407 West State Street, Trenton, NJ 08618  (609)695-3481
 NJLM logo 

William G. Dressel Jr, Executive Director - Michael J. Darcey, CAE, Asst Executive Director

Mayors Performing Marriages

Under N.J.S.A. 37:1-13, mayors and deputy mayors "when authorized by the mayor" are authorized to solemnize, or perform, marriages in New Jersey. In light of this power, and the lack of available courses on the subject, the League conducted a survey in 2002 to find out what wisdom and knowledge on the subject mayors experienced in this practice might have to share with new mayors.

Of the municipalities who responded to our questionnaire, most do not charge a fee for a marriage performed by the mayor, although they commonly suggest that if the couple wants to, they may give a donation to a local charity/volunteer organization in honor of their marriage. The Mayor of Medford makes the donation system more formal by charging $200 per ceremony, and having the check made out to the Medford Township Police Charities. In Trenton, Mayor Palmer charges $25.00, which goes into the general city coffers.

The number of ceremonies that mayors are called upon to perform each year vary, understandably, with the size of the community. The count varied from five or six annually in Woodland Township and Upper Saddle River Borough, to 261 for 2001 in Clifton. In between these extremes were Alpha, with ten to twelve marriages a year; Fairfield in Cumberland County, with twenty a year; Franklin Lakes, with twenty to twenty-four a year; Medford, with twenty-five to fifty a year; and Hightstown, with about eighty a year. However, certainly the champions as far as numbers go would be Mayor Palmer of Trenton with 1500 weddings performed, and Mayor Mancini of Long Beach Township, who has performed 1000 ceremonies. Of course, they both have a "head start" in the numbers competition, Mayor Palmer because Trenton has so many residents, and Mayor Mancini because he has been in office for forty years.

Several mayors had helpful hints to offer to their less experienced colleagues. More than one mayor quickly decided to refrain from attending the wedding receptions after the ceremonies they performed because they felt that their presence detracted from the bride and groom, who should be the "stars" of the proceedings. Some mayors limited themselves to the marriage of municipal residents, and/or to ceremonies performed within the municipality, to limit both the quantity of ceremonies performed and the travel involved. Most, while using a standard civil ceremony, allowed some embellishment by the bride and groom of both the text and the program. One mayor limited the hours he would officiate at weddings to his work hours, after he found that he was spending an inordinate amount of his "free time" performing marriages. Others only perform ceremonies at the municipal building. One mayor commented that he has ceased attending rehearsals, since doing so was too time-consuming.

One respondent reminded his colleagues to make sure the couple has the marriage certificate, two witnesses, and an interpreter, if necessary, at the ceremony. He also emphasized that the mayor should check the information on the certificate before the wedding, and not to proceed if it doesn't look correct or complete. One response reminded mayors that, if there are schedule conflicts or other pressures, your deputy mayor can also officiate at weddings

We received a number of excellent wedding ceremony texts from our respondents. We have kept them all on file, and if you would like any copies, please contact Deborah Kole, Staff Attorney, at the League, extension 37, or by email at dkole@njslom.com

Despite the issues and inconveniences involved, the mayors indicated that performing marriages is a very positive experience for them. Thank you to all of you who responded and shared your experience with your colleagues.

 

Opinion letters from the League's General Counsel on whether former Mayors can still perform marriages and whether a license is required for a remarriage ceremony, i.e., a renewal of vows, are on file at the League. Questions on these subjects can be addressed to D NJLM - Mayors Performing Marriages

407 West State Street, Trenton, NJ 08618  (609)695-3481
 NJLM logo 

William G. Dressel Jr, Executive Director - Michael J. Darcey, CAE, Asst Executive Director

Mayors Performing Marriages

Under N.J.S.A. 37:1-13, mayors and deputy mayors "when authorized by the mayor" are authorized to solemnize, or perform, marriages in New Jersey. In light of this power, and the lack of available courses on the subject, the League conducted a survey in 2002 to find out what wisdom and knowledge on the subject mayors experienced in this practice might have to share with new mayors.

Of the municipalities who responded to our questionnaire, most do not charge a fee for a marriage performed by the mayor, although they commonly suggest that if the couple wants to, they may give a donation to a local charity/volunteer organization in honor of their marriage. The Mayor of Medford makes the donation system more formal by charging $200 per ceremony, and having the check made out to the Medford Township Police Charities. In Trenton, Mayor Palmer charges $25.00, which goes into the general city coffers.

