Begin Free Online Ordination
Pennsylvania State Capitol Building

Pennsylvania Wedding Laws

From the bustle of Philadelphia to the serenity of Lancaster County, there are plenty of exciting locales available to couples looking to tie the knot in Pennsylvania. Naturally, there are a number of important points that must be kept in mind in order to follow the proper protocol of marriage requirements in the Keystone State. The Universal Life Church Ministries has assembled this overview of Pennsylvania wedding laws in order to provide officiants and couples alike a clear understanding of the process.

How to Become a Wedding Officiant in Pennsylvania

Min. Age of Minister:
Age 18
Residency:
Not Required
Document(s) Required:
Varies by County
Online Ordination Recognized:
Yes
Relevant Office of Registration:
Office of the Clerk
Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
Varies by County
Minister I.D. # Issued:
No

The requirements for officiants in the state of Pennsylvania are quite similar to that of other states. PA recognizes religious, spiritual, secular, and civil officiants, as long as the individual has been given officiant status by a larger institution. Ministers who have been ordained by the Universal Life Church fall into the category of religious actors. This means they are legally allowed to conduct the ceremony regardless of their personal belief system, gender, and other factors.

One important point to note is that ministers in the state of Pennsylvania may be required to register with the Office of the Clerk. In order to learn more about what paperwork is needed for this process, check with the office issuing the marriage license to see what they need from a minister performing a wedding in their county. To ensure you have all of the necessary documentation, the Universal Life Church has put together a useful Classic Wedding Package that officiants in Pennsylvania can use to prove their status.

Getting Married in Pennsylvania

Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
No
Minister Required to be Present:
Yes
Number of Witnesses Required:
None
Min. Age of Witnesses:
N/A
Couple's Consent Required:
Yes
Pronouncement Required:
Yes

There are no major restrictions when it comes to how a couple plans or conducts a wedding ceremony in Pennsylvania. The only thing to note is that the state requires both members of the couple to be present and declare consent to the union before the officiant. The officiant must then pronounce the couple as wed. No additional witnesses are required to be present for this portion of the ceremony.

How to Get a Pennsylvania Marriage License

Who Picks Up License:
The Couple
Where License is Valid:
Any County in Pennsylvania
Marriage License Pick-Up:
In Person Only
Cost of License:
Varies by County
Accepted I.D. Types:
Photo ID and Proof of Social Security Number
Proof of Divorce Required (If Applicable):
Yes
Blood Test Required:
No

To obtain a marriage license in Pennsylvania, the couple must physically go to a county clerk’s office. Both applicants must be present and bring along paperwork or documentation verifying their identities, including a photo ID and confirmation of social security number. If either member of the couple has been married before, the county clerk might request that proper divorce paperwork be submitted to verify the former union has been legally dissolved. Though it is not legal to marry a relative, the clerk will not ask for a blood test from the applicants to verify this fact.

Currently, the cost of a marriage license in Pennsylvania varies. Depending on the county, the cost can be anywhere between $40 and $85.

Applying For a Marriage License in Pennsylvania

ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
Religious
Mandatory Waiting Period:
3 Days
License Valid For:
60 Days
License Must Be Submitted:
Within 10 Days of Ceremony

Upon receiving the marriage license, the couple is required by law in Pennsylvania to wait a period of three days before the ceremony can be conducted. However, the couple also must complete the paperwork and conduct the wedding within 60 days of the issuance of the license. Once the ceremony takes place, the countdown changes again and the minister must bring the completed paperwork to the correct office within 10 days of the wedding itself.

Pennsylvania Marriage Requirements

Min. Age of Couple:
Age 18
Residency:
Not Required
Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
Second Cousins
Marriage Equality:
Yes

Pennsylvania has a few key points to understand when it comes to the legal requirements for couples looking to marry. Both same-sex and out-of-state couples are legally allowed to marry in Pennsylvania. Additionally, the state requires that members of the couple be at least 18 years of age in order for the wedding to be considered legally binding.

The state of Pennsylvania also forbids marriage between relatives who are closer in blood than second cousins. One outdated requirement suggests a license will not be issued to couples where one member admits to having a transmissible disease. Unless this has been kept a secret from the other half of the couple, this is not likely going to prevent the license from being issued.

Finalizing the Union

Officiant's Title on Marriage License:
Minister
Church/Ordaining Body:
Universal Life Church Ministries
Address of Church:
Minister's Home Address

After the ceremony has come to a close, the officiant has 10 days to make sure that the marriage license is properly completed and returned to the county clerk where it was issued. To expedite the process, couples should look over the documents in advance and ensure that every line has been filled out in a legible and accurate manner.

Have a question? Ask us now!
Welcome. If you have any questions, I'm happy to help.