Marriage is a sacred bond that brings individuals together, but what happens when one party cannot physically be present for the wedding? In the U.S. armed forces, proxy marriage is a solution.
What are military proxy marriages? Proxy marriages allow military personnel to tie the knot even when they are unable to attend the ceremony in person.
To understand it further, we’ve written a guide featuring all you need to know about this topic. From their history, the reason behind creating proxy marriages, the requirements to have this kind of step-up, to what states allow proxy marriages, we got you covered. So, keep on reading!
Table of Contents
- What is Marriage by Proxy?
- What Are the Types of Proxy Marriages?
- History of Military Proxy Marriages
- Reasons for Military Proxy Marriages
- The Process of Getting Married Through a Proxy in the Military
- Legal Requirements for Military Proxy Marriages
- Proxy Marriage States
- When Are Proxy Marriages Not Accepted?
- Pros and Cons of Military Proxy Marriages
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is Marriage by Proxy?
Proxy marriage meaning is an arrangement in which the couple to be married is not present in person to attend their wedding. Rather, they have a stand-in or a “proxy” who acts in the marriage on their behalf.
The proxy stands in the place of the absent person legally, permitting the marriage to happen. You can choose to get married over the phone or to get married over the Internet.
What Are the Types of Proxy Marriages?
There are two types of proxy marriages:
- Single Proxy Marriage – if one of the two people involved cannot be there in person.
- Double Proxy Marriage – if both people are absent.
History of Military Proxy Marriages
Proxy marriages can be traced all the way back to earlier times and a number of cultural backgrounds.
Records indicate that proxy weddings have been taking place since the Middle Ages, among European kings and other royalties, and throughout World Wars I and II.
Here are a few instances of proxy weddings in the past:
- On April 2, 1402, Henry IV married Joanna of Navarre.
- On October 18, 1615, Anne of Austria married Louis XIII.
- On April 19, 1770, Marie Antoinette wed Louis XVI.
- In 1810, Emperor Napoleon I wed Archduchess Marie Louise.
Reasons for Military Proxy Marriages
These are common reasons why military personnel and their partner opt for a military proxy marriage:
- Deployment in another country
- Deployment in a remote area
- One person is in jail.
- Travel is restricted in the place of deployment.
The Process of Getting Married Through a Proxy in the Military
The proxy marriage process has varying legal requirements, depending on which state you are going to do the proxy wedding in, military marriage regulations, and more.
The process typically takes around 1 and 2 weeks. You can hire someone that is an expert on proxy marriages; they can speed up your processing time.
Legal Requirements for Military Proxy Marriages
Here are some of the usual legal requirements and documents needed for proxy marriage that must be completed before it can be performed:
- Written consents
- Proof of relationship (photos, videos, social media, plane tickets, hotel reservations, and leisure plans after the wedding, etc.)
- Formal affidavits from the groom, bride, and their attorney
- A document with an apostille for a foreign spouse
- Money to shoulder processing fees (the price of wedding services differs from state to state, but is often $750)
Proxy Marriage States
Marriage by proxy in some states and countries is legal, but not all.
As mentioned above, for countries where proxy marriage is legal, there are certain processes that should be completed before the wedding can happen.
Before deciding to get married through this arrangement, partners should check the applicable laws in their state or locality. A proxy marriage certificate is recognized in the following states:
1. In California, proxy marriage in the state is allowed.
- Only for military personnel who are deployed.
- Only one individual is given the authority to act as someone in legal matters.
2. In Colorado, proxy marriage is allowed.
- One person must be a Colorado resident.
- Only if one of you is a S. military member or government employee serving military operations abroad.
3. In Montana proxy marriage is allowed.
- One person must be a Montana
- Must submit necessary documents for marriage in Montana to an attorney for further reviewing.
- There’s no free proxy marriage in Montana. Actually, it’s rather pricey, costing anything from $600 up to $1,000.
- Double proxy marriage or dual military marriage is allowed. You must be a Montana resident or a member of the U.S. m
4. In Texas military proxy marriage is allowed.
- One of the individuals involved is a Texas prisoner or a member of the U.S. military stationed overseas.
5. In Utah, military proxy marriage is allowed. You can get married virtually.
- The wedding ceremony must take place anywhere in Utah.
In Iowa and most other states, military proxy marriage is not allowed.
When Are Proxy Marriages Not Accepted?
These are the types of proxy marriages that are absolutely NOT allowed:
- Married against the law (ex., Incest marriages, consanguinity marriages, underage marriages)
- Insufficient legal documentation
- Polygamous unions
- The marriage is for the acquisition of a green card.
In addition, the legislation of the state where the wedding happens decides whether or not the union is legally binding.
Pros and Cons of Military Proxy Marriages
Marriage via proxy, like any other types of marriage, has pros as well as cons.
- Military benefits (educational benefits, loans, JAG assistance, GI Bill, etc.)
- Military discounts
- Can be married virtually or on the Internet
- Usually, there are a lot of challenges in long-distance marriages. The intimate and private relationship among the couples could be weakened throughout the wedding ceremony.
- Having to depend on a proxy to perform duties in their place means that the absent partner has little role in the wedding’s formalities and traditions.
- Keeping on the right side of the law and submitting the right paperwork can be challenging.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is The Armed Forces Proxy Marriage Legit?
Yes. A marriage by proxy among all in the Armed Forces is considered legal. Besides that, it is also considered legal in the U.S. Federal Government.
Can A Military Proxy Marriage Be Performed Internationally?
It’s conditional. The only situation that permits marrying internationally is either the bride or groom is an armed forces member on active duty.
Can A Marriage By Proxy Be Annulled?
Yes. Proxy marriages can be legally annulled or ended in similar ways to conventional marriages.
Depending on the marriage by proxy states, there are varying processes and requirements for the annulment.
What are the Air Force marriage rules?
The Air Force accepts same- and opposite-sex couples. It’s also possible for Airmen to get married by applying for a “permissive temporary duty to travel” and meeting certain requirements.
Finally, you have learned more about military proxy marriages. If you are planning to have a proxy marriage online or in person, make sure that you check the requirements and see if you are qualified to do so.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to this type of union. As such, you should give careful consideration to your choice because it has major consequences for you and your spouse.
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