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What’s the Difference Between a Justice of the Peace and a Minister?

If you are getting married soon, you have probably come across the terms “justice of the peace” and “minister” as they relate to wedding ceremonies. It can be confusing, and between the flowers, the meals, and the band, it can be a lot to think about. If you’re wondering what the difference is between a justice of the peace and a minister, read on for more information.

Justice of the Peace

Essentially, a justice of the peace is a county judge. He is a chosen person who presides over a court. His or her general duties may include conserving the peace, hearing cases for misdemeanors, traffic violations, and petty crime, and presiding over civil court cases.

These are the primary duties of a justice of the peace. Fundamentally, they are civil members of the court, often termed “civil public officers.” They are different from police officers and politicians. Indeed, they are in reality a judge with limited jurisdiction.

They also perform civil marriages. When you hear about small courthouse weddings, this is the officiant that performs the ceremony. If you want to have a justice of the peace perform your wedding, here is what you need to do:

  • Identify the justice of the peace that you would like to perform your ceremony. A list can be had at the county building where you will get your marriage license, usually at least 3 days before your desired wedding date.  
  • Call up the court and make an appointment with the judge.
  • Come to the courthouse and find your judge’s court, chamber, or office.
  • The judge will read or recite the legally binding script and sign your marriage certificate.
  • You may have to pay a fee, usually around $100 for the judge’s time.

And that’s it!


Usually, a minister is a member of a religion and will be ordained by the church to be able to complete a wedding ceremony. Depending on the religion, the minister may have to follow certain guidelines or restrictions. Many churches, for example, won’t ordain women, and some won’t allow ordained ministers to preside over same-sex marriages. While most ministers have to go through a church-based course of study or seminary, there are also non-denominational ministers that have received ordination over the internet or through a non-religious church like the Universal Life Church.

If you’d like to have a minister perform your wedding, here’s how:

  • Make contact with your church of choice, whether it is your own religion or a neutral one.
  • Interview with the minister to see if they would be a good fit for your desired ceremony.
  • Discuss whether you will recite an official church-approved script, or if you can create your own vows.
  • Decide on a fee, if required, and set your date.

Final Thoughts

Getting married is an exciting endeavor, and while there’s a lot to think about and plan for, deciding who will perform your ceremony should not cause too much stress. Overall, make sure that whoever you choose will fit in well with your desired wedding ambiance and enjoy the day!

The Top 5 Most Popular Wedding Months

Congrats, you’re engaged! Now it’s time to decide when you want to get married and start the wedding planning process.

When it comes to deciding when your big day will be, it’s important to factor in the most popular times of the year for weddings. Like anything, these time periods have pros and cons. Some pros include temperature weather and easy to book travel and accommodations. Some cons of getting married during peak wedding season include a high demand for venues and vendors so if you’re not in the market for a long engagement, it might be difficult to book the location and vendors that you want. 

So, what are the most popular wedding months?

5. August

Around 10% of couples decide to get married in August and rightfully so – The weather is typically warm and it’s a popular month for vacationing, making it more likely that your guests will feel more inclined to travel for your special day. The only downside of getting married in August is that it is the start of hurricane season on the East Coast so there is an element of risk associated with hosting an August wedding down south.

4. May

Springtime is known for being a time of warmer weather, a feeling of renewal, and a celebration of the winter weather ending. May is actually the month that kicks of wedding season, which runs through October. Since it is the very beginning of wedding season, wedding venues and vendors will be more in-demand, so you’ll be facing more competition.

3. June

A month of rest and relaxation, it’s not surprising June is one of the most popular wedding months! June tends to have warm temperatures that are milder than the hot summer months, making it great for an outdoor wedding.

2. September

Couples love fall weddings but always want the warmer temperatures that go along with the summer, making September the perfect time to wed! You’ll be able to enjoy mild temperatures and fall feelings. 

1. October

October has been one of the most popular wedding months for the past few years and is one of the best months to get married, especially if you love fall! There’s a cozy vibe to the month, while having crispy fall air and beautiful changing leaves.

Justice Lydon & Co.

If you are looking for wedding services, call Justice Lydon & Co today! We look forward to helping you during this exciting time!

5 Awesome Wedding Theme Options

When a couple gets engaged, one of the first things they need to decide on is a theme for their upcoming wedding day. Themes don’t have to be over-the-top or cartoonish, which is a common misconception. On the contrary, many themes are elegant and help to provide a cohesive aesthetic for all aspects of a bride and groom’s big day. Here, you will discover five awesome wedding theme options to get your creative juices flowing!

1) Romantic

If you’re a bride who has dreamed of her wedding day since childhood, there’s no better aesthetic than pure romance. If you choose this type of theme, make sure you use plenty of pastels, delicate floral arrangements, and flowing fabrics. Stick to timeless colors like white, dusty rose, and taupe. To add to the overall look, you might even want to hang a chandelier over the dance floor. 

2) Vintage

If Old Hollywood style has your heart, a vintage themed wedding is probably the best fit for you. You can have a lot of fun with this sort of wedding, opting for either a glamorous look that features lots of glitz and sparkle or something that pays homage to a specific old film, such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s or Casablanca. 

3) Rustic

In recent years, rustic weddings have become extremely popular, in part due to the rise of the modern farmhouse trend within the home decor industry. If you’re interested in rustic nuptials, consider using reclaimed wood to construct an arbor for your ceremony and stick with weathered finds, like milk jugs and Mason jars, for your reception decorations. 

4) Contemporary

On the opposite end of the spectrum from rustic affairs, contemporary weddings make use of sleek lines and minimalist decor for an overall look that is ultramodern. Consider using acrylic chairs at your reception and sticking with a color scheme that is either monochromatic or black and white. In regard to floral arrangements, consider something striking, like a single orchid in a chic vase. 

5) Christmas

 Although many brides want spring or summer weddings, there are those who deign to wed in the wintertime instead. If you fall into this category, consider fully embracing your cold-weather wedding day with a Christmas theme. Subtlety is key to pulling this off. Consider, for instance, having the hot toddy be your signature cocktail and using plaid grosgrain ribbon in your floral arrangements. 

Justin Lydon & Co.

These are just a few great wedding themes you can choose from for your big day. Remember to add some personal touches and, ultimately, to have a wonderful time! Savor every moment of your wedding day and cherish the special memories made with those closest to you.