Can one get married via Zoom?

Dear Atty. Joji,

I met my boyfriend through an Internet dating platform and we are thinking of getting married as soon as possible. He is currently living in Zimbabwe and as he cannot fly to the Philippines anytime soon, he wants to get married via Zoom. Is it possible, Atty?

All the love,


Dear Iza,

According to Articles 2 and 3 of the Family Code, our laws clearly provide for essential and formal requisites to a valid marriage, particularly: 1) legal capacity of the contracting parties who must be a male and a female; 2) consent freely given in the presence of the solemnizing officer; 3) authority of the solemnizing officer; 4) valid marriage license, except in those cases mentioned under the law;
and 5) marriage ceremony that takes place with the appearance of the contracting parties before the solemnizing officer and their personal declaration that they take each other as husband and wife in the presence of not less than two witnesses of legal age.

As mentioned above, it is contemplated that the physical appearance of both parties is required to fully give their consent in the presence of the solemnizing officer, thus, online marriage via Zoom or Skype, or any social platform will not satisfy the requirement of the Family Code. Accordingly, your marriage will not be considered valid if you pursue the same through such technology.

Please keep in mind that the absence of any of the essential or formal requisites will render the marriage void ab initio, except those stated in Article 35 (2) of the said Code, and a defect in any of the essential requisites shall render the marriage voidable as provided in Article 45 of the same law (Paragraphs 1 and 2, Article 4, Id.).

To explain further, Article 6 of the Family Code states:

“Art. 6. No prescribed form or religious rite for the solemnization of the marriage is required. It shall be necessary, however, for the contracting parties to appear personally before the solemnizing officer and declare in the presence of not less than two witnesses of legal age that they take each other as husband and wife. This declaration shall be contained in the marriage certificate which shall be signed by the contracting parties and their witnesses and attested by the solemnizing officer.”

Those who knowingly violate or who deliberately do not comply with the requirements of a valid marriage under the law may be criminally prosecuted under Article 350 of the Revised Penal Code for illegal marriages. In the same vein, the solemnizing officer (officiating priest or pastor) may likewise be meted with a penalty under Article 352 of the RPC for performing an illegal marriage ceremony such as the one which you have in mind.

Hope this helps.

Atty. Joji Alonso

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