The answer to what is a proxy wedding is it’s a union where the bride and/or groom are not physically present. We will discuss if proxy marriages are valid and when they are typically used in this read.
Are you also interested in a marriage ceremony where you would wed yourselves? Read what is a quaker wedding where you’ll be the one officiating your own wedding.
What Is A Proxy Wedding: Meaning And Validity
According to Boyd Law, a firm located in Los Angeles, proxy marriages refer to a union where two people want a wedding but cannot physically attend. A proxy wedding may happen when one or two people involved are not present at the ceremony.
Because of this, one would naturally be curious if a proxy wedding or proxy marriage is appropriate and legal. Furthermore, when are proxy weddings used?
Why was there a need for proxy weddings?
After understanding what is a proxy marriage, when is a proxy used, and why is there a need for it? Proxy marriages are allowed in select situations in the US.
The typical reason why this type of wedding happens is when one person is a US military member that is deployed overseas. Therefore, they cannot attend the marriage ceremony.
Another example where proxies are needed for weddings is if the person wanting to get married wants to unite with their spouse as soon as possible. However, they might be unable to travel and cannot be physically present at the wedding ceremony.
Are proxy marriages valid for immigration purposes?
A proxy marriage has unique considerations for immigration and citizenship. It does not constitute a lawful union for citizenship unless two members of the matrimonial party participate in a legal proxy ceremony.
The purpose of such a ceremony is to sponsor a new spouse to obtain their green card and move to the US. The US government also requires the couple to consummate the marriage after the union.
How Do Proxy Marriages Work?
A proxy wedding works even if one or two people are not physically present at their wedding. Instead, a person or two will stand for the bride and/or groom, hence the term “proxy.”
To ensure that your proxy marriage will be valid, know the states where it’s recognized. Then, head to the local county clerk’s office for the proxy marriage’s requirements, rules, and fees.
Each county may have a specific process for securing a proxy marriage, and not every state in the US recognizes proxy marriages as legal. However, in Montana, it’s possible to have a double proxy marriage where you can hire a service to help if you can’t be physically present.
How much is a proxy marriage?
A proxy marriage can be pricey, depending on the state where you’ll get married. Even more so, if you and your partner need two proxies or stand-ins, a double proxy wedding fee can cost as much as $1,000.
However, some states may cost less for a proxy wedding. You might only need to pay for notarized paperwork and accomplish the marriage license.
Are Proxy Marriages Valid?
Proxy marriages are legal and valid in California, Montana, Texas, and Colorado. Double proxy weddings or marriages where both the bride and groom cannot be physically present are only legal in Montana.
Only one matrimonial party can have a proxy for the rest of the states where proxy weddings are valid. That stand-in will repeat the vows and observe the signing and notarization of documents, all required for the proxy marriage to be legal.
What about military couples who want a proxy wedding? There are different cases for each state.
According to Military.com Network, one person must be out of the state in Colorado, and in California, only military members deployed for war can be married by proxy. Texas also requires one person to be in the state to sign the affidavit for the absent member.
How Many States Allow Proxy Marriages?
Only a few states allow proxy marriages. They are California, Colorado, Montana, and Texas.
The only state where a double proxy marriage is legal in Montana, so please keep this in mind if both members of the matrimonial party can’t be present for the ceremony.
Note that Kansas is also included in the states where proxy marriages are legal.
What Are The Documents Needed For A Proxy Marriage?
The documents you’ll usually need for a proxy marriage should validate your relationship before the marriage. They include written statements, photos, hotel and plane ticket receipts for long-distance relationships, and an affidavit.
If you or your partner is an active US Armed Forces member or Montana resident, you are also allowed to have a double proxy marriage. This still applies if your partner is a foreign national as long as you are a Montana resident or service member, but you’ll need an Apostille document.
For other types of marriages, most states require a wedding witness. Read who can witness a wedding, especially if you’re planning a civil ceremony.
And that’s it! To recap what is a proxy wedding, it’s where a member of the matrimonial party can’t be physically present at the ceremony, so someone else proxies for them.
In Montana, it’s even possible to qualify for a double proxy wedding, where you and your partner are both absent physically. However, note the states where proxy marriages are valid and check if you are qualified,