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    What Happens If Someone Objects at a Wedding?

    Wedding objections may not be common, but they do happen. Learn all about where wedding objections came from and what to do if someone objects at your wedding.



    What Happens If Someone Objects at a Wedding?

    By Jaimie Mackey Updated on 11/24/20



    "Speak now or forever hold your peace" may be fading from modern wedding ceremony scripts, but not asking for objections doesn't guarantee that you won't get any. It's the last thing you want to hear, but if someone opposes your marriage, they might decide that your ceremony is the moment to speak up. So what if someone decides to speak now? How should a couple handle the combined interruption and objection to their union? Whether it's a jilted past lover or a disapproving family member, it's a situation that's best handled with extreme care.

    Traditionally, a wedding objection is a verbal expression of opposition against a nuptial union with the intent of thwarting the marriage, but the scope of the definition is broadening. "My straightforward definition of an objection would be any interruption to the ceremony that prevents the exchange of vows without conditions," explains ceremony expert Fr. Jason Lody. While it can be an unprompted exclamation (as is often portrayed in films), it is traditionally given in response to the officiant's cue: when they turn to guests and say "If anyone objects to the marriage, speak now or forever hold your peace."


    Fr. Jason C. Lody, FCM, is the minister general of the Franciscan Community of Mercy and pastor of the parish of Saint Anthony of Padua.

    If you're dreading the moment or just curious about how it all started, read on for our complete breakdown of the tradition and expert tips for delicately handling the situation should it arise.

    The History of Wedding Objections

    The custom of voicing one's objections to a nuptial union became institutionalized during medieval times. It was introduced by the Catholic Church during the 12th century as a means of ensuring the legality of a union before making it official. At this time, people relied on word of mouth and individual knowledge to ascertain whether a couple was eligible to wed. Grounds for objection included factors like a party already being married to another, pre-existing vows of celibacy or commitment to the church, being underage without parental consent, or close blood relations.

    The proposed marriage was publicly announced before the intended date, giving the community adequate time to come forth with any information. It was then also asked of those witnessing the marriage in a similar fashion to what we know today. "Since weddings were often done in public venues that sometimes included people outside of invited guests and dignitaries, an opportunity to assure the validity of the request for marriage was allowed before the ceremony would proceed," adds Fr. Lody. "This practice of allowing objections grew once laws were put in place that transferred wealth and land ownership immediately after a wedding." Any objections would need to be given under oath and would result in a suspension of the wedding by the officiant to further investigate the situation.

    Nowadays, the tradition is becoming more a figment of Hollywood lore than a ceremonial staple. The custom has largely become obsolete as a result of easily accessible legal records. In fact, most of the legalities of the marriage are established when applying for a marriage license long before the actual wedding day. With all of those factors squared away, there no longer exists a need to prompt a formal objection. "I believe the tradition is fading from popularity because it's an antiquated practice and couples are getting married mostly with good intention," says Fr.

    Lody. The only oppositions that remain are those of an emotional nature and these are ineffective at disputing a marriage's legal eligibility.

    What Happens If Someone Objects at a Wedding?

    Since the legalities of a union are pre-established, an objection today would mostly fit the prototype promoted in movies and look less like its pragmatic beginnings. That is to say it would be less likely that someone would stand and say the bride has been kidnapped and coerced into the marriage and more likely an impassioned emotional plea. And while a dramatic—and ill-timed—declaration of a guest's unending love for the groom makes for a great on-screen plot twist, it can't actually stop the wedding.

    The purpose of an objection is to assess the legal eligibility of a union, not the emotional. So unless someone objects with a reason that holds substantial legal merit, little more will happen than a fleeting pause in the ceremony and a significantly awkward moment.

    "I tend to deal with things like this, by that I mean awkward situations during a ceremony, with humor, and try to move on unless the objection was extreme," explains Fr. Lody. "I would make sure the couple was okay and try not to draw any more attention to what just took place. I would assume there would be some intervention or support from others in attendance to remove the cause for disruption." So unless the emotional objection were to deter the bride or groom from continuing the union, the officiant would simply acknowledge the objection, realize that it carries no legal substance, and proceed with the wedding.

    Source : www.brides.com

    What If Someone Objects at Your Wedding?

    No one ever raises objections during weddings anymore. But here's what would have happened in the old days…

    What If Someone Objects at Your Wedding?

    By Natalie Wolchover published August 08, 2012

    Wedding objections used to be a last-ditch effort to prevent illicit shenanigans. (Image credit: Image via Shutterstock)

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    In this weekly series, Life's Little Mysteries provides expert answers to challenging questions.

    Except for melodramatic movie weddings, the minister's instruction that "if anyone can show just cause why this couple cannot lawfully be joined together in matrimony, let them speak now or forever hold their peace" almost always gets omitted from ceremonies these days.

    All three wedding officiants contacted for this article said they never utter the line. "It has become obsolete," said Paula Posman, a New York City-based officiant who runs the wedding services company A New York Way to Say I Do.

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    The tradition has been phased out because no legitimate grounds remain for objecting to a wedding. "You can't object simply because you're in love with the bride. It has to be a legal reason why the couple can't wed," Posman told Life's Little Mysteries. "But today, the legal aspects of a wedding are squared away before the couple gets to the altar, so most officiants just don't ask the question." No point creating an awkward silence for nothing.


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    But in the past, what sort of objections might have been raised?

