Frequently Asked Questions
What does a typical ceremony include? Most ceremonies have five major components:
- Introduction or greeting to the assembled guests
- Statement of Intentions (this is the "I do" part)
- Vows (the exchange of promises to each other)
- Ring Ceremony, where the bride and groom exchange rings in either a single or double ring ceremony
- Pronouncement (where I pronounce you married)
Can you do a non-religious wedding? Absolutely. I can add a spiritual tone, or simply speak to the significance of two people committing to sharing the rest of their lives together.
Can we have a religious ceremony, even if the wedding's not at a church? Yes. There are many people who have a strong faith but are not active members of any church. I welcome the opportunity to work with couples of any faith to develop and perform a wedding ceremony that celebrates any religious tradition, or none. As an Ordained Minister in the Universal Life Church I believe that each individual has the right, privilege and responsibility to determine what is right for him or her, as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others.
Do we have to say the same vow to each other? No. Some couples prefer to exchange the same words. Some prefer a more personal and heartfelt vow. Also becoming popular is a set of bantering vows in which the bride and groom trade off reciting lines.
Can my children/pets be in the ceremony? Of course. There are many ways to include family members and friends (as well as 4-legged family members) in a wedding. Everyone can be involved, not just children. A wedding is a celebration, and most people consider it a great honor to be asked to participate. Your loved ones can read poetry, sing, walk one or both of you down the aisle, carry the rings, or share in special traditions. The possibilities are unlimited.
Is a rehearsal necessary? Not necessarily. However for a ceremony that includes more than the Bride and Groom, I highly recommend a rehearsal so that everyone playing a part understand what they are doing and when. I am happy to orchestrate a rehearsal for your wedding party.
What do you wear when officiating? Typically, I wear a black suit or other black business attire. I also have a black and a beige and white robe if you prefer. I also have several options for more casual events.
Do we need to invite you to the reception? The day of your ceremony will be a special one for you and the friends and family members you've invited. While I always appreciate the courtesy and generosity of couples who extend an invitation to share in their celebrations, I will almost always decline and scoot out right after the ceremony to allow you time to spend with your special guests.
What happens with our marriage license after the wedding? After the ceremony I complete, sign and apply my seal to your license. I will then return the completed document to the city or town of origin where it will be recorded. You may contact the town for a certified copy, usually within 2 weeks.
Do you perform renewal of vows? Yes. I think renewal ceremonies can be just as significant and moving for a couple as a wedding. The Wedding Knot provides a nice article regarding Renewal Ceremonies.
Do you have any tips for a successful, memorable ceremony?
- Meet the person who will be officiating ahead of time. I am available for multiple consultations prior to the ceremony via e-mail, phone, Facetime or Skype as well as in person for those who live close-by or will be in the area.
- Book your officiant early. Often this imperative piece is left to the last minute and most times I am booked months (sometimes a year) in advance.
- Make it personal -- include parents, grandparents, or children if there are any, or something special reflecting your heritage or family traditions.
- Don't fall for the pre-written, scripted ceremonies. This is YOUR wedding. It is important that, after your ceremony, all you ever imagined your ceremony to be is exactly what it was. I personalize each ceremony. AND I have read and reread your ceremony many, many times before your big day.
- Have fun -- this is your day.and weddings are meant to be a joyful celebration of your love.
- Assign someone you trust to take care of making sure that payments are given to professionals the day of your ceremony so that you don't have to think about it.
How do we get our wedding license? Prior to your wedding day, you will both need to get your marriage license from any Town Clerk or Town Hall in New Hampshire. Both parties must appear in person and sign the application. Armed forces personnel may forward an affidavit prepared by armed services or legal representative and send to town clerk if they can not appear in person. Falsification of any fact may make the applicant subject to criminal prosecution. You will need to go together and bring proof of age as well as proof of any previous marriages ended by divorce or death.
Document Requirements -
1. Birth certificate – required for each individual
2. Certified copy of a death certificate of former spouse, if applicable;
3. Certified copy of a final divorce decree, if applicable;
4. Certified copy of an annulment, if applicable.
The fee for the marriage license in New Hampshire is $45.00 payable at the time of the application. Please discuss with the Town Clerk how to obtain copies of the certificate, once it has been turned in by the Justice of the Peace. Couples wishing to be married in NH may complete application regardless of residence.There is no waiting period but the license will expire after 90 days. Marriage is not permitted in NH between people who are related by blood as first cousins or in any more direct lineage. Witnesses and blood tests are not needed in NH.
How do I change my name after I am married? Once the Justice of the Peace has returned your marriage license to the town you received it from, you will need to ask them for a copy of the license. Once you have that, then you call Social Security at 800-772-1213 and follow the automated instructions and then they will send you a new social security card. Once you have that, you can go to the DMV with your new card and the official copy of the marriage license. It's best to wait until after the honeymoon if you intend to change your passport, as you might need that for travel.
MissNowMrs.com was designed to simplify the entire married name change process into three easy steps: Questions, Forms, File. This company helps you change your name on accounts such as banks, credit cards, insurances, medical providers, utilities, employers, professional license bureaus, associations, clubs and many more.
Before the ceremony - I must have your license and final payment in hand prior to performing your ceremony. I will need to verify who you are by seeing a copy of a state issued picture ID. It is helpful if you assign someone to take care of providing this information to me prior to the ceremony so you don't have to worry about it along with any final payment due.
What if?? Just ask. I'll be happy to help and work with you to create a ceremony that you will remember!