Pennsylvania Wedding Laws

How to Officiate a Wedding in Pennsylvania

Unfortunately, the marriage laws in Pennsylvania’s books are quite antiquated and quite strict. It is often difficult for those ministers ordained with the Universal Life Church Monastery to receive a license from the state that will allow them to join couples in marriage.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Pennsylvania

Anyone may become a minister with the Universal Life Church by simply becoming ordained online. Ministers ordained by the ULC are able to officiate wedding ceremonies in 47 states – unfortunately Pennsylvania is not one of these. In order to be authorized to perform a marriage ceremony in Pennsylvania, one must register and present his or her credentials to their respective county clerk who will then decide whether or not this person is qualified to conduct a marriage ceremony under state law. Only one Pennsylvania county, Bucks County, has made a habit of authorizing ordained Universal Life Church Monastery ministers to officiate weddings, but they often require that the registering minister submit an ordination credential.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Pennsylvania

Once an individual has been authorized by the state to solemnize a wedding ceremony, they face a much greater degree of freedom. Pennsylvania law does not dictate that a wedding ceremony must take place in a certain fashion – it only establishes that the precise moment at which the two couples are bound by matrimony is noted verbally by the officiant.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Pennsylvania

A couple marrying in Pennsylvania must apply for and receive a marriage license from a country official. Once they receive their application, they have 60 days to become married before the license expires. The individual who officiates the ceremony is responsible for signing a marriage certificate identifying that the couple was married lawfully before the marriage license had expired and delivering it to the appropriate office.

Pennsylvania Marriage Laws

 
? 1503. Persons qualified to solemnize marriages. (a) General rule.--The following are authorized to solemnize marriages between persons that produce a marriage license issued under this part: 1. A justice, judge or district justice of this Commonwealth. 2. A former or retired justice, judge or district justice of this Commonwealth who is serving as a senior judge or senior district justice as provided or prescribed by law. 3. An active or senior judge or full-time magistrate of the District Courts of the United States for the Eastern, Middle or Western District of Pennsylvania. 4. An active or senior judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit who is a resident of this Commonwealth. 5. A mayor of any city or borough of this Commonwealth. 6. A minister, priest or rabbi of any regularly established church or congregation. (b) Religious organizations.--Every religious society, religious institution or religious organization in this Commonwealth may join persons together in marriage when at least one of the persons is a member of the society, institution or organization, according to the rules and customs of the society, institution or organization. (c) Marriage license needed to officiate.--No person or religious organization qualified to perform marriages shall officiate at a marriage ceremony without the parties having obtained a marriage license issued under this part. [Source webmaster note: Marriage is a civil contract and does not require a particular form of ceremony for solemnization by a government or religious official. See Commonwealth ex. rel. McDermott v. McDermott, 236 Pa. Superior Ct. 541, 345 A.2d 914 (1975). However, marriage does require words uttered to establish at that precise time the relationship of husband and wife. Commonwealth v. Jones, 224 Pa. Superior Ct. 352, 307 A.2d 397 (1973).

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently has legal same-sex marriage by Court Decision.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Pennsylvania you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as an ordination credential, wallet credential, or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Pennsylvania Wedding Laws by County

Adams County

111-117 Baltimore Street
Room 103
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
17325,
Phone: (717) 337-9806
Fmx: (717) 334-9333
E-mail: klawver@adamscounty.us
Adams County website »

Allegheny County

436 Grant Street
Room 115
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
15219,
Phone: (412) 350-4180
Allegheny County website »

Armstrong County

500 East Market Street
Kittanning, Pennsylvania
16201,
Phone: (724) 548-3251
E-mail: mhileman@co.armstrong.pa.us
Armstrong County website »

Beaver County

810 Third Street
Room 207
Beaver, Pennsylvania
16201,
Phone: (724) 728-5700
Beaver County website »

Bedford County

200 South Juliana Street
Bedford, Pennsylvania
15522,
 
Phone: (814) 623-4833
Bedford County website »

Berks County

633 Court Street
Reading, Pennsylvania
19601,

Phone: (610) 478-6550
Berks County website »

Blair County

423 Allegheny Street
Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania
16648,
 
Phone: (814) 693-3080
Blair County website »

Bradford County

301 Main Street
Towanda, Pennsylvania
18848,

Phone: (570) 265-1705
Fax: (570) 265-1721
E-mail: bcregrec@mail.bradfordco.org
Bradford County website »

Bucks County

55 East Court Street
Doylestown, Pennsylvania
18901,
 
Phone: (215) 348-6389
Fmx: (215) 348-6156
E-mail: registerofwills@co.bucks.pa.us
Bucks County website »

