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The legal process of getting married is not difficult, but some specific instructions need to be followed. It is always advisable to double check the information provided below for accuracy. 

Most of the weddings I perform are in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The following is information on completion of a legal marriage in NJ and PA: 

  • Your first step in the marriage process is to apply for a marriage license. The couple must do this themselves. The wedding officiant is not able to assist with this part of the process. You will need to provide the proper application along with your photo ID and one witness. Some locations require an appointment, so please contact the the appropriate registrar's office based on the following:

    • If you are a NJ resident getting married in NJ, you need to apply for the marriage license in the town which you reside. If you and your partner live in separate towns, you can chose one or the other. ​

    • If you are an out of state resident getting married in NJ, you will need to apply for a marriage license in the town where your ceremony will take place. 

    • If you are a PA resident getting married in PA, you need to apply for a the marriage license in the county which you reside. If you and your partner live in separate towns, you can chose one or the other.

    • If you are an out of state resident getting married in PA, you will need to apply for a marriage license in the county where your ceremony will take place. 

  • Please keep in mind that in both NJ and PA, there is a 3 day mandatory waiting period. This means that you will not be able to pickup your marriage license any sooner than 3 days after your application. Please plan carefully so that you have your license in your possession the day of your scheduled ceremony. 

  • For NJ weddings, please designate two witnesses to complete paperwork following the ceremony. The witnesses will need to provide their full legal name, address, and signature on the marriage license. There will be 4 identical copies of the license and each one needs to be completed. 

  • For PA weddings, the only witness required is the minister/officiant. Therefore, no witnesses are needed after the ceremony to complete paperwork. 

  • NJ requires that copies 1 & 2 of the completed marriage license are returned/filed with the town where the ceremony took place within 5 days. 

  • PA requires that marriage certificate be returned/filed with the county where the ceremony took place within 10 days.

  • Once your marriage license is filed with the appropriate registrar, you will need to request your certified copies. In both NJ and PA, there will be a specific form/process in which this will need to be completed, and the wedding minister/officiant is not permitted to obtain this for you. Please check the website for the town in NJ or county in PA for the appropriate form and procedure. 

  • I always recommend that 2 certified copies be requested. 

  • For NJ weddings, please feel free to download the universal state application form here. As mentioned above, please contact the town in which you are applying to see if they require an appointment when submitting your application in-person. 

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