Trouwen met de handschoen literally means “marrying with the glove” and means a proxy marriage. People marry “with the glove” if they can’t be in the same location during the marriage ceremony. The bride or the groom is represented by someone with a power of attorney and the marriage will take place as usual, probably with the exception of the kissing of the bride!
Originally, a glove was displayed to signify the absent party, which is how the procedure got its informal name. The formal name is trouwen bij volmacht (marriage by power of attorney).
I have only ever encountered a proxy marriage once in my research. In that case, the man had emigrated first to make a life for himself and his fiancée. His employer would cover the cost of a wife to come over, but not a fiancée. Rather than him making a costly trip back to the Netherlands, they married by proxy so she could come over, all expenses paid.
Marrying with a glove is still possible if the bride or groom are unable to attend the ceremony, for example because of illness, inability to travel or incarceration. A glove is not enough, it requires a license by the Department of Justice which is not issued lightly.
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- “Trouwen met de handschoen,” Wikipedia, http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trouwen_met_de_handschoen, version 14 March 2013 23:09.