New York, Colorado and Ohio were the first states to lead the charge in the changing landscape of weddings and more states have followed suit! Not only are some states recognizing virtual ceremonies, but they are also allowing residents to apply for marriage licenses online, something that typically must be done in-person.
Thanks to an executive order issued by California Governor Gavin Newsom on April 30, 2020, California residents are now able to obtain marriage licenses virtual, rather than in-person. "NEW: CA will now allow adults to obtain marriage licenses via videoconferencing for the next 60 days," Newsom tweeted.
Similar to other states, the executive order also allows couples to officially wed via video conference "as long as both parties are present, and have at least one witness who can join the live video conference."
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order regarding virtual wedding ceremonies on April 18, 2020. He announced the news during his daily coronavirus press briefing and on Twitter with a tweet that read, "NEW: I am issuing an Executive Order allowing New Yorkers to obtain a marriage license remotely and allowing clerks to perform ceremonies via video conference."
Not only does the executive order allow marriage clerks to officiate wedding ceremonies via video conference, but it also allows engaged couples to apply for their marriage license online.
Typical New York law requires couples to apply for a marriage license in-person at any town or city clerk—something that proved to be impossible during quarantine since marriage bureaus across the state are currently closed.
Of course, the order is just a temporary provision to New York law. However, it is the perfect solution for couples who are eager to officially tie the knot!
On March 26, 2020, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed an executive order allowing clerks to issue marriage licenses through an application by mail, instead of in-person. This allows engaged couples to follow the state's stay-at-home orders and apply for a marriage license simultaneously.
County clerks were quick to share the news with their residents via Twitter, with the Boulder County Clerk tweeting, "Hey @bouldercounty residents – Getting married soon? Don’t fret! Our offices may be closed to the public, but we can now complete a marriage license application over video chat & mail you your docs!"
Certain counties in Ohio have made temporary changes to their marriage laws as well. In response to Governor Mike Dewine's stay-at-home order, Franklin County's Probate Court will issue marriage licenses in-person only if the following criteria is met: Applicants must call the court in advance to set up an appointment and should be prepared to undergo a health screening upon arrival.
The current outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has been declared a pandemic by The World Health Organization. As the situation remains fluid, we’ll be sharing tips and stories from industry experts and couples who are experiencing cancellations to give you the most up to date advice on how this can impact your wedding.