Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!
Thank you for considering me to be a part of your special day. I believe in the “Your Day, Your Way” philosophy and offer customized weddings – traditional, contemporary, religious, or non-religious – personally designed for you. Weddings are as unique and special as you are and your ceremony should reflect this.
If you choose me to officiate your wedding, I will:
- Help you plan and customize your ceremony
- Perform your ceremony with style and professionalism
- Execute your ceremony in a clear and articulate voice
- Offer ample rehearsal time to allow enough practice for your day
- Respond quickly to your questions and concerns
- Take the time necessary to outline expectations on both sides
I have performed ceremonies in various settings and will gladly travel to your chosen location for your special day. I am a member of the Massachusetts Justices of the Peace Association (MJPA) and have officiated over a hundred ceremonies. I look forward to talking with you to discuss your needs and personalities to make “Your Day, Your Way”.
Born in 1973, Dale is a local business professional that has his roots in Western Massachusetts. He was born and raised in Chicopee and received his Business Management Degree from Westfield State College in 1995. Dale has held sales and management roles over the past 20 years that have helped him perfect his public speaking ability. Dale has the ability to keep the ceremony professional and serious or entertaining and fun, (or anywhere in-between) depending on the wishes of the couple that he is working with and their personality. His professionalism and energetic personality puts him at the top of the referral list for banquet halls, DJs, photographers and, of course, his many satisfied couples that he has had the opportunity to work with. He has been a Justice of the Peace since 2007 and in that time has performed over a hundred ceremonies.
Introduction/Consultation – This can be a phone call or a personal meeting and is included in the cost of the ceremony. We will typically discuss expectations on both sides. I will ask about your personalities, how you met, and how long you would like your ceremony to be, as well as my responsibilities in regards to record keeping and registering your marriage with the town/state. I will also discuss when you need to get your marriage license and how you obtain it.
Sample Ceremonies – Upon receipt of your non-refundable deposit, which is 50% of the cost of the services that I am to provide, I will send to you, via e-mail, a sample ceremony for you to consider. This ‘simple fill-in ceremony’ is included in the standard pricing. Upon request, I can send a few other samples of ceremonies for you to consider. These are just a guideline and can be edited in any way that you choose*. I encourage all of my couples to add anything to the ceremony that will make it more personal. You can add readings, songs, unity candles, sand/wax ceremonies, etc. to include other people into the ceremony. Please note that any of these customizations are available for a nominal upgrade fee. I do ask that you get your final ceremony to me, via e-mail, no later than 2 weeks prior to your rehearsal date or ceremony date (whichever comes first) in order to give me time to practice your ceremony and get comfortable with the verbiage and cadence so that I can do my best on your special day.
Rehearsal (If you choose to have one) – I recommend that every couple has a rehearsal, if possible, to best prepare all people involved in your day. We will line up, practice walking down the aisle, coordinate the father (or person that walks the bride down the aisle) hand-off of the bride to the groom. We will also review the bouquet hand-off, overview of the ceremony, the rings and any other facet of your ceremony that warrants practice. We will go over this as many times as you need to feel comfortable. I ask that you bring your marriage license and final payment to the rehearsal so that we can settle up and avoid this piece on your big day.
Ceremony – I will arrive a minimum of 15 minutes before your ceremony is scheduled to begin. I will check in with the bride first to ask if she has any last minute questions. I will then join the groom and wait for the ceremony to begin. And all that is left is the fun part!
The ONLY required part of the ceremony is the Declaration of Marriage. Under Massachusetts law, you must be pronounced married by your officiant in order for the marriage to be legal. Every other part of the ceremony is optional.
When you select your Justice of the Peace, make sure you choose one who will work closely with you and design a ceremony that best reflects who you are as a couple and a ceremony that you are comfortable with. For example, if you wish to write your own vows make sure the Justice you choose is receptive to that. Likewise, if you are not comfortable with speaking in front of an audience, make sure your officiant understands that and keeps your verbiage to a minimum. If you follow this advice, your ceremony will flow smoothly.
Although I am based in Western Massachusetts I will gladly travel from the Berkshires to Worcester.
I also happily perform late notice and last minute ceremonies, as well as renewing of your vows ceremonies. In addition, it is my honor to wed active military pro bono. Please call for information.
We got married at my parents home. We planned a nice small intimate wedding. I could not have planned it any better without our JP, Dale. He made this process very smooth for us and had us pick the ceremony that best fit our personality. Dale has that special quality about him that makes everyone feel comfortable and made our wedding that much more enjoyable….my family and friends were very pleased that Dean and I chose him to marry us and be part of our special day. With all that said, I strongly recommend Dale Desmarais from Hampden, MA as JP.
Thank you so much Dale for making our Wedding Day so special. Everyone spoke great words about you and loved how personable you are… We will definitely keep in touch with you. Thank you so much again.
Q and A
No more than 60 days before your ceremony, you and your fiance go to town hall to apply for your “Marriage Certificate”. (You can go to any town in the Commonwealth to get this and I suggest getting it from a town that will be convenient to get another copy from if you ever need another copy.)
You bring that to your rehearsal (or ceremony if you don’t have a rehearsal) and give it to me. I will take your marriage certificate and fill out my portion. I then register it in my log book and scan a copy for my records. Next I forward to your town hall and they will usually record it in about a week or so. I suggest calling the town hall about 2 weeks after your ceremony to confirm that they have completed your Marriage License before making the trip in to collect it. You then go to the town hall to pay for and pick up your copy of this license.(Some towns may allow you to prepay for this and leave a postage paid envelope so they can mail it to you when you are ready but you must make arrangements up front if they do allow this.)
You can then use this “Marriage License” to complete tasks like changing your name, updating insurance information, etc.
As I am a servant of the Commonwealth, a “contract” is not required. We will discuss expectations on both sides and communicate via email throughout the process.
We will include the verbiage in your ceremony when we design it but the Bride & Groom are required to purchase any candles, sand, containers, etc. and make arrangements with the representative at the venue for any table, props, etc.
We are extremely happy with the job that our Justice of the Peace did for us. Can we provide a gratuity?
Justice of the Peace are not state employees and therefore can accept a gratuity. In addition, the best reward for me is to receive a written letter of reference that briefly speaks to the service that I provided and anything that I did to make your day better or special.
I typically will arrive 15-20 minutes before the ceremony. The first person that I check in with is the bride to discuss any last minute requests and review the plan for the ceremony. Then I do the same with the groom and will wait with the gentlemen until it is time to line up and begin. For the rehearsal, I will typically arrive about 5 minutes prior as often several parties usually run a little later than the start time.
I typically wear a dark blue or black suit. Although I do own the “robes” and can wear them if you prefer, most couples prefer the “suit & tie” option. I have, on occasion, been asked to dress more informally to match the theme of the day and if you let me know in advance, I am happy to try to accommodate such requests.