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Massachusetts Virtual Wedding Officiant Regulations

If you are planning to officiate a wedding in Massachusetts, check out our page Get Ordained in Massachusetts.

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Can You Officiate a Wedding Over Skype in Massachusetts?

Zoom Wedding

Last updated: 20 December 2020
The information on this page is current as of the above date, but these regulations will change. We urge you to check with your Town Clerk's Office for the most up-to-date information.

Online Wedding Ceremonies

Online weddings are not allowed in Massachusetts.

COVID Restrictions for Couples & Ministers

From the ceremony to the paperwork, Covid-19 has had a dramatic impact on weddings - getting married is just different right now. Large gatherings are prohibited or strongly discouraged, for obvious public health reasons.

Marriage Licenses & the Town Clerk's Office

At the moment, many County Clerk's Offices in Massachusetts are 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 & the Department of Health

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.

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
https://www.sec.state.ma.us/pre/premar/masmarriage.htm




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.

Virtual Weddings vs. Livestream Ceremonies in Massachusetts

Zoom 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.

How can we celebrate a legally valid live streamed ceremony in Massachusetts

Directing a Zoom Wedding

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.

OFFICIANT GOVERNMENT REGISTRATION BY STATE

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