Having been a Justice of the Peace for several years, and having been married more than once myself, I think it is safe to say that I have heard the question “Will you marry me?” probably more than most people.
Lynn Fredricksen is a JP from North Haven CT.
Usually it starts with a phone call that goes something like this: “Hi, I’m getting married and wanted to talk to you about your JP services.” Or “I found your name on www.findajp.com. I’m getting married in February. Can you help me?” And more than a dozen times, “Your listing on findajp.com says you do short notice. My wedding is in a week and my JP just cancelled.”
While the conversations start out pretty much the same, each wedding is different and so is each couple. My goal is to work with them to make their special day exactly what they want it to be.
I’ve married people on beaches, in parks, in their living rooms, backyards and favorite restaurants. Some get married in gardens, while others prefer banquet halls. Some like to get married in gardens at banquet halls. Many people opt to have their wedding on their Town Green or at some other public spot that has special meaning to them.
Guest lists, too, are varied. I’ve officiated at gatherings with 300 guests and several where it was just the three of us. Vows also are largely a matter of choice. There are so many ceremonies these days too. There’s a Unity Candle ceremony that symbolizes the joining together of two families. A Medallion Ceremony marks the inclusion of children into the newly formed family. My couples have read poems, recited their own vows, and otherwise worked with me to develop a ceremony that is uniquely theirs.
It doesn’t matter to me how many times I’ve heard that question. What matters most is every time I hear it I want my answer to be “yes.”