To reduce in-person contact during the pandemic, online weddings are temporarily allowed in Illinois. This means that the couple, minister, and witnesses can connect using an application like Zoom, Skype, or Facetime, and the entire ceremony can take place online. These policy changes are new and temporary, so research is essential before participating in an online wedding.


Online weddings are authorized by Illinois Executive Order 2020-36, which states that everyone participating in the wedding must be physically present in Illinois and connected with both audio and video, and the couple must have a marriage license. Contact your County Clerk's Office for the latest information.



From the ceremony to the paperwork, Covid-19 has had a dramatic impact on weddings - getting married is just different right now. Large gatherings are prohibited, for obvious public health reasons.


At the moment, many County Clerk's Offices in Illinois are closed or operating with modified schedules - please plan accordingly. Illinois Executive Order 2020-36 has authorized County Clerk-Recorders to accept online marriage license applications over videoconference, using applications like Zoom, Skype, or Facetime.


Couples can temporarily apply for a marriage license online or in-person in Illinois. However, licensing requirements have not changed, and online applicants must show physical copies of ID over video conference, for visual verification. Couples should contact a County Clerk's Office to schedule an appointment, whether they plan to apply online or in-person.



These policy changes are temporary and tied to the Covid-19 pandemic, and at the moment we can not predict how long they will remain in effect. Illinois Executive Order 2020-36 established the policy changes discussed on this page, and this temporary order has been extended every 30 days.


For more information, contact your County Clerk's Office. You can review Illinois' policy order here:



Illinois Executive Order 2020-36


COVID-19, social distancing, travel bans, lockdowns… Many couples are being forced to downsize their wedding plans and for many guests, the only way to attend is with their computers and mobile phones.


If your guest list is shrinking to just the couple and officiant, or maybe just the couple, Illinois marriage laws regulate who must be in attendance, and how the ceremony is conducted. Here are some options to help adapt your wedding plans in Illinois to celebrate a COVID safe wedding.

Virtual Weddings vs. Livestream Ceremonies in Illinois

Zoom Wedding

For the sake of clarity, we differentiate virtual wedding ceremonies (or Zoom/Skype ceremonies) from livestream ceremonies by who is in attendance. If the officiant is officiating the vows from another place via video, then we call that a virtual or Zoom ceremony, since the people involved in the ceremony are interacting over whatever video platform is chosen.


However, if the couple and the officiant are present, but guests are watching remotely, we call that a livestream wedding since the ceremony itself is happening in one physical place. You can read more about what distinguishes each option here.

How can we celebrate a legally valid live streamed ceremony in Illinois

Directing a Zoom Wedding

You can livestream any activity or event, and it doesn't matter where you are in Illinois, what you're doing or how many people are physically present with you. Some of the most popular platforms include Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Facebook Live, and Instagram Live.


As long as you have a tripod and a phone with a good camera on it, your guests will be able to participate remotely. Many of these platforms even allow guests to comment, chat, and interact in other ways.


We realize that this is not always ideal, but ultimately, if couples choose to move forward with scaled down weddings and smaller guests lists, these communications platforms let friends and family around the world know that they are still being thought of.


For folks planning on livestreaming their nuptials, Here's How to Livestream Your Wedding.


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