Steve, a lifelong resident of New Bedford, is the son of Portuguese immigrants who relocated to the United States from Lisbon, Portugal. He was educated at Saint Anthony Elementary School and graduated from New Bedford High School. He attended Bristol Community College and went onto the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science.
He was appointed by the Governor of Massachusetts to serve as a Justice of the Peace. In addition to his Justice of the Peace duties, he currently serves as one of the youngest City Councilor’s in New Bedford’s history. He is also an Assistant Director/Regional Manager for the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission. Prior to his services as Assistant Director, he also served as Director of Administration for the Bristol County Retirement System and Operations Manager for the Executive Office of Labor & Workforce Development.
An active member in several local community organizations, he also supports his community by attending many charitable events in his hometown and across the commonwealth.
Steve has been recognized for his hard work and dedication to the City of New Bedford by receiving numerous awards, including being named one of the Top Young Professionals by New England Business Bulletin in 2010, 2011, and 2015. He has also been honored in 2016 by the Massachusetts State House of Representatives with the Heritage Day of Portugal medallion.
What do we need to be married?
To marry in Massachusetts, you must be 18 years of age and have a valid marriage license. Your marriage license can be issued by any city or town clerk. Most people obtain their license in the city of town in which they live or plan to be married.
There is a three-day waiting period before the ceremony can be performed legally. You don’t need anything else. You don’t even need to have a witness because the Commonwealth of Massachusetts recognizes the Officiant (me) as the witness.
If you plan to be married in another state, you need to check the requirements in that state and be sure to allow plenty of time to meet them.
Do we need a blood test?
No, you do not need a blood test to be married in Massachusetts.
Do we need wedding rings?
Wedding rings are a lovely tradition but are not mandatory.
Can we write our own vows?
Of course! You may write your own vows or choose from samples that I have. We will work together to rework the language so that it is special and meaningful for you.
Can we include others in the ceremony?
Family and friends may play an important part in your marriage ceremony—it is up to you to decide. You may ask people to do readings, present your rings, or take part in other ways, such as candle lighting or saying a prayer. We can incorporate traditions from religions or beliefs that are meaningful to you.
We will work together to make your marriage ceremony everything you want it to be.
Do you perform same-gender weddings?
Yes, and with great pride and joy. I am honored to serve the Commonwealth in a way that unites anyone who wishes to be married.
Where will our ceremony be held?
Anywhere you want – outdoors, at your home, or any venue you choose.
Do we need a pre-nuptial conference?
We should meet before your wedding. I am happy to get together at a mutually convenient time and location so that we can get to know one another and discuss how to customize your wedding. We will discuss whether you want special readings or meaningful passages, and what vows you would to exchange. Should you decide not to use my services, there is no charge for the pre-nuptial conference.
Should we have a rehearsal?
A rehearsal is important if you are planning anything more than just a basic wedding. It gives everyone—not just you—an opportunity to become familiar with their roles in the wedding ceremony. However, it is not a “must.”
We want to elope, but do we need witnesses?
No, Massachusetts law does not require witnesses at a wedding ceremony. Your officiant is the only witness you need.
What will you wear?
I will wear whatever attire best suits your event, but I usually wear a suit. I can wear business attire or something more informal—it is really your decision.
The fee for a basic wedding ceremony is established by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Standard fees are $100 within New Bedford area and $150 outside the City, but still within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.