Get Marriage License Online with Project Cupid

Today Mayor Bill De Blasio announced Project Cupid, the initiative to allow wedding couples to get their marriage license online. This follows the executive order of Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier in the month that waives the requirement of seeing a clerk in person to complete the marriage license process. This is amazing news for New York wedding couples!

How to Get Marriage License Online

While you’ve always been able to start your paperwork online, wedding couples had to show up at a City Clerk’s office in person to complete the marriage license process. Project Cupid is changing all of that! The city said applicants will be able to schedule a virtual appointment with the clerk’s office, upload all the necessary paperwork, and upload the signed license for submission to the City Clerk once the ceremony is complete.

The Project Cupid website is scheduled to go live the first week of May. This will be a secure online portal, available in 11 languages, that allows couples to receive their marriage license.

But wait, what about ceremonies?

While this is a fantastic development, there are still some unanswered questions about the future of NYC weddings. Is the city also opening up virtual ceremonies with clerks? Will couples be able to have Zoom weddings with a private officiant? When will restrictions ease to the point of being able to have an in-person ceremony? These are all great questions, so I called up Daniela Villaramos of Once Upon a Vow to get her point of view as a kick-ass wedding officiant.

We’re still waiting on guidance for wedding ceremonies, right?

“Yes, we are still waiting on guidance for these ‘Zoom Weddings’ as Cuomo put it. The Marriage Bureau is working diligently behind-the-scenes to follow through on Governor Cuomo’s Virtual Marriage Executive Orders. I learned today that the City Clerk’s Office is undergoing training on the technological side of Project Cupid. Mayor De Blasio stated that this would be live next week, but a representative at the Marriage Bureau mentioned that this may take another two weeks. So, we’ll need to wait and see.”

What do we know so far?

“Here’s what we know so far:

  1. There can be NO pre-recordings of any kind throughout the entirety of this process from the license retrieval to the license signing, every virtual interaction must be “live” via an audio-video platform, like Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet.
  2. The couple must present valid photo ID when asked to verify their identities (driver’s license, state ID, and a passports are accepted).
  3. The couple must confirm that they are actually in the state of New York through this entire process.
  4. The couple must electronically send a legible copy of the signed license to the witness, the officiant, and the city clerk on the same day it was signed in a secure, confidential manner.”

Will you only be able to have a clerk officiate the ceremony?

“While Executive Order No. 202.20 got the virtual marriage ball rolling, it is Executive Order No. 202.21 that allows officiants outside of the City Clerk’s Office to perform virtual ceremonies, including friend officiants who are registered with the City of New York. This means we at Once Upon A Vow can legally perform your marriage ceremony and we’re psyched about it!!!”

What do you think ceremonies will look like going forward?

“I think virtual ceremonies will become the norm for some time, even once the city begins to reopen. Since we don’t have widespread testing or a vaccine for this virus yet and everyone is conscious of a potential second wave, virtual marriages may need to continue. The bright side of all this is that the wedding industry is full of creatives! I strongly believe that virtual ceremonies will be a fun, light-hearted, collective event reminding us that even through quarantines and pandemics, love is always worth celebrating!”

Outside entrance to the NYC Manhattan Marriage Bureau.

Final Thoughts

While the executive order is scheduled to expire on May 18th, I don’t think the city and state are going to scrap all of the work and training they put into Project Cupid just to shut it down after two weeks. I think obtaining your marriage license online will now be a permanent option, and might actually become the only option if the city and state want to minimize the crowds at clerk’s offices. Ceremonies, on the other hand, might get pulled back from the virtual setting once restrictions are eased, but we’ll see.

Click here to read the full press briefing on the city’s website.

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