Cynthia Bonang, 64, had been a notary public through her job at the Hyde School in Bath until she retired in 2017. From time to time, she’d get a call asking if she could notarize a document, and her side gig was born.

What is your side gig? 

Mobile notary public and wedding officiant.

Why do you do it? 

Well, the first thing: I absolutely love writing the wedding ceremony for the people, bringing them together, helping create that bond for them for the rest of their life. It’s very rewarding to see that. I have people who want just a quick down and dirty kind of “I do” sort of thing. Those are OK and I like those. But the ones I really like is when I meet with the people, they tell me kind of what they want, I write the ceremony and surprise them with it. And I’ve had very good results with that.

Cynthia Bonang Photo courtesy of Jennifer Woodworth

In my previous career (executive business manager at the Hyde School in Bath) I was a notary on the job, in the position that I held. And I really, at that time, only notarized for the company and, and for people that worked at the company, I did it for free. And then when I retired I thought, well, it might be a way to help some people out and help myself out at the same time. So that’s why I started doing it.

I have been a notary for probably nigh on to 30 years or something like that. It’s been a long time, but I’ve only been retired since 2017. I did weddings before that, but not as many.

I found the need where people couldn’t get out. I’ve had some people who are shut in that needed to have a document notarized and people that for a wedding, they don’t want to travel. They want to have it in their hometown or in their home, actually. I decided that might be a good thing to do to help people and keep the business going.

It’s fits and starts. It depends. Recently it’s been like, not one wedding a week, but I did a wedding a couple of weeks ago. And then I’ll have people email me or call me and you know, (ask) can you come by? I had a friend who needed a document signed and said, “Hey, can you meet me over in Bowdoin and notarize this document?” I said, sure, why not? So I did that on our way to Augusta to shop. So it kind of fit it into my life.

At this point, it’s more part time. I don’t want to be full time. I would love to do more weddings. That’s what I really enjoy. Notarizing of documents takes me a very few minutes and you know, it’s helpful. I like helping people. But yeah, it’s a service fee.

My husband and I also have an acoustic duo and we perform gigs. So we’re both sitting here rehearsing Christmas songs for a show we’re doing (Wednesday) actually. It’s at a private home down in Damariscotta. And we have another private show Friday night in Richmond actually.

I haven’t developed a web page. I have my personal Facebook page, and we do for our music business, but not for the notary business. I haven’t gone that far to create that yet. I haven’t had a need because I’ve been putting it out to people that I know and people who know me. I just started advertising a bit, on the Litchfield (Facebook) page and the Richmond (Facebook page.) I live in Bowdoinham, and I’ve had a lot of interest already.

To be honest with you, I haven’t wanted to. We were so busy this summer because we bought land in Bowdoinham and put a house on it, so we were out straight, busy all summer. I had no time to do that sort of thing, except that wedding I did go to Millinocket for. So now I’m ready to do a little bit more.