Weird and wonderful marriage laws you may not have known about

Marriage is one of our longest running traditions and while across the globe some countries are leaping into modern society and constantly updating marriage laws, there are some that may seem strange to us – and here are just a few.


Until death do us not part. At the end of World War 1 in France, it became legal for women to marry their fiancés who were soldiers if they died during the war. The law was created to benefit partners who could retain death benefits from their fallen lover, as well as gaining closure through the law during a difficult time.

The law was called upon again in 1950, when a woman wanted to marry her partner who had unfortunately died in a dam accident. Fast forward to the present day and although the law is still viable in France, it is now much more difficult to have a posthumous marriage. Not only do you have to provide proof of your intention to marry, the President of France himself would need to provide permission for the ceremony.


Want to scream your love from the roof tops – or would the local town hall suffice? Well, Monaco could be the place for you. It’s actually a legal requirement that a couple who are wanting to get married need to make an announcement of some kind for at least 10 days.

Fortunately, expectations for this marriage law are easier to meet than in Greece. There, the announcement must be made in the local newspaper but in Monaco, a simple poster in the local community church or town hall would pass the requirement. You just have to make sure the 10-day period stretches over two Sundays – so plan wisely.

California, Colorado, Texas and Montana

Can’t be bothered or just can’t make it? There’s no need to cancel if you’re getting married in California, Colorado, Texas and Montana. There is a legal provision for proxy marriage in these US states. That means that a man or woman can marry their partner without the need for them to be at the ceremony at all.

Taking it a step further, in Montana, neither partner needs to show up to a double proxy marriage. That’s right, they could be sitting at home with their feet up while their marriage is officiated.


While this may seem like common sense for us Brits, around the world, we have a law that might be considered strange. That is that outdoor weddings must actually be held under a fixed structure in order to be legal in the UK.

This law grew from the fact that the practice of solemnising marriages in the UK is originally based within buildings. Whether you’re getting married in a religious building or at another venue, these places are specifically registered to hold the ceremonies.

Can’t get enough of the weird and wonderful? Well, we don’t like to disappoint. Head over to our previous blog where we explain our favourite divorce laws from across the globe.

Are you looking for advice or representation from a Family Lawyer? Get in contact with our team at Lysander Law and we’re make sure you have all the information you need.