People Can Get Married In Montana Without Either of Them Being Present

In a double-proxy marriage, the participants are both absent from the marriage ceremony, and each is represented by a proxy. In the photo above, Armed Forces Proxy Marriages office manager Rachel Bodick, co-owner Tom Kennedy and co-owner Teresa Kennedy demonstrate how they hold civil ceremonies for double-proxy marriages, standing in place of the real couple who are usually far from Montana. Today, Montana is the only state where double-proxy marriages are legal. In order to qualify, you must either be a Montana resident or an active-duty military member. The law has been in place since Montana became a state in 1889. It’s believed that the intention of the Montana Legislature was to provide an opportunity for persons who lived a long way from a county seat to get married without having to travel long distances over the rural landscape. Today, double-proxy marriages in the state are on the rise. Prior to the pandemic, about 100 proxy marriages a year were performed in Montana, but now they’re doing about 100 a month. In fact, it’s gotten to the point where the state has had to raise the license fee in order to pay for temporary workers that are needed to process the high volume of marriage licenses.