, Derry, New Hampshire


June 12, 2014

Londonderry to offer civil wedding ceremonies

LONDONDERRY — Sherry Farrell is happy to be able to share some joy with couples in town.

The newly elected town clerk recently received her justice of the peace license and can now perform civil marriage ceremonies.

Previously, the town seldom performed civil ceremonies, if at all.

“I just love it,” Farrell said from her town office.

She performed her first ceremony under the shady trees of the Town Common June 1.

She said she looks forward to helping more couples who may want a simple ceremony.

It is something many people have asked for, Farrell said.

“We really wanted to make it happen,” she said.

The Londonderry Town Council approved a first reading of a new town ordinance allowing civil marriage ceremonies to be performed. The fee is $50.

That fee, along with a marriage license, would allow Farrell to perform a ceremony at Town Hall or at any other location a couple may choose.

Town Manager Kevin Smith said it’s a nice service for the town to offer.

He said he researched other towns and fees vary. Many towns don’t offer the service.

Farrell’s first couple to be married —Brigitte Ellis and William Walker — were special to her. Ellis was a former student from Farrell’s teaching years at Londonderry High School.

The ceremony was pretty, she said, and personal because she knew the bride.

She also credited local photographer Doug Rathburn for providing wedding photos to the couple. Rathburn also leads the town of Derry’s information technology department.

Farrell said couples wanting a civil ceremony can call upon her to make the day special.

“They can come in and we’ll make it lovely,” she said.

The town offices may eventually decide to use various spaces for indoor ceremonies, if requested, including Moose Hill Council Chambers or other locations.

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