Four states in the United States allow proxy marriages:
A proxy marriage is a marriage where someone stands in for the other party. That is, either the bride or the groom is not physically present for the wedding. During the solemnization of the marriage, based upon a power of attorney, an agent acts on behalf of one of the parties.
A double-proxy marriage is a marriage where neither party is present. In the United States, the only state to allow a double-proxy marriage is Montana, though not all Montana counties will allow the proxy marriages.
Marriage by proxy has been around a long time. One of the more famous proxy marriages was in 1810, when Emperor Napoleon married Archduchess Marie Louise by proxy. During the early 1900's, proxy marriages increased significantly when many Japanese picture brides arrived in Angel Island. During war time, proxy marriages are more common.
The term today, though, is primarily connected to computer servers, annual stock meeting voting, and Munchausen Syndrome.
Where You Can Get Married By Proxy:
NEW RULES FOR MARRIAGE BY PROXY – FOR ACTIVE MILITARY ONLY
California marriage by Proxy
Marriage by proxy is NOT allowed in California. Family Code, Section 420(a) requires the two parties, marriage officiant, and witness if applicable, be physically present together in the same location for the marriage to be performed.
Colorado marriage by Proxy
HOUSE BILL 15-1327
A BILL FOR AN ACT 101 CONCERNING LIMITATIONS ON PROXY MARRIAGES. http://www.leg.state.co.us/billsummaries.) Colorado law allows proxy marriages in cases where one of the parties to a marriage is unable to be present and to participate in the solemnization of the marriage and designates another person to stand in his or her place as a proxy. The bill limits proxy marriages to an absent person who is:
! A member of the armed forces of the United States who is stationed in another country or in another state in support of combat or another military operation;
! A government contractor or an employee of a government contractor, working in support of the armed forces of the United States in another country or in another state or in support of United States military operations in another country or in another state. The bill also states that the requirements for applying for a marriage license for a proxy marriage are the following:
! One party is a resident of Colorado; ! One party appears in person to apply for the marriage license and pays the required fees;
! The signatures of both parties to the proxy marriage are required, and the party present shall sign the marriage license application and provide an absentee affidavit form containing the notarized signature of the absent party, along with proper identification documents required for a marriage license for the absent party; and
! Both parties are 18 years of age or older.
Montana marriage by proxy
40-1-301 Solemnization and registration
(1) A marriage may be solemnized by a judge of a court of record, by a public official whose powers include solemnization of marriages, by a mayor, city judge, or justice of the peace, by a tribal judge, or in accordance with any mode of solemnization recognized by any religious denomination, Indian nation or tribe, or native group. Either the person solemnizing the marriage or, if no individual acting alone solemnized the marriage, a party to the marriage shall complete the marriage certificate form and forward it to the clerk of the district court.
(2) If a party to a marriage is unable to be present at the solemnization, the party may authorize in writing a third person to act as proxy. If the person solemnizing the marriage is satisfied that the absent party is unable to be present and has consented to the marriage, the person may solemnize the marriage by proxy. If the person solemnizing the marriage is not satisfied, the parties may petition the district court for an order permitting the marriage to be solemnized by proxy.
(3) The solemnization of the marriage is not invalidated by the fact that the person solemnizing the marriage was not legally qualified to solemnize it if either party to the marriage believed that person to be qualified.
(4) One party to a proxy marriage must be a member of the armed forces of the United States on federal active duty or a resident of Montana at the time of application for a license and certificate pursuant to 40-1-202. One party or a legal representative shall appear before the clerk of court and pay the marriage license fee. For the purposes of this subsection, residency must be determined in accordance with 1-1-215.
Montana Code Annotated - Title 40: Family Law - Chapter 1: Marriage - Part 3: SolemnizationHistory: En. 48-309 by Sec. 9, Ch. 536, L. 1975; amd. Sec. 9, Ch. 33, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, 48-309(1), (2), (4); amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 247, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 348, L. 1985; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 235, L. 2007.
Texas marriage by Proxy
New Texas Law Prevents Prisoners from Marrying
As of September 2013, Texas prison inmates can no longer legally marry while incarcerated. A new law (House Bill 869, which took effect September 1) bans proxy marriages, through which prisoners could marry by having a stand-in exchange vows with their intended before a justice of the peace. The new law requires both parties to be physically present for marriage ceremonies, which Texas prisons do not allow within its facilities. Proxy marriages were previously common and available to virtually any prisoner—even Jason Burkett, an inmate serving a life sentence for his role in a triple homicide, married while in prison and subsequently fathered a child (the logistics of which, given that Texas prisons do not allow conjugal visits, is a point of some mystery).