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Old 08-16-2013, 01:08 PM
Rodgers01 Rodgers01 is offline
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At a wedding, does anyone ever actually "speak now" instead of "forever holding their peace"?

Outside of Hollywood, that is.

We've all had a friend or loved one who's entering a marriage we think is a terrible idea. But have you ever heard of anyone actually taking up the minister's famous offer?
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:10 PM
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Outside of Hollywood, that is.

We've all had a friend or loved one who's entering a marriage we think is a terrible idea. But have you ever heard of anyone actually taking up the minister's famous offer?
I don't think that I've been to a wedding where that question has actually been asked.

How often do wedding ceremonies even use that question outside of Hollywood?
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:17 PM
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I don't think that I've been to a wedding where that question has actually been asked.

How often do wedding ceremonies even use that question outside of Hollywood?
I haven't been to that many weddings in my life, but I can think of at least 3 where it was asked.
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:23 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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The one time I would have spoken up, I just didn't attend the wedding. They're still together, 15 years and 3 children later, and do appear to be happy, so go figure.

If someone DID speak up, what happens?
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:24 PM
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It's always been asked at the (English) weddings I've been to, followed by a bit of a jokey wait, as if there's a real chance of someone piping up.
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:29 PM
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The phrase isn't an invitation for people who think the marriage is a bad idea to speak up. It is an invitation for people who know that the two people cannot be legally married to speak up. Like, say, if you know the groom has another wife in the next village, or that the bride is actually the groom's mother.
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:33 PM
Nawth Chucka Nawth Chucka is offline
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It was said in my first wedding ceremony; no one spoke up but I learned later that a 'friend' took that opportunity to repeatedly jab the ribs of my ex-boyfriend who was now a good enough friend of mine to attend the wedding. Classy.
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Lemur866 View Post
The phrase isn't an invitation for people who think the marriage is a bad idea to speak up. It is an invitation for people who know that the two people cannot be legally married to speak up. Like, say, if you know the groom has another wife in the next village, or that the bride is actually the groom's mother.
Or if the groom already has a wife who is crazy and who is kept in a separate part of the house with a keeper (from a book first, then a movie).

Yeah, it's asking for legal impediments not humble opinions.


Roddy
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:37 PM
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As I understand, while it's still a trope in RomComs, it's not uncommon that it is omitted from marriage ceremonies these days, perhaps precisely because there's the concern that someone would make a scene and the couple just don't want to risk that for nothing gained.

I have heard it, but less frequently than I haven't. That said, when I have objected to a wedding for whatever reason, I expressed my concern to that person, and then I didn't attend the wedding because I couldn't ethically attend feeling that it's essentially showing a sign of support for the union and then facing that I might have to hear that line.
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:57 PM
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I don't think that I've been to a wedding where that question has actually been asked.

How often do wedding ceremonies even use that question outside of Hollywood?
The current marriage rite in the Episcopal Church's Book of Common Prayer directs the celebrant to ask the following:

Quote:
Into this holy union N.N.. and N.N.. now come to be joined.
If any of you can show just cause why they may not lawfully be
married, speak now; or else for ever hold your peace.
As Lemur866 noted, the question inquires into any legal impediment that may exist to prevent the marriage, not a general referendum on the wisdom of the particular marriage. I've never heard of any objection actually being raised, and I imagine a priest would probably just ignore it.

In the early 2000s, publishing the banns of marriage (another hoary nuptial relic from the BCP) got a new lease on life in Ontario, as publication of banns was a way around having to get a marriage license, and thus was used by same-sex couples to get married. On the topic of the OP, it too asks for its hearers to sisclose of "any just cause" prohibiting the marriage.
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Old 08-16-2013, 02:03 PM
Maggie the Ocelot Maggie the Ocelot is offline
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We included the phrase at our wedding. Why? Because we know that our friends are a bunch of smart-asses*, and that having it there would severely tempt them to speak up, just to say something hilarious and be the center of attention - but that, because they love us, they wouldn't want to ruin our big day - but they would really really want to - but they couldn't...but...but...and their minds would go around in little circles for about 15 seconds.

So we were basically trolling our friends. Which is a FINE reason to include it.



*both of us are involved in improvisational theatre. 'Nuff said.
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Old 08-16-2013, 02:20 PM
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When Mr. And_c0 & I got married, instead of saying "speak now or forever hold your peace" he said "just keep it to yourself!!" * it got a laugh.


*There was, in fact, no legal impediment exsisting, just so ya'll know.
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Old 08-16-2013, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by hajario View Post
How often do wedding ceremonies even use that question outside of Hollywood?
When I got married (24 years ago) the priest presented it as an option. He said it was basically a polite way of asking "does anyone