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Reading, Pennsylvania Wedding Guide

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

How to Officiate a Wedding in Reading, Pennsylvania

Take a drive in Reading, Pennsylvania’s and observe its rich history, from the beautiful Centre Park Historic District to the various houses and homesteads that have been well-preserved since the 18th century. Yes, this town is full of old landmarks that make it a treasure trove for a history buff -- and for a couple-to-be. If you’re looking for a historic place to say “I do,” Pennsylvania’s Americana region is the perfect choice.

 

But before you get too wrapped up in planning your classic Pennsylvania wedding, let’s get the logistics of your big day squared away. Here in our guide, we have everything you need to know about how to get married in Berks County, plus, how to get your officiant-of-choice ordained. 
 




Pennsylvania Wedding Tips and Tricks

Become a Wedding Officiant

For The
Wedding Officiant

STEP 1: Get ordained with American Marriage Ministries

 

Let’s start with the ordainment process. According to Pennsylvania state law,  “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.”

 

If you do not fall into any of these categories, no sweat. You can get ordained with AMM to fall within the priest or minister category. The process is free and takes just a few minutes.

 

The Pennsylvania government does not license, register, or certify ministers or wedding officiants, so once you’re signed up with us, you’re ready to start performing wedding ceremonies!

 

STEP 2: Prepare for the Ceremony in Berks County

 

Now that the easy part is out of the way, we can help you prepare for the wedding ceremony itself. Being asked to officiate a ceremony is an honor, but can feel like a lot of pressure. You will appreciate our wedding training pages, which are a library of information to help you prepare for your first ceremony and ensure that it goes smoothly. 

 

Here you can find everything from sample wedding ceremony scripts, to  brainstorming prompts, tips for preparation, and more.


STEP 3: Officiate the Wedding and Complete the Marriage License

 

When it comes to the marriage license, it’s the couple’s responsibility to obtain it, but just be sure to double check that they have a valid marriage license before you perform the ceremony. Then, be sure to help them complete it and notarize it correctly on the day of the wedding.

 

The bottom portion of the marriage license will then need to be mailed to the office or dropped off in their lobby’s drop-box at the Register of Wills, 633 Court Street, 2nd Floor. Either you or the couple can take care of this task. The office asks that you do so within 7 days of the ceremony date.
 



Pennsylvania Wedding

How To Get Married in Reading

For The
Couple

Now let’s turn our attention to the couple’s responsibilities.

 

For the foreseeable future, couples can no longer apply for their marriage licenses in person. Instead, the county clerk’s office is scheduling video conference appointments.

 

To obtain your marriage license, schedule a time with the county clerk’s office within 45 days of your wedding date. After you have completed and submitted your online marriage license application, you can call the office at (610) 478-6617 Monday through Friday between 8:30am to 4:00pm, or email them at [email protected]

 

Note that you will need to have your wedding officiant chosen before your appointment.

 

Complete your online application here by clicking on the Register of Wills/Orphans’ Court Online Service. Use the “Log in as Guest” option to access the e-File Marriage Application. Enter the information for each box for each applicant.

 

When the application is complete and you have proofread your information to make sure it is correct, click “Submit” and make a note of your Transaction Number.

 

Next, click “Print Confirmation.” You must have a printed copy ready for your appointment.
 
Now, you’re ready for your video conference. Before the appointment, make sure you have the following ready:
 

  • Your Transaction Number
  • Printed PDF of your application
  • Visa or Mastercard ready for $65 fee
  • Valid, state-issued photo IDs
  • Social security numbers (the social security card is not necessary, just the numbers)

 

Note that you and your partner will need to be in the same place at the same time when it comes time for your FaceTime or Zoom call.

After the video conference is over, you will need to mail in your completed application to Register of Wills, 633 Court Street, 2nd Floor S.C., Reading, PA 19601. To speed up the process, you can hand-deliver it to the services center’s drop box in the lobby of the previously listed address. 

 

After the office processes your application, you will be mailed your actual marriage license, which your officiant will help you complete on the day of your wedding.

Berks County Marriage License Info

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

Issuance Office:  Register of Wills, 633 Court Street

Fee: $65 

Waiting Period: 3 days

Expiration: 60 days

Return: By mail or use of drop-box within 7 days
 

Reading Wedding Tips and Tricks

Wedding Venue and Planning Tips

For The Couple
& Officiant

The Basics

 

Now that we have the logistics out of the way, let’s get into the wedding planning tips, starting with how to choose your wedding date. It’s always a good idea to avoid picking a day of a major festival or charity run if you want to avoid traffic and parking problems. So be sure to check some local events calendars to be sure your venue of choice isn’t nextdoor to, say, the week-long Jazz Festival that takes place every April in Reading.

 

Speaking of venues, let's talk about some of our favorite spots in Reading.

 

As a historic landmark in Reading, the Inn at Centre Park is one of the area’s most sought after wedding venues. This three-story Gothic Revival mansion, built almost 150 years ago, is the perfect place to host any classy celebration. And you’ll be surprised at the reasonable rental rates!

 

For something a little more rustic, check out the Barn at Flying Hills in rural Berks County. Its exposed stone walls, vaulted beamed ceilings, chandeliers, and grand wall of windows overlooking the outdoor garden are just some of the charming features that make this spot one of our favorites.

 

Transportation

 

If you want to get around Reading on the cheap, check out BARTA’s website for bus routes and schedules. Otherwise, Lyft and Uber are dependable options in the area.

 

Weather

 

Summers in Reading get quite hot 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 wait to host your wedding until June or early July, when the weather is dry, but not too hot, or until September, when the beautiful foliage is beginning to set in. However, you’ll find that there is more competition for venues and higher hotel prices during these times.
 




Reading Officiant FAQ

Reading Officiant & Couples FAQ

For The Couple
& Officiant


Are Internet ministers legal in Pennsylvania?
Yes, ministers that have been ordained through online ministries are accepted in Pennsylvania.

 

Does the officiant need to register his or her credentials with the government?
No, there is no need to register your ministerial credentials with any state body if you are performing marriages in Pennsylvania.

 

Can we apply for our marriage license in person?
You can no longer apply for your marriage license in person. Instead, you will need to make an appointment with the county clerk’s office to schedule a video call to apply with your partner. The details are explained in the Couples section of this article.

 

What payment methods are accepted for the marriage license fee?
At present, you must pay with a credit or debit card (Visa or Mastercard.)

 

How do we obtain our actual marriage license?
Once you have completed the marriage license application process and had your video call with the county clerk’s office, they will mail your marriage license to the address that you listed on your marriage license application.

 

What do we do with our marriage license?
Your officiant will help you complete it on the day of the wedding. Then, it needs to be returned to the county clerk’s office so that it can be filed. You or the officiant can take care of this task by mailing it in or delivering it to the office’s drop-box.

OFFICIANT CEREMONY
PREPARATION IN

Professional Wedding Officiant Certification Course

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Will You Marry Us? Gift Package

Who Will Officiate Your Wedding?

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Signature Wedding Officiant Package

Signature Wedding Officiant Package

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The Book of Wedding Vows and Ceremonies

The Book of Wedding Vows and Ceremonies

It's finally here! Timeless scripts and heartfelt vow inspiration to bring life to your ceremony.

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Sample Wedding Ceremony Scripts

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