Couples make different wedding arrangements based on their circumstances. Surprisingly, in some states (California, Colorado, Montana, and Texas, as of 2010) the law does not require that both partners be present for a wedding. In these states, a proxy may be used if the bride or groom is unavailable for the ceremony. (In California, this is allowed only if the bride or groom is serving in the military.)
Proxy for Wedding Rehearsal
The bride's proxy for the wedding rehearsal, if she chooses to have one, serves as her stand-in. Some families are superstitious and believe that the bride should walk down the aisle only once. In these cases, a female relative or friend takes the bride's place during the rehearsal, so that the bride can see when she is to walk into the church, turn to face the groom, give her bouquet to her maid of honor, and say her vows.
Proxy for Legal Marriage
If a couple wants to take advantage of marital benefits right away but cannot be in the same place at the same time (for instance, if the bride or groom is away on military deployment), a proxy for the bride may be asked to stand in for the legal ceremony. This person has the authority to say "I do" on the bride's behalf. Before planning a proxy wedding, be sure that one may be legally performed in your state.
The "bride's proxy" can also refer to a man who stands in for the groom in a legal wedding. This man is the substitute for the groom during the legal exchange of vows, and can agree to the marriage on the groom's behalf.