Proxy Marriage vs Virtual Marriage vs Web Conference Online Wedding in the US

What is the difference between a proxy marriage, virtual marriage and a web conference wedding?

Definition of a proxy marriage:

Proxy marriage defines as a wedding either performed in the absence of the bride or groom who appoints another person to represent him or her at the actual wedding ceremony. Proxy marriage is usually done by a couple who want to marry but one or both of them cannot attend due to exceptional reasons like military service, imprisonment, or travel restrictions; or when a couple lives in a state or country in where they are not legally allowed to be married.

Law in the US allows proxy marriages particularly in the following states:

  • Texas
  • Colorado
  • A third party can apply on the couple’s behalf and must bring a proper ID for the couple as well as the fee.
  • Not allowed. Unless one of the partners is in the military or incarcerated. Either party can file intentions as long as one of them is a resident of Massachusetts.
  • Minnesota. However, if only one of the partners is available, the other must fill out a supplemental form and have it notarized.
  • Missouri
  • Montana. Montana is the only state that allows double-proxy marriage. Double proxy means both bride AND groom may delegate or appoint a person to stand in for them on their actual wedding ceremony.

These proxy marriages cannot be solemnized in any other US state.

Definition of virtual marriage:

Virtual marriages are weddings that are like normal physical weddings, with the presence of the couple and the officiant. The bride, the groom, and the solemnizing officer are physically in the same room. The ceremony is being broadcast live for guests who join them using Zoom, FaceTime, Skype and etc.

Any “normal” physical wedding can become virtual, once someone is live-streaming the ceremony to other guests. This has now become a popular wedding trend or new normal especially when guests are from different states or countries and cannot physically attend the ceremony because of the strict travel restrictions due to coronavirus.

Definition of a web conference wedding

The normal wedding that we all know must have the physical presence of the officiant and the couple to be recognized as legal. The concept of a web-conference wedding is an alternative way to get married. A web-conference wedding is a wedding where the couple and the officiant are not physically at the same place. Furthermore, the bride and groom don’t have to be physically together in order to get married. It is very useful in situations when couples live or reside in two different states or countries, or they are not physically in the same country/state where they want to get married in. The marriage license may also be signed electronically or digitally. The ceremony itself is taking place online – the officiant, the bride, and the groom may be located in different states or countries.

This type of marriage is considered valid and legal in the US (just like a “normal’ wedding), and couples consider this method especially for those who cannot get married because of the travel restrictions. Although considered legal in the US, web conference marriages may not guarantee citizenship or entry visa when used as proof for immigration purposes unless the couple´s relationship has been established and justified.

MarryFromHome specializes in this kind of marriage. To learn more, visit MarryFromHome homepage.

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