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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Wedding Guide

Become a Wedding Officiant in Philadelphia as an AMM Ordained Minister. Learn more about our getting ordained in Pennsylvania, officiant training, wedding ceremony planning, and more.

How to Officiate a Wedding in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia is famous for its historical landmarks and political origins, but the thriving culture of modern-day Philly is what makes it the ideal location to plan a charming East Coast wedding.


Spend a day in Philly and you’ll discover architectural splendor, abundant outdoor murals, scenic wineries and lush parks. These are just a few features that make Philly the perfect setting for any couple’s wedding.


If you’re considering a church wedding, you’ll need to study the endless list of stunning churches sprinkled throughout the city. The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul, Christ Church, St. Patrick’s Church are some of the more famous options, but you’ll also discover a number of smaller, less touristy churches in your research.

If traditionalism isn’t your thing, you have plenty of other options to choose from. Make sure to check out Fairmont Park, the nation’s largest landscaped inner-city park, which stretches over 8,900 acres. Countless couples have tied the knot surrounded by greenery at the park’s Horticulture Center.

But before you get too absorbed in the city’s charm, let’s get your ceremony squared away. At American Marriage Ministries, we’re here to walk you through the process of getting the wedding officiant certified and the legal aspects of the marriage in order so you can get back to fantasizing about your idyllic Philadelphia wedding day.




Pennsylvania Wedding Tips and Tricks

Become a Wedding Officiant

For The
Wedding Officiant

STEP 1: Get Ordained with American Marriage Ministries

 

For the record, here are the nitty-gritty details regarding who may perform wedding ceremonies in Philadelphia, according to Title 23, §1503 the following people can perform wedding ceremonies in Philadelphia:

 

 

  • (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.


If you do not fall into any of these four categories, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. The first thing you need to do is get ordained with AMM. Our ordination is free and it takes only a few minutes.

 
STEP 2: Prepare for the Ceremony in Philadelphia

 

Once you have your online ordination with AMM under your belt, you’ll need to prepare for the wedding ceremony itself. First-time officiants will appreciate our wedding training pages, which cover everything you’ll need to know to perform your first wedding ceremony, from your legal responsibilities as an officiant, to sample ceremony scripts.

To check out the specific laws in the state of Pennsylvania, you can visit our dedicated page, where you’ll find some helpful tips and links.

 

STEP 3: Officiate the Wedding and Complete the Marriage License

 

In Philadelphia, the couple is responsible for obtaining and completing the marriage license. You, as the officiant, can sit back and relax while you prepare for the ceremony itself while they worry about completing this process.



Pennsylvania Wedding

How To Get Married in Philadelphia

For The
Couple

File for the Marriage License from the Milwaukee County Clerk's Office

 

Let’s talk about the couple’s responsibilities now. To obtain their marriage license, both partners must be present at City Hall: at 415 City Hall, 1401 John F Kennedy Blvd.


By the way, Philadelphia’s City Hall is a tourist-stop in itself. It was constructed in the late 1800s and remains the largest city building in the U.S. It’s a sight to behold. So, when you make the trip downtown to obtain your marriage license, be sure to take plenty of photos in front of the architectural majesty both inside and outside the building.
 
According to the city’s website, both members of the couple need to bring the following:

 

 

  • A valid photo ID, such as a driver’s license, passport, military I.D., or resident alien card
  • Social Security card or any other form of I.D. issued by an official entity that reflects the applicant’s Social Security number, like a W-2 form or income tax return
  • Or, if an applicant does not possess a Social Security number he/she must produce a birth certificate

 

Again, the officiant doesn’t have to be present for this part of the process.


Tips For Finding The Right Wedding Officiant

 

Think about what kind of wedding ceremony you want to have. An intimate ceremony may call for a family member or close friend. Perhaps a larger ceremony would call for someone who is more experienced in public speaking. After narrowing it down, consider these points when choosing candidates for your officiant:

 

  • You want an officiant who is compatible with the ceremony you are planning. That means someone who is articulate, who is not afraid to speak in front of an audience, and who understands the honor of being asked to deliver your ceremony.
  • Find an officiant who shares your values and beliefs. You want someone who will work with you to create a ceremony that is meaningful and personal to you.
  • Consider asking someone who has known you since you were both kids, has grown with you, and who shares your vision and spiritual disposition.
  • Make sure to give the family member or friend time to think about their answer, and (this is a tough one!) don’t take it personally if they say ‘no.’
  • Seek guidance and assistance, especially if this is the friend or family member’s first time delivering a wedding ceremony.
     

Philadelphia County Marriage License Info

Important Facts to know before filing for a marriage license in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Issuance Office: Philadelphia City Hall
Fee: $90
Waiting Period: 3 days
Expiration: 60 Days
Return: Before Expiration by the couple

Philadelphia Wedding Tips and Tricks

Wedding Venue and Planning Tips

For The Couple
& Officiant

The Basics

 

Have fun exploring the endless options for ceremony locations, reception venues, and catering options that Philly has to offer, but also take special consideration when choosing the day of your event. There is nary a dull moment in this thriving metropolis, so look up the city events that are scheduled nearby your wedding venue. Large festivals and sporting events can cause city congestion. Visit Philadelphia is a good resource.

 

Transportation

 

Philadelphia is a walkable city. If you can book accommodations nearby the venue, you may rather navigate the city on foot and utilize the adorable trolley system (SEPTA) rather than rent a car. Lyft and Uber are, of course, available if needed.

 

Weather

 

Summers are quite warm and humid, while winters are very cold and often snowy. Generally, the city is wet and partly cloudy most of the time, so you may want to consider an indoor wedding or plan a wedding in June or early July, when the weather is dry, but not too hot. However, you’ll find that there is more competition for venues and higher hotel prices during this time.




Philadelphia Officiant FAQ

Philadelphia Officiant & Couples FAQ

For The Couple
& Officiant


Check back soon for udates to our FAQ.

OFFICIANT CEREMONY
PREPARATION IN

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Sample Wedding Ceremony Scripts

Need inspiration? Check out our free ceremony scripts!

Wedding Officiant Training

Wedding Officiant Training

Everything you need to know to officiate.

Take Our Quiz

Test your understanding of Pennsylvania Marriage Laws.

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