and you need to do away with the three days waiting period, you may do so by applying to the judge of a probate or district court to have the license issued without delay, after filing intentions with the clerk. Under unusual or emergency circumstances, such as of the death of either party is near or if the female is nearing the end of her pregnancy. A request by a minister or clergy person or a doctor would be sufficient, which enable the clerk may issue the certificate without further tardiness.  To obtain such waiver, you should both file your intentions first with any city or town clerk. Then the application for a waiver would be filed by both of you at a probate or district court. Usually following a hearing, the judge can issue a certificate allowing the marriage license to be issued without the waiting period, and thus, the wedding solemnized without delay.

Can We Meet With You Before Our Union?  Yes. If you so desire you can meet with me to discuss the particulars of your wedding. This also allow the three of us to know each other so that when that special day arrive neither of us will feel like strangers. Otherwise, if logistics does not allow us meeting before hand, then we can also discuss the particulars over the phone, and also by e-mail, if you so desire. I am also available for your wedding rehearsal.

Can We Have Children in Our Union?  Of course. Involvement of family members is highly encouraged, particularly children. Having children, parents, siblings, or other family members in your solemnization can create for a unique spiritual and meaningful experience not only for you, but your family as well.

Do You Allowed Us to Write our Wedding Vows?  Affirmative! Although, I can provide several wedding vows, I , nevertheless do allow  a couple to write all or some of their own vows.

What Interfaith Ceremony You Perform?   All! As a Justice of the Peace, I  solemnizes marriage for any interfaith ceremony. As I  have stated before, It’s your wedding, and Yes, You can have it your Way! I am here do whatever I  can do to perform the perfect wedding experience for you, your partner and your guests.

How Many Witnesses Do We Need? Massachusetts statute does not require that witnesses be present at your ceremony. So, it could be just you, your partner and the Justice of the Peace.

Do You Perform Same-Sex Ceremonies?   Yes! As a Justice of the Peace, I do solemnizes unions of people of the same sex.  I am a firm believer that, where two people commits to each other for loving support and safety, then it’s a union that I will be more than privileged to unionize.  Do keep in mind that  the same rules and regulations apply for licensure. However, same gender couples must prove that they are or intend to be residents of Massachusetts by presenting deeds, drivers licenses, proof of employment, etc. to the County Clerk.

What If I am Divorced or Widowed?   Massachusetts do not require you to present a divorce certificate when filing intentions to marry. Moreover, it is very important that if you’re divorced then, to be sure your divorce is absolute. If you are not sure of such date, you should contact the court where your divorce was granted. A Massachusetts’ divorce does not become absolute until 90 days after the divorce  was granted regardless of the reasons of the divorce. There are no special requirements for a widow or widower who is remarrying in the Commonwealth.

Do You Perform Vows Renewal?   Yes! Vow renewal ceremonies are meaningful way of reinforcing your continuous commitment to a marital union.  As a matter of fact, I  perform vow renewal just as much as weddings.  This day is equally as special as your first wedding. Perhaps more so. Follow your heart as to dress, flowers and festivities. Encourage your families to be part of the ceremony - especially your children.

Do You Perform Wedding Outside Your City?
 Certainly. I am very flexible and I am willing to travel anywhere within the Commonwealth borders lines to perform your wedding.

Where have You Performed Weddings?  
I can perform ceremonies at the airport, restaurants, parks, banquet halls, aquarium, concert halls, top of the hub, beach, hotels, country clubs, universities, train stations, museums, chapels, hospitals, work-place, military bases, aboard cruise ships, malls, and of course private homes, just to name a few.

What Do You Wear For The Ceremony?  
I  wear a formal two-piece suite and a black robe

Do You  Perform Unusual Ceremonies?  With me, basically anything that’s not illegal goes in performing your wedding vows. There are virtually no rules concerning the format or structure of the ceremony. You can get married at Logan Airport, Amtrak Train Station, Fenway Park, and can even wear whatever you want to wear. You have the choice to make it as simple or as elegant as you want it to be! Like I said before, It’s Your Wedding, and Yes You Can Have it Your Way!

Immigrants Marriages?   Immigrants may apply for marriage license providing they arrived here within five days or more.  Due to the constant changes in immigration laws, it would be best for you to consult an attorney on this matter.


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