Justice of the Peace versus Celebrant led Wedding Ceremonies

Justice of the Peace style ceremonies are very short.  The ceremony in the Clerk’s office takes under a minute, and if you review ceremonies by judges on YouTube, you will notice they last less than five minutes.  I try to blend the simplicity of the JOP ceremony with the more personally meaningful feeling of the celebrant led ceremony.

Celebrant styled ceremonies incorporate very specific references to the couple’s background and personalities.  They have their benefits; they are very clearly about the couple.  JOP ceremonies have the benefit of feeling timeless and expressing very universal sentiments about what holds relationships together for a long time.

I do my best to keep the ceremony timeless and yet modern.  Yes, you will need patience to manage quirks; you need to help (the old word is “service”) your partner even when you’re mad and frustrated and exhausted yourself.  But you will also need personal space to explore and feel fulfilled as an individual.  I try to balance every ceremony with these two threads.

Most of my wedding ceremonies last between eight and fifteen minutes long.  Of course, this range is an average.  Sometimes, the couple wants a five minute ceremony; sometimes, they prefer a thirty minute ceremony.  But ten minutes allows for a few warm-hearted words about marriage and friendship, full vows, and well-wishes at the end.  At the same time, such a ceremony will not feel redundant or tired or lengthened for the sake of being lengthened.

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