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New York allows clerks to perform weddings by video conference

COVID-19 is forcing the state to break with tradition.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
April 18, 2020
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NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 12:  A bride waits to fill out marriage papers at a busy City Clerk's office on December 12, 2012 in New York City. Couples around the world are hoping that a once-in-a-lifetime event, the date 12/12/12, will bring added luck to their marriages if they tie the knot today. This will be the last such triple date for almost a century, until January 1, 2101.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York is adjusting to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic even for some of its most time-honored traditions. Governor Andrew Cuomo has implemented an Executive Order that not only lets state residents get their marriage licenses remotely, but allows clerks to perform wedding ceremonies through video conferences. Yes, you can get hitched without having to track down another officiator who knows their way around Skype or Zoom.

Remote weddings aren’t a completely novel concept, but this move might be particularly important. The Hill noted that NYC’s Marriage Bureau has been closed since March 20th, leaving couples in one of the US’ most populous cities without many options. And while there are signs the pandemic is turning a corner, it could be a long time before it’s safe for partners to say their “I dos” in a packed building. Technology, in other words, might be crucial to keeping a staple of romance going.

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