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THE WEDDING MINISTER OF NEW HAMPSHIRE, LLC

1. Wouldn't a Justice Of The Peace be better for my wedding since I'm not particularly religious?


2. We've been living together. Since you're a minister, would you require that we stop doing so before you would officiate our wedding?


3. Will you do non-religious marriage ceremonies?


4. Do you perform inter-faith religious ceremonies?


5. Will you officiate a wedding ceremony at any location?


6. I live in Massachusetts, and you're a clergyman in New Hampshire. Can you legally officiate my wedding in my state?


7. How do I go about creating a custom ceremony?


8. Do you officiate less conventional types of religious ceremonies , e.g. a hand fasting marriage ceremony or a Celtic ceremony?


9. What will you wear when you officiate my wedding?


10. If I have an elopement wedding at your residence, how many witnesses can I invite?


11. Do I pay your fee before or after the ceremony?


12. Is it customary to tip the wedding minister?


13. Do you require a deposit to be reserved for my wedding date?


14. Should I have a rehearsal before my wedding?


15. What would you do to ensure my wedding is not delayed because an emergency situation precludes your officiating my wedding?


16. I've always wanted a church wedding, but neither I or my fiancé belong to a church, so how can I have my wedding in a church?




1. Wouldn't a Justice Of The Peace be better for my wedding since I'm not particularly religious?

A. There are several reasons why a Justice Of The Peace may not be the best choice for your wedding:


  1. If you've ever said, “I don't need or want the government to say I'm married,” than you need to know that a Justice Of The Peace, is an inferior rank judicial officer, usually with a purchased commission from the state: basically a government official not much higher on the bureaucratic ladder than a surly DMV employee. You'll want your wedding to be officiated by someone such as myself who is a skilled and talented public speaker. Almost anyone can purchase a commission as a J.P., but only a rare few people are skilled and talented at public speaking.Your wedding day is one of the most important days in your life, so you deserve better than a government agent with questionable public speaking skills as your officiant.

     

  2. For thousands of years, both religious and non-religious Brides and Grooms have preferred ordained clergy for officiating their weddings. A minister at your wedding adds a great sense of seriousness and gravity to the occasion while at the same time imparting an attitude of joy and celebration. On the other hand, settling for a Justice Of The Peace, especially one who speaks in a monotone or is unable to project his/her voice so your friends and family can hear the ceremony (a very serious issue for outdoor weddings), can give your wedding the all the ambiance of a visit to the Internal Revenue Service or The Department Of Motor Vehicles.

     

  3. Even though many couples might classify themselves as "non-religious", a majority believe that there is a God. Having a minister officiate your non-religious or religious wedding ceremony imparts to those present, your recognition of a divine affirmation of the commitment you want to make. Even if you are an avowed atheist, your spouse-to-be my not share your non-belief and prefer a minister over a J.P, so choosing a minister over a J.P. can be an expression of just how much you love your future spouse.

     

  4. You could pay more for a Justice Of The Peace! Why pay more than you have to when my fees are probably less? If you explore the websites of most Justices Of The Peace and many wedding ministers, you'll see that it is often very difficult to see what their fees would be for officiating your wedding. They will say things like, "Well it depends on the length of your ceremony", or "It depends on how long I have to spend preparing for your wedding." Frequently they will make you spend your valuable time traveling to their location before they will tell you what it would cost, hoping that you will pay almost anything after having invested so much of your time with them. My fees for full-weddings and my fees for elopement weddings are no secret. With a little simple math and mapquest.com you can calculate your cost yourself before you ever contact me, or I will be happy to do it for you by phone or email.


2. We've been living together. Since you're a minister, would you require that we stop doing so before you would officiate our wedding?

A. No! I would not require that you stop living together, nor would I require that you attend pre-marital counseling sessions or make you jump through other hoops to get married. My goal is to get you married not set up obstacles that will discourage you from making a public and legal statement of your commitment to each other.


3. Will you do non-religious marriage ceremonies?

A. Yes, I will perform almost any civil ceremony you may choose. If you haven't already chosen one I have a wide selection from which you can choose or I would be happy to set an appointment with you with the goal of creating your own custom civil ceremony.


4. Do you perform inter-faith religious ceremonies?

A. Yes, for all faiths that believe in the Judeo-Christian God of the Bible. You can provide your own written ceremony for me to use I would be happy to help you create your own.


5. Will you officiate a wedding ceremony at any location?

A. Almost any location that is safe to get to and safe for the officiation of the marriage ceremony. I'm pretty open-minded about location, but you'll have to tell me what you have in mind so I can tell you at that time if I'm willing to officiate at that particular location. I can tell you this: I don't think I could do it while sky-diving or on a frozen lake with questionably thick ice.


6. I live in Massachusetts, and you're a clergyman in New Hampshire. Can you legally officiate my wedding in my state?

A. This is not a barrier to my officiating your wedding. In order for me to legally officiate your marriage in The Commonwealth Of Massachusetts, I simply complete the "Out of State Non-Resident Clergy--Petition to Solemnize" form and send it to the Secretary of the Commonwealth, no more than six and no less than four weeks before your wedding. The Secretary of the Commonwealth then sends me an "Out of State Non-resident Clergy Solemnization Certificate" which bestows upon me the legal authority to officiate your marriage in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. After your marriage, I would send your marriage license, completed by me, along with the "Out of State Non-resident Clergy Solemnization Certificate" to the town clerk from whom you obtained your marriage license.


