Wednesday, June 16, 2010

only in philly

My friend recently started documenting occurrences that seem to be normal “only in Philly” but wouldn’t be acceptable outside of our domain. Typically these are brief statements that relate to our local culture – Phillies, SEPTA, TastyKakes, weathermen, mascots, you get the idea.

Why am I telling you this? Because “only in Philly” and “10,000 weddings” have collided. A direct effect of a dozen donuts. And truly unbelievable. This is no urban myth…

Last weekend’s wedding festivities started out as so many do.
Direction-giving Reverend.
The bride and groom walked into the church with smiles from ear to ear and their parents and bridal party in tow. Almost immediately, the middle aged man asked for the marriage license so that the nuptials, that would take place in 24 hours, would be legal. He stated that he could not perform the ceremony without a license to marry. It was at this point that their smiles turned to frowns and fear set in.

The couple didn’t have a license. They hadn’t applied for one yet.

Sure, this isn’t a glamorous part of the wedding planning process. No one says, “What does your marriage license look like!?” or “Have you decided what color marriage license you’re going with?” There are no frills but this is possibly one of the most crucial parts of your wedding planning if you want it all to actually be legal.

Each state, and some counties, have their own set of rules on when to apply for the license, what forms of identification are needed, what tests may need to be taken, when the license becomes valid and for how long. Some states even have a waiting period before the license is valid.

PA has a 3 day waiting period. This bit of information seemed detrimental to the wedding that was scheduled to happen in just 24 hours. What were the bride and groom to do?

This is where “only in Philly” comes in.

The couple marched down to city hall at 8 am on their wedding day. Chipper, bright eyed and with a box of fresh donuts in hand. Any other city’s workers might have laughed at the bride’s bribe but not here. The employees were thrilled by the kind doughy gesture. So thrilled that they dropped everything to process the application and even got a judge to agree to waive the 3 day waiting period. All in less than one hour.

Only in Philly can a dozen donuts get you an instant marriage license less 12 hours before your wedding!

-The perennial bridesmaid

P.S. I don’t recommend trying that one. Look up your state’s requirements regarding the marriage license application process!


  1. This story will never get old-I love it! Congrats to the B&G for a brilliant idea-oh and their wedding too!!

  2. needless to say, i absolutely love this post.