Pennsylvania offers a diverse range of options for couples looking to tie the knot. Whether you prefer the charm of historic venues, the vibrant atmosphere of cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, or the natural beauty of regions like the Poconos, Valley Forge, New Hope, or Lancaster, Pennsylvania has something to suit every couple's preferences. The state's rich history and picturesque landscapes make it an appealing destination for weddings.

When considering an online marriage in Pennsylvania, it's crucial to familiarize yourself with the state's specific laws and requirements. Each state has its regulations regarding online marriages, and it's essential to ensure that your union will be legally recognized. By following the step-by-step guide outlined below, you can navigate the process of getting married online in Pennsylvania successfully.

The Legality of Online Marriages in Pennsylvania

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Pennsylvania had specific laws and requirements for getting married. Couples were required to apply for a marriage license in person at the County Clerk's Office. This process typically involved filling out an application, providing identification and other necessary documents, and paying the required fees. The couple would then receive a marriage license, which allowed them to proceed with a traditional in-person wedding ceremony.

Then in 2019, the Utah County marriage license office and Utah County information technology departments initiated a year-long project to develop a fully digital end-to-end marriage license issuance and recording process. This endeavor was part of a campaign promise to modernize the Clerk's office and bring it into the 21st century.

Since Utah launched this program in January 2020, couples all over the world have had the option to complete the entire marriage process online, from applying for a marriage license to conducting the ceremony and having the officiant submit the necessary paperwork for the marriage certificate. This online marriage procedure in Utah eliminated the requirement for couples to physically visit the office to obtain and return their marriage license.

By following the online marriage process in Utah, couples can expect to receive a legal US marriage certificate. This certificate serves as proof of the marriage and is recognized throughout the country. 

In-Person Weddings in Pennsylvania: Required Documents

To legally marry through Pennsylvania, both you and your partner must personally apply for a marriage license at your nearest Register of Wills, marriage license office, or county clerk's office. It is important to note that proxy marriages are not legally recognized in Pennsylvania. While the license is only valid within the state of Pennsylvania, you are not required to get married in the same county where you applied for the license.

When attending your marriage license appointment, each of you will need to bring one to two forms of identification. Additionally, you should have information about your parents, including their full birth names, birth dates, birth cities, and states. If either of you has been previously married, you will need to provide a divorce decree or the death certificate of your former spouse.

The cost of a marriage license in Pennsylvania can vary from county to county. Fees range from as little as $35 in Wayne County to as much as $100 in Philadelphia County. It's important to consider that the cost of the license itself does not cover expenses related to transportation, the wedding ceremony, or officiating services.

While the marriage license is an essential legal requirement, additional costs may be involved in planning and executing your wedding in Pennsylvania. These costs can vary based on various factors, including your preferences, venue selection, catering, decorations, and other wedding-related services.

To ensure a smooth and successful wedding planning process, it is recommended to consult with the specific county office where you plan to apply for your marriage license. They can provide you with detailed information on the required documents, fees, and any additional guidelines or regulations applicable in that county.

Obtaining a Marriage License from Pennsylvania Online

The ability to obtain a marriage license online from Pennsylvania varies from county to county. 

Some counties, like Allegheny County, offer the convenience of completing the entire application process online. However, it's important to note that each county may have its requirements and procedures. Some counties may still require applicants to visit in person to fill out an application and speak to a representative. Therefore, it is advisable to check with the specific county's marriage license office for accurate and up-to-date information regarding online application availability.

For example, in Allegheny County, you can follow these steps to obtain a marriage license:

  1. Complete the application: You can fill out the application online, providing the necessary information, including your email address. After applying, you will receive a verification email, and your application will be processed.
  2. Have an interview: Both applicants must appear in person or via video conferencing for an interview. Make sure to bring valid photo identification to the interview.
  3. Receive the license: Once the application is processed and the mandatory three-day waiting period, as required by Pennsylvania law, has passed, the marriage license will be either mailed to the provided address or made available for pickup at the Marriage License Section.

It's important to remember that obtaining a marriage license is a legal requirement, but it does not encompass the entire process of getting married. You will still need to find an officiant, plan and organize your wedding ceremony, and ensure that you, your officiant, and witnesses are physically present within Pennsylvania for the ceremony. However, other guests may still participate in the ceremony online.

If you prefer a more streamlined and convenient process, you can explore services like Courtly, which offers optimized online procedures for obtaining a marriage license. Using Courtly, couples can complete the entire process remotely from any location, with minimal documentation required. This can provide a quick and easy way to acquire a legitimate US marriage certificate.

Legal Recognition of Online Marriages Outside the United States

If you intend to have your wedding certified and recognized in a country outside the United States, it may be necessary to obtain an Apostille certification. An Apostille certification ensures that your marriage license is valid, legally authenticated, and recognized by countries that are signatories to The Hague Apostille Convention of 1961. This convention simplifies the process of international document authentication.

To ensure that your marriage is recognized internationally, it is recommended to research and understand the requirements of the country where you want your marriage to be recognized. This may involve contacting the embassy or consulate of that country for guidance on the necessary steps and documentation needed for your marriage to be legally recognized in that jurisdiction.

Step-by-Step Process of Getting Married Online in Pennsylvania with Courtly

Getting married online in Pennsylvania with Courtly involves the following step-by-step process:

1. Create an account and complete the sign-up procedure: 

Begin by creating an account on the Courtly website. Provide the necessary information and complete the sign-up process.

2. Choose the ceremony's format, setting, and vows:

Select the desired format and setting for your online ceremony. Courtly offers various options to customize your wedding.

3. Confirm payment for the wedding package:

Proceed with the payment process to confirm your chosen wedding package. Courtly offers different packages with varying features and services. For complete information on our available wedding packages and add-ons, please check our Pricing Page.

4. Celebrate the online marriage with family and friends:

On the scheduled date and time, gather virtually with your family and friends to celebrate your online marriage ceremony. Courtly provides a virtual platform for the ceremony to take place.

After the ceremony, Courtly will provide both digital and printed copies of your U.S. marriage certificate. These certificates serve as legal proof of your marriage.

It's important to note that while Courtly facilitates the online marriage process and provides the necessary documentation, it's essential to ensure that the online marriage is legally recognized in the jurisdiction where you intend to have it recognized. Research the specific legal requirements and consult with legal professionals to ensure compliance with local regulations.

Conclusion 

Getting married online in Pennsylvania has become a popular and convenient option for couples.

Courtly offers a streamlined process that simplifies the experience of getting married online in Pennsylvania. With Courtly's user-friendly interface and optimized procedure, couples can enjoy a fast and uncomplicated process from start to finish.

Let us handle the paperwork.

Getting married is complicated. Courtly simplifies the process and provides everything necessary to get married online, including providing a licensed officiant who can perform a remote ceremony.

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