Give me a ring sometime

[Cue crabby uncle voice] The crazy things that kids do these days! They’re glued to their mobile handsets. They eat, sleep, and even go to the bathroom while jabbering away. Why, just the other day, a Pakistani man in Italy even got married over the phone:

In Milan, the man told a court that he feared losing his job in Italy if he had flown to Pakistan to get married. Instead, he got married over the phone and had an official Pakistani marriage certificate to prove it. He even showed the court a video of relatives celebrating the wedding – without the happy couple.

The groom is legally resident in Italy and had won the approval of the local police chief for his plans to marry over the phone and then bring his bride to his new hometown in northern Italy… All that mattered, the judge said, was that a telephone wedding was recognised by law in the two spouses’ home country. [Link]


p>Of course, Italian immigration wasn’t too happy about it, but the judge had no problem with the idea. And who would expect less from a judge in the city of … Milan.


p>Is this idea so strange? If you can get divorced via text message [Exhibit A, Exhibit B*] , and if you can (ahem) perform “marital activities” over the phone [topic NSFW, but link OK], then why not get married over the phone too? I have friends whose entire LDRs seem to be over the phone these days anyway, so why not include the wedding as well?


p>Before you think that this is just modern technology run amuck, there was actually a similar event close to 160 years ago, on the “Victorian Internet” i.e. the telegraph:

with the bride in Boston and the groom in New York… the bride’s father had sent the young groom away for being unworthy to marry his daughter, but on a stop-over on his way to England, he managed to get a magistrate and telegraph operator to arrange the wedding. The marriage was deemed to be legally binding. [Link]

There truly is nothing new under the sun.

*Yes, I know in K-Fed’s case he was just being informed not talaqed, but I couldn’t resist

20 thoughts on “Give me a ring sometime

  1. Perfect use of crabby uncle voice….except that the desi uncles seem rather more attached to their phones (and liable to use them 24/7 while driving, in the loo, etc) than me, these days.

    The story about the telegraph wedding is genius…great find.

  2. I can imagine the vistas this opens up for marriage-minded aunties. “Beta, I’m connecting you to my third cousin’s fourth daughter in Mumbai. She’s fair, high-caste, and a DOCTOR! And the best thing is, the priest and astrologer are all waiting on the line too!”

  3. You may now kiss the phone.

    Don’t give the cellphone companies ideas, they’ve just about added every thing else into a phone. It’s only a matter of time before the “fiance-phone” comes out complete with lipjacks.

  4. Back in Dot Com Boom the First, I had a Muslim friend who married her husband over LiveMeeting. He lived in Bangladesh, and she was in the Bay Area. From what little I know of Muslim weddings, they didn’t really need to be in the same place anyway; the vast majority of the wedding ceremony is about the families drawing up the marriage contract, etc.

    But, that lent much to the imagination -

    • Reception immediately after the ceremony, in the couple’s favorite chatroom
    • Virtual dance to the MP3 playlist they customized for the occasion
  5. My aunt and uncle got married over the phone back in the 60′s when he was in the States and she was in India. It was the only way she could come over at the time. They just grabbed a picture of him and she got married to that!

  6. oh ho ho ho! i get the title now! ‘give me a ring sometimne’. as in a wedding ring and phone ring. gosh, i’m burnt out.

  7. Marrying without any prior face to face interaction seems bizarre to me due to my western upbringing. I suppose it’s much more accepted back in the mother countries. If you’ve at least met the person face to face, then the phone marriage is not so strange. After all, if you cut out all the pomp and ceremony, it’s just two people making a verbal commitment to one another.

    I wonder if this is going to lead to fraudulent marriages. . . “uhh, you look NOTHING like the pictures I got. . . .”

  8. It’s not clear that they never met each other. It could well be that they had known each other for years, but couldn’t go back because he was afraid of losing his job. Your point is well taken though.

  9. I knew three bangladeshi couples who got married over the phone and got their spousal green card application approved as well. This was in late 90s.

  10. Id like to get married to my long distance fiance’ hes in another country, anyone know of a anyplace I can call that would do that for us? Via phone or Internet…send me an e-mail