Pennsylvania-Central

Married by a person ordained online?

Hey guys,
Ever since we started planning our wedding I've been planning for my friend to become ordained online and marry us. Suddenly I'm hearing that in Pennsylvania you're not legally married if you do that. Does anybody know if this is true or not?

Re: Married by a person ordained online?

  • mamie329mamie329 member
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Last time I looked into this, it was up for debate in the courts. This article is from 2007, which explains York County disallowing online ordination. 

    You may want to check with your county office on this. 
    image image
    Lucy Elizabeth 10.27.12
  • writergirl28writergirl28 member
    Ninth Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    When I was researching how to obtain a marriage license in York County, PA this is what it states under their Disclaimer of Liability for marriage licenses:

    "Applicants are advised that persons who have been ordained over the Internet may not be persons permitted to perform marriages in Pennsylvania.  A recent court decision held that persons ordained over the Internet are not ministers as defined in the marriage law of Pennsylvania IF they do not regularly preach to a congregation that regularly meets at a place of worship. You are advised to consult an attorney concerning the legality of such marriages."

    Hope that helps! I'm a paralegal and I would rather be safe than sorry and hire a JOP to perform your marriage if you don't have a pastor because it sounds like it is not legal in PA. (This does not constitute legal advice as I'm a paralegal so I can not give legal advice, consult an attorney if you're still unsure)
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  • mamie329mamie329 member
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_pennsylvania-central_married-person-ordained-online?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:107Discussion:a47f1021-f256-4235-9a80-89c1260d1ab8Post:0515b9a5-9931-495e-a743-c974dfde9658">Re: Married by a person ordained online?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I would rather be safe than sorry and hire a JOP to perform your marriage if you don't have a pastor because it sounds like it is not legal in PA. (This does not constitute legal advice as I'm a paralegal so I can not give legal advice, consult an attorney if you're still unsure)
    Posted by writergirl28[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>This. You may want to look into self-uniting (Quaker) licenses too, though I've found most county courthouses can't/don't provide much information on it. 

    </div>
    image image
    Lucy Elizabeth 10.27.12
  • edited December 2011
    Yeah you can get a self-uniting license. One of my dad's friend's did that. Not sure of the process though. But if you want a friend to do it, that's probably your best option!
  • edited December 2011
    no you cannot have someone who is ordained online marry you and sign your marriage license as an officiant.

    however, you can obtain a self uniting license and have someone who has been ordained online (or not ordained at all) perform your ceremony. you will then need two people to sign your license as witnesses. when using a self uniting license, there is no "officiant".

    you will need to call the county you wish to get your license from and ask. they do not advertise it on their website.

    i used a self uniting license last year. the only other difference is that you will need to mail the license in to the county yourself to be recorded, since you will not have an officiant to do it for you.

    if you have any other questions you can email me at steeser03 at yahoo dot com
    [IMG]http://i39.tinypic.com/2pzxst3.jpg[/IMG]
  • caracbearacaracbeara member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    My husband and I had a friend who was not ordained marry us and we used a self uniting marriage license. It was easy!! Now we are officially wed! Some counties require at least one person to be of the quaker faith. Our county did not require it but my husband was raised quaker so it would've been ok. 
  • caracbearacaracbeara member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    My husband and I did the self uniting license and had a friend "marry" us and it worked out great!!!
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