The Best Legal Sites of 2011 for Online Marriage.
Due to the pandemic, many have postponed their wedding plans. Even after restrictions are lifted, there is a lot of hassle and long waiting lists as venues deal with backlogs. So why not tie the knot online?
There are many sites on the Internet where you can get married, or at least where you are promised that you can legally marry. We were looking for the best services for legal online marriages in the US and some countries around the world. If you’ve heard of the so-called Zoom weddings that take place using video conferencing technology and want to know where to start, read on for all the details.
The Difference Between Legal and Ceremonial Marriages
There is a big difference between legal and ceremonial marriage. Simply performing a marriage ceremony in accordance with your culture or religion has no legal effect. In order for a marriage to be recognized by the state, you need a marriage license from the authorities.
In the US, you need to have a wedding ceremony with a wedding planner in order to complete the legal marriage process. However, the ceremony itself does not have to be anything special. Provided that the official witnesses this and signs the license before sending it to the government official for marriage registration and issuance of a marriage certificate.
Who Can Get Married?
Before the question of getting married through virtual weddings, a more important issue is the minimum requirements for marriage, regardless of whether this marriage takes place on the Internet or not. In the US, you must be 18 years old to marry without adult permission. However, some states have exceptions, such as Nebraska (19), Mississippi (21) and Puerto Rico (21).
If one or both of the individuals wishing to marry are under the age of majority in the state where the service is provided, they will need permission from a parent or legal guardian. In addition, you will need to provide certified copies of your identity documents. This could be an identity card, a birth certificate, or a driver’s license. Be sure to check the marriage laws in the applicable state for any other restrictions on who can legally marry.
Is Online Marriage Legal in Your State?
Let’s say you are a US resident or citizen. In this case, local state laws governing marriage are paramount if you want your marriage to be legally recognized. In addition, the official in charge of the marriage must have the legal authority to perform the wedding, and the remote marriage must be legal where you live.
One potential issue is that in many states where remote online marriages are legal, this is due to that state’s governor’s order to allow social distancing. In other words, it is not a law passed by the state legislature. This means that the next governor may change the order. In many cases, these orders have time limits and must be extended at the discretion of the government.
The best strategy is to go to the county or city clerk’s office and confirm if you can get a marriage certificate online. It’s difficult if the couple is in different states when they want to get married. This can also be a problem if the official is out of state.
Online Weddings for Immigration Purposes
Suppose you are looking for a way to get married for immigration purposes. In this case, we strongly recommend that you check with the relevant immigration office first. The wedding services listed here are generally for US residents who want to get married.
However, your situation may be more complex and you specifically want to get married in order to accompany your partner to their country of residence. In this case, we strongly recommend that you seek professional legal advice from an immigration attorney.
Some sites, such as Proxymarriage.com, use a special legal marriage method known as proxy marriage. This is when a person fills in for someone at a wedding and signs the marriage certificate on their behalf. It is also possible to have a double proxy marriage where none of the real people getting married need to be present at the ceremony.
This is usually reserved for people who are in prison, in the military, or in other situations where they are physically unable to attend the wedding. However, the wedding must be formalized. Therefore, we have refrained from listing sites offering proxy marriage services. As a rule, they are not intended to help organize the virtual marriage that people are looking for.
A Small Disclaimer
The sites we have listed below seem to be legitimate places to get married online. Of course, we didn’t marry these sites ourselves to check it out. Ultimately, you are ultimately responsible for ensuring that the service you choose has the legal right to marry you.
This includes getting third party confirmation from the marriage license authorities in your area before paying anything to a third party. As mentioned above, the situation is time dependent and may change after reading this. For example, all New Yorkers (in the entire state, not just New York) have received a temporary permit for online weddings. However, this ended on June 25, 2021.
1. Simply Eloped
“Escape” means to run away and marry secretly without permission, which makes it odd to use the term if you’re selling online weddings, but the rest of the service is so well thought out that it makes up for it.
The name Simply Eloped defines an “escape” as a wedding with 20 or fewer guests. They guide clients through the entire online wedding planning process from start to finish.
This includes everything that happens during the ceremony itself, such as hair, makeup, flowers, videos, photos, and anything else you associate with wedding planning. Except that Simply Eloped refuses to call itself a wedding planner.
As for the legal side of the process, the company has an individual approach to marriage licenses. The site gives advice to each couple based on the state they live in.
WebWed is a name that came up several times during our online search for legal online marriage services. Unfortunately, WebWed doesn’t make the best first impression due to a pop-up begging the US government to reject all online weddings not hosted by WebWed. But, judging by the reviews of third parties that we read, people successfully enter into legal marriage.
The company says all of its licenses are issued by US courts and they also serve international couples. WebWed works with states that do not require residency. While not listed anywhere on the WebWed website, third-party sources suggest that Utah could be one of those states, as the state introduced all-digital marriage license applications as of 2019. WebWed also offers apostille licenses for foreign couples who need to have their marriage recognized outside of the US.
If you don’t need the special extras offered by WebWed, you can go directly to the Utah government website and apply for a marriage license there. As we mentioned in the WebWed article, Utah is the only state where the couple does not require a visit to the clerk’s office.
Of course, this website will not provide you with any service related to your wedding ceremony, live streaming or anything else. It simply handles the legal aspect of getting married. So you still need to get an official representative and meet the minimum requirements listed on the site.
This is the most economical solution, as you can make your ceremony as cheap and simple as you like, as long as the attendant acknowledges it. Then, after the official submits the documents remotely, and after the waiting period, you will receive a marriage certificate without even setting foot in a government office.
Wedfuly is not a service aimed at the legal side of marriage. Instead, this company sells professional live streaming services for weddings. The Wedfuly team will help you organize a high-quality live broadcast from different angles that any number of guests can attend.
Although you won’t get a marriage license from Wedfuly, you must get one before the ceremony. The company provides step-by-step instructions on how to complete the marriage license process. After your ceremony, the officer must sign the license and return it to the government official. Then after a while you will receive a copy in the mail.
While you’re basically on your own when it comes to getting a license, the Wedfuly process means you’ll be legally married. Their blog has great resources to let you know what it takes to have a legally fair marriage.
The company recommends an Arizona marriage license at the time of writing as it is legal in all US states and Arizona allows marriage license applications to be submitted online or by mail. At least for the duration of home orders.
MarryFromHome is another famous name that we came across on numerous occasions when looking for legal sites for legal online marriage.
The rather attractive and simple MarryFromHome website lists a lot of services that you can use if you want to, as the name suggests, get married from home. Like WebWed, the service is open to everyone, not just US citizens. The service offers opportunities for remote wedding and post-ceremony events.
MarryFromHome handles all paperwork with bureaucracy, of course for a fee. You must complete their booking form, upload all required documents, and share a private Zoom link with up to 90 guests. The ceremony takes about 30 minutes and you have the option of signing the certificate with an apostille to legitimize it outside the US.
Happily Ever After
While an online wedding may not be the fairy tale wedding you’ve always wanted, in many cases it’s the right option. For some, it may even be preferable to a traditional wedding.
If you purchase a professional video streaming package for your wedding day coverage, you will have a great high quality recording of the day you said yes that will last a lifetime if you back it up properly!
The Best Legal Sites of 2011 for Online Marriage
The Best Legal Sites of 2011 for Online Marriage