Pennsylvania is one of the original thirteen colonies, and it ranks 19th in agricultural production in the United States, which can easily be observed from the scenic panoramas. Its close proximity to other major cities and the affordability of country-style weddings make this state a good choice for anyone getting married.
Across this state you can find historic cities with stately architecture or rolling hills with breathtaking backdrops that are sure to satisfy any nature lover. No matter what the size or style of your event may be you’ll find what you’re looking for in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania offers a beautiful setting anytime of the year. The county landscape is breathtaking when blanketed in snow in the wintertime and springs to life in the spring. Autumn is another optimum time, featuring an array of colors from the fall foliage. With scenery like this, it is no wonder some popular locations for Pennsylvania weddings have become barns, farms, wineries and lodges. The Pocono mountain region is filled with lovely inns and resorts, while bigger cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh offer more luxurious hotels, mansion and venues.
Philadelphia is also known as the “City of Brotherly Love.” Many refer to downtown Philadelphia as the heart of Philly. Just blocks from the Liberty Bell Center, you will find Independence Hall and the historic Old City. Filled with great restaurants, museum, hotels and more, bride, groom and guests will enjoy all this wonderful and historic city has to offer.
Pittsburgh is the second largest city in Pennsylvania, also known as “the City of Bridges.” Its skyline boasts over 30 skyscrapers along with other geological attributes making this city a photographer’s dream. Filled with museums, parks and a cultural district, these are just some of the many diverse aspects that make this city so great. Whether you want a big party or small celebration, modern or traditional, Pittsburgh is a unique and special city for couples.
The Lehigh Valley-Poconos area is quite well known for romantic mountain weddings. The area is filled with ski lodges, bed and breakfasts, quaint inns and many other romantic venues. This area is an ideal location for an intimate wedding ceremony and reception. Having a wedding in the Poconos is wonderful but if you have a large guest list (150+) you may not be able to find a venue to fit your entire party. Plan early and reserve early, as the Poconos are a popular locale for couples to tie the knot.
Wedding Venue Prices in Pennsylvania
With so much to offer at any time of the year, off-peak season may be a bit variable in Pennsylvania. Traditionally the winter months of January through March will be the best time to try to negotiate on pricing. In the Pocono region where skiing is a major factor, winter is the peak season. In this particular instance, you may get better venue prices in the warmer months when the lodges aren’t filled with ski enthusiasts.
Prices in the cities, such as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, will be higher than in the mountain areas or farmlands. Renting a barn can be a great cost saver, but beware of all the rentals. A good caterer can run anywhere from $25 per plate to $125 per plate, whereas a larger venue can charge anywhere from $125 to $185.
Hotels service charges are often 22% (other venues will charge 18 % or more) along with sales tax. Sales tax varies by municipality, ranging from 6% to 8%. Be sure to check locally! Hotels in each city add on different amounts for tax, so be sure to speak to your venue and find out in advance what the additional fees are as they can add up. Another important note to remember is that by law, you cannot tax the service charges; each fee must be calculated separately and add to the bill.
Information and Resources for Weddings in Pennsylvania
In the state of Pennsylvania you must contact the Local Marriage License Bureau of the Register of Wills to file for a marriage license. It is recommended that you do this well in advance of the wedding to find out on what days and during what hours the clerk will be in the office. Some locales will require an appointment. Each county has a designated Register of Wills, so be sure to look up the locations by county depending where you are getting married. It is advised to begin to take the necessary steps 2-3 weeks before the scheduled date of the ceremony.
Both applicants must appear together in person at the Marriage Licensee Bureau to complete the process. Applicants must be 18 years of age to apply and a photo ID is required. In addition you will need your Social Security card or a form of id that states your Social Security number on it. You do not have to be a resident of Pennsylvania.
There is a 3-day waiting period after completion for when your license will become valid. Your marriage license is valid for 60 days after issuance. Licenses will vary from county to county so be sure to contact the Register of Wills, in your county, to find out what specific requirements there are, as well as the fee.
Marriage license fees vary from county to county, and many areas overlap so be sure to contact your office to get the fee requirements. Fees can range anywhere from $28 to $80.