As the Justice of the Peace gets pretty booked up well in advance, I often get calls to officiate a quick signing of the wedding license for couples to “make it legal.” While that may sound kind of dry and impersonal, I like to add a romantic touch. After all, this IS a wedding, and the date of this legal process will become the couple’s anniversary date far into the future.
These quick weddings don’t usually involve wedding dresses, guests, and flowers. They don’t usually include family members.
We might meet in Panera Bread and talk together quietly at a table. We might meet in a nearby park if the weather is nice. We might meet at the couple’s house or apartment. I even met a couple for beers at Dogfish Head Ale House. (I ended up officiating a bigger ceremony for them about six months later too.)
But, I like to make it special. This is, after all, the moment that the couple transitions from single to married. It’s an important moment and I consider it an honor to make this possible for them. So here’s what I do:
I bring a little ceremony script. It’s really simple. It includes: a brief reading about the meaning of marriage, vows (this is a legal necessity), a ring exchange (if the couple is including rings), and pronouncing them married.
I bring the couple a copy of my book, A Moment for Us: Care for Busy Couples – 101 free ways for couples to enjoy more love, caring, and togetherness in 30 seconds. I sign it for them and date it.
We take a picture.
And of course, I sign their wedding license to make it legal.
Look at these happy faces.