The number of ceremonies that mayors are called upon to perform each year vary, understandably, with the size of the community. The count varied from five or six annually in Woodland Township and Upper Saddle River Borough, to 261 for 2001 in Clifton. In between these extremes were Alpha, with ten to twelve marriages a year; Fairfield in Cumberland County, with twenty a year; Franklin Lakes, with twenty to twenty-four a year; Medford, with twenty-five to fifty a year; and Hightstown, with about eighty a year. However, certainly the champions as far as numbers go would be Mayor Palmer of Trenton with 1500 weddings performed, and Mayor Mancini of Long Beach Township, who has performed 1000 ceremonies. Of course, they both have a "head start" in the numbers competition, Mayor Palmer because Trenton has so many residents, and Mayor Mancini because he has been in office for forty years.

Several mayors had helpful hints to offer to their less experienced colleagues. More than one mayor quickly decided to refrain from attending the wedding receptions after the ceremonies they performed because they felt that their presence detracted from the bride and groom, who should be the "stars" of the proceedings. Some mayors limited themselves to the marriage of municipal residents, and/or to ceremonies performed within the municipality, to limit both the quantity of ceremonies performed and the travel involved. Most, while using a standard civil ceremony, allowed some embellishment by the bride and groom of both the text and the program. One mayor limited the hours he would officiate at weddings to his work hours, after he found that he was spending an inordinate amount of his "free time" performing marriages. Others only perform ceremonies at the municipal building. One mayor commented that he has ceased attending rehearsals, since doing so was too time-consuming.

One respondent reminded his colleagues to make sure the couple has the marriage certificate, two witnesses, and an interpreter, if necessary, at the ceremony. He also emphasized that the mayor should check the information on the certificate before the wedding, and not to proceed if it doesn't look correct or complete. One response reminded mayors that, if there are schedule conflicts or other pressures, your deputy mayor can also officiate at weddings

We received a number of excellent wedding ceremony texts from our respondents. We have kept them all on file, and if you would like any copies, please contact Deborah Kole, Staff Attorney, at the League, extension 37, or by email at dkole@njslom.com

Despite the issues and inconveniences involved, the mayors indicated that performing marriages is a very positive experience for them. Thank you to all of you who responded and shared your experience with your colleagues.

 

Opinion letters from the League's General Counsel on whether former Mayors can still perform marriages and whether a license is required for a remarriage ceremony, i.e., a renewal of vows, are on file at the League. Questions on these subjects can be addressed to D NJLM - Mayors Performing Marriages

407 West State Street, Trenton, NJ 08618  (609)695-3481
 NJLM logo 

William G. Dressel Jr, Executive Director - Michael J. Darcey, CAE, Asst Executive Director

Mayors Performing Marriages

Under N.J.S.A. 37:1-13, mayors and deputy mayors "when authorized by the mayor" are authorized to solemnize, or perform, marriages in New Jersey. In light of this power, and the lack of available courses on the subject, the League conducted a survey in 2002 to find out what wisdom and knowledge on the subject mayors experienced in this practice might have to share with new mayors.

Of the municipalities who responded to our questionnaire, most do not charge a fee for a marriage performed by the mayor, although they commonly suggest that if the couple wants to, they may give a donation to a local charity/volunteer organization in honor of their marriage. The Mayor of Medford makes the donation system more formal by charging $200 per ceremony, and having the check made out to the Medford Township Police Charities. In Trenton, Mayor Palmer charges $25.00, which goes into the general city coffers.

The number of ceremonies that mayors are called upon to perform each year vary, understandably, with the size of the community. The count varied from five or six annually in Woodland Township and Upper Saddle River Borough, to 261 for 2001 in Clifton. In between these extremes were Alpha, with ten to twelve marriages a year; Fairfield in Cumberland County, with twenty a year; Franklin Lakes, with twenty to twenty-four a year; Medford, with twenty-five to fifty a year; and Hightstown, with about eighty a year. However, certainly the champions as far as numbers go would be Mayor Palmer of Trenton with 1500 weddings performed, and Mayor Mancini of Long Beach Township, who has performed 1000 ceremonies. Of course, they both have a "head start" in the numbers competition, Mayor Palmer because Trenton has so many residents, and Mayor Mancini because he has been in office for forty years.

Several mayors had helpful hints to offer to their less experienced colleagues. More than one mayor quickly decided to refrain from attending the wedding receptions after the ceremonies they performed because they felt that their presence detracted from the bride and groom, who should be the "stars" of the proceedings. Some mayors limited themselves to the marriage of municipal residents, and/or to ceremonies performed within the municipality, to limit both the quantity of ceremonies performed and the travel involved. Most, while using a standard civil ceremony, allowed some embellishment by the bride and groom of both the text and the program. One mayor limited the hours he would officiate at weddings to his work hours, after he found that he was spending an inordinate amount of his "free time" performing marriages. Others only perform ceremonies at the municipal building. One mayor commented that he has ceased attending rehearsals, since doing so was too time-consuming.

