Marriage Rates Agreement and Requirements.
1) The Marriage License will be brought to the Wedding Rehearsal to give to the Justice. At the same time the fee will be collected. If there is not a rehearsal the license and fee will be collected by the Justice before the ceremony. The Justice will return the marriage certificate to the clerk who issued such documents no later than the tenth day of the month following the marriage as required by law. (G.L. ch. 262, S 35 as amended by ch. 711 of the Acts of 1989)
2) As a General Rule, there is no prescribed form of ceremony to solemnize a marriage. Although particular words are not essential to a ceremonial marriage, the words employed must be sufficient to evidence a present marriage contract. At a minimum, the parties must assent to a mutual agreement to take each other, as husband and wife, or partners for life, and the Justice of the Peace must assert to act in his or her official capacity in pronouncing the parties to be husband and wife, or partners for life.
Milford v. Worcester 7 Mass 48, 54 (1810)
3) FEES FOR THE SOLEMNIZATION OF A MARRIAGE
A Justice of the Peace who is designated to solemnize marriages or a justice who is a city or town clerk or court clerk or their assistant may charge a maximum fee of one hundred ($100) dollars to solemnize a marriage within their home community, or a maximum of one hundred and fifty ($150) dollars if the ceremony is performed in any other municipality in the commonwealth. These fees preclude additional charges for traveling, or for providing flowers, music, photographer, a location where the ceremony takes place, or an unofficial certificate of marriage.
However, you may charge an additional fee for prenuptial counseling conferences, rehearsals, and other special requests by the couple whose marriage is being solemnized; provided, however, that the amount of these additional charges must be disclosed in writing to the couple whose marriage is being solemnized at least forty-eight hours before the rending of these services. The total fee for lawfully solemnizing and certifying a marriage shall not exceed the fee limit fixed for solemnizing and certifying a marriage in a justice's home community where a municipal employee who is also a Justice of the Peace solemnizes a marriage in a municipal building at a time when the building is regularly open for business. G.L. c. 262, § 35.
**** An addition $50 if there is to be a rehearsal. I do not charge for an agreed upon meeting, providing it takes place within the Town of Montague, or emails or telephone conversations. Keeping the requirements in mind, the fee is $100.00 for the ceremony in the Town of Montague, $125.00 if the town shares a border with Montague, or $150.00 anywhere else in Massachusetts.
As a check list, the following must be present when we meet to discuss the wedding either at rehearsal or pre ceremony meeting.
1) The Marriage License
2) The Justice Fee.
3) The Ceremony Choice.
An additional $25 Billing fee will be charged when not paid prior to the ceremony.