Image Courtesy: The Verge

Virtual marriages, one of the most charming customs to develop during last year’s pandemic-related lockdowns, are no longer permitted in New York, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s April executive order has been removed. According to the New York Times, the order Cuomo signed was for a state of emergency, then he revoked it on June 25th.

A couple seeking to marry in New York must “say in the presence of an authorised public official or authorised member of the clergy and at least one additional witness that each takes the other as his or her husband.” To keep Zoom and other virtual marriages lawful, new laws would be required.

During the height of the coronavirus epidemic last year, brides and grooms were able to keep their wedding plans partly intact thanks to Zoom weddings, which allowed family and friends to participate in the big day while complying to social-distancing rules.  Under the Project Cupid initiative, Cuomo’s directive even enabled engaged New York couples to handle the paperwork for obtaining a marriage licence by video. People went from other states to marry in New York since it was one of the first to officially allow virtual marriages, according to the Times, and the shift in status surprised many New Yorkers, including officiants.

According to the governor’s office, the state is not prohibiting people from “live streaming a safe travel to City Hall or your clergy’s office.” According to the New York Times, the city’s Marriage Bureau in Manhattan, which shuttered in March amid lockdowns, is still restricted to walk-in marriages. However, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Thursday that the Marriage Bureau will reopen on July 19th, with couples able to arrange wedding appointments as early as July 23rd.


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