One respondent reminded his colleagues to make sure the couple has the marriage certificate, two witnesses, and an interpreter, if necessary, at the ceremony. He also emphasized that the mayor should check the information on the certificate before the wedding, and not to proceed if it doesn't look correct or complete. One response reminded mayors that, if there are schedule conflicts or other pressures, your deputy mayor can also officiate at weddings

We received a number of excellent wedding ceremony texts from our respondents. We have kept them all on file, and if you would like any copies, please contact Deborah Kole, Staff Attorney, at the League, extension 37, or by email at dkole@njslom.com

Despite the issues and inconveniences involved, the mayors indicated that performing marriages is a very positive experience for them. Thank you to all of you who responded and shared your experience with your colleagues.

 

Opinion letters from the League's General Counsel on whether former Mayors can still perform marriages and whether a license is required for a remarriage ceremony, i.e., a renewal of vows, are on file at the League. Questions on these subjects can be addressed to D NJLM - Mayors Performing Marriages

407 West State Street, Trenton, NJ 08618  (609)695-3481
 NJLM logo 

William G. Dressel Jr, Executive Director - Michael J. Darcey, CAE, Asst Executive Director

Mayors Performing Marriages

Under N.J.S.A. 37:1-13, mayors and deputy mayors "when authorized by the mayor" are authorized to solemnize, or perform, marriages in New Jersey. In light of this power, and the lack of available courses on the subject, the League conducted a survey in 2002 to find out what wisdom and knowledge on the subject mayors experienced in this practice might have to share with new mayors.

Of the municipalities who responded to our questionnaire, most do not charge a fee for a marriage performed by the mayor, although they commonly suggest that if the couple wants to, they may give a donation to a local charity/volunteer organization in honor of their marriage. The Mayor of Medford makes the donation system more formal by charging $200 per ceremony, and having the check made out to the Medford Township Police Charities. In Trenton, Mayor Palmer charges $25.00, which goes into the general city coffers.

The number of ceremonies that mayors are called upon to perform each year vary, understandably, with the size of the community. The count varied from five or six annually in Woodland Township and Upper Saddle River Borough, to 261 for 2001 in Clifton. In between these extremes were Alpha, with ten to twelve marriages a year; Fairfield in Cumberland County, with twenty a year; Franklin Lakes, with twenty to twenty-four a year; Medford, with twenty-five to fifty a year; and Hightstown, with about eighty a year. However, certainly the champions as far as numbers go would be Mayor Palmer of Trenton with 1500 weddings performed, and Mayor Mancini of Long Beach Township, who has performed 1000 ceremonies. Of course, they both have a "head start" in the numbers competition, Mayor Palmer because Trenton has so many residents, and Mayor Mancini because he has been in office for forty years.

Several mayors had helpful hints to offer to their less experienced colleagues. More than one mayor quickly decided to refrain from attending the wedding receptions after the ceremonies they performed because they felt that their presence detracted from the bride and groom, who should be the "stars" of the proceedings. Some mayors limited themselves to the marriage of municipal residents, and/or to ceremonies performed within the municipality, to limit both the quantity of ceremonies performed and the travel involved. Most, while using a standard civil ceremony, allowed some embellishment by the bride and groom of both the text and the program. One mayor limited the hours he would officiate at weddings to his work hours, after he found that he was spending an inordinate amount of his "free time" performing marriages. Others only perform ceremonies at the municipal building. One mayor commented that he has ceased attending rehearsals, since doing so was too time-consuming.

One respondent reminded his colleagues to make sure the couple has the marriage certificate, two witnesses, and an interpreter, if necessary, at the ceremony. He also emphasized that the mayor should check the information on the certificate before the wedding, and not to proceed if it doesn't look correct or complete. One response reminded mayors that, if there are schedule conflicts or other pressures, your deputy mayor can also officiate at weddings

We received a number of excellent wedding ceremony texts from our respondents. We have kept them all on file, and if you would like any copies, please contact Deborah Kole, Staff Attorney, at the League, extension 37, or by email at dkole@njslom.com

Despite the issues and inconveniences involved, the mayors indicated that performing marriages is a very positive experience for them. Thank you to all of you who responded and shared your experience with your colleagues.

 

Opinion letters from the League's General Counsel on whether former Mayors can still perform marriages and whether a license is required for a remarriage ceremony, i.e., a renewal of vows, are on file at the League. Questions on these subjects can be addressed to Deborah Kole, Staff Attorney, at the League, extension 37, or by email at dkole@njslom.com

 

Click Here to return to the League's Home Page