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The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the cancelation or postponement of large social gatherings, with citizens advised to limit unnecessary travel, stay home and practice social distancing in a bid to flatten the curve of the virus. In addition to a summer without music festivals and sporting events, this has also meant a lot of couples have been forced to cancel their weddings, at great expense.
“It’s one day in our lives [that] we’ve spent a year and a half of constant discussion over and it can be ruined by something that is completely out of our control,” Konnor Fulk, who was supposed to be marrying his fiancé Amanda at the end of March, recently told Men’s Health. “There’s nothing we can do to fix this.”
And while nothing can make up for the meticulously planned dream weddings that never came to pass, or the financial and emotional stress involved with having to cancel your big day, an alternative may soon be available for couples who still want to get legally married during the pandemic.
Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York, announced on Saturday that he will be authorizing an Executive Order which will make marriage licenses available remotely, and will give officiants the ability to carry out legally valid wedding ceremonies over video chat.
“There’s now no excuse when the question comes up for marriage,” the Governor joked following the announcement. “No excuse… You can do it by Zoom. Yes or no?”
Cuomo’s decision to make online licenses and ceremonies official follows the example of lawmakers in Colorado and Ohio, where similar online solutions have been implemented following the closure of courthouses and town halls.