This weekend, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that he would allow people in the state obtain marriage licenses remotely.
This weekend, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that he would allow people in the state obtain marriage licenses remotely.
Photo: Franck Fife (AFP via Getty Images)

The coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly upended our normal lives and wreaked tragedy across the U.S. However, this doesn’t mean we can’t still live and celebrate important moments. In New York, people staying at home can add one more thing to the list of things they can do during the pandemic: get married.

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On Saturday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order allowing New Yorkers to obtain a marriage license remotely. The order will also allow clerks to perform ceremonies via video. These new measures will be in place until May 18, according to the executive order signed by Cuomo.

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“There is now no excuse when the question comes up for marriage,” Cuomo said at his Saturday coronavirus briefing. “No excuse. You can do it by Zoom. Yes or no.”

As of this weekend, New York had the most coronavirus cases (242,817) and deaths (13,869) in the U.S., according to the New York Times.

In terms of the digital requirements, per the executive order, the couple seeking marriage services must present a valid photo ID during the video conference. The video conference must also allow for direct interaction between the couple, the town or city clerk, and the witness or the person to solemnize the marriage. All the parties involved must then sign the license and send it back to the couple via fax or electronic means.

Marriages and weddings across the U.S. are some of the activities that have been affected by the pandemic. In terms of marriage, some of the government entities in charge of issuing marriage licenses, such as courts or city clerks, have closed or have stopped issuing them during this time.

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People planning wedding ceremonies and parties have also been affected. Federal guidelines urge people to work from home whenever possible and avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people. Honeymoon trips are also affected, as the government also recommends avoiding discretionary travel. Plus, it’s not exactly easy to find another country that will let newlyweds in right now, given that many have shuttered their borders to foreigners to control to control the outbreak.

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All things considered, this is a nice option to have until we get the pandemic under control. Plus, you all know what they say about couples in lockdown. If they survived spending that much time together, you know it’s going to last.

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