Brides- and grooms-to-be from the Empire State will soon be able to tie the knot virtually—even without an in-person officiant.

By Nashia Baker
April 22, 2020
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While social distancing has forced many couples to put their in-person big-days on hold, New Yorkers are now able to go through with their weddings—online that is. New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Twitter that he will sign a law this week to make digital nuptials legal. "I am issuing an Executive Order allowing New Yorkers to obtain a marriage license remotely and allowing clerks to perform ceremonies via video conference," he wrote in a tweet.

This groundbreaking announcement is a relief for some—especially since most online wedding options simply aren't legal. "The legal issue with virtual weddings is an inability to verify the couple's identity and whether the marriage license is legitimate," Natasha Anakotta, the Outreach and Operations Manager at American Marriage Ministries, shared with Martha Stewart Weddings last week.

While there is no official word on how long the order will stay in place—or if other states will implement similar rules—for now, this is a great course of action for New York couples who don't want to wait to wed. "So if that's an avenue people want to go down, it will be available to them," Melissa DeRosa, secretary to the governor, told CNN.

Previously, clerks (or ordained officials) needed to be "physically present to sign and complete the marriage license along with witnesses—which has to occur promptly after the ceremony," Anakotta explained. Now, with more opportunities to marry virtually, Cuomo said that there is no time like the present to take the next step with the one you love. "Video marriage ceremonies. There's now no excuse when the question comes up for marriage. No excuse," Cuomo joked to the outlet. "You can do it by Zoom. Yes or no?"

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