Butler County

124 West Diamond Street
Butler, Pennsylvania
16003,
Phone: (724) 284-5233
Butler County website »

Cambria County

200 South Center Street
Ebensburg, Pennsylvania
15931,
 
Phone: (814) 472-1540
Cambria County website »

Cameron County

20 East Fifth Street
Emporium, Pennsylvania
15834,

Phone: (814) 486-3355
Cameron County website »

Carbon County

4 Broadway
P.O. Box 107
Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania
18229,
 
Phone: (570) 325-3637
Carbon County website »

Centre County

Allegheny & High Streets
Bellefonte, Pennsylvania
16823,

Phone: (814) 355-6796
Centre County website »

Chester County

201 West Market Street
Suite 1400
West Chester, Pennsylvania
19380,
Phone: (610) 344-6135
Chester County website »

Clarion County

421 Main Street
Clarion, Pennsylvania
16214,

Phone: (814) 226-1119
Clarion County website »

Clearfield County

230 East Market Street
Clearfield, Pennsylvania
16830,
Phone: (814) 765-2641
Clearfield County website »

Clinton County

230 East Water Street
Lock Haven, Pennsylvania
17745,
 
Phone: (570) 893-4007
E-mail: regrec@clintoncountypa.com
Clinton County website »

Columbia County

35 West Main Street
P.O. Box 380
Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania
17815,
 
Phone: (570) 389-5618
alternate phone: (570) 389-5614
E-mail: tkline@columbiapa.org
Columbia County website »

Crawford County

903 Diamond Park
Meadville, Pennsylvania
16335,
 
Phone: (814) 333-7442
Crawford County website »

Cumberland County

1 Courthouse Square
Carlisle, Pennsylvania
17013,
 
Phone: (717) 240-7748
Cumberland County website »

Dauphin County

101 Market Street
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
17101,
 
Phone: (717) 780-6500
Dauphin County website »

Delaware County

201 West Front Street
Media, Pennsylvania
19063,

Phone: (610) 891-4370
alternate phone: (610) 891-4260
Fmx: (610) 891-8759
Delaware County website »

Elk County

240 Main Street
Ridgway, Pennsylvania
15853,
 
Phone: (814) 776-5344
Fax: (814) 776-5303
Elk County website »

Erie County

140 West Sixth Street
Erie, Pennsylvania
16501,
Phone: (814) 451-6264
Erie County website »

Fayette County

61 East Main Street
Uniontown, Pennsylvania
15401,

Phone: (724) 430-1253
alternate phone: (724) 430-1206
Fmx: (724) 430-1275
Fayette County website »

Forest County

526 Elm Street
2
Tionesta, Pennsylvania
16353,
 
Phone: (814) 755-3526
Fax: (814) 755-8837
E-mail: dmillin@co.forest.pa.us
Forest County website »

Franklin County

157 Lincoln Way East
Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
17201,

Phone: (717) 261-3805
Franklin County website »

Fulton County

201 North Second Street
McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania
17233,

Phone: (717) 485-4212
E-mail: prothonotary@co.fulton.pa.us
Fulton County website »

Greene County

10 East High Street
Room 103
Waynesburg, Pennsylvania
15370,
Phone: (724) 852-5281
alternate phone: (724) 852-5282
Fax: (724) 852-5316
E-mail: sstockdale@co.greene.pa.us
Greene County website »

Huntingdon County

223 Penn Street
P.O. Box 39
Huntingdon, Pennsylvania
16652,

Phone: (814) 643-2740
Fax: (814) 643-8152
E-mail: register_recorder@huntingdoncounty.net
Huntingdon County website »

Indiana County

825 Philadelphia Street
First Flr
Indiana, Pennsylvania
15701,
 
Phone: (724) 465-3855
Indiana County website »

Jefferson County

200 Main Street
Brookville, Pennsylvania
15825,
Phone: (814) 849-1607
Jefferson County website »

Juniata County

Bridge & Main Streets
P.O. Box 68
Mifflintown, Pennsylvania
17059,
 
Phone: (717) 436-7715
alternate phone: (717) 436-7709
Fmx: (717) 436-7756
E-mail: aseigler@co.juniata.pa.us
Juniata County website »

Lackawanna County

436 Spruce Street
Scranton, Pennsylvania
18503,

Phone: (570) 963-6723
Lackawanna County website »

Lancaster County

50 North Duke Street
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
17608,
 
Phone: (717) 299-8275
Fax: (717) 295-3686
E-mail: ClerkofCourts@co.lancaster.pa.us
Lancaster County website »

Lawrence County

430 Court Street
New Castle, Pennsylvania
16101,
 
Phone: (724) 656-2126
Fmx: (724) 656-1988
Lawrence County website »

Lebanon County

400 South Eighth Street
Lebanon, Pennsylvania
17042,
Phone: (717) 274-2801 ext 2217
Fmx: (717) 274-8094
Lebanon County website »

Lehigh County

455 West Hamilton Street
Allentown, Pennsylvania
18101,
 
Phone: (610) 782-3148
Lehigh County website »

Luzerne County

200 North River Street
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
18711,
Phone: (570) 825-1585
Luzerne County website »

Lycoming County

48 West Third Street
Williamsport, Pennsylvania
17701,
Phone: (570) 327-2256
Lycoming County website »

McKean County

500 West Main Street
Smethport, Pennsylvania
16749,
Phone: (814) 887-3260
Fmx: (814) 887-3255
McKean County website »

Mercer County

112 Mercer County Courthouse
Mercer, Pennsylvania
16137,
 
Phone: (724) 662-3800
Fmx: (724) 662-1604
Mercer County website »

Mifflin County

20 North Wayne Street
Lewistown, Pennsylvania
17044,
Phone: (717) 248-8146
alternate phone: (717) 242-1449
Fax: (717) 248-2503
E-mail: bstringer@co.mifflin.pa.us
Mifflin County website »

Monroe County

610 Monroe Street
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
18360,
 
Phone: (570) 517-3390
Monroe County website »

Montgomery County

P.O. Box 311
Norristown, Pennsylvania
19404,
 
Phone: (610) 278-3346
Fax: (610) 278-5188
Montgomery County website »

Montour County

29 Mill Street
Danville, Pennsylvania
17821,
 
Phone: (570) 271-3010
Fax: (570) 271-3089
Montour County website »

Northampton County

669 Washington Street
Easton, Pennsylvania
18042,

Phone: (610) 559-3097
Northampton County website »

Northumberland County

201 Market Street
Sunbury, Pennsylvania
17801,

Phone: (570) 988-4151

Perry County

P.O. Box 325
New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania
17068,

Phone: (717) 582-2131
Perry County website »

Philadelphia County

1301 Filbert Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
19107,

Phone: (215) 683-7700
Philadelphia County website »

Pike County

412 Broad Street
Milford, Pennsylvania
18337,
 
Phone: (570) 296-7231
Pike County website »

Potter County

One East Second Street
Room 23
Coudersport, Pennsylvania
16915,

Phone: (814) 274-9740
Potter County website »

Schuylkill County

401 North Second Street
Pottsville, Pennsylvania
17901,

Phone: (570) 628-1382
Fmx: (570) 628-1384
Schuylkill County website »

Snyder County

9 West Market Street
P.O. Box 217
Middleburg, Pennsylvania
17842,

Phone: (570) 837-4202
E-mail: Prothonotary@SnyderCounty.org
Snyder County website »

Somerset County

111 East Union Street
Suite 180
Somerset, Pennsylvania
15501,

Phone: (814) 445-1548
Fax: (814) 445-1542
E-mail: ackermans@co.somerset.pa.us
Somerset County website »

Sullivan County

Main & Muncy Streets
Laporte, Pennsylvania
18626,
 
Phone: (570) 946-7351
Fax: (570) 946-7105
E-mail: fdoyle@sullivancounty-pa.us
Sullivan County website »

Susquehanna County

11 Maple Street
Montrose, Pennsylvania
18801,

Phone: (570) 278-4600
Fmx: (570) 278-2963
Susquehanna County website »

Tioga County

116 Main Street
Wellsboro, Pennsylvania
16901,
 
Phone: (570) 724-9260
E-mail: jwetherbee@tiogacountypa.us
Tioga County website »

Union County

103 South Second Street
Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
17837,

Phone: (570) 524-8751
Fax: (570) 524-8628
E-mail: lrichards@unionco.org
Union County website »

Venango County

1168 Liberty Street
Franklin, Pennsylvania
16323,
 
Phone: (814) 432-9539
Fax: (814) 432-9569
E-mail: shannon@co.venango.pa.us
Venango County website »

Warren County

204 Fourth Avenue
Warren, Pennsylvania
16365,
Phone: (814) 728-3430
E-mail: labimber@warren-county.net
Warren County website »

Washington County

1 South Main Street
Washington, Pennsylvania
15301,
Phone: (724) 228-6787
Washington County website »

Wayne County

925 Court Street
Honesdale, Pennsylvania
18431,

Phone: (570) 253-5970
Wayne County website »

Westmoreland County

2 North Main Streey
Suite 203
Greensburg, Pennsylvania
15601,

Phone: (724) 830-3196
Westmoreland County website »

Wyoming County

One Courthouse Square
Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania
18657,
 
Phone: (570) 996-2234
Wyoming County website »

York County

45 North George Street
York, Pennsylvania
17401,
Phone: (717) 771-9288
Fax: (717) 771-4678
E-mail: bcjacobs@york-county.org
York County website »