How to Marry a Soldier in Deployment (2024 Guide)

January 11, 2024
7 min

Deployment is hard enough as it is, let alone marrying someone who’s deployed overseas. How will your spouse be granted leave? Who will take care of the paperwork? Is marriage during deployment even legal?

It is reasonable to state that marriages do not frequently occur in a conflict area. In actuality, marriage ceremonies are not performed by military chaplains. It's tough to be far away from your spouse-to-be, but when they're in the military and deployed overseas, it can be even more challenging. That's why Courtly guides you on how marrying someone who’s deployed overseas works.

US army mom looking at photos

Are soldiers allowed to marry while deployed?

Marriage is a big step, and it's important to make sure you're doing it right. That's why we wanted to talk about marrying someone who’s deployed overseas.

First of all, let's talk about the legality of marriage while deployed. There are plenty of laws that dictate when and where marriages can take place, so it's important to know what they are before you move forward with your plans.

So, are soldiers allowed to enter into marriage while deployed?

The quick response is "it’s complicated." For it to happen, it requires several months of red tape and special interventions from higher-up brass. Although it is not prohibited, it is almost impossible unless the spouse-to-be of the deployed soldier is also serving.

  1. First off, almost no military personnel receive leave while they are on assignment.
  2. Second, if an officer is getting married, they typically notify their chain of command. The chances of getting permission for marriage during deployment after passing through the complete chain are equal to none.

The actual wedding and honeymoon are another matter. These sorts of leaves are typically not offered when the personnel are sent to a conflict zone because they will almost certainly return within a year. (The average deployment lasts around a year).

Hence, generally, there is no procedure that allows a US service member to enter into a marriage during deployment.

That brings us to the alternative concept of proxy marriages in the military.

What are Proxy Marriages?

A double-proxy marriage is one in which the bride and groom are represented by two selected proxies, who obtain and complete all the necessary state paperwork online. A nondenominational preacher officiates at the marriage, and a few weeks later, the delighted couple receive a formal marriage certificate in the mail from their home state or country.

Because military personnel are frequently stationed abroad and cannot physically marry their intended spouse, proxy weddings are usually sought as an alternative. Nevertheless, double-proxy unions are a rare occurrence because a lot of rules make them almost impossible to happen anyway.

  1. Only one state in the US permits a double proxy marriage, and very few jurisdictions permit proxy weddings altogether.
  2. The civilian spouse-to-be would need to be a resident of one of those four states as proxy weddings are only permitted and recognised as lawful in those four jurisdictions, and if she is not, then the marriage is unquestionably not real or genuine.
  3. Since most people are unfamiliar with American regulations governing the legality of proxy weddings, fraudsters frequently exploit them to trick victims into sending any fictitious documents they wish to purport to be the marriage's official documentation.
  4. The military won't let a soldier take time off from a deployment to be married. Even in the case of a proxy marriage, whereby the other spouse-to-be is not a resident of the aforementioned four states.

These strict laws around proxy and double proxy negate any chance whatsoever of marrying someone who’s deployed overseas.

Thankfully, Courtly offers an easy, fast, and legal way out.

Military Discount: Courtly offers a discount on all wedding packages for active duty service members and veterans. Contact us for more information on how to qualify!

Do you (the spouse) need to spend money for paperwork for marrying a soldier during his/her deployment?

The US military troops are paid twice a month by direct deposit into their bank accounts. They have all the money they require available.

The only costs typically associated with being married are the processing and certificate fees, which may be paid at any court. These costs are just a municipal expense used to pay for municipal goods, regardless of who pays them—the bride, the groom, or a friend. 

It must, however, be noted with caution that many times, when you meet someone online who makes the claim that they are a soldier and offers marriage to a person he has never met while on duty, it turns out that they are actually scammers and con artists.

Do soldiers need to leave their base to get married?

As aforementioned, soldiers during deployment seldom get leaves. In the event of a family emergency, such as the loss of a wife or kid or a major sickness, leave from deployment would often be given.

