First appointed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a Justice of the Peace in 2006, Abaigeal was re-appointed by the Secretary of State in 2014.
Abaigeal learned about working as a J.P. through her father, Joe "Zip" Duda, who was the first to introduce a Drive-Thru Marriage site in Massachusetts (located in Belchertown). When Mr. Duda needed something special written for a particular couple, he would ask Abaigeal to write it.
The 2015 Valley Advocate Wedding Guide featured an article about Zip and Abaigeal.
WHAT DO WE NEED TO GET MARRIED?
* Marriage License Issued in Massachusetts
You can obtain a license at any city or town clerk's office in the state, and fees vary from office to office. You need to allow three working days between the date you request the license and your marriage. The license is valid for sixty days.
* Ceremony Fee of $100
This is the minimum fee set by the state, and there are rarely additional charges. If you have special circumstances such as a very long commute or a request for a dress rehearsal, for example, it usually isn't a problem, but the extra expenses will need to be added to the fee for the ceremony itself. I never charge for writing or adjusting wedding vows.
* An Appointment with Abaigeal
You are very welcome to call 617.290.8336 to set up a time for your wedding. If you need to change the time or cancel, please call!
That's about it!
Some other questions that come up include:
Do we need a witness?
No. Not needed any longer.
Do we need a blood test?
No. No longer required.
Do you have a standard "script" for the ceremony?
Yes, I typically use a fairly short, friendly, non-denominational text that does not require you to have read it in advance.
Can we use our own ceremony text?
Of course! Just email or mail it to me so that I can be prepared.
CAN WE GET MARRIED AT THE DRIVE-THRU SITE?
Absolutely! All of the information listed under "What Do I Need to Get Married" still applies.
However, The Drive-Thru Marriage option is designed to keep things simple and affordable. I've found that couples get married in an endless variety of situations, and for many of those, the Drive-Thru option suits them very well.
You will still need the license, fee, and appointment. Because both Mr. Duda and I are J.P.'s (and my sister is too, but she does not perform weddings as regularly), we are generally able to accommodate most wedding date requests, including short notice, should there be a need.
Where is The Drive-Thru Marriage Site Located?
The sign is located at 146 Federal Street, Belchertown, not far from the center of town on route 9 heading toward Amherst. There is not someone constantly available at the sign itself; please don't go knocking!. You'll need to call ahead for an appointment, even if it's last-minute. (You have our appreciation in advance.)