Adria Pearl-Belport - Justice of the Peace

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many days in advance do I need to get the marriage license? 
The marriage license is a legal document, which is good for 65 days after you receive it from the City or Town Hall. Therefore, the ceremony needs to be performed within that 65-day window.
  • Who is responsible for getting the marriage license? 
Both the bride and groom need to be present to obtain the license. You will need a legal photo identification, for instance, a valid drivers license or passport, to verify who you are.
  • Are blood tests needed?  
No blood tests are not required. 
  • Are civil unions legal in Connecticut? 
Yes, a civil union is a legal relationship in Connecticut. The rules of a civil union are virtually identical to the rules for a wedding license. You will need a civil union license and certificate (which is nearly identical to the marriage license), and the license would be presented to the officiator prior to the civil union being performed. The civil union license asks for the gender of the individuals. No blood tests are required. The civil union license and certificate can be obtained from the Registrar of Vital Statistics (Town Clerk). The public health department will adminster the new licenses which will become part of the state's vital records that includes births, deaths, and marriages.
  • Who mails in the marriage certificate? 
You must provide the license to the justice of the peace prior to the ceremony. The justice of the peace is responsible for signing the license and mailing into the appropriate City or Town Hall. This is done the day after the ceremony. If you would like a copy of your license prior to it being mailed in, and after it is signed by the justice of the peace, please communicate this to your jp.  
  • Do we need witnesses at the wedding?  
Connecticut State Law does not require witnesses at the wedding.
  • Do we need to exchange vows to make the ceremony legal or can we just say I do?  
There needs to some affirmation that you both agree to be wed. Therefore, at a minimum, the question should be asked if the two of you agree to be married.
  • What if my partner and I do not have a place to have the ceremony? 
I can help you find a place. Some Town Halls offer conference rooms or outside gazebos, and I can make office space available for small ceremonies. 
  • Do I have to get married in Connecticut if I get my license from a city or town hall in Connecticut?  
My jurisdiction is within Connecticut only. Therefore, if you are planning on being wed in another state, you will need to get the license in that state and enlist the services of a justice of peace who has powers in that state. 
  • What does a justice of the peace wear to a ceremony?  
This is the bride's and groom's choice. I usually wear a black suit, however, if there is a recommendation or preference from the couple, I will work with them. 
  • When should you contact newspapers about the wedding announcement? 
If it is an engagement announcement, the Norwalk Hour would like the announcement at least two months prior to the wedding. Wedding announcements can be submitted up to four months after the wedding. After four months, they will not publish it. The announcement will be published on the first available Sunday after receipt, which usually means it is published two weeks after you submit it. Check with other newspapers, because some have a policy that they will not publish a wedding announcement after two months of the event.   
  • How much notice do I need to give a justice of the peace/officiator for a wedding ceremony to be conducted?  
If I am available, I will perform the ceremony. I usually like to have a week's notice. However, if you are in a "jam," I will take 24 hours notice. 
  • Who is responsible for writing the ceremony?  
The couple can be, or I can write the ceremony. The ceremony is a reflection of you and your fiancee. Therefore, I recommend that couples take the sample ceremonies I have, get some ideas from them, and then write their own ceremony. I will edit the ceremony or assist you with the writing of it, if you would like. 
  • If we are renewing vows, do we need any type of legal document?  
No, the renewing of vows is a celebration of your married years. There is no license involved. 
 

 

 

 

 

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