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How To Get Your Marriage License in PA

To obtain a marriage license in Pennsylvania, just read the special instructions, gather your documents, and then follow these steps!

AGE:

To be married in Pennsylvania, you must be 18 years old with a valid, US-issued government photo ID.  You can be married as young as 15 in PA, but the underage person must have his/her original birth certificate, written parental consent, and written consent of a judge from the Orphans Court.

DOCUMENTS TO PROVIDE:

NOTE: If you do not have these documents, your application will not be accepted:

Current and Valid Photo ID:

  • Driver’s License
  • State I.D.
  • International Driver’s License
  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Military I.D.
  • Resident Alien Card
  • Consulate Card

AND a Social Security card or any other form of I.D. issued by an official entity which reflects the applicant’s Social Security number

  • W-2 form
  • Income Tax Return
  • Prescription Card
  • Access Card
  • If an applicant does NOT possess a Social Security number he/she must produce a Secondary I.D. in the form of a birth certificate (officially translated, if appropriate); or any other form of I.D. issued by an official entity, in addition to the above-noted current, valid photo I.D.  Documents in a language other than English must be an original accompanied by a notarized English translation.
  • If an applicant does not speak English, you must bring an interpreter.

PROOF OF DISSOLUTION OF PREVIOUS MARRIAGES:

If either applicant was previously married, proof of dissolution of the latest marriage must be submitted at the time of application.

  • A widowed applicant must submit a certified copy of the death certificate of the deceased spouse.
  • A divorced applicant must provide a certified copy of the most recent divorce decree.
  • If either of the foregoing documents is not written in English it must be translated to English and the translation must be certified to be correct.

FEES:

  • Marriage license fees in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania vary from county to county. Please call the county in which you will be applying for their fees and other requirements.
  • In Pennsylvania, you do not need a marriage ceremony. You can apply for a Quaker/Self-Uniting License, and the fee varies by county. If you want this type of license, you need to inform the clerk before you begin the application process.

WAITING PERIOD:

  • There is a three (3) day waiting period from the completion of the application process to the issuance of the license.
  • The license will be given to you at the time of your application.
  • It cannot be used until the date of issuance, which is three (3) days later.
  • The issuance date appears on the license.
  • The three (3) day waiting period begins after both applicants appear in person together at the Marriage License Bureau.

WEDDING OFFICIANTS –  WHO CAN MARRY YOU?:

  • Any ordained minister, priest or rabbi of any regularly established church or congregation
  • Judges and Justices of Peace may perform wedding ceremonies. Mayors of cities and boroughs are also authorized to perform marriage ceremonies.

The officiant performing the marriage ceremony must complete and file the marriage return – the bottom portion of the marriage license – with the marriage license office that issued the license within ten (10) days of the date of the ceremony.

A marriage record will not exist if the officiant who performs the marriage fails to file this document.

EXPIRATION DATE:

  • A marriage license is valid for 60 days from date it is issued.
  • The marriage license can be used in any county in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

GET TO THE COURTHOUSE – IN A NUTSHELL:

  • Applicants that wish to be legally married in the state of Pennsylvania must first apply for a marriage license application at their nearest Marriage License Bureau of the Register of Wills and complete the application process.
  • Applicants should take the necessary steps to obtain a Marriage License 2 to 3 weeks before the scheduled date of their marriage ceremony.
  • Both applicants seeking a marriage license must appear together in person at the Marriage License Bureau of the Register of Wills office to complete the process.
  • Photo identification is required in PA
  • Marriage license fees vary from county to county. Please call or visit the website of the county Register of Wills in which you will be applying for their fees and other requirements.
  • There is a three (3) day waiting period from the completion of the application process to the issuance of the license.
  • A marriage license is valid for 60 days from date it is issued.
  • Be sure to contact your Local Marriage License Bureau well in advance of the wedding to find out on what days and during what hours the clerk will be in the office. Some locales will require an appointment.
  • An independent translator must accompany the applicants for any non-English speakers.

 

Imperfect Wedding Planning Is Normal!

A perfect wedding planning experience is definitely not normal. You’re not alone if you feel like pulling your hair out…

This Wedding Wire blog repost addresses this!  This blog creates awareness of some of the things that undoubtedly go wrong along the way, and how to adjust your expectations.  Don’t worry, also included is great advice to calm your nerves during an intensely stressful time!

1. Differences of Opinions

Planning a wedding is an emotional process that usually involves an abundance of opinions from yourself, your fiancé, and your friends and family. There’s bound to be a difference of opinion on some topics that come up during the planning process.

