Proxy Marriage: 4 Things to Know About This Jubilant Occasion

proxy marriage

If you’re a couple that wishes to wed but one of you can not be present for the wedding due to special circumstances, such as being on active military duty, a proxy marriage might be the perfect option. During a proxy wedding, someone “stands in” for the absent party to take on the vows on the individual’s behalf. Keep reading to discover more about proxy marriages, how they occur, and the legal considerations before moving forward in the process.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo from Pexels

Purpose of a Proxy Wedding

A proxy or double-proxy marriage may occur for numerous special reasons and are only allowed in four states: California, Colorado, Montana, and Texas. It tends to be a last resort option when a couple wants to wed but can’t due to the fact that both parties can’t be in attendance. Acceptable reasons include:

  • Active Military Service
  • Incarceration
  • Travel Limitations

It’s important to note that proxy marriages are currently denied under U.S. Immigration Law and the marriage must be consummated.

What is a Double-Proxy Marriage?

A double proxy wedding is a marriage where neither party is able to be present for the wedding. This is currently only legal in the state of Montana for residents and active members of the military. In this case, neither party nor the event officiant is together in the same room during the wedding. The couple signs their rights-of-attorney for two stand-in individuals who get married for them by signing the marriage license in front of an officiant. However it is important to note that not every county in Montana allows double proxies marriages as of 2021.

Where You Can Wed By Proxy

As of 2021, there are four states that allow proxy marriages – all to different degrees and mostly limited to members of the armed forces who are deployed for war conflict or state residents:

  • California: In the State of California, proxy marriages are limited to U.S. Armed forces who are currently deployed serving in a conflict or war. Here, you can fill out a Power of Attorney (POA) form to have notarized or witnessed by two military officers. The person who will be standing in for your wedding must be physically present with the notarized form (a copy will not be accepted.)
  • Colorado: Proxy marriage is allowed for a member of the U.S. armed forces or a government contractor stationed in another country or state supporting combat or military operations. At least one of you must be a Colorado resident and you must have a notarized Power of Attorney form from the State of Colorado.
  • Montana: As stated above, Montana is the only state to allow both proxy and double-proxy marriages. Remember, double-proxy marriages are only allowed in certain counties within the state. At least one of you has to be a resident of Montana or an active member in the U.S. armed forces. 
  • Texas: In Texas, Proxy marriages are allowed for U.S. armed force members stationed outside of the United States as well as Texas prisoners. The absent party must sign an affidavit form and the other member must be in the state for the marriage to occur.

How to Get Started on the Proxy Marriage Process

If you want to have a proxy marriage within the states of California, Texas, Colorado, or Montana, reach out to your local county clerk’s office because each county or jurisdiction may have their own specifics on required forms, fees, rules, and notarizations for proxy marriages. 

If you need a notary for your documents, GreenSeal Notary can do it for you.  All parties who need to notarize the document can do it at the same time from different locations.  U.S. citizens can legally have their documents notarized electronically from anywhere in the world. GreenSeal Notary receives a lot of request to notarize proxy marriage documents online. Many of these documents are prepared by the Johnson-Gilchrist Law Firm, P.C.  GreeneSeal is always happy to be a part of your special time.  Fill out the form to provide your details and GreenSeal will get you on your way to your jubilant nuptials.