The appeal of a wedding in Pennsylvania is that you can make it pretty much whatever you want. Along with larger urban places like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and more rural areas like the Poconos, the state has amazing regions with plenty of history and natural beauty, such as Valley Forge, New Hope, and Lancaster. Although it may seem alluring, it's important for couples to realize that Pennsylvania has unique laws regarding weddings within the state and what they can do if they want an online marriage in Pennsylvania.

Are online marriages legal in Pennsylvania?

Before the global pandemic, laws controlling the legality of weddings and celebrants were fairly strict. The officiant and the couple had to be present for the union to be considered legal. They also had to go visit the county clerk's office to obtain a marriage license. However, this caused a serious issue as the virus spread, social isolation set in, and several county clerk offices were closed.

Then, In 2019, the Utah County marriage license office and Utah County information technology departments started a year-long effort to create a fully digital end-to-end marriage license issuance and recording process, as part of a campaign promise to "bring the Clerk/office Auditor's into the 21st century." Couples now have the option to apply for a marriage license, do the ceremony, and have the officiant submit the necessary paperwork for the marriage certificate all online as of January 2020. This Utah online marriage procedure did away with the requirement that a couple must physically visit the office to get and return their marriage license.

The best part? Anyone can get legally married online through Utah's process, since you don't have to be a resident! You will receive a legal US Marriage Certificate since marriages performed legally in one state are recognized across the country, as long as they do not violate federal or state laws.

What if I want to have an in-person wedding in Pennsylvania? What documents are required?

You and your partner must claim for a marriage license in person at your nearest Register of Wills, marriage license office, or county clerk's office to get married lawfully in Pennsylvania. Proxy marriages are not legal in Pennsylvania. The license is only good for the state of Pennsylvania, but you are not needed to get married in the county where you apply for it.

You'll each need to bring one to two forms of identification to your marriage license appointment, along with information about your parents (likely full birth names, birth dates, birth cities and states, and, if applicable, dates of death), and, if you've previously been married, a divorce decree or the death certificate of your ex-spouse. 

In Pennsylvania, the price of a marriage license varies from county to county, costing as little as $35 in Wayne County and as much as $100 in Philadelphia County. However, be mindful that this does not accommodate the fuel spent on commuting, the ceremony, and the officiation.

Can I obtain a marriage license from Pennslyvania without visiting in person?

In Pennsylvania, the ability to obtain a marriage license online varies county by county, but many of them do allow you to apply for the license online. For example, Allegheny County has made it possible to complete the entire process online. There are several requirements and steps to complete. If you have been divorced before, you will need to provide a certified divorced decree, and an additional fee of $10 is applied.

Here are the steps involved with getting a marriage license from Allegheny County:

  1. Complete the application online or in person. An email address is required. Once the online application is submitted, a verification email will be sent and the application is placed in the queue to be processed.
  2. Have an Interview. Both applicants must appear in person or via video conferencing in order to complete the process. Photo identification is required.  
  3. Receive the license. Once the application is processed and the 3 day waiting period required by Pennsylvania law has passed, the marriage license will be mailed to the address provided by the applicants, or it can be picked up in the Marriage License Section.

Other Counties in Pennsylvania may still require that you go in person to fill up an application and speak to a representative.

Keep in mind that this does not include the process for finding an officiant, organizing, and having a wedding ceremony, which still has to be completed to be legally married. For your wedding ceremony, you will also be required to be within Pennsylvania–meaning you, your officiant, and your witnesses will all be required to be located within Pennsylvania. Your other guests may still join online.

If you want to skip all the hassle and steps, Courtly has optimized the whole procedure for you, providing you with a convenient way out. Using Courtly, couples may carry out the entire procedure remotely from any place. A legitimate US marriage certificate may be acquired quickly, easily, and with minimal documentation.

Are online marriages legal outside the United States?

If you want your wedding to be certified and/or recognized in a nation other than the United States, you might need to get an Apostille certification. An apostille guarantees that your marriage license is valid, verifiably legitimate, and recognized in all nations that have ratified The Hague Apostille Convention of 1961. Although distant appearance ceremonies conducted by a Courtly officiant are permitted by U.S. law, foreign countries or immigration authorities' approval of them may not always be recognized as valid, especially if your companion is a foreign national.

What are the processes involved in getting married online in Pennsylvania?

Using Courtly, couples may do the entire process online from any place. A legitimate U.S. marriage certificate may be acquired quickly, easily, and in most cases, in less than 48 hours, without any documentation.

1. Complete the sign-up procedure by creating an account.

It's as simple as ABC to register with Courtly to be married online! To join up, simply click the "Get Married" icon in the top right corner and follow the on-screen instructions. As soon as you create your account, you should be able to access it.

2. Upload your pictures and private data.

A government-issued I.D. with the applicant's name and birthday clearly displayed is required. In order to help you obtain your marriage license, our concierge will use our secure I.D. verification procedure. Our system accepts several types of I.D.s from more than 200 nations!

We will check for any ambiguities and work with the authorities to make sure everything is ready for your big day.

3. Decide on the ceremony's format, setting, and officiant.

It's time to act! Choose a venue and ceremony style that suits you. Depending on the time and day you select, we'll match you with one of Courtly's legally qualified US officiants.

4. After paying for your wedding package, you will get an email confirmation.

Make the payment and watch for Courtly's email of confirmation. When this is finished, the wedding bells should start to sound!

5. Join your family and friends online to celebrate your marriage!

Finally, get hitched online while lounging in your house (or any other place with a strong internet connection!). It should take roughly 15 minutes to complete the ceremony.  

A digital copy of your U.S. marriage certificate will be sent to you immediately after your online wedding, and a printed copy will be sent to you within a few business days. Soon after the wedding, you may download your digital marriage license.

So, getting married online in Pennsylvania is a fast and uncomplicated process. With just a few steps, you'll be able to complete the process with ease. All you need is a valid email address, identification, and your payment method. For more information about Courtly's effort in making Pennsylvania online marriage possible, please visit our website.

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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