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Frequently Asked Legal Questions

Find answers to common questions in our searchable FAQ.

26466 views   |   40   |   Last updated on Oct 26, 2023    Marriage COVID-19 Family Law

We have not found any Texas laws that require an officiant to be present at the ceremony in person.

Laws regulating marriage ceremonies are in Chapter 2, Subchapter C of the Texas Family Code. We have more details on these laws on the Conducting the Ceremony page of our Marriage in Texas guide.

In some counties (like Travis County and Tarrant County), the justice of the peace offers remote ceremonies over software like Skype or Zoom. You can reach out to the clerk’s office of your county’s justice of the peace to ask if this is an option.

What if I can't attend the ceremony?

Marriage by proxy is when one person is unable to attend the ceremony and authorizes another adult to fill in for them during the ceremony. These types of ceremonies are not available to everyone in Texas.

Section 2.203 of the Texas Family Code states that marriage by proxy is only available to U.S. military members who are:

  1. stationed in another country in support of combat or another military operation; and
  2. unable to attend the ceremony.

Does it matter where the officiant is?

Marriage laws vary widely across the country. It is possible that legal issues may arise if an officiant is in a different legal jurisdiction than the couple. Some jurisdictions may require the couple and the officiant to appear in person during the ceremony. This article from American Marriage Ministries provides some examples of jurisdictions in the U.S. that have these types of requirements.

What if we make a mistake?

With some exceptions, the validity of a marriage is not affected by mistakes that occur while obtaining the marriage license. Section 2.301 of the Family Code addresses this issue.

As librarians, we cannot advise you on whether your marriage ceremony would be considered legal. We also do not have any attorneys on staff who can provide legal advice. For more information on finding an attorney, please see the library's Legal Help page.

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