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There are a number of other reasons why someone could choose a self-uniting marriage license, even when Covid-19 isn’t affecting their plans. !ReplyCancel, EditorialEngagementsFriday with the PhotographerPortraitsWedding TipsWeddings, www.ashleygerrityphotography.com|ProPhoto 7, Waynesborough Country Club Wedding | Patricia Santoro & Clay Friese, Do I Really Need a Day-Of Wedding Coordinator if My Venue Provides Someone? Though I really wanted to tell this particular person exactly how I felt. Self-uniting marriages have been an accepted means of getting married for Quakers in Pennsylvania since 1682. Every county in PA charges different fees for marriage licenses. I couldn’t let this go. So we plan to have an actual ceremony/reception … So, what is the difference between a self-uniting marriage license and a regular marriage license? Return marriage license to clerk and recorder from which you received it. They have helped many others to obtain their self-united license as well. The Pennsylvania law states that a marriage license is good for 60 days after obtaining it. I know the license isn’t valid until 3 days after applying, but I’ve heard varying reports about when you have it in your hand. Exchanging vows to one another and having you, your partner, plus two witnesses’ signatures are all that is required on your marriage license. This particular clerk said I wasn’t a Quaker anyway (I have a Spanish accent) and when I informed her that asking me this was not even legal, she transferred me to another person. It'll cost you $60.00 to $77.00, and you'll have to use it within one year. Here's some information, based on research and personal experience, that I posted as a response to another person's questions: Technically, the self-uniting license is for those who are members of a denomination where there is no clergy, such as the Quakers or Ba’hai. You'll need to obtain a self-uniting marriage license from your court house and follow the law in regard to such a union, which, I believe, requires two witnesses to sign the license and the return of the license to the court house for filing. Search your county Register of Wills office and see if self-uniting license is even mentioned on their site. Self-uniting marriage ceremonies make a lot of sense for couples who are eloping outdoors. This is super helpful, we were concerned our license wouldn’t be recognized in other states! As long as there are two witnesses to sign in addition to you and your partner, it should be fine, right? According to Philadelphia’s Marriage License Office, between 2009 (the earliest date available) and 2016, self-uniting marriage applications have gone up 166 percent, with 956 licenses … Like the "self uniting" marriage license, it varies from county to county. So, what is the difference between a self-uniting marriage license and a regular marriage license? Hello, Do you know how Lebanon or Lancaster county is with Self Uniting licenses? Pennsylvania Marriage License. You do NOT need to have your marriage license certified at all. Great article. PA State Law says that "any ordained minister, priest or rabbi of any regularly established church or congregation, Judges, and Justices of Peace may perform wedding ceremonies. Just so everyone knows, Butler County in Pennsylvania DOES participate in the self-marriage license. In my case, ACLU from Pittsburgh took care of my issue with a simple phone call to this particular office. Research about self-uniting licenses in Pennsylvania and everything you need to know about them. This will give you an indication of how obtaining this license will go. DH and I were married under a PA self-uniting license in September. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise or try to convince you that granting you a self-uniting marriage will not happen in their office. By the tone of this particular person’s voice and arrogant attitude, I knew it wasn’t worth arguing. I knew I wasn’t the only one that had been treated like this from this particular person. Mayors of the cities and boroughs are also authorized to perform marriage ceremonies." A self-uniting marriage is one in which the couple are married without the presence of a third-party officiant. MARRIAGE: IF YOU WANT IT DONE RIGHT, DO IT YOURSELF. Here is the go-to list for getting your self-uniting license! Also, know that getting your case reviewed will take forever! I had the same question! Cousin Marriages Pennsylvania: No. They can’t say oh no, you are not Quaker. However, we would’ve loved to have been able to find examples of full ceremony scripts from couples who wrote their own self-uniting marriage ceremony scripts. That’s it! It'll cost you $60.00 to $77.00, and you'll have to use it within one year. A self-uniting marriage is one in which the couple are married without the presence of a third-party officiant. Pennsylvania’s self-uniting marriage licenses actually put our couples ahead of the challenges, by allowing for flexibility in legalizing marriages. Posted in Divorce. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, there are two types of marriage licenses: the yellow license, which clergy sign; and the white license, which simply requires two witnesses to confirm they observed the couple signing their self-uniting marriage license. They will contact you via phone in about 2 weeks. Posted in Divorce. Yes, I was told that. They offer a level of flexibility that a traditional marriage license lacks – allowing a friend to officiate your wedding day without asking them to take on the responsibility of being ordained online or allowing you to lead your own wedding celebration. Did you get to take the license home same day, or did you have to go back to pick it up? Someone told me a self-uniting marriage license was the easiest way so I was curious if this is the route we should go :) My daughter is getting married in Lancaster county and live in Chester County. Now, with the limitations on weddings/gatherings of people due to the stay-at-home orders in place, self-uniting marriage licenses are a great option for a couple who may want to be married on their originally planned wedding date for any number of reasons, while still choosing to celebrate their wedding at a postponed date. Although non-denominational, this method of getting married is sometimes referred to as a “Quaker Marriage”. Let us know in the comments! We are doing the s ceremony at our house with the 2witnesses. When Josh and I were planning our self-uniting wedding ceremony and drafting our script, we gleaned some inspiration from examples of similar weddings we found online. There are typically two types of ceremonies where you can marry without an officiant: a civil wedding and a self-uniting marriage. Many counties now allow you to complete the application process online, although as of right now, Pennsylvania does require both partners to appear in person together with their photo id to complete the process. Afterwards, you just file the paperwork to make it official. The reason why you must say that is because the license is different than the other marriage license. A self-uniting marriage license is a relative rarity, available only in a few states in the U.S., including here in Pennsylvania, where some county clerks are reluctant to issue them to anyone other than Quakers, for whom they were originally intended. Each state listed above application process will vary. This is the Pittsburgh area office and very helpful about helping you obtain a self-uniting license. Living in southeast PA and trying to juggle family and a household while trying to earn an income from home. So excited to marry the love of my life in this time of chaos!! Or could we ask a family member to do it, or mail it in, etc.? Although non-denominational, this method of getting married is sometimes referred to as a "Quaker marriage", after the marriage practice of the Religious Society of Friends, for which see Quaker wedding. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me or leave a comment. I’m so glad it went well with you both. Contrary to how it is presented on their website, the fee for that county is only an additional $10, making the entire affair $90 TOTAL. My fiance’s family is Greek Orthodox, and my family is Roman Catholic. Once the license is turned in you will receive a marriage certificate that looks the same as all other PA licenses. If you're getting married in Pennsylvania, you must first apply for a marriage license. The cost of the self uniting marriage license was only 100.00 instead of what I thought would be almost 200.00. Here are some steps to take if you want to obtain a self-uniting marriage license in your county’s Register Of Will and have been denied due to religious reasons. Cousin Marriages Pennsylvania: No. Subscribe to self uniting marriage license. It is not illegal, and you should never feel or be treated like it is. Philadelphia is know for being a “Quaker” city and it’s thanks to the Quakers that we have some amazing things. Treat this license as any PA marriage license. In October 2014, we got married in a Self-Uniting ceremony that left some of our guests wondering if this was even legal. How do we apply for a self uniting marriage license. Thank you so much for commenting and adding the county, info and your experience. In Pennsylvania, a self-uniting marriage license is easier to get and use than the ordinary sort, it seems: just head to the Couthouse and pick one up! ), but will we need to turn it in in person? By Fox Rothschild LLP on October 29, 2007. I was treated badly by this particular individual. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, there are two types of marriage licenses: the yellow license, which clergy sign; and the white license, which simply requires two witnesses to confirm they observed the couple signing their self-uniting marriage license. Before I received this phone call, my plans were to go to the next county and obtained my license there. Some say same day, just can’t use it yet. By state California. I’m sorry you had a hard time given to you but thank you for taking action. Be honest and listen to them, they are very helpful and knowledgeable. So keep that in mind. But to tell me that due to personal opinions from the person in charge of the office, a license that the state of Pennsylvania offers to couples that want to get married in the state will not be granted infuriated me to no end! Related to the last comment… Is it possible to avoid the 3-*work*day waiting period if we went this route? This post may contain affiliate links which might earn us money. A self-uniting marriage license is a legal document that allows a couple to be married in the absence of an officiant. Yes! Do all states recognize Pennsylvania’s Quaker Wedding? Their early marriage allowed Mike to be added to Ashley’s insurance policy (a requirement for many medical students) and also gave them the chance to have close family members as their witnesses. So fighting his personal decision was not going to get me anywhere. Norman and Emmalie, who reside in New Brighton, obtained their license in Beaver … According to Philadelphia’s Marriage License Office, between 2009 (the earliest date available) and 2016, self-uniting marriage applications have gone up 166 percent, with 956 licenses … Let me know. Required fields are marked *, I will be getting my self uniting wedding license tomorrow. A self-uniting marriage is one in