However, marriage during deployment is deemed secondary, and the deployed soldiers are often advised to wait until their deployment ends.

When people join the military, they often enter into a relationship with someone who does not share their commitment to service. While this can be difficult for both parties involved, there are ways around it. One option is marrying online since a physical wedding is out of the question.

Is marrying online legal?

It is, indeed. Online marriages have been made completely legal in all 50 US states since the year 2020. To obtain a valid US marriage certificate, you don't necessarily have to put pen to paper or enter a courtroom!

To tie the knot digitally, you just need your consent, an online marriage service provider, and your vows.

How many days does it take to process the marriage?

With Courtly, you can get married in less than 24 hours. After your online wedding, you'll have a digital copy of your US marriage certificate, and a printed copy will be dispatched to you within a few business days.

Is online marriage acceptable for immigration visas?

The short answer is - yes! With Courtly, you'll receive a valid US marriage certificate through Utah County. This method is generally acknowledged under U.S. immigration law, provided it complies with all relevant federal and state regulations. Our collaboration with Utah County ensures adherence to their established protocols, guaranteeing the authenticity of your Marriage Certificate.

However, every case is different, and we recommend seeking the help of immigration experts before deciding if online marriage is right for you. Additionally, many organizations, such as CitizenPath, offer special discounts for military personnel. It's worth inquiring about such financial concessions when exploring your options.

Marriage during deployment with Courtly

If you're a soldier and you want to get married, it might be time to put down your weapon.

According to a recent survey, the most common reason for military or civilian-military couples to split up is that one of the spouses has been deployed overseas.

Courtly, an online marriage platform, solves all your problems related to marrying someone who’s deployed overseas. Unlike proxy marriages, online marriages with Courtly are completely legal in all 50 US states. Here are the reasons to choose an online marriage with Courtly while being deployed:

  • It is fast. You can get married in less than 24 hours.
  • It is legal. Marriage during deployment battles a lot of legal constraints. Courtly helps you win the legal battle.
  • You just go ahead and get married; you don't have to bother about arranging a location or inviting everyone for a big celebration. Ideal during deployment, right?
  • Online marriage with Courtly requires the least formality on the part of your spouse, who is deployed overseas. 

The procedure for online marriage with Courtly

1. Create your Courtly account and finish the registration procedure.

Registering with Courtly for an online marriage is a simple process! To sign up, simply click the "Get Married" icon in the top right corner and follow the onscreen instructions. As soon as you create your account, you should be able to access it.

2. Choose the type of ceremony and the officiant.

It's your turn now! Choose the ceremony style that you desire and that fits with your deployed spouse-to-be's schedule. Select a time and day, and we'll pair you up with a US officiant who is legally qualified.

3. Pay for your package and await Courtly's email.

After paying for your wedding package, you will get an email of confirmation from Courtly. When this is finished, the wedding bells should start to sound! For complete information on our available wedding packages and add-ons, please check our Pricing Page.

4. Celebrate your marriage online.

Last but not least, you will be married online while lounging in your house (or any other place with a strong internet connection!) with your spouse attending from the location of their deployment. The actual ceremony should take around 15 minutes.

After your online wedding, you'll have a digital copy of your US marriage certificate, and a printed copy will be sent to you within a few business days. 

military couple in uniform getting married online

If you're a veteran, you know that the military is no joke. It takes a lot of sacrifice, commitment, and dedication to get through it—and to make it through unscathed. It is an honor to serve your country, and now that you've done so, you deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Just like in a romantic movie where two people are estranged by the restrictions of geography and job, yet they always find a way to be together in the end. Courtly does the same for you. Courtly gives your love story a happy ending by negating the distance between you and your loved one.

Let us handle the paperwork.

Getting married is complicated. Courtly simplifies the process and provides everything necessary to get married online, including providing a licensed officiant who can perform a remote ceremony.

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