Frequently Asked Questions About Eloping in Massachusetts
What documents do I need to apply for a marriage license in Massachusetts? Is there a blood test required?
No blood test is required but please bring photo ID, plus a birth certificate, plus divorce papers (if applicable) and a green card (if applicable). Note that, in Massachusetts, we have never seen a client asked for divorce papers or a green card, but I'd hate for you to be the first!
What's the deal with the 3 day wait to get a marriage license in Massachusetts? Do I have to wait 3 days?
In Massachusetts, you have to wait 3 days after applying for a marriage license to pick it up (that's 3 days, not 3 business days). However, by going to court, you can apply for "marriage without delay" for an extra fee and have that wait waived. Sometimes you are in court for 15 minutes and sometimes 2+ hours. You never know how long it will take but we have never seen a judge deny your request. All of our packages include this service so you don't have to wait 3 days.
How does it work if I want to bring a small group of friends or family?
These packages are not created as a substitute for bigger weddings but we are happy to make recommendations to nearby hotels for your friends and family and also make a larger dinner reservation. If you want to add on additional flowers or hotel rooms, there will be an additional charge. If you want the ceremony to be somewhere completely private, indoors and rain-proof, there will be an additional charge. NOTE: For groups of 6 or more, we must obtain a permit through the parks department for an outdoor ceremony and this $100 permit fee will be added to your final bill.
Is airfare included in any packages?
No, we do not include airfare.
It says you make dinner reservations. Is the cost of the dinner included?
No, you are on your own for all food and beverage costs during your stay.
What's the latest I can arrive in Boston and still get my license that same day?
Please arrive no later than 1pm.
What's the nearest airport to you?
Boston Logan Airport (BOS).
What should I wear in court?
You can wear what you're comfortable in, no dress code required.
How do I get an official, certified copy of my marriage license?
In Massachusetts, you have to go through the city or town from which you received your license but this service is included in all of our elopement packages. Each city has a different fee and request process. Check out that city's website.
How much is the deposit amount?
The non-refundable deposit is 50% payable upon booking a package. We accept check, money order or credit card.
Can I change my name when I apply for a license?
The application will ask you about your name after marriage. The certified copy of your marriage license that you receive after the wedding will have this information and you will have to show that document as proof of your new name.
One of us is a non-US citizen. Can we have a gay wedding?
If I come to Boston for an elopement package, how do I get where we need to go?
We meet you at your hotel, or pick you up from the airport and get you your license in the same day. Sometimes we drive, sometimes we take cabs and sometimes we walk - it depends on where you stay. But we have to get your license during normal Monday-Friday business hours and need 2-3 hours to do it.
Can I bring my camera?
There is a risk that your camera will be confiscated when you enter the courthouse as cameras are not permitted. You can have your camera everywhere else but the courthouse.
If I book the Vows package and bring my camera, can you take photos?
Assuming you choose to get married immediately after receiving your license, then we are happy to take photos with your camera during your ceremony. We cannot promise professional-quality but are happy to take them anyway.
Who is my professional photographer and do I get a choice?
No, you don't get a choice but we will hire someone who is excellent at his or her job. Check out real photos from one of our elopements, taken by a professional photographer.
Do we need to rent a car in Boston?
No, you don't and in fact, we advise against it. Parking can be $40/night and the city has great public transportation and is very walkable. If you rent a car, we can almost promise that you will get lost and very frustrated.
Do I have to get married as soon as I pick up my license if I book an elopement package?
After we get you the license, you don't have to get married right away but do have to get married within 60 days (Massachusetts). We'll always make arrangements with a Justice of the Peace in advance of your arrival based on your preferred wedding time and place. Note that if you plan to get married later in the day, or within the next few days, there's a chance we won't be there ourselves, but of course we'll make sure that you and the JP have each other's contact information, and that the JP is pre-paid.
Will my same-sex marriage be legally recognized in my home state or by the federal government?
The federal government will now allow you to have your passport changed with your new name but will not otherwise recognize the marriage. For information on your state, check out this Lambda Legal resource.
Can I write my own vows?
Sure, you can write your own vows but the Justice of the Peace will have a lovely ceremony script (example here).
Can I write my own ceremony?
It's a lot of work, but sure! The Justice of the Peace can read what you bring. Or you can upgrade to a Celebrant who will take the time to get to know you and write you a custom ceremony for an additional $250.
Who will be marrying us?
99% of the time we work with a lovely Justice of the Peace named Janet who officiates these weddings. You can read about Janet here.
Will there be a processional and recessional at the wedding?
That's up to you. Normally these elopements are very casual without a formal processional. Often, it's just the couple standing before the JP together.
Where can I have the wedding ceremony?
In most cases, it'll be at a park or another public area in which we'll find a nice quiet spot. In some cases, especially if it rains or is cold, it can be held in your B&B or hotel, or at City Hall. Anywhere that's free is included in the package.
If there's a change in my plans, can I reschedule the date?
We are happy to work with you on rescheduling your wedding once it's been booked, pending our availability. You have one year from the original date to reschedule and the deposit is non-refundable because we use it to pay our subcontracted vendors (like the photographer).
I don't want a wedding cake or flowers - can you take those off the package price? Can you add on an extra night stay?
Yes, we can add or subtract from the package as you wish.
When is my balance due?
The balance is due one week prior to your arrival, payable by check, money order or credit card.