Mr. Fenway and I were both raised in the catholic church but we were both 100% positive that we did not want a church wedding. For one thing, we wanted an outdoor wedding to enjoy (hopefully) the Fall foliage (and our venue search included only places that had an outdoor ceremony option). For another, we have had various issues with the doctrines of the church which do not reflect our personal views, and therefore we did not feel comfortable with having our wedding preformed in a church with a religion neither of us firmly believes in any more. We are in a “transitional” mode, and have not found another church or religion that we are committed to, so we knew that we would need to have a non-denominational officiant.
Because we are getting married in Massachusetts, we have a unique opportunity. Massachusetts has a “One-Day Marriage Designation” (more on that Designation” (more on that here) where anyone can be registered to solemnize a marriage. I know other people have had friends and/or family enroll in things like the Universal Life Church to become official “ordained” but I haven’t heard of anyone personally that has used the Massachusetts One-Day Marriage Designation. It seems pretty straight forward, requiring the couple to be preforming the ceremony in the State of Massachusetts and just requires the “applicant” to fill out a form (found here), send in a letter of character reference which cannot be written by the people getting married, and must be over 18 and not a clergy member from another state. The application must be mailed no earlier than 3 months and no later than 1 week before the wedding, with the ideal about 6 weeks before the wedding. There is also a fee of $25.
With this information in mind, Mr. Fenway and I decided to ask a friend to preform our ceremony for us, giving us the ability to personalize our ceremony and have a more meaningful officiant. Luckily, Mr. Fenway’s friend agreed to serve as both groomsman and officiant, so we were extremely lucky!
I will make sure to keep you posted on the One-Day Marriage Designation process as we go through it, and let you know how it all works out.
In the meantime, Mr. Fenway and I have started to craft our wedding ceremony (more to come on that) and are so excited to have another thing to cross off our list.
Did you have a friend preform your ceremony? Do you have any experience with the One-Day Marriage Designation in Massachusetts- is it really as easy as it seems?