How to get married in Philadelphia
Getting married in Philadelphia, a historic and seriously fun town, can be exciting and a bit daunting. There's great dining, cultural spots for guests to see during the wedding weekend, and fab photo ops all around the city. Don't miss the Delaware River Waterfront and the Valley Forge National Historical Park. To get married in Philadelphia, you'll need to know how to navigate all the legal requirements for making it official in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas.
We've got everything from the nitty-gritty of how to get legally married in Philadelphia, to a few of our favorite Philadelphia weddings, to special tips for how to save money in Philadelphia.
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Tips for planning a wedding in Philadelphia
Budgeting efficiently in Philadelphia isn't too huge of a challenge, but you can make it even more efficient by limiting your guest list, choosing off-season dates, and avoiding heavily trafficked weekends like the Philadelphia Auto Show in February, Philly Tech Week in May, and DesignPhiladelphia in October. Check with your venue AND local hotels to see if there any big events that could cause you issues with pricing, parking, and hotel block rates.
Ways to save in your Philadelphia wedding budget:
- Look into non-traditional venues like restaurants for hosting smaller gatherings.
- Choose in-season flowers for your decor OR opt for no flowers and decorate with items that mean something to you instead (board games? Funko Pop?)
- Prioritize what's important to you and minimize the rest: if great food and a good photographer are important, see if you can skip things like a limo, a huge cake, and expensive favors.
Philly sees all four seasons with December through February as the coldest and snowiest. If you're worried about beating the heat in the warmer months of June through August, click here for some tips on staying cool.
How to get legally married in Philadelphia
All couples who want to get married in Philadelphia must obtain a marriage license. You'll want to see all of the documents and requirements you'll need to fulfill at the City Register.
Changing your name in Philadelphia
If you're planning to change your name after the wedding, get a few copies of your marriage license to have on hand when obtaining your new documents. Hit up your local Social Security office, update your passport, head to the DMV, and update your voter registration.
Philadelphia wedding officiant requirements
Philadelphia does not require minister registration before performing a marriage. If you're getting married outside of the city, you should always check with the local city or town clerk to check that your officiant can perform the wedding in that jurisdiction.
Offbeat Philadelphia wedding vendors
You may think finding skilled wedding vendors in Philadelphia is easy — it's a major city with an abundance of amazing venues! But you may be overwhelmed with options and might have to do some research to find vendors who work with all budgets and all styles. You can find offbeat-friendly Philadelphia wedding vendors in our Vendor Guide. Don't miss our online vendors, too, for honeymoon registries, stationery, gifts, ketubahs, rings, guests books, wedding websites, and more.
Some of our favorite Philadelphia weddings
Take a peek at some of the most fun offbeat weddings in Philadelphia. Don't forget to scroll to the bottom of each to find out who they chose for their Philadelphia wedding vendors!
- A delightful and chic “big ol' gay wedding” in Philly (with stunning outfits!)
- Velvet, vegans, & Vincent Price: a moody goth-lite wedding
- The adorableness level is over 9000 at this video game wedding
- No shortage of laughs or eclectic art at this Philly wedding
- A femme and a suit-wearing dreamboat have a must-see vegan Jewish wedding
- This minimalist Philly wedding proves that simple is CHIC
What did we miss about getting married in Philadelphia?
Email us your wedding planning tips and favorite Philadelphia vendors!
Ready to start planning a Philadelphia wedding? Head to our Tools page for wedding planning resources, our big planning checklist, editable planning spreadsheets, and TONS of wedding planning help and info.