Proxy wedding

Proxy wedding

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A proxy wedding or is a wedding
Wedding
A wedding is the ceremony in which two people are united in marriage or a similar institution. Wedding traditions and customs vary greatly between cultures, ethnic groups, religions, countries, and social classes...

 in which the bride
Bride
A bride is a woman about to be married or newlywed.The word may come from the Proto-Germanic verb root *brū-, meaning 'to cook, brew, or make a broth' which was the role of the daughter-in-law in primitive families...

 or groom (or both) is not physically present, usually being represented instead by another person. If both partners are absent a double proxy wedding occurs.

Marriage by proxy is usually resorted to either when a couple wish to marry but one or both partners cannot attend for reasons such as military service, imprisonment, or travel restrictions; or when a couple lives in jurisdiction in which they cannot legally marry (such as Israel
Marriage in Israel
Marriages in Israel can only be performed under the auspices of the religious community to which couples belong. Matrimonial law is based on the Millet or confessional community system employed in the Ottoman Empire, which was not modified during the British Mandate and remains in force in the...

, where only people belonging to the same recognised religious community
Religious community
A religious community is a community who practice the same religion.In the wider sense it may describe members of one religion who live near or intermingled with members of other religions, who may often mix together in everyday life but worship separately. One might speak of the Catholic...

 may marry).

Proxy weddings are not recognized as legally binding in most jurisdiction
Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility...

s: both bride and groom must be present. A proxy marriage contracted elsewhere may be recognised where proxy marriage within the jurisdiction is not; for example, Israel recognises proxy marriages abroad between Israelis who may not have been permitted to marry in Israel.

History


It was common for European monarchs and nobility to marry by proxy in Medieval Ages and early Modern Age. A famous example of this is the marriage of Mary, Queen of Hungary to Louis I, Duke of Orléans in 1385. However, probably the most known was the marriage of Napoleon I of France
Napoleon I of France
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

 and Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma
Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma
Marie Louise of Austria was the second wife of Napoleon I, Emperor of the French and later Duchess of Parma...

. Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon , also known as Katherine or Katharine, was Queen consort of England as the first wife of King Henry VIII of England and Princess of Wales as the wife to Arthur, Prince of Wales...

 wed Prince Arthur
Arthur, Prince of Wales
Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales was the first son of King Henry VII of England and Elizabeth of York, and therefore, heir to the throne of England. As he predeceased his father, Arthur never became king...

 by proxy. A famous 17th-century painting by Peter Paul Rubens depicts the proxy marriage of Marie de Medici.

Various Internet sites now offer to arrange proxy and double-proxy marriages for a fee, although the service can generally be set up by any lawyer in a jurisdiction that offers proxy marriage. Video conferencing allows couples to experience the ceremony together. A unique "space wedding" took place on August 10, 2003 when Ekaterina Dmitriev married Yuri Malenchenko
Yuri Malenchenko
Yuri Ivanovich Malenchenko is a Ukrainian-Russian cosmonaut. Malenchenko became the first person to marry in space, on 10 August 2003, when he married Ekaterina Dmitrieva, who was in Texas, while he was 240 miles over New Zealand, on the International Space Station...

, a cosmonaut orbit
Orbit
In physics, an orbit is the gravitationally curved path of an object around a point in space, for example the orbit of a planet around the center of a star system, such as the Solar System...

ing the Earth in the International Space Station
International Space Station
The International Space Station is a habitable, artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. The ISS follows the Salyut, Almaz, Cosmos, Skylab, and Mir space stations, as the 11th space station launched, not including the Genesis I and II prototypes...

, by proxy in Texas, USA
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

.

United States


In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 proxy marriages are provided for in law or by customary practice in California, Colorado, Montana, and Texas,.

Proxy marriages are illegal in all US states except Arkansas, California, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Texas, and Montana. In California it was legalized in 2004 for members of Armed Forces currently deployed and unable to attend a service. Montana is the only state that allows double-proxy marriage. Not all states fully recognize proxy marriages, but legal precedent dictates that states recognize proxy marriage as at least a common-law marriage
Common-law marriage
Common-law marriage, sometimes called sui juris marriage, informal marriage or marriage by habit and repute, is a form of interpersonal status that is legally recognized in limited jurisdictions as a marriage even though no legally recognized marriage ceremony is performed or civil marriage...

.

During the early 1900s US proxy marriages increased significantly when many Japanese picture bride
Picture bride
The term picture bride refers to the practice in the early 20th century of immigrant workers in Hawaii and the West Coast of the United States selecting brides from their native countries via a matchmaker, who paired bride and groom using only photographs and family recommendations of the possible...

s arrived at Angel Island, California
Angel Island, California
Angel Island is an island in San Francisco Bay that offers expansive views of the San Francisco skyline, the Marin County Headlands and Mount Tamalpais. The entire island is included within Angel Island State Park, and is administered by California State Parks. It has been used for a variety of...

. Since the early 20th century it has been most commonly used in the USA for marriages where one partner is a member of the military on active duty.

Other countries


Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 and Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

 both offer proxy marriages for a fee. Proxy marriages through the consulate of Paraguay in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

are recognized by Israeli law.

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