Greg Nawrocki - Justice of the Peace - 508.496.9964  |  greg@southcoastjp.com
Frequently Asked Questions
 
 
How do we obtain a Marriage License?
To be married in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, you must have a marriage licence, which can be obtained in any city or town in the state.  You do not have to apply in the city or town in which you live, or where you are holding your wedding ceremony.  Fees vary, but generally range from $15.00 to $50.00. There is a 3-day waiting period from the day you file for a license until the day you can pick it up.  The license is valid for 60 days from the date you file. 

To be married in Rhode Island, both people must apply for the license in person and sign the application in the presence of a city or town clerk or his or her assistant. Please be sure to contact the city or town office where you will apply for the license to verify their identification requirements and hours open to the public.
Rhode Island residents:
  • If both applicants live in Rhode Island, apply for the license from the city/town clerk of the residence of either applicant. The marriage license is valid in any city or town in Rhode Island and the couple may be married anywhere in Rhode Island.
  • If one applicant lives in Rhode Island the license must be issued from that applicant's city/town of residence.
Non-residents:
  • If neither applicant lives in Rhode Island, the marriage license must be obtained at the city or town clerk's office where the ceremony will take place. Rhode Island law states that the marriage license is valid only in the city or town in which it was issued. If the ceremony is performed in a city or town other than where it was issued, the validity of the marriage may be in question.
 
 

Are blood tests required?
No, blood tests are no longer required in Massachusetts or Rhode Island. 
 


Do we need witnesses?
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts does not require witnesses to a marriage ceremony.  The State of Rhode Island requires that there are two witnesses, both over the age of 18, to be present at the ceremony and sign the marriage certificate.

 

Will I get a marriage certificate at the ceremony?
The official marriage certificate must come from the town clerk. I complete the marriage license and return it to the clerk's office. You must contact the town clerk where you obtained your license for an official certificate. 
 


Do we need a rehearsal?
Rehearsals are highly recommended, as it can be helpful if you have a large bridal party, or aren’t sure how you want the ceremony to be run.  I make the rehearsal just as fun as the ceremony!
 


Will you help us write our vows? If so, what is the cost?
Yes. I do not charge to help you write your vows. I provide suggested guidelines to follow when writing your own vows.
 


What types of things can we incorporate into the ceremony?
In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of Rhode Island, there is no required language for vows.  We can incorporate poems, music, unity candle, circle ceremony, breaking the glass, or you can create your own special expression of love.  It’s your chance to think outside the box!  
 


Do we need rings?
Although they are traditional, you do not need to exchange rings. 
 


What will you wear?
I will wear attire that most appropriately matches your wedding.  If desired, I can wear a black robe, but typically, I will wear a suit.  Please inform me as to how you would like me to dress.