Virtual Weddings?

Posted by on Feb 19, 2014 in Weddings and technology | 0 comments

Virtual Weddings?

Dear Engaged couple-

Today’s technology is really amazing.  This past year I talked face-to-face by Skype with a friend vacationing in Australia; Every week I am privy to phone conference calls with folks who live across our state; I take smart phone photos and post them with ease to my Facebook page, or send them via e-mail to my closest and dearest.  What a world we live in!

Last week was Valentine’s Day, which is a popular day for weddings, as you might imagine.   I married an older couple with grown children who are away at college.  The couple wanted their children to be present for their wedding, but did not want to take them out of school and away from their studies.  No problem!  They contacted their children via Face Time!  They set up their respective ipads at an appropriate viewing angle.  Their son and daughter  watched and heard the service, and for all practical purposes, were “present” for their parents’ exchange of vows.

Two ipads for two virtual wedding guests

Two ipads for two virtual wedding guests

Not only that.  Before the wedding began, the couple set the ipads opposite each other, so that the children could talk to each other, ipad-to-ipad!

Which has definitely got me to thinking….

Would it be possible for an officiant (say, me!) to marry a couple virtually?  For instance, say a couple goes to a Virginia circuit court and applies for their marriage licenses.  Then, before I actually marry them, the fiancé , who is in the military, is shipped out to another country.  Could the soon-to-be-bride and I set up a Skype call with the soon-to-be-groom?  If the couple exchange vows, are they then legally  married according to Virginia law?

Or take another more complicated “for instance”—say, Mary and Jim want me to officiate at their wedding.  They have planned to marry on the two year anniversary of their engagement.  Alas, days before the wedding,  Mary who is in the insurance industry, has to travel to Detroit and Jim, also in the insurance industry, has to travel to Chicago.  They are residents of Virginia and before they fly off, they go to a Virginia circuit court and apply for their wedding licenses.    If I marry them virtually, and sign their wedding licenses,  where do I say the wedding actually occurred? Again, is this wedding legal?

Are virtual marriages legal?  Who knows?

When I have a question the first place I go to in this technological age is the internet.  So, I asked the internet,  “Is it possible to marry by Skype?”  The answer is, probably not, unless one or the other future spouse is serving in the military.  Even then, it’s up to the circuit court to decide.  Best to ask the circuit court in advance of the wedding.  My thought is that the court would not be sympathetic  to Mary and Jim.  I mean really.  “Wait until you get back on Virginia soil!  Is that such a sacrifice?”

So there you have it! Now you know I absolutely have too much time on my hands in this off-wedding season!

To find out more about virtual weddings, go to

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *