Weddings by Zoom are no longer legal in New York

The marriages had so far taken place by video call as a preventive measure. (Photo: REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration)

With the arrival of the pandemic, many of the customs and activities carried out around the world changed, one of those cases was that of New York, a city in which virtual marriages had been made official until very recently.

As reported The New York Times, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo decided to lift the executive order imposed in April that allowed perform nuptials virtually as a preventive measure against possible infections due to the pandemic.

Such executive order became effective because a state of emergency had been declared which, in turn, meant that any law or regulation could be suspended or modified in order to deal with the situation.

With the lifting of the state of emergency on June 25, the possibility of working under modified laws would have also disappeared and therefore it is necessary to return to what is legally stipulated in a traditional way.

The law clarifies that any couple with plans to marry “must declare in the presence of an authorized public official or authorized member of the clergy and at least one other witness that each takes the other as their spouse ”. This means that physical presence is necessary both of the bride and groom as well as the officiant and the witnesses.

In times of a state of emergency, there were couples who moved or moved out of state with the explicit objective of making use of the resource offered by the city of New York to be able to make their wedding vows official using video calling apps or software like the now famous Zoom.

The change in the law would also mean that those couples who had their wedding planned remotely for the rest of July or later, would have to either cancel all their plans, or make new specific reservations for continue with the event in physical.

It is also possible that many couples have to rethink the way to do the event by possible physical restrictions or simply to continue exercising preventive security measures against possible COVID infections.

Shams Tarek, spokesman for the governor’s office, explained that the new modality requires the physical presence of the partner, but not of all the possible guests. “The state does not prevent anyone from broadcasting a safe trip live to the City Council or the office of its clergy,” he clarified.

On the current situation, Tarek invited people to come out more. “New Yorkers worked hard to get to where we are now and we celebrate return to normal every day, “said the executive.

The decision has left a lot to talk about, as many believe that it may be necessary to change policies so that adapt to new digital habits which, as could be seen in recent months, have proven to be possible and responsible.

For now, city couples who want to get married will have to do so through traditional means and making an appointment at the Marriage Office which, as announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio, has already reopened and will allow weddings to be scheduled from July 23.


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