7. How do I go about creating a custom ceremony?

A. Just do a web search on “Wedding Ceremonies”. There are lots of different sites that offers hundreds if not thousands of different ceremony ideas from which you can cut and paste or edit in your own wording. You can also phone (603) 924-9645 to schedule an appointment with me to help you create a custom ceremony that perfectly articulates the love you and your betrothed have for each other. Afterwards, I'll even email you a written copy of your custom ceremony!


8. Do you officiate less conventional types of religious ceremonies , e.g. a hand fasting marriage ceremony or a Celtic ceremony?

A. My ministry is to get men and women married, so, the answer is yes with one caveat: the words in the ceremony cannot invoke the name of any non-Biblical deity or spiritual entity, since my doing so would compromise my own religious convictions. If you're not certain about whether the ceremony you have in mind is one I can do, please email me a copy or phone me regarding it's content.


9. What will you wear when you officiate my wedding?

A. For most weddings I will wear a dark suit with a white shirt and tie or a dark suit with a black shirt and clerical collar. I will ask you before your wedding which attire you prefer that I wear.


10. If I have an elopement wedding at your residence, how many witnesses can I invite?

A. Please limit your invited guests to no more than six people. My residence is not spacious enough to comfortably conduct an elopement wedding with a total of more than eight people, including the bride & groom, in attendance. Also, since the town of Peterborough requires that all the cars be parked in my two-car-size driveway, you and your guests must arrive in no more than two cars. Additionally, I request that you and your wedding guests arrive at my residence and come to the front door at the same time.


If you would like to have more than six witnesses present for your elopement wedding, another option is to have your wedding in your own home or one of the many beautiful Outdoor Locations in Peterborough.


11. Do I pay your fee before or after the ceremony?

A. It is customary to pay the officiant before the start of the ceremony. Many officiants require that the full amount due be paid a week or more before the wedding. I don't, but I do require the balance due before the start of the ceremony. By doing so, I won't be forced to interrupt your post-nuptial celebrating to pester you for payment. If there is a Best Man, he is the one usually designated to convey the final payment to the officiant before the start of the ceremony.


12. Is it customary to tip the wedding minister?

A. It is not customary nor expected by me or most other officiants; however, if you feel that I or any other officiant exceeded your expectations in the service provided to you for your wedding and it would please you to express your appreciation for this excellence, it is a rare officiant who would turn down a tip.


13. Do you require a deposit to be reserved for my wedding date?

A. For Full-weddings I ask that you pay a $50.00 refundable deposit to reserve me for your wedding day and time. It's my assurance that you really plan on getting married at that time and your assurance that I will not accept an offer to officiate another couple's wedding at the day and time you've chosen.


Elopement weddings scheduled no further than 10 days in advance or beyond a 10 mile radius of my home do not require a deposit; otherwise a $25 deposit is required to reserve your elopement wedding date.


14. Should I have a rehearsal before my wedding?

A. We will have already agreed to the content of your ceremony and will both have a copy of the ceremony long before your wedding day (elopement wedding excluded), so you will know what to expect. Also, I always endeavor to arrive a minimum of one hour before the wedding, so any potential issues can be recognized and addressed before the start of the wedding. This in conjunction with my experience officiating weddings, can allow you to forgo a rehearsal with my presence and thus avoid the additional expense.

On the other hand, if your ceremony includes elements that entail you and the groom completing physical actions in conjunction with the officiant, e.g. a unity candle ceremony or a sand ceremony, I've found that most couples feel more confident and comfortable during their wedding if they've had a formal rehearsal with me before the wedding.

A hybrid method for dealing with this issue, one that entails no additional cost to you, is to stage a quick rehearsal an hour or half hour before the start of the wedding. The downside to this is the old tradition of the groom not seeing the bride before the wedding has to be sacrificed on the altar of expediency.


15. What would you do to ensure my wedding is not delayed because an emergency situation precludes your officiating my wedding?

A. If the emergency situation occurred a day or more before the wedding, either I or my wife Denise acting on my behalf would contact you immediately to let you know that I would not be able to fulfill my committment.. Additionally, before contacting you regarding the emergency, I would diligently attempt to secure the services of another officiant, paid for by me, to fulfill my comitment.

Another scenario, an unlikely one, is one that would occur on my way to your wedding, e.g. an auto accident or breakdown or, God forbid, I get lost. For just such an unlikely situation, long before the wedding day, I always request a "Live Person" phone number from you. Assuming I'm not unconscious by reason of a horrific auto accident, I would then call that number to let you know that I'm being delayed. The nature of the delaying emergency would dictate the possible options for mitigating the situation. For instance, if the delay was by reason of an auto accident or breakdown, I would attempt to reach the wedding site by an alternative mode of transport, either provided by me or a volunteer at the wedding site.


16. I've always wanted a church wedding, but neither I or my fiancé belong to a church, so how can I have my wedding in a church?

A. Most Quaker Friends and Unitarian Universalist churches welcome the opportunity to rent their church buildings to non-members for weddings; however, before many mainstream churches will allow the use of their sanctuary for a wedding service, they require that you be a church member; however there are always exceptions to this rule. A few minutes spent phoning your church venue candidates may pleasantly surprise you with an exception to the "rule".



It the answer to your question can't be found here, don't hesitate to contact me at:

or by phone at (603) 924-9645.

 

 

 

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