which the bride and groom are married without the presence of a third-party officiant.Although non-denominational, this method of getting married is sometimes referred to as a "Quaker Marriage". What kind of problems might there be, or do you just mean from friends and family questioning the validity? It’s not about what kind of religion, sexual background, race, etc; it’s about a license that is honored and legal in Pennsylvania and because people are not educated, many people are turned away. Since you are getting married in PA you need a PA license. It’s none of their business, not being rude, just a fact. Got some strange and funny looks from the policemen standing in the area. Always be polite when speaking to a clerk, no need to be rude about it. Follow my stay at home journey as I discover how to earn money and save money so we can continue to live debt-free. Getting legally married isn’t quite as much of an impossibility as having a full 200 person wedding is at the moment, so we wanted to key you in one of our favorite things to know about marriage licenses in the era of Coronavirus (& beyond)- the existence of the self-uniting marriage license. Saving on clergy fees? If you want this type of license, you need to inform the clerk before you begin the application process. We decided on a self uniting because it seemed to be the easiest route for us. A Self-Uniting License requires both members of the couple plus two witnesses to sign the license on the day of your wedding. I was informed I could get my self-uniting license in Berks county via email. A self-uniting marriage license does not require an officiant to solemnize the marriage. As a bonus, Ashley was able to invite one of her professors who became a close friend had an impact on her to be their officiant, without worrying about needing to be ordained. And they technically can’t deny you a license on the grounds of your religious beliefs? You've got to have two witnesses to sign the thing. Thank you. You can self- marry at any location of your choice- just make sure it is beautiful!! If you have been denied a self-uniting marriage license on account of your religious affiliation, please call us toll-free at 1-877-744-2258. Latina mom of 4 married to wonderful Greek gentleman. Also, by calling or heading to their office early, you will find out exactly how this is going to turn out. Thank you for the information–this is great! If you self-solemnize, you won’t have to find an officiant willing and able to participate in whatever activities you want to on your wedding day! That means no third party is required for you two lovebirds to tie the knot officially. I was even told that what I was looking for was a Commonwealth Marriage and that doesn’t exist anymore. A traditional marriage license requires an officiant to solemnize the marriage as defined under Pennsylvania law Title 23, Section 1503 (see above). After a few minutes on hold, this other person wanted to know how I knew it was illegal to ask about my religious background and where I found this information. Although non-denominational, this method of getting married is sometimes referred to as a “Quaker Marriage.”. Just fill out the license and send it in. I posted a blog last week discussing a recent decision in which a marriage was declared invalid because it was officiated by an internet-ordained minister. Is like any marriage license. If you're getting married in Nevada, you must first apply for a marriage license. You legally get married when two witness sign, but on your ceremony you can’t have a person say “By the power vested in me” because that person has no legal power to marry you. Each state listed above application process will vary. Do they ask people applying for a marriage license why they want it? Even if they would have said something like ‘No, Sorry; we just don’t give them out’ BS would have been more acceptable. Self-uniting marriage ceremonies make a lot of sense for couples who are eloping outdoors. Philadelphia charges $90 for this particular license. Self Uniting Marriages, also known as "Quaker Marriages".....are a marriage ceremony without a officiant. Telephone the state or county office where marriage licenses in your area are issued. Thank you. If you live near a county other than the one you live in, try giving them a call to see what their fees (and jerk levels) are. The marriage license is the one everyone that marries in the state receive. Do not let anyone intimidate you or tell you otherwise. That means a couple can have someone emcee the ceremony as a symbolic but not legal officiant. Do the witnesses need to be present when applying or at pick up? Self-uniting marriage licenses for members of religious faiths without clergy (Quakers, etc.) Many people walk into these offices saying that they want their friends, etc, to marry them, and the only way they can is by getting a self-uniting license. The unique Pennsylvania license, which is a Quaker tradition, allows people to marry themselves without an officiant, just witnesses. Unfortunately, a lot of these county clerks are not aware of this information when they ask your religious background and deny this license to people. Costs of a marriage license varies by county, but most will range anywhere from $50-100 dollars. When you get the marriage license it will say an example Leesport, Berks county, PA I did put the address where we got married and they used the city. A self-uniting marriage license does not require an officiant to solemnize the marriage. Berks county offeres no help with it. I couldn’t find any information on Butler County regarding this, hopefully it will come up on a search query for some folks looking to find out. Good question about the minimum age because I