If you die waiting for a marriage certificate, then you’ll save some time on the next line

I’d like to dedicate this post to my newest reader: The wonderful Rabbi who is going to marry Captain and me.

I don’t know when the last time is that you went to the Boston City Hall for an intention of marriage certificate, but it’s not a romantic experience. Boston City Hall is a concrete monstrosity with limited windows and no discernible doors.

I researched the Massachusetts’s marriage instructions online. Both people must appear in person, together, to complete an intention of marriage certificate. Then 3 days later one person may return for the required paperwork and then any day within 60 days later somebody can sign that paper and it’s official. Kim Davis types are not welcome. The wait is already long enough as it is.

I manage to sneak Captain away from his work. We approach City Hall. Where is the door? Why is our city hall the least welcoming building in the city?  Some people appear to be going toward a part of the building that is either a parking garage or a bunker entrance.

We squeeze in the side of the building and head upstairs to a sign that reads “Births, Deaths and Marriages.” There’s a pad of paper and pencil in a window. It looks like somewhere to sign in. I pick it up. A lady barks at us,

“What do you need?”

“An intention of marriage certificate.”

“Come back here.”

We enter the windowless concrete cave of an office. She sits us down at a computer and we fill out a form with our names and our contact information. We click complete. So far this doesn’t seem like it should be a joint in-person operation. When one of us needs a death certificate, we’ll have to be able to complete the form on our own.

The lady directs us to a line of many soon-to-be newlyweds. Everyone looks morose.  Somehow the bunker like atmosphere has sucked away all the love and googly eyes.

We make it back to the window. We raise our right hand and swear that we’re the people we say we are. We go to another line to pay $50, then we get back in the original line and we get a receipt to bring back in 3 days for more paperwork. If we can file taxes online, surely we could let people fill out their names to intend to get married.

We find an above-ground door to exit from and now we’re one week away from being married, paperwork and all.


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