Published: Monday, Apr. 20th, 2020
Over the weekend, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo released an executive order that allowed city clerks and other wedding officiants to officiate wedding ceremonies over the internet by video. The announcement marked the first such official authorization of virtual weddings, and a marked shift away from rules that normally require the officiant and the couple to be physically present for the ceremony.
But with COVID-19 social distancing rules preventing couples from getting married, New York’s decision could signal a change in what’s allowed in the future.
This order grants officiants -- that meets the state’s requirements -- the authority to solemnize marriage via video!
This is huge news for wedding officiants in New York, since it lets them meet their professional obligations without risking exposure to the Coronavirus. Prior to Governor Cuomo’s announcement, it was not clear whether virtual weddings were allowed, or whether weddings officiated in this way were legally valid. That’s now been clarified in New York State -- they are!
Below, we have included the original copy of the order, since we think it is important that officiants read and understand the rules as they are published.
For the duration of the order, any issuance of a marriage license application, marriage license, or witnessing or solemnizing of the marriage ceremony, that is required under New York State law is authorized to be performed utilizing audio-video technology provided that the following conditions are met:
The D.C. Superior Court said late last week that it will “immediately” resume issuing marriage licenses online. The court stopped processing marriage license applications in late March when it halted all nonemergency court proceedings.
The court’s Marriage Bureau will process the licenses remotely via the website dccourts.gov/form/marriage-application. Once an application is completed, an employee from the bureau will contact the applicant to complete the process.
UPDATE: New York State has been joined by Washington, D.C. and Colorado (which also allows self-solemnization), as well as specific precincts such as Cuyahoga County, Ohio in either allowing virtual wedding ceremonies, or allowing couples to apply for marriage licenses entirely online. We will continue to keep you posted on the situation here at American Weddings!
Be sure to check back in with us here at American Weddings to stay up to date with wedding ceremonies in the time of Coronavirus.
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