How to Elope in Massachusetts

Massachusetts is a historic state, with beautiful scenery to serve as the backdrop for an elopement.
Outline map of Massachusetts

Why is Massachusetts great for an elopement?

Massachusetts is known for its jaw-dropping natural beauty, including the majestic Berkshire Mountains, Cape Cod beaches, and picturesque rural towns. With its serene forests, rolling hills, and sparkling coastlines, Massachusetts offers a range of breathtaking backdrops that will provide a perfect setting for your elopement.

GETTING YOUR MARRIAGE LICENSE

All states require a marriage license, so you need to ensure that you understand all of the requirements very early in the planning process. Luckily, it’s fairly straightforward in most cases as long as you meet the criteria and follow the state requirements.

Here is what you need to know about getting a marriage license in Massachusetts.

Is Same Sex Marriage Recognized?

Yes! Same sex marriage is recognized in all states, and at a federal level, under the Respect for Marriage Act which was signed into law in December 2022.

Will I Need to take a blood test?

No. Blood tests have been abolished as part of marriage license applications in all 50 states, so don’t worry if you’re afraid of needles!

Who Issues Marriage Licenses in Massachusetts?

Marriages licenses in Massachusetts are issued by the city or town clerk.

Do I Need to be a Resident of Massachusetts?

Both residents and non-residents can apply for a marriage license in Massachusetts.

Is there a waiting period to get married?

There is a 3 day waiting period once you apply for a marriage license.

How long will my marriage license be valid for?

Marriage licenses issued in Massachusetts are valid for 60 days from the date of issuance.

HOW OLD DO I NEED TO BE TO GET MARRIED IN Massachusetts?

As of July 2022, nobody may marry under the age of 18 in Massachusetts.

WILL I NEED TO TAKE ID?

You will be required to carry identification that proves your age, such as a birth certificate, driver’s license or passport. You will also need your social security number.

HOW MUCH DOES A MARRIAGE LICENSE COST IN Massachusetts?

Fees for marriage license applications vary from county to county, but expect to pay between $30 – $50 for a marriage license in Massachusetts.

On Your Wedding Day

Once you’ve gotten the admin out of the way, you can get to the part you’ve been dreaming of: the wedding ceremony!

As you’d expect, each state has different requirements to make a marriage legal. Make sure you follow the guide below to get your marriage legally recognized.

Will i need witnesses to the marriage?

There is no requirement to have witnesses to your marriage in Massachusetts.

DOES Massachusetts REQUIRE AN OFFICIANT FOR A WEDDING?

An officiant is required to perform a legal marriage in Massachusetts. The state requires that all officiants register with the Secretary of the Commonwealth before performing a marriage, with non-residents following a different procedure.

Individuals able to solemnize a marriage in Massachusetts include: ministers or clergy, Justices of the Peace or a relative / family friend. A family friend or relative can apply for a One Day Marriage Designation, which allows the state Governor to designate any non-clergy member or Justice of the Peace the ability to solemnize a marriage.

SUMMARY

So that’s it, everything you need to know about eloping in Massachusetts. And if you think that it could be the place to host your special day, why not give me a call to chat about your wedding? I’m an experienced elopement photographer, and an ordained minister, so in most cases I can be your officiant too!

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