proxy marriage bouquetWhat is a Proxy Marriage?

In a proxy marriage (marriage by proxy), a person, called a “proxy,” stands in for either the bride or the groom in the solemnization of a proxy marriage. In a “double proxy marriage,” proxies stand in for both the bride and groom in the proxy marriage.

A Montana Double Proxy Marriage is a fully legal marriage, and allows both the the bride and the groom to have “proxies” stand in for them at the wedding ceremony, and say, “I do” for them. The ceremony is done in Montana, and solemnized by a judge or officiant. Neither the bride or groom needs to be present. A proxy will stand in for each of them, during the proxy marriage ceremony.

Proxy Marriages aren’t new…they’ve been done for hundreds of years, all over the world! The Montana Double Proxy Marriage has been legal under Montana state law since the 1800s. It allows for both the bride and groom to have proxies stand in for them at their marriage by proxy, as long as one of them (the bride or groom) is an active member of the U.S. Military, or a Montana state resident.

After their proxy marriage is solemnized, most brides and grooms have a wedding where they invite all of their friends and family, and have all of the celebratory things that come with a traditional wedding.

proxy marriage laws

Here is the Montana State Law regarding proxy marriages:

40-1-301. Solemnization and registration

(1) A marriage may be solemnized by a judge of a court of record, by a

public official whose powers include solemnization of marriages, by a

mayor, city judge, or justice of the peace, by a tribal judge, or in

accordance with any mode of solemnization recognized by any religious

denomination, Indian nation or tribe, or native group. Either the person

solemnizing the marriage or, if no individual acting alone solemnized the

marriage, a party to the marriage shall complete the marriage certificate

form and forward it to the clerk of the district court.

(2) If a party to a marriage is unable to be present at the solemnization,

the party may authorize in writing a third person to act as proxy. If the

person solemnizing the marriage is satisfied that the absent party is

unable to be present and has consented to the marriage, the person

may solemnize the marriage by proxy. If the person solemnizing the

marriage is not satisfied, the parties may petition the district court for

an order permitting the marriage to be solemnized by proxy.

(3) The solemnization of the marriage is not invalidated by the fact that

the person solemnizing the marriage was not legally qualified to

solemnize it if either party to the marriage believed that person to be


(4) One party to a proxy marriage must be a member of the

armed forces of the United States on federal active duty or a

resident of Montana at the time of application for a license and

certificate pursuant to 40-1-202. One party or a legal representative

shall appear before the clerk of court and pay the marriage license fee.

For the purposes of this subsection, residency must be determined in

accordance with 1-1-215.