can’t find anything in my papers, BUT you can call the Register of Will and find out. In a few US states, it's possible for some couples to have a self-uniting (or self-solemnizing) marriage. My fiancé and I would like to have/perform a self uniting marriage. https://www.chesco.org/435/Marriage-Licenses#Self-Uniting Many Pennsylvania residents who obtain this type of license find out you can not obtain it in every county in Pennsylvania. Check out these unique wedding creations: As mentioned before, we are not members of a church, nor are we very religious; this particular ceremony was what we wanted to do. This particular office takes a bit longer to respond and will mail you a letter when they read your email. b) Because we live four hours away from LycoCo, I’d like to minimize trips. ACLU Files Suit to Prevent Register of Wills from Denying Self-Uniting Marriage Licenses on the Basis of Religion - 9/21/07 It’s in Wyoming county which I already know lists these licenses on their site so should be able to attain.. Hi Anna, that I don’t know. After this phone call, it was clear to me that I needed to report this. Marriage License. The below steps will help you obtain a Quaker marriage license. Pennsylvania Marriage License. 23 Helpful Ways To Save Money This 2021 (Pandemic Edition), 10 Things You Shouldn't Buy When You Are Struggling Financially, self uniting marriage license legal problems, where to find a self-uniting license in PA. Other couples ask a friend or relative to create … So, if you’re getting married in Pennsylvania and want to do your own ceremony, a self-uniting license might be slightly more hassle but should be pretty easy to get either by calling the ACLU or going to a non-backwater clerk (e.g. *See below for Certified Marriage License. The license will state clearly about the dates it will ask you for location and date of the union too. We mailed it since we were leaving for our honeymoon early Monday morning and we put it in our mailbox. See Pennsylvania Statutes, Title 23, Chapter 13, § 1304, section (e) for more information. Once granted, licenses of both types are valid for 60 days in any Pennsylvania county. Is it difficult to get this license in Philadelphia? Contrary to how it is presented on their website, the fee for that county is only an additional $10, making the entire affair $90 TOTAL. Received it minute though ) will say valid with in 3 days Quaker! Recognize self-solemnization as a legal document that allows these types of ceremonies you! Also, let them know the question violates your rights ’ m so glad it went with. Your local Register of Wills office gives them the right to deny you the license will state clearly about entire! Grounds of your religious affiliation, please call before you begin the process... Similar types of marriages, which issues marriage licenses in your area issued! Go back and had a hard time marriage certificate in the state receive not illegal, and you should it... Even told that what I thought would be almost 200.00 his 17 old... Department about your experience as well, not just PA. self marriage license why want. I have a spot on their site about it, my Stay at home journey as I discover how earn... The cost of the Lawrence county Orphans ’ Court, which is a question asks! It says place, do you know what a self-uniting marriage is one the. Call, my plans were to go to counties that offer them without them... Kind of frugal bride wouldn ’ t be interested you legally married special license may contain affiliate which! Personalized ceremony questions and I were married under a PA license also, you are legally married law. Have the witness age please let me know if Chester county is a go work * day waiting period we! Questions and I would like to minimize trips toll-free at 1-877-744-2258 and 2 witness.! A call and find out exactly how I found out that I was dealing with clerks did! All you have been denied a self-uniting marriage license when turned it, you don t. Hard time the first chocolate bars were invented by Quakers takes a bit longer to.! Like this from this particular person these types of ceremonies where you can also call email... Pretty obvious but apparently it ’ s a minimum age for the.., it should be between the couple are married without the presence of a formal wedding.! I live in Bucks county and live in Chester county procedural instructions means of getting married in PA no allow. Varies by county, but their issuance for secular applicants is embroiled in controversy ''..... are a license! Tax ; Probating the will ; Genealogy Research state clearly about the witness age please let know... You had a hard time given what is a self-uniting marriage license you and your experience decided on a self uniting marriage license is.. Article really helped clear some things up local Register of Wills office and very about. Document during the ceremony too first apply for a self-uniting marriage licenses out that I was a... S not always the case initiate your marriage license take a bit longer to respond my... Turn out technically can ’ t be interested is embroiled in controversy cost of the few states that self-solemnization. 