The pandemic crisis may have brought the world to a standstill but there are great things that also resulted from it. One of those include the legalization of virtual weddings. But as they say, good things come to an end. And this is true with the residents of New York as virtual weddings are no longer legal.
Virtual Wedding Ceremonies in the time of Pandemic
As of last month, Zoom weddings are already banned. And the New York Times reported the details of this outlaw clearly. This announcement requires couples to be “in the presence of” an authorized officiant for the wedding to be official. Which is basically just like a traditional wedding, that you have to attend.
Virtual weddings became a sensible alternative for people to tie the knot in the time of pandemic. Countries all over the world implement lockdowns, travel bans and no mass gathering, which then makes in-person weddings impossible. Some couples have their wedding in tuxedos and gowns, or maybe in pajamas. And some do it in hospitals, terraces, backyards, or even in bed.
No More Zoom Weddings
An executive order issued last April 2020 which temporarily suspends and modifies the law due to pandemic allowed virtual weddings to happen. The pandemic restricted the movement of people, most especially gatherings, and events. Also, certain legal processes like registration for marriage licenses became much more difficult to achieve. Because of that, people were able to obtain marriage licenses and weddings virtually. However, as mentioned, this is no longer the case due to Gov. Andrew Cuomo already lifting this order which he originally issued.
Gizmodo also explained that the executive order was created intended for a state of disaster emergency. Which in this case, is the COVID-19 pandemic. And the said governor already ended New York’s state of disaster emergency as of June 25. This makes the initial modification of laws inapplicable. All these changes resulted from a much better situation and progress with regards to the pandemic.
The governor’s office through its spokesperson, Tarek, also added:
“The state is not stopping anyone from livestreaming a safe trip to City Hall or your clergy’s office. Get vaccinated, kiss your new spouse and dance the hora if you want—New Yorkers worked hard to get where we are now and we celebrate the return to normalcy every day,”Shams Tarek,
Change of Plans
For those of you who have a scheduled virtual wedding, especially if you are in the state of New York, it seems like some plans should be changed. Since vaccination rates are increasing, and certain precautionary measures may be followed, like masks and social distancing, it seems like in-person ceremonies are definitely possible.
Another option for you would be to get married in the City Hall. It may have been closed since March 2020 but reports claim that it will soon be reopened. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced recently that The Marriage Bureau will allow couples to schedule appointments as early as July 23 in the Manhattan office. This is according to the city clerk, Michael McSweeney who heads the bureau.
It should also be noted that New York State law does not require a specific form of ceremony, however, you “must solemnly declare in the presence of a clergyman or magistrate and the attending witness or witnesses that they take each other as husband and wife.”