Tag Archive | Pittsburgh Weddings 2018

Marriage License Types

Congratulations, you’re getting married!   Now what?

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Well, for starters, no couple can get married in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania without a valid marriage license. There are two types to choose from.  We’re here to break it down for you so that you are prepared for the application process and all that comes with it.

The two types of marriage licenses issued in Pennsylvania are:
-A Traditional License
-A Self-Uniting License

A traditional marriage license is what most people think of. It requires an officiant to solemnize the marriage as defined under Pennsylvania law.  

Your Officiant must be licensed in the Commonwealth  of Pennsylvania in order to perform your ceremony.  After your ceremony, your Officiant will usually sign the marriage license and handle the recording with the Marriage License Bureau for you.

A self-uniting license is more uncommon, but growing in popularity.   It has been around historically since the time of Quakers in Pennsylvania and does not require an officiant. The couple generally recites vows to each other, that they have written, uniting  in marriage on their own, either as part of a self guided ceremony or privately if they wish.  After the couple have recited their vows to each other, two witnesses who are present at the ceremony sign the license.  The couple is then responsible for mailing the license to the Marriage License Bureau for recording.

In Pennsylvania, there is a mandatory three day waiting period for all couples from the time that they apply for their license to when it is granted.  It is best to apply for a marriage license two to three weeks prior to your scheduled wedding ceremony. Once the license is granted,  it is valid for up to sixty days.

Allegheny County Courthouse Grand Staircase

To apply for a marriage license, both applicants must complete the application (either online or in person) and both must appear in person at the Marriage License Bureau to complete the application process. Once your application is accepted, the applicants must wait the mandatory 3 days until their marriage license is available for pickup (or it can be mailed.)  (There are some exceptions that can apply in certain cases, such as a medical issue.  Please check with the County Marriage License Bureau for further guidance).

The information above applies to all counties in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  The cost of a marriage license can vary from county to county, however.  Please check each county’s website for costs and hours of operation for the Marriage License Bureau in that county.

And Good Luck to all!!

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Allegheny County Courthouse Weddings

In the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh, the Allegheny County Courthouse boasts a grand facade, historic significance, and stunning architecture. Luckily, for those who wish, this could also be the wedding venue of your fairy tale dreams.

The courthouse’s grand staircase and gallery, located on the first floor of the building, make a stunning backdrop for wedding ceremonies. At the center of the building, is a beautiful courtyard, perfect for a wedding reception or cocktail hour. The landscaped gardens and dramatic fountain create the most romantic ambiance.

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More information regarding courthouse rentals can be found by clicking here.  In all cases,  a bride and groom  MUST contact Alexandria, the  Wedding Coordinator for the Allegheny County Courthouse.   (She will advise you of availability for even the smallest of ceremonies and picture opportunities).    (Her contact information is shown in the link above).

If you’re looking for an intimate ceremony or elopement, judges are permitted to perform these ceremonies in their chambers and are often happy to do so. For a list of judges click here.

For those who don’t choose to have their weddings at the courthouse, be sure to check out its “Romanesque Revival” style architecture when you visit to apply for your marriage license. In Pennsylvania, marriage licenses are valid for 60 days and there is a mandatory 3 day waiting period between when you apply for a license  and when your license is ready.

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The Allegheny County Courthouse, as a wedding venue, comes with a few cool perks too. For example, the bride and groom may choose the color scheme of the LED lights that are affixed to the the Grant Street facade and bell tower of the Courthouse during their event.  So your special color can glow over the stone building.

To read reviews of what previous brides and grooms thought and to see more pictures, click here to view the Allegheny County Courthouse on Wedding Wire.

We hope that this has been helpful in your search for a wedding venue. Happy planning!