Traditional marriages in Western societies and even most non-Western ones usually involve a couple exchanging their vows face-to-face.? This can be done in a chapel, outside, at home or in a courthouse? location is not as important as the actual physical presence of both the bride and groom.? However, for deployed military personnel face-to-face marriage ceremonies might not be possible.? There are situations where the bride or groom is flown out to the serviceperson’s location, but this is not likely.? What usually happens is the serviceperson must wait until their deployment is over, or they must have a marriage-by-proxy ceremony.
What is a marriage-by-proxy ceremony?? It is when a legally-binding marriage occurs despite the couple not being in person to exchange vows.? To do it properly, military couples may need assistance from attorneys and/or preachers.? In the case of the preachers specifically, some will not do marriage-by-proxy ceremonies despite the situation between the bride and the groom.
Why do military couples decide to do marriage-by-proxy ceremonies over just waiting until the serviceperson comes home?? In some situations pregnancy is the reason.? The bride and the groom want to be able to make sure the mother-to-be is covered under military health insurance. In other situations couples just want to go on and go through the process because of their love.
A marriage-by-proxy ceremony can be conducted on the telephone or online.? The couple exchanges their vows then do something symbolic to show that they are married.? When the military serviceperson returns home, the couple may decide to go through a traditional ceremony, though they aren’t required to do so, as long as they have made sure their by-proxy wedding was legally sound.