Obtaining a Marriage License in Central Pennsylvania


For a period of time when we started our photo booth rental business back in 2014, when it related to Wedding photo booth rentals, we initially thought photo booths were a lower priority over other aspects of Wedding planning.

We’ve found in the last eighteen months, this is not always the case.  Yes, there are times when we get requests even a week out from a Wedding.  However, we’re finding more often than not, the fun, excitement and memories created by photo booth services is sometimes a higher priority than other aspects of the reception.

Several weeks ago, a former customer called us to book our photo booth services for their daughter’s Wedding in Lancaster at the Drumore Estate.  We had provided services for their other daughter’s Wedding in Hershey back in September 2015.  In a phone conversation with the mother-of-the-bride, the only thing that had been finalized at the time of our call to us was the venue.  Their second order of business was to secure our photo booth services.  The services we provide were such a hit with the bride, groom, family and guests, they wanted to make sure we were available for the second daughter’s Wedding.

Increasingly, we are finding clients are inquiring about our photo booth services and availability for dates as little as six months out and up to eighteen months out.  In many cases, we find they have not booked a DJ and may be searching for other services including Wedding planners, hair and make-up, floral, videography, etc.  We’ve even received calls to see if, for example, we could recommend a provider for linens when the caller had no interest in renting a photo booth.  Our exposure to Wedding professionals and the relationships we have built with them in the course of over almost three years of photo booth rentals and over 150 Weddings has made us an invaluable resource for our customers and clients.

If you live in central Pennsylvania, it should be no surprise to anyone that there has been a meteoric increase in the number of Wedding venues in the area from Lancaster to York to Hershey to Harrisburg to Carlisle.  Along with the trend is the many out-of-town brides and grooms.  Some of them have found the area to be “central” to their respective families.  A location between places like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to have a celebratory gathering for their Wedding Day!  In some cases, it is as simple as coming home to marry where the bride and groom live in a distant location. 

In many cases, central Pennsylvania is ideal because of diversity of Wedding venues and a lower overall cost for a Wedding reception, while having all of the “ bells and whistles” of a big city Wedding. Just in 2016, some of our recent brides and grooms have come from Chicago, Phoenix, New York City, Baltimore, Philadelphia and even Hawaii.  Yes, we said Hawaii.

Now, with some many clients coming into central Pennsylvania to get married, obtaining a Marriage License might pose a tricky dilemma.  As a resource to clients and potential out of area clients, we felt it would be valuable to provide some guidance on what you need to obtain a Marriage license and where you need to obtain it. 


Some facts regarding obtaining a Marriage Licenses in Adams, Berks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Montgomery and York Counties in Pennsylvania

The following are some general facts and guidelines regarding obtaining a Marriage License.  They are intended as a guide.  We strongly recommend you check with the designated issuing agency in the event there are changes to the guidelines or processing.

  • The Clerk of Orphans’ Court and /or the Register of Wills of each County in Pennsylvania handles all of the forms and actual registration of marriage license applications


  • Both parties must appear in person together to complete and file the application for marriage


  • A social security number and government issued photo identification are required for both parties


  • Medical examination and blood tests are no longer required


  • In Pennsylvania, if either party is under the age of 18, the consent of a parent or legal guardian is required


  • Applicants who were previously married must provide the following information:
  • Certified copy of the decree (if maiden name has been resumed, that document must be presented
  • Annulments – the same information is required as in divorces
  • Widowed – the date of death of the deceased spouse is needed
  • Blood relatives down to and including first cousins may not marry under Pennsylvania law


  • A Marriage license becomes valid on the third day following the application or the next business day of the third day falls on a holiday or weekend


  • The license is valid for 60 days from the third day following the date of application


  • The Wedding ceremony does not need to be performed I the county in which the license was issued. However, out-of-state marriage licenses cannot be used in Pennsylvania, nor can a Pennsylvania marriage license be used in another state.


Below is an alphabetical listing by county of locations where you may obtain your marriage license.  Details are available on each counties website or in person, Mondays through Fridays:

Adams County

Clerk of Courts and Orphan’s Court

117 Baltimore Street, Room 103

Gettysburg, PA



Berks County

Register of Wills

633 Court Street, 2nd Floor

Reading, PA



Chester County

Register of Wills/Clerk of Orphan’s Court

201 W. Market Street, Suite 2200

West Chester, PA



Cumberland County

Register of Wills/ Clerk of Orphans’ Court

1 Courthouse Square, Suite 102

Carlisle, PA



Dauphin County

Register of Wills / Clerk of the Orphans’ Court

101 Market Street, Room 103

Harrisburg, PA  



Dauphin County – Northern Branch Office

Northern Dauphin Human Services Center

295 State Drive

Elizabethtville, PA

717-905-2700 ext 2507


Lancaster County Register of Wills/Clerk of Orphans’ Court

50 N. Duke Street

Lancaster, PA



Lebanon County Register of Wills/Clerk of Orphans’ Court

400 S. Eighth Street, Room 105

Municipal Building

Lebanon, PA



Montgomery County Register of Wills

One Montgomery Plaza

425 Swede Street, 4th Floor

Norristown, PA



York County Clerk of Orphans’ Court

45 N. George Street, 2nd Floor

York, PA