Brides, in the midst of all the planning choosing your wedding cake, picking the perfect wedding gown, booking the venue and all the necessities that are the packaged deals when planning a wedding, make sure you have obtained a marriage license!

Marriage licenses vary from state to state and it would be very beneficial for you to know how and when to apply. I am going to focus on the tri-state areas of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. I hope that this article will be informative and reduce stress when obtaining your marriage license.


According to the Pennsylvania marriage license laws, the requirements needed for obtaining a marriage license are as follows:

When am I able to apply?

–          Minimum of three business days or up to a maximum of 60 days prior to your marriage ceremony.

Where do I apply?

–          Office of the Clerk of Orphan’s Court of any county of Pennsylvania.

What are the requirements?

–          Both applicants must be present to apply.

–          Applicants, both males and females, must be 18 years of age to apply for a marriage license.

–          If the applicants are between the ages of 16-18, a parent or legal guardian must accompany the applicants to provide written consent to the marriage.

–          Social Security Numbers are required

–          Driver’s license or Photo ID of the applicants

–          Citizens of another country must have Visa

According to the U.S. marriage laws of New Jersey:

Where do I apply?

–          You must apply at the registrar at the municipal office where the bride resides.

–          If both applicants are non-residents, then both apply in the town where the marriage ceremony will take place.

What are the requirements?

–          You will need Picture ID or Driver’s license, certified copies of birth certificates, naturalization certificates, valid passports, and U.S. citizens need a Social Security Number.

–          If you are under 18 years of age, you will need both parents to give consent in front of two witnesses in order for you to receive a marriage license. Those under 16 need judicial approval. In the case of pregnancy or the birth of a child, special provisions may apply.

When do I apply?

–         New Jersey has a three (3) day waiting period. For weekend weddings, you will need to apply the Tuesday before to satisfy the three days (72 hours) by Friday. If you have special circumstances such as emergency, illness, military leave, etc., a Superior Court Judge can sign a waiver that would waive the waiting period. After you apply for the license, and have a Judge sign the waiver, you can have the License issued immediately.

According to U.S. marriage laws for Delaware, the following requirements are:

When am I able to apply?

–          Apply at least one month before the wedding ceremony.

–          Waiting period is 1 day, but 4 days if applicants are non-residents.

–          License is valid for 30 days.

What are the requirements?

–          Valid Driver’s License or Birth Certificate and Social Security Number.

–          You do not have to be a resident of Delaware.

–           Both applicants must be at least 18 years old to obtain a marriage license. Both applicants must be present to apply. Both applicants must present a valid driver’s license or birth certificate when applying.

–          The license can only be used within the State of Delaware.

Where do I apply?

–          You need to apply at your city’s marriage bureau at your Clerk of Court’s office.

I hope these will help prepare you before applying!


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