So you are ready to select your wedding officiant and you are wondering if you should forgo the pomp and circumstance of a religious ceremony and choose a Justice of the Peace instead.
But how do you know for sure if a JP wedding is right for you? To help you decide, take a look at the five most common reasons couples choose a JP as their wedding officiant.
You want simple and quick. Finding a JP who can preside over a simple wedding at your town hall or local park for a modest fee is easy. If you wake up one morning with a sudden impulse to elope, no problem! In many states, you can apply for a license, hire a JP and exchange vows within a few hours.
You don’t want family drama.The priest, the rabbi, the parents, the would-be bridesmaid, the frat brothers (and the rest of the madding crowd) are giving you and your partner a major headache. You know one thing for certain: you love each other and wish to join your lives together. A JP can marry you without fanfare, guests, or any mention of religion, if you choose.
You want a flexible ceremony. You both are creative and want more control over the wording and content of your wedding ceremony. Your clergy tells you there’s not much wiggle-room in the traditional wedding: No room for the acrobats or your pet beagle. No place for a reading by e.e. cummings or your personal vows. Well there is if you select a JP as you wedding officiant. The only rules that JP-officiated weddings follow are those set by you.
You want an inclusive ceremony.You both have family and friends whom you would like to participate. You’ve looked into other options and realize that a JP can help you incorporate unity ceremonies or readings that will bring the family together.
You want a non-denominational religious ceremony.
You both value your religious traditions and would like to honor them by integrating elements of each into the ceremony. You want the freedom to do this without having to follow the established rules of your church or his synagogue. A JP can help you design a spiritually-centered ceremony that reflects the two of you.
Have you decided yet? Are your parents glowering at you in the corner? Is your priest exhorting you to get him to convert? Is your best girlfriend hounding you to have a big to-do?
Phew. What a racket. And all the two of you really want is a quiet, simple wedding ceremony to launch your life together.
Isn’t it time to call a Justice of the Peace?