Post # 1
So My uncle has been ordained through Universal Life Church to perform our ceremony. I called the local clerks office to see if he needs to register with the county. I was told that he did not have to register but that there is a disclaimer and if our marriage is found invalid by the state of PA then we assume the responsibility. Apparently this issue has not been decided by the state of PA but a few counties have had rulings where they found that a marriage performed by a minister with no following or congregation in the state of PA is not valid.
SOOOO now we have to decide if we want to run the risk and maybe find out 5 yrs down the road that we were not legally married, do we forgo the personalized meaningful ceremony we prepared with my uncle and hire a justice of the peace, or we can go to a Judge the day before our scheduled ceremony and continue with our wedding day as planned and know that we are legally married already.
Anyone else in PA dealing with this?? any advice?
Post # 3
- Wedding: May 2011 - Bartram's Garden
We’re getting married in Philly with an ordained friend and I’m somewhat concerned about this since it does differ county to county.
However, PA is unique in that it’s the only state that allows a self-uniting license, where you can actually “marry yourselves” and just have your uncle perform the ceremony for posterity. Again, some counties allow this and some don’t.
I’m not THAT worried about our wedding because Philadelphia County seems to be much more lenient about this. But if worse comes to worst, we might hit up City Hall a few weeks before our wedding day to make sure it’s legit.
Post # 4
This is an interesting post. My G’ma is an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church and she married us. We got our marriage certificates from Chester County but got married in Northampton County and we have had no problems with it. Hopefully we never will. My G’ma verified with Northampton county that she was indeed eligibe to marry us as she has been marrying people in Florida for some time now.
Post # 5
I forgot that if you are really worried about it you can do the third option. That is what my sister did for her wedding. Like I mentioned before, I just had my G’ma do it with no backup. If an issue arises we will handle it.
Post # 6
Just taking a look at the law here, my guess is that the courts in Penn will end up ruling that the marriages are valid. In addition, the only reason that the first couple in this whole thing had their marriage invalidated was because they sought a divorce, and one of them argued they were never married.
Post # 7
Thanks for the input ladies!!Danadelphia, I will look into the self uniting marriage license … that sounds like it can be a good option for us.
I wasn’t worried about it until the clerks office told me about the disclaimer. It’s like no one at any of the clerk’s offices really knows what the “right” answer is or if it is legal or not.. but they need to cover themselves just in case
Roddybride did you get a disclaimer when you applied for your marriage license?
Post # 8
No, we did not. I am assuming the disclaimer is new?
Post # 9
We are in this same situation. We’re going to take the risk and have our friend marry us.
Post # 10
I would seriously recommend either using the self-uniting ceremony, or just having the paperwork taken care of at the courthouse and then having whatever ceremony you want. The problem is that if you take the risk, you probably won’t find out until your husband dies or wants a divorce that you were never legally married. At that point, you won’t have the rights you thought you had, and there will be no way to fix it.
Post # 11