Marriage License

Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials! We're excited for you!

To ensure availability, please schedule your marriage certificate appointment with Kirsten Alexander, Wenham Town Clerk by calling 978-468-5520 x1 or emailing townclerk@wenhamma.gov.

Forms may be filled out in advance but must be signed in front of the Clerk. You must both appear in person, and bring identification and $15 cash or check for the fee. Birth certificates are preferred so we can confirm place of birth and parents' legal names for the certificate. The $15 fee includes one copy of your marriage license; additional copies may be ordered at any time after the wedding online, by email, or phone for $10 each and can be mailed out.

Need an officiant? Our Town Clerk is also a Justice of the Peace licensed to conduct marriages anywhere in Massachusetts. The fee for wedding ceremonies within Wenham is $100 and $150 outside. 

Pro tip: Massachusetts has an excellent resource here about Getting Married in Massachusetts: Before the Wedding

To obtain a marriage license to be married in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Appear in person together in order to sign the required forms in front of the Town Clerk's Office
  • Swear or affirm to an oath under the penalties of perjury
  • Be legally unmarried (see below for post-divorce timing)

A marriage license is valid throughout Massachusetts for up to 60 days from the date of application. A 3-day waiting period is required for processing the license, however, a court waiver is available by petition before a district court judge under special circumstances (a fee to the court is required for this action). There is no longer a requirement for blood tests in Massachusetts or witnesses at the ceremony. 

You are not required to file in the town/city in which the marriage is to be performed or where you live.  However, the community in which you file is where the marriage license will be recorded and kept on file on a permanent basis.  You will want to consider where to file since you both will need to appear in person.  Consider the convenience to where you live or work.

The key is to remember where you obtain the license.  The certificate will be on file in the State Registry of Vital Statics, www.mass.gov but additional certified copies will always be available in the municipality where it was obtained.

The fee for a marriage license varies within the State. It is also important to know your social security number, city of birth, and the full names of your parents (maiden and married). Prior to applying for the marriage intention, the couple should have discussed whether there will be any name changing so that the license can indicate that. Please note that only the LAST NAME may be changed on the marriage certificate. Any other changes must be done through the courts.

Although divorced persons are not required to provide a copy of their divorce decree, they must be certain that their divorce is FINAL or ABSOLUTE. If a party is uncertain as to the absolute date of the divorce, they should contact the court where the divorce was granted. Neither party may even enter into the Intention of Marriage until a divorce is FINAL or ABSOLUTE. In Massachusetts, a divorce does not become ABSOLUTE until 90 days after the divorce ruling has been granted, regardless of the grounds for the divorce.

Persons are not required to be residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to be married in Massachusetts, however, no person may apply for a license who would otherwise be prohibited from marrying in their home State.

It is the responsibility of the officiant (a member of the clergy in Massachusetts, Justice of the Peace, or person with a one day certificate from the state) to complete the marriage certificate and forward the same back to the Clerk’s Office for recording. The certificate is not valid until it has been recorded in the office from where it was originated.  If a member of the clergy is performing the ceremony, the couple should ensure that they are in conformity with the appropriate religious beliefs.

If an out-of-state member of the clergy or someone that is not authorized to officiate a marriage is to perform the marriage, a special certificate must be obtained from the Secretary of the Commonwealth prior to performing the ceremony. Contact the Commissions Office for more information at: 617-727-2836 or click here for more information. 

In some instances, a couple may wish to have a Justice of the Peace solemnize their marriage. Wenham's Town Clerk Kirsten Alexander is a Justice of the Peace.  Please inquire with the Town Clerk for more details.

Filing for a marriage in Wenham costs $15. The Wenham Town Clerk only accepts cash or check. 
Feel free to call or email the Town Clerk if you have questions or concerns regarding the process at townclerk@wenhamma.gov or 978-468-5520 x1.

In order to expedite the process of the paperwork, you can use the link below for the marriage intentions form.   The form is a fillable PDF, which can be completed online.  By completing them online, typed print is easier to read and avoids errors.    Once you have the form filled in, you will need to print it, doublesided.  Once completed you will need to make an appointment with the Town Clerk's Office to return the form and take the next steps.  The clerk will send you a draft for review/approval and then print the final certificate with directions for you to pick up 3+ days after your application was made.

NOTE:  PLEASE DO NOT sign the form until you are in the presence of the Town Clerk.

Marriage Intentions Fillable Form 2024

wedding hearts



 

Town Hall Hours

Monday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Tuesday 8:00 am - 7:00 pm

Wednesday & Thursday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Friday Closed

Contact Town Hall

Phone: 978-468-5520

Fax: 978-468-8014

138 Main Street

Wenham, MA 01984

 

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