Over the last year, many millions of people all over the world started working from home. Also, many elderly and immune-compromised people still want to remain socially distant for safety reasons, and it makes good sense. All this means that if you want to get married and have a big ceremony where everyone feels safe and comfortable, the best way to do so might be online. The question is, can you legally get married via the Internet? The answer is “Yes, you can if you follow the right procedure,” which we will outline here.
If there is anything particularly tough about getting married online it’s finding a legally qualified officiant who will perform the ceremony in an electronic, remote setting. But rest assured, it can be done.
Step 1: Request a marriage license
Officials in the jurisdiction in which you intend to hold the wedding will issue your marriage license. It could be the city hall, the levy court, the marriage license bureau, or the town clerk’s office. Once you locate the right office, you’ll fill out some paperwork and pay a fee, usually.
Your marriage license will be good for a limited period, usually less than a month. So, you’ll need to seal the deal within that time. If your wedding is truly remote, that is to say, the bride and groom are not going to be in the same location, either the officiant or one of you will need to be in the actual jurisdiction where the wedding license was obtained.
Step 2: Find a legal wedding officiant
A wedding officiant is someone who is licensed to perform the ceremony and declare two willing participants married. There are different types of officiants from religious to secular and everything in between. Marry From Home offers legal wedding officiant services, and we explain all the legal aspects in detail here.
Step 3: Organize an online wedding ceremony
Now for the tricky part. To make your remote wedding go off without a hitch, you’ll need to make sure everyone has access to and knows how to use the online portal you intend to use. Skype is still a workable option, but Zoom is the most popular way right now. You’ll have to plan in advance, send out invitations, ask for responses, and send out help to anyone who needs help getting on Zoom.
Step 4: Get a legal marriage certificate
Your officiate will fill out the required form and send it in. After that, your marriage certificate will either be mailed to you, you will go pick it up, or your officiate will deliver it. It all depends on the laws and norms of your area. The important thing here is that your officiant completes this task within the allotted period, which is usually 30 days after the ceremony. Finally, make sure your wedding certificate is applied for in the same office or jurisdiction where the license was obtained. You may need to double-check that your officiant knows this before the ceremony.
How and where do you get a marriage license?
It depends on where you live and can even vary from one county to the next. The easiest solution would be to let an online marriage expert obtain the marriage license for you, regardless of where you are. Click here to learn more.
What are the eligibility requirements for marriage?
It depends on each state, as each state has its own marriage laws. The primary barrier is of course the marriage license. If you are issued one, you are legally allowed to get married. The persons to be wedded must be above the age of majority, ie: 18 years of age or older.
It’s important to note that neither parties need to be legal citizens of the United States. There may be other requirements depending on the state. For example, the state of Nebraska requires that both parties be 19 years of age or older. Younger parties can get married, but usually only with parental consent.
Finally, be ready to do some asking around since the rules and requirements will vary slightly from one state to the next. But at the end of the day, you’ll find it’s the timing that’s toughest. We recommend planning and organizing the whole process with a professional online marriage service, such as Marry From Home.