While this can be frustrating, it should be expected. It’s important to prepare yourself for these differences and to think through how you will handle these conversations, whether they’re with your fiancé, your parents, in-laws, or wedding party. It can certainly be uncomfortable navigating these waters, but it’s important to hear everyone out and let everyone know their thoughts and support is important to you during this process.

2. Vendor Issues

A lot of wedding planning relies on choosing vendors and working with them to create your perfect day. What you may not realize, however, is that working seamlessly with your vendors is not a guarantee. In fact, just the process of getting in touch with vendors that you’re interested in can be tricky. You’d be surprised how many vendors can be hard to nail down or communicate with. You also may end up disappointed by the availability or pricing of some vendors on your wish list. But don’t be discouraged—the process may just take longer and require more research than you originally anticipated.

On the flip side, make yourself available when your vendors contact you. If they are having trouble getting in touch with you, that can also put a real strain on things! You get what you pay for so make sure to research reputable vendors with abundant reviews who won’t cause you additional anxiety.

3. Heightened Emotions

As mentioned above, planning a wedding encompasses a wide range of emotions throughout the entirety of the process. While (hopefully) the majority of these emotions will be happy ones, there will of course be some low moments. It’s completely normal to end up in little fights and disagreements with your fiancé, to end up frustrated, or to find yourself overwhelmed throughout this process. Do not react in the moment, as hard as that may be. Know your limits and indulge yourself in these emotional moments. Ask for help when  needed and remember your day is going to be beautiful and one of the best days of your life. Sometimes the little things become big things for no reason – it’s just wedding nerves!

4. The Planning Timeline

Many brides think that everything about planning a wedding runs on a specific schedule, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. There is a general guideline and timeline, but everyone has a different experience. While you may expect your cake tasting to occur at a certain time or you may hope to get your invitations stamped and mailed by a certain date, things rarely go exactly according to plan. This could be due to hiccups in your own schedule or vendors running behind. Don’t let this get the best of you; remember that everything will work out and you’re the only one that will know if things don’t run exactly aligned with the timeline you set.

5. The Budget

Everyone goes into a wedding with an idea of what their budget is for the event as a whole. However, things rarely cost exactly what you expect them to. While some aspects of your wedding may come in under budget, others may be more expensive than you anticipated. There will also be unexpected expenses that arise associated with your festivities. Be prepared to be a little bit flexible on your budget or have contingency plans in place, allowing for sacrifices that might need to be made in order to account for these unforeseen expenses.

6. Your Groom’s Opinions

Many brides find that while they thought their groom wouldn’t have strong opinions about certain things pertaining to the wedding day, they couldn’t have been more wrong. Be prepared to hear out your groom’s opinions and stances on all things wedding planning. It’s a big day for him, too, so you want to be sensitive to letting him have a seat at the planning table.

This is especially true when it comes to his attire. It is a day for him to show his best self and style so be sure to search out a vendor (like Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo!) that will offer him over 60 different suit and tuxedo options, help style everyone, match the color pallet, and take good care of him and his party.

 

One of our grooms and his men, toasting the big day after choosing their attire!

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Last-Minute Chaos

Even if you’re the most proactive bride out there, there’s bound to be last-minute chaos in the days leading up to your event. Something will go wrong or you’ll end up frantic over some kind of detail, especially things like final fitting schedules, deliveries, even the weather. Again, this is normal and pretty much unavoidable.

Go into the week of your wedding expecting minor hiccups and going by the mantra that you’re not going to let anything ruin your big moment.

8. RSVP Issues

Every couple experiences the dreaded invitation RSVP issues, finding that guests aren’t prompt or on time in letting you know whether they’ll attend the event. To counter that, some guests will ask to come (after replying no) at the last minute while other guests will be unexpectedly unable to make it. Remember that the guest list will even itself out and try to go with the flow of these (sometimes annoying) delays in communication or last-minute adds.

Remember to number your rsvp cards to correspond to the guest list in case a guest forgets to put his/her name on the reply card… that way you can look up the number and see who it is!

Even with things going differently than you probably expected, planning your wedding should still be an exciting and exhilarating process. You’ll remember this time for the rest of your life and it’ll be over before you know it, so soak up every moment—even when things turn out differently than you envisioned.

We always love Wedding Wire’s blogs and insights and the opportunity to add our input. Let us know if we can help you in planning your day. As a highly respected bridal and tuxedo store in Bucks County and partnering with some of the best vendors in the business, we can help not only dress you and your wedding party, but assist you with top notch vendors to help lessen your stress and make your planning much easier!