These days, couples often find themselves gazing lovingly at each other, not face to face, but over a computer or mobile device screen.
While COVID has made many of these online interactions a necessity, you and your spouse-to-be may find yourselves separated by national borders for a variety of reasons.
However, the surge in video conferencing activity has probably got you wondering whether you can actually put that technology to work for you by allowing you to marry your distant beloved online, even if you’re on opposite sides of the globe. The answer to that question is a resounding yes!
5 Key Steps for Making Your Global Online Wedding a Reality
If you want to marry someone who lives, studies, or works abroad, you can absolutely make it happen as long as you follow all the critical procedures that make your marriage legal and legitimate. These steps mostly correspond to the same steps necessary for an in-person wedding. Let’s go through them one by one.
1. Hire an Online Marriage Officiant
Who will actually conduct your wedding? This is the job of a legal officiant, an individual recognized by the court as having the authority to marry people in a particular U.S. state. (The exact qualifications can vary from state to state.)
You can hire a legal officiant to marry you in any U.S. state that allows for online weddings — you don’t have to get married in your current domicile state, and your prospective spouse obviously doesn’t have that option anyway.
2. Obtain a Legal Marriage License
You can’t be legally married without firsting obtaining a legal marriage license, whether that marriage occurs online or offline.
You and your other half will need to fill out forms and supply the court with key personal data such as your Social Security numbers if you’re U.S citizens, proof of identification, and show evidence that you’re both currently unmarried and of legal marrying age.
3. Choose a Video Streaming Platform
Streaming video platforms seem to be everywhere these days, giving you more options to choose from than you might actually want.
While it’s certainly possible to conduct an online international wedding over YouTube, Facebook, Microsoft Teams or other popular platforms, Zoom has leaped to the front of the pack in terms of popularity, familiarity, ease of use, multimedia options, and the ability to accommodate large numbers of participants. Your online wedding planner can send Zoom links to all the guests and participants, eliminating a major burden.
4. Hold the Online Wedding Ceremony
You can make your online wedding ceremony look as simple or as elaborate as you like, both from your end and in your marriage partner’s corner of the world.
You’ll want to make sure that both ends have reliable access to a strong Internet connection, of course. The other potential challenge in an international ceremony involves timing.
Choosing a wedding time that suits the guests in both countries can prove tricky where multiple time zones are involved. However, you may be able to record the ceremony for those who couldn’t attend in real time.
5. Get Your Marriage Certificate
Once you and your new spouse have completed the online wedding ceremony, all that’s left is the official documentation that declares your marriage legal to all and sundry, both here in the U.S. and elsewhere.
The officiant who oversaw your wedding ceremony will submit the necessary registration information to a local court. The court will then send you a marriage certificate that you can use whenever you need to submit proof of your union to an agency or institution.
Marriage to someone in another country often involves one additional element that other kinds of marriages don’t require: the attachment of an apostille stamp to the wedding certificate. This notarized stamp authenticates your marriage in any of the nations that belong to the Hague Apostille Convention (and as you can see here, there are lots of them!)
Why Hire an Online Wedding Specialist to Manage Everything?
Arranging an online wedding by yourself is difficult enough without the extra puzzle pieces introduced by an international wedding ceremony. Instead of trying to solve all these problems and address all these steps the hard way, go with an online wedding specialist that already has a simple, reliable system in place.
- Process all your information.
- Assign an officiant in a state that permits online marriage.
- Coordinate your online guest invitations.
- Provide the Zoom connection for the ceremony itself.
- Handle all the official paperwork, including the marriage license, wedding certificate, and apostille stamp.
When MarryFromHome takes all these tasks off your plate, you and your loved one are free to enjoy the wedding itself, even if you’re standing in two different countries at the time. So make that long-distance union a reality — apply for your online marriage today!