Massachusetts Covid Wedding Regulations
If you are planning to officiate a wedding in Massachusetts, check out our page Get Ordained in Massachusetts.
Online weddings are not allowed in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts has fully reopened; however, a state mandate requires individuals older than 2 to wear a mask in indoor public areas regardless of vaccination status.
At the moment, County Clerk's Offices in Massachusetts could still be operating with modified schedules. Please plan accordingly, as hours may have changed.
Couples must apply for a marriage license in person, but many County Clerks provide a way to begin the application process online. Contact your local County Clerk's Office for more information, as scheduling an appointment may be necessary.
Minister registration is required in Massachusetts and can be done by mail. Ministers must register with the Department of Health - before the marriage. There are separate procedures for Massachusetts residents and non-residents, but both can be completed remotely. A link to the registration procedures is available below, and we recommend contacting the Department of Health for additional information.
For more information, contact your local County Clerk's Office. The Department of Health's Officiant registration information is available here.
Procedure to Perform Marriages in Massachusetts By Members of the Clergy Living in Massachusetts.
COVID-19, social distancing, travel bans, lockdowns… Many couples are being forced to downsize their wedding plans and for many guests, the only way to attend is with their computers and mobile phones.
If your guest list is shrinking to just the couple and officiant, or maybe just the couple, Massachusetts marriage laws regulate who must be in attendance, and how the ceremony is conducted. Here are some options to help adapt your wedding plans in Massachusetts to celebrate a COVID safe wedding.
For the sake of clarity, we differentiate virtual wedding ceremonies (or Zoom/Skype ceremonies) from livestream ceremonies by who is in attendance. If the officiant is officiating the vows from another place via video, then we call that a virtual or Zoom ceremony, since the people involved in the ceremony are interacting over whatever video platform is chosen.
However, if the couple and the officiant are present, but guests are watching remotely, we call that a livestream wedding since the ceremony itself is happening in one physical place. You can read more about what distinguishes each option here.
You can livestream any activity or event, and it doesn't matter where you are in Massachusetts, what you're doing or how many people are physically present with you. Some of the most popular platforms include Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Facebook Live, and Instagram Live.
As long as you have a tripod and a phone with a good camera on it, your guests will be able to participate remotely. Many of these platforms even allow guests to comment, chat, and interact in other ways.
We realize that this is not always ideal, but ultimately, if couples choose to move forward with scaled down weddings and smaller guests lists, these communications platforms let friends and family around the world know that they are still being thought of.
For folks planning on livestreaming their nuptials, Here's How to Livestream Your Wedding.
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