When Was the First Online Wedding? – William Storey and Clara Choate’s Love Story

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“[I]t is no longer amateur hour.”
February 12, 2021

Today, you can get married on Zoom.  But nothing’s new.

The first online wedding took place by telegraph in the 1800’s.  See M. Berman, et al., eds., “Managing E-Discovery and ESI: From Pre-Litigation Through Trial” (ABA 2011), 753, citing Standage, “The Victorian Internet” (Walker & Co. 1998, 2007), 127-28.  Standage describes a wedding reported in 1848.  One partner was in Boston, the other in New York.

Later, William Storey and Clara Choate stood together while the minister was 600 miles away. “Storey and Choate went on to reportedly lead a happy life and had five children together.”  T. Smith, “The First Online Wedding Happened in 1876.”

Many romances began over the wires.  Standage at 136.  Some were not happy and a cautionary tale was published under the title “The Dangers of Wired Love.”  Id.

“A whole industry has sprung up around Zoom weddings, with services like Wedfuly offering professionally produced events complete with virtual photographers, DJs, and the bandwidth to handle up to 1,000 guests.” Id.

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