As the pandemic continues, we all must remain positive and continue to celebrate love during these unprecedented times. Many states have made temporary changes to marriage laws to accommodate for social distancing and the new era of video conferencing. The four states that permit video conference weddings are California, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York. Below I have all updated information on what states permit video conference marriage where the officiant and couple complete the ceremony over Zoom and other platforms.
California: On April 30, 2020, Governor Newsom signed an executive order permitting couples to obtain their marriage license through an online process. As for the ceremony, the order permits couples to get married over a video conferencing platform with an officiant so long as there is one witness to join the call.
Illinois: Temporarily, the governor has lifted the requirement that couples must apply for a marriage certificate in person. Instead, they can communicate with the county clerk over video conference platforms. As for the ceremony, the State of Illinois allows couples to get married through video conference so long as the couple interacts with the officiant in real time. Couples are not permitted to pre-record their “I do’s” and they must present photo identification during the ceremony.
New Jersey: Similar to the previous states, New Jersey is permitting couples to be married online for the duration of the public health crisis. For the licensing process, the couple and the licensing official can use video conference platforms to obtain a marriage license. The couple must present all legal documents and the clerk will administer the oath. For the ceremony, there must be two way audio and visuals so that the officiant, couple, and two witnesses can interact with each other and sign the marriage license.
New York: Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that all aspects of licensing and officiating is allowed to be performed utilizing audio-video technology. The couple must provide identification and proof that they are currently in the state of New York to obtain a license. Furthermore, the city of New York launched Project Cupid in order to streamline the marriage application process.
Since executive orders and laws are always changing during this time, I recommend checking with your county clerk or registrar. As always, I hope to be a resource to my couples whether with vows or creating the perfect wedding ceremony during these crazy times!