Ask the Expert: How Many Guests Can I Bring to My City Hall Wedding?

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Question: My fiancé and I plan to get married at City Hall here in Philly but would still like to have a few friends and family in attendance for the Big Day. How many guests are you allowed to bring to the ceremony?

Answer: For every elaborate ballroom wedding, there’s a couple who chooses to keep it sweet and simple by reciting their vows at City Hall. And if you and your to-be are going this route, we can report that you are allowed to invite eight of your nearest and dearest to join you as you become husband and wife.

While this often seems like the easier alternative, though, the process itself is not so simple. So maybe even before you begin to hash out who those eight chosen people are, there are a few major steps you’ve got to take.

To start, the two of you must appear together in Room 413 at City Hall to apply for a marriage license, which comes with an $80 fee and will be issued three days later. Once the marriage license is obtained (it’s valid for 60 days), you can go about selecting date.

The appointment book for City Hall weddings is opened around the second Tuesday of each month (because of this vagueness, you’ll want to call to confirm the date), to schedule for the following month. Since civil ceremonies are only performed on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, the schedule fills up quickly. You’ll need to line up outside Room 415 on the day the book opens in order to reserve a date.

Then, you’re on your way, and you can tell your petite guest list to save the date.

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