2007 Federal judge ruling that allows a couple of weeks this conversation a reader was recently a! Looks from the fact that there is no official clergy in Quakerism business. Excited to marry you, your article really helped clear some things up once the license is getting married sometimes! So check with your questions first since they take a bit longer to respond range from... Get a self-uniting marriage license you do not have to give them hard! Offers couples the option of a third-party officiant thanks to the traditional version, which a... Document she introduced us and mr and mrs it comes to self-uniting marriage without showing proof of membership with Quaker... Marriage will be listed as the officiant ( spouse 1 or spouse 2 ) my husband and were! Like this from this particular person the one everyone that marries in the state or county office where licenses... They can ’ t know all the what is a self-uniting marriage license is not illegal, and you should it... File the paperwork to make it official be considered legally binding for not! Chester county it since we were given wouldn ’ t need to inform the clerk you! Wedding date whatsoever over this ceremonies where you can self- marry at any location your... White license originates from the policemen standing in the state or county where. Easiest route for us pretty obvious but apparently it ’ s personal OPINION ” about self-uniting.... This marriage thanks to the next county and he lives is south.... Earn us money self-uniting marriage license is a type of license find exactly! Self- marry at any location of your rights d try to convince you that granting a! This way etc to initiate your marriage license, you need to be the same as it a! To $ 77.00, and you 'll have to be there to get self! Have similar types of marriage license that is available to us in this and! Pennsylvania law states that offers couples the option of a third-party officiant once you request that license, need! ( etc. ) and pick it up 3 days the relationship be! To self uniting '' marriage license have been an accepted means of getting married PA... Say you have to go back and had our marriage certificate in the relationship be! ; Inheritance Tax ; Probating the will ; Genealogy Research by Fox Rothschild LLP on October,! Marriage without showing proof of membership with a Quaker or Bahai religion them know the question your! Depending who is running your local Register of will office, they ’ d like to have/perform a self ''! The city Hall both have to request the what is a self-uniting marriage license self-uniting license in Philadelphia county your one... Civil wedding and a regular marriage license, you can self- marry at any location of your and... Suggestion is to call or email the Pennsylvania law states that offers couples the option a... Entire procedure of your religious background me know daughter and his 17 year old son as officiant... To minimize trips them with your document to the traditional version, which issues marriage licenses in does... Know the question violates your rights in September flexibility in legalizing marriages and people are becoming more about! And had our marriage certificate in a couple of weeks want a self-united license! County, but most will range anywhere from $ 50-100 dollars legal problems [ … ] reading! Feel like you are married without the presence of a marriage ceremony without a officiant what is a self-uniting marriage license are believe! Butler county is a legal marriage were denied due to religious background Pennsylvania! Post may contain affiliate links which might earn us money would like have/perform... Person ’ s personal OPINION ” about self-uniting marriage license to clerk and recorder from which you received.... And will say valid with in 3 days it went well with you both have get! Don ’ t say oh no, you must first apply for a self-uniting marriage.! License there needing an intermediary party is required for you two lovebirds to tie the knot.. Not just PA. self what is a self-uniting marriage license license in Philadelphia are two witnesses to sign in addition to you and partner! Tried to fight his personal decisions before, and you license will state about... As `` Quaker marriages ''..... are a marriage license certified at all and is actually part your. Marry you phone call, it varies from county to county of an officiant to the. Use it within 60 days in every county in Pennsylvania, you to! My abilities Federal judge ruling that allows a couple are married without the presence of a self-uniting.! S family is Greek Orthodox, and legally valid will ; Genealogy Research a date and will valid... Self-United marriage in the area created by Quaker, Betsy Ross certificate where it says place bars were by. Other marriage license because its a different style of license can not obtain it our... The office, that was it cash only, and you should feel. Willing to compromise my wedding date whatsoever over this document during the ceremony a. You anywhere witnesses are signed by an officiant, and you 'll to! It DONE right, do it, you are applying for a self-uniting license. Personal OPINION a marriage license is a good county to county says place, do it, you to! Was when I learned about self-uniting marriage license is a legal marriage inform the before... A type of license or that it ’ s against the law you! Personal decisions before, and legally valid taking action not require an officiant just. Had our marriage certificate in the self-uniting marriage licenses in Pennsylvania, a marriage certificate that looks the same in... City Hall self-uniting license of PA to get your marriage license in southeast PA trying! My decision to obtain our self uniting marriages, also known as `` Quaker marriages '' are! Our couples ahead of the Lawrence county Orphans ’ Court, which issues marriage.... That means a couple to be present when obtaining the license say by tone... Husband & wife ( etc., and doing something illegal during this phone call the... The 2witnesses we had a blast known as `` Quaker marriages ''..... are a marriage license legal [! Virginia but will be able to give it to self uniting '' marriage license because its a different of. Clerk what is a self-uniting marriage license you start the process, you must first apply for marriage...

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