Planning Your Pennsylvania Wedding
Getting married in Pennsylvania? We have some good and bad news. Here's the good news: Pennsylvania offers pretty much everything you need for an unforgettable wedding. The Keystone State is packed with historic sites, world-famous cities, folksy countryside locales, majestic rivers, a (Great) lake, its very own wine country and much more. OK, so what's the bad news? See the "good news" above - the hardest part about planning a Pennsylvania wedding is deciding where to have it! With so many enticing locations, settling on a Pennsylvania wedding venue can be challenging. Pennsylvania's most populous city, Philadelphia, has history around every corner. Philly's architecture, parks, bustling downtown and other charms make it a favorite wedding photography spot. Plus, what other city exemplifies marriage like the famous "LOVE" statue? On the other side of the state, Pittsburgh has three rivers, hundreds of bridges, numerous rolling valleys, and perhaps the most unique cityscape in the U.S. - a "golden triangle" downtown area bordered by the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers, respectively. Outside PA's two biggest metro areas, you'll find excellent wedding-ready celebration areas. The Lake Erie region includes the city of Erie, expansive vineyards and stunning lakeside views. Amish Country is ideal for country and rustic-themed weddings, and the homemade Pennsylvania Dutch Country food makes for mouthwatering wedding catering. Pennsylvania's Appalachian ridge, known as the Laurel Highlands, is an all-season wedding wonderland, but especially during the autumn season. Along with mountain resorts and gorgeous natural scenery, the Laurel Highlands also has an architectural gem - Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater - nestled deep in the hilly woodlands. In every corner of the state, Pennsylvania invites majestic matrimony possibilities.
Pennsylvania climate is legendary for those "four seasons in an hour" stages. Some regions of the Keystone State have famously experienced bursts of cold, quick showers, a chilly breeze and sweltering heat - all within 60 minutes! Pennsylvania weather is considered unpredictable, to say the least, so try to get advance info on climate conditions a few weeks before your wedding. Spring and autumn weddings in Pennsylvania are popular. Fall celebrations in the Laurel Highlands (about an hour southeast of Pittsburgh) are tailor-made for auburn, orange and yellow. Up north by Lake Erie, white and blue are popular colors for Pennsylvania weddings near the waterfront.
Pennsylvania is known as one of the more expensive states in the Northeast / Mid-Atlantic region (just ask a state taxpayer). Similar to other states, the cities are pricier than rural areas, and that applies to Pennsylvania wedding celebrations. While the state sales tax is 6%, all purchases in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh area) are taxed an additional 1% on all purchases, while Philadelphia adds 2%. Overall wedding costs in Pennsylvania are slightly above average, compared to the other 49 states, with expenses about 10% to 20% higher in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. It's a good idea to match your wedding décor to the particular PA region you're celebrating in.
The requirements for a Pennsylvania wedding license include a photo ID and an application from the PA Marriage License Bureau of the Register of Wills. Prepare to wait 2-3 weeks after applying for a license. Fees vary depending on the county, but most licenses are in the $25 range.