    In the bygone days of charlatans, swindlers, elopements and bad record-keeping, "speak now or forever hold your peace" was a last-ditch effort to bring to light any illicit shenanigans that would nullify a wedding in the eyes of God. According to the Canon Law of the Catholic Church, impediments to a marriage include either the bride or groom being married already, having made a vow of celibacy, being underage, having been kidnapped or forced to wed, not being baptized, being incapable of having sexual intercourse, or having killed the other's former spouse. There are also stipulations about how closely a couple can be related by blood, marriage and adoption. [5 Strange Courting Rituals from Around the World]

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    The rules differed across the various faiths, but in almost any Christian country, if someone stormed through the church doors just in the nick of time and swore that the groom had a wife in the next town over, or — worse — was the bride's long-lost brother, these would constitute legitimate objections. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the testimony would then have to be delivered under oath, and the priest would be obliged to defer the wedding and investigate the claim.

    Today, a marriage's legality is established prior to the ceremony, when a couple obtains a marriage license at their city clerk's office. Modern records (such as social security numbers, birth certificates, marriage and divorce papers) are so thorough that schemes like polygamous marriages rarely slip under the radar, even across borders. To get married in the United States, foreigners often must present a document issued by their country of origin proving they aren't married there.

    So, if someone objected at a wedding today, Posman said, "I would pause for a second and say, 'That's not a legal reason,' and continue with the ceremony."

    This story was provided by Life's Little Mysteries, a sister site to LiveScience. Follow Natalie Wolchover on Twitter @nattyover or Life's Little Mysteries @llmysteries. We're also on Facebook & Google+.

    Natalie Wolchover

    Natalie Wolchover was a staff writer for Live Science from 2010 to 2012 and is currently a senior physics writer and editor for Quanta Magazine. She holds a bachelor's degree in physics from Tufts University and has studied physics at the University of California, Berkeley. Her work has also appeared in the The Best American Science and Nature Writing and The Best Writing on Mathematics, Nature, The New Yorker and Popular Science. She was the 2016 winner of the  Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award, an annual prize for young science journalists, as well as the winner of the 2017 Science Communication Award for the American Institute of Physics.


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    Source : www.livescience.com

    If someone objects to a marriage at the wedding, can they still get married?

    Answer (1 of 17): No-one has ever objected to a marriage when I’ve been doing the wedding. If someone objects, I then have to work out if it is a valid objection. Valid objections would make the wedding illegal or impossible and are things like: * one of the people is already married * one of...

    If someone objects to a marriage at the wedding, can they still get married?

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    Sort John Allister

    , Vicar in the Church of England (2009-present)

    Answered 3 years ago · Author has 499 answers and 539.8K answer views

    No-one has ever objected to a marriage when I’ve been doing the wedding.

    If someone objects, I then have to work out if it is a valid objection. Valid objections would make the wedding illegal or impossible and are things like:

    one of the people is already married

    one of them is under 16

    they are brother and sister

    A valid objection stops the wedding, as it can’t legally continue.

    Non-valid objections are the type that are frequently seen in Hollywood films, and are things like:

    he doesn’t love her

    she’s had children by someone else

    If it’s a non-valid objection, and the couple want to continue, the we

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    Celia Milton

    , Ex-caterer, wedding officiant, content creator for wedding blogs

    Answered 2 years ago · Author has 36.7K answers and 54M answer views

    Originally Answered: What happens if someone actually objects to someone getting married during the ceremony?

    Why do people keep asking this question? NO ONE ASKS THIS except in movies. Edited; in the USA, we don’t do this.

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    Objection: he's already married

    Stops ceremony until truth can be ascertained.

    Objection: he loves me not her

    Sour grapes. Wedding continues.

    Sharon Whitney

    , works at Government in the United States of America

    Answered Mar 2, 2022 · Author has 1.8K answers and 1.6M answer views

    If they have the legal capacity to marry, sure. If the objection is that one party is already married, not of age to marry, or is under a legal incapacity, then the wedding might not proceed, until any question of law or fact is resolved. If the objection is just a personal one, with the individual not approving, then it has no bearing on legal ability to marriage. Since people tend not to invite people who are likely to disrupt the wedding, it probably does not happen often. If they have a legally obtained marriage license, they can still follow through with completing the state or jurisdicti

    Related questions

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    Patricia López , RN (2014-present)

    Answered 1 year ago · Author has 480 answers and 397.9K answer views

    Originally Answered: Can you still get married if someone objects?

    For sure. They can object, absolutely, but you can also don't give a shit if they do. This is your life, make your choices.

    Randall Reade

    , Executive Vice-President at Washington DC ArchAngels (2011-present)

    Answered 3 years ago · Author has 3.6K answers and 5.7M answer views

    Originally Answered: If someone objected at your marriage, could you still get married?

    I believe that statement that the minister says, “If anyone knows a reason for this couple to not marry, please say so now,” it was not meant as a signal of approval from the congregation. Rather, it was for someone to speak up if they had information that one of the betrothed is illegible for marriage. It could be because one or both are too young, or is still currently married. If the later, that would constitute bigamy, which is always illegal. There were, in the past, some laws that prevented marriage between two people, but most of those are now gone.

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    Boomy Tokan

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    Answered 3 years ago · Author has 727 answers and 2.7M answer views

    Pic from here [1]

    Very interesting question.

    Funny you ask but I have never seen it happen.

    Whenever I officiate a wedding I secretly pray it never happens because I am not quite sure how I will handle it.

    The only reason I will not progress forward with the wedding is if the person objecting brings some evidence that one of the people about to get marr...

    Source : www.quora.com

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    James 7 month ago

    Guys, does anyone know the answer?

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