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How to Elope in Pennsylvania

Updated: Dec 9, 2022

How to elope in pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is such an awesome and underrated option for elopements. With so many different types of sceneries to choose from and simple marriage laws, it is easy to elope in Pennsylvania and make your day a stress-free dream! This wedding was also featured on Wandering Weddings! You can check out what they had to say here!

While I may be biased since PA is my home state, I feel it makes me the perfect person to give you all the in's and out's of a Pennsylvania Elopement. My own wedding took place here at a state park with a self-uniting marriage license, and now I help couples to do the same!


Pennsylvania is a huge state! The first step in choosing your elopement location will be choosing where in the state you are looking to be. If you are local to PA do you want somewhere special close to home that you can visit often? Or are you in a neighboring state looking for a location not too far away.

Eastern Pennsylvania is close to NYC and is bordered by New Jersey, where western Pennsylvania will be closer to Ohio and near the city of Pittsburgh. Central Pennsylvania is home to some of the most sought after elopement locations.

Once you have decided on a general area for your elopement, you will want to think about scenery. Pennsylvania has so many options when it comes to scenery.

  • deep in the woods

  • rolling mountain views and cliffside vows

  • rivers and waterfalls

  • open fields and wildflowers

  • on the dock by the lake

There is something for everyone!

If you are looking for specific location help and suggestions check out my blog where to elope in the Poconos.


Making your Marriage Official

Another great part of eloping in Pennsylvania is that you don't need an officiant to come to your ceremony to make it legal!

In Pennsylvania we have a special marriage license type you can apply for called a self-uniting license. This type of license allows you to technically marry yourselves! You will just need a few witnesses to sign. Whether that be your photography team or some friends is up to you!

This is also a great way to allow a family member or friend to marry you without the hassle of trying to become ordained. In Pennsylvania there are strict laws about getting ordained and whether an online course will certify you. The best thing you can do is just file for a self-uniting license and allow your friends to be the officiant without a certification or course.

If you are looking for more information on a self-uniting license and some inspiration for how other couples do it you can find that here!

how to elope in pennsylvania

What to do during your Pennsylvania Elopement

There are endless options for what you will want to do during your elopement day. We love when couples think about the activities they would normally enjoy doing together and add those into their special day.

The good news is that this is where we come in! We love helping couples with all of the planning process, from choosing a location, to getting proper permits and marriage licenses, to planning the timeline and activities for their day.

Here are some ideas to get started!

  • hiking

  • kayaking

  • paddle boards

  • picnics

  • get your pets involved

  • cut a cake

  • get ready together

  • get ready separately and do a first look

  • get photos at your favorite restaurant/bar/ice cream place

  • explore the town of your elopement in your wedding attire

  • campfire

  • skiing or snowboarding

  • snow tubing or snowshoes

  • off roading or ATV adventure

  • first dance somewhere special or unique

  • pop some champagne

  • take a shot

  • enjoy the view

If you are looking for more inspiration check out this Poconos Elopement for activity ideas.

Where do we start?

Planning your Pennsylvania Elopement may feel overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be!

Dan and I love helping couples from beginning to end with their planning and documentation of their day. The easiest way to start is to get in touch! We will take care of the next steps and help you to create the day of your dreams with no stress, only laughter and love.

Want to know more? Check out our packages here!


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