Are Online Weddings Even Legal? Everything You Need To Know Before Getting Married Online

October 6, 2022
6 min

What Are Online Weddings And Are They Even Legal?

So you’re getting married, congratulations! In a post-COVID-19 world, with the establishment of safety standards and travel limitations, online marriages are becoming more and more popular. Even though many countries have loosened their restrictions for in-person gatherings, a virtual event can be a fun and cost-effective way to get married right now with the help of online wedding services (like Courtly) — and family and friends who are willing to log on and celebrate from home.

There are a few things that may be on your mind when you start considering getting married online. For instance, you might be wondering if Zoom weddings are legal. The short answer is yes. Several states in the US recognize and perform online marriages, and the couple will receive a legal and authentic US marriage certificate (with a US government stamp) in the mail (you can get some more information about how online weddings are recognized in the state of Utah here). You can also find more steps about obtaining a legal marriage license here

So How Do Online Weddings Work Anyways?

“How do you even get married online?” may be a question on your mind. The same laws and requirements of traditional weddings apply to online weddings as well. The marriage ceremony is performed online using a video conferencing tool by a state officiant. To make the procedure much simpler, it's essential to select an online wedding service provider with a history of collaboration with jurisdictions that permit online marriage (like Courtly). You can ensure a reliable and legal wedding with their assistance.

Here are the steps for having an online wedding:

  1. Pick a trustworthy online marriage service like Courtly. Or, if you prefer to DIY it, you can check which US Counties perform online marriages.
  2. Present official identification, such as a passport or driver's license. It may originate from any nation.
  3. Select the wedding package of your choice. The price might vary from $499 to $3,000. Additionally, many websites provide extras like witnesses or quick service.
  4. Complete the paperwork, make your payment, and wait for your application to be reviewed! A good service will make sure that your application has everything it needs to get approved promptly.
  5. Attend your online ceremony! Considering the actual wedding ceremony won't last very long, you might want to include unique customs like a toast or an online reception. You can invite anybody you want to call into your ceremony as well. 

You may also be wondering what documents you need when having an online wedding. The only document you have to submit is a marriage license application since that’s what allows you to get married. You don’t need to be a citizen of the United States to get a marriage license. Courtly can get you a legal marriage certificate online no matter where in the world you are. You will need to present some form of identification, such as your passport or driver's license, to obtain the marriage license.

Other details like your home address and parents' names and places of birth will be requested, but you are not required to submit proof of either.

We advise you to look for a business and organization that will submit your application for a marriage license on your behalf. Even though it sounds pretty simple, if done incorrectly, it can be a hair-wrenching and tedious procedure.

The moment you get your license, you’re good to go and start planning your ceremony.

Why Would You Want an Online Wedding?

So why would you want to have an online wedding? There are a lot of reasons one would want to go with an online wedding over a traditional one despite countries relaxing their restrictions on travel and in-person gatherings.

  1. Convenience: You just go ahead and be married without worrying about arranging a location or inviting loved ones for a lavish celebration. You don't need to schedule meetings with various parties to plan a virtual wedding ceremony. It also saves you, your partner, and your guests from having to travel to a wedding location that might not be convenient for everyone. The streaming service you use (such as Zoom, Instagram Live, Skype, etc.) will determine the sole restriction on the number of guests you can invite. A virtual party opens the door to invite a wider variety of guests too, such as kids and even pets!
  2. No Annoying Bureaucracy: You are undoubtedly already aware of the difficulty and annoyance that traditional wedding planning gives you. You won't have to worry about handling paperwork or other things like that if you choose an online marriage because everything will be taken care of for you.
  3. Less Stress: For some people, the intensity of an in-person wedding might cause anxiety. A virtual celebration may be consoling in similar circumstances. Being on camera gives people various chances to act or interact in ways they otherwise wouldn't have, such as having the courage to wear something they'd never wear outside of the house. The ceremony can also feel more private and help you overcome any stage fright if you are physically separated from the audience. For some whose family relationships are tense, a virtual wedding can ease the pressure. Additionally, you won't have to worry about whether or not to put on perfume, whether or not to shave your legs, or whether your socks match your shoes.
  4. Innovation: Planning your wedding online gives you the freedom to be more original and unconventional with your ceremony and reception. Whether your sense of style is more conventional or unconventional, you can let the event showcase your unique individuality. Additionally, you could add more to your wedding plan and allow each visitor, family group, or individual who is important to you share a story. Even better, you could choose to do a fun spin on the usual wedding traditions - like a first dance.
  5. Equality: Unfortunately, not all countries are welcoming and accepting of LGBT+ couples. Many nations still have laws banning same-sex marriages, some even criminalizing them. By getting married online, you can continue to be together despite local restrictions that are anti-LGBT. It's vital to remember, though, that only nations that have officially approved same-sex marriage will accept your marriage certificate. A marriage certificate is still helpful to have, even though your country might not accept it. Additionally, it's a beautiful way to express your commitment to one another.
  6. Most Affordable: It saves time and money because the ceremony happens online, you don't need to worry too much about certain logistics and traditions. You can get married in less than 24 hours. It also allows you the ability to spend less time on the wedding and more time with your spouse.

We hope this has helped you decide if getting an online wedding is right for you. If you think it is, we here at Courtly would love to help you through the process of getting a 100% legal online wedding, with a US marriage license. If you want to better understand the process of getting an online wedding through Courtly, you can check out this article here.

Let us handle the paperwork.

Getting married is complicated. Courtly simplifies the process and provides everything necessary to get married online, including providing a licensed officiant who can perform a remote ceremony.

Get Married