Virtual weddings, one of the most endearing traditions to emerge during last year’s pandemic lockdowns, are no longer legal in New York now that Governor Andrew Cuomo has lifted his april decree. First reported by the New York Times, the order Cuomo signed was for a state of emergency, and he canceled the EO effective June 25.
new York state law requires that a couple who are considering getting married “must declare in the presence of an authorized public official or an authorized member of the clergy and at least one other witness that each takes the other as their spouse”. Thus, in order to maintain the legality of Zoom and other virtual marriages, new legislation would be necessary.
Zoom Weddings allowed the bride and groom to keep their wedding plans somewhat intact during the height of the coronavirus pandemic last year, providing a way for family and friends to participate in the special day while still meeting the demands of social distancing. Cuomo’s ordinance even allowed New York fiancés to handle the paperwork to get a video marriage license under the Project Cupid program. People traveled from other states to get married in New York City, as it was one of the first to officially allow virtual weddings, the Time reported, and the change in status took many New Yorkers by surprise, including officiants.
The governor’s office told the Time that the state did not prevent people “from live streaming a safe trip to city hall or your clergy office.” The city’s wedding office in Manhattan, which closed last March amid closures, is still closed to walk-in weddings on Time Noted. However, the mayor of New York Bill de Blasio said on Thursday that the marriage office would reopen on July 19, and couples can schedule wedding dates starting July 23.
“It’s summer in New York City,” de Blasio said during the announcement. “A lot of people are going to have amazing things here, why not get married? “