Can you wed a deceased individual?

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Posthumous marriage is legal in France if there is proof that the marriage was planned before the deceased partner’s death. It is mostly symbolic and does not grant inheritance. Other wedding traditions include young bridesmaids in British royal weddings and gift-giving in Russian and Indian/Pakistani weddings.

A posthumous marriage is a marriage between someone who is alive and someone who is deceased. It is not recognized by law in the United States, but there are countries around the world that do, France being the main one. It is legal to marry a dead person in France, provided there is proof that the marriage was already planned. French law permitting posthumous marriage was passed in 1959 to allow a young woman to marry her fiancé who died as a result of a marriage breaking a dam in Frejus, France. Posthumous marriage has taken place regularly in France ever since, as several dozen people apply to marry their deceased partners each year. However, the applicant must be able to demonstrate that the deceased partner intended to marry before her death. Posthumous marriage in France is mostly a symbolic alliance and does not grant the inheritance to the living partner.

Read more about marriage traditions from around the world:

Bridesmaids in British royal weddings are often young children. Princess Diana’s youngest bridesmaid was 5 years old.
A Russian groom may be taunted and forced to present gifts from the bride’s family to meet her.
In Indian and Pakistani weddings, the bride’s young relatives will take the groom’s shoes and not return them until they receive a cash gift.

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