If you’re in the process of planning your wedding, you’ve likely come across the term “Justice of the Peace” or heard it mentioned when discussing wedding officiants. But what exactly is a Justice of the Peace, and how does their role differ from that of a wedding officiant. Learn more about the role of a Justice of the Peace, how they compare to a wedding officiant, and how to contact one today in Boston, MA!

What is the Role of a Justice of the Peace

A Justice of the Peace (JP) is a public official who is authorized to perform various legal functions, including officiating at weddings. JPs are appointed at the state or local level and hold the authority to administer oaths, witness signatures on legal documents, and solemnize marriages.

Justice of the Peace vs. Wedding Officiant

Now that we understand what a Justice of the Peace is let’s delve into the key differences between a JP and a wedding officiant.

Authority and Legal Status

Justice of the Peace – JPs are typically public officials appointed by the state or local government. 

Wedding Officiant – Wedding officiants, on the other hand, can encompass a broader category of individuals, including religious leaders, celebrants, and ordained ministers.

Ceremonial Flexibility

Justice of the Peace: JPs often follow a more standardized and secular ceremony format. While they can accommodate some personalization, their primary role is to ensure the legality of the marriage.

Wedding Officiant – Wedding officiants often offer greater flexibility when designing the wedding ceremony. They can incorporate religious or cultural elements, personalized vows, and unique rituals based on the couple’s preferences.


Justice of the Peace – JPs are typically available during regular business hours, and their schedules may be limited due to other official duties.

Wedding Officiant – Wedding officiants, especially those who are not tied to government roles, tend to offer more flexible scheduling options, including evenings and weekends, to accommodate the couple’s preferences.

The Role of a Justice of the Peace

When you choose a Justice of the Peace to officiate your wedding, their primary responsibility is to ensure the marriage is legally valid. Here’s an overview of the critical duties they perform:

  • Verify the couple’s identification and legal eligibility to marry.
  • Review and sign the marriage license, which is a crucial legal document.
  • Conduct a ceremony that complies with state laws, including reciting specific legal phrases.
  • File the signed marriage license with the appropriate government office to complete the legal record of the marriage.

Contact Justice Lydon & Co. For A Justice of the Peace in Boston, MA!

A Justice of the Peace is a public official authorized to officiate weddings and perform various legal functions. While they focus on ensuring the legality of the marriage, wedding officiants offer greater ceremony flexibility and personalization options. At Justice Lydon & Co., we understand that choosing the right officiant for your wedding is a significant decision. Our team of experienced and professional officiants ensures that your ceremony is conducted smoothly and in accordance with your wishes. We work closely with you to personalize your ceremony, incorporating your unique love story and cultural or religious preferences. Learn more about our team and the packages we offer by contacting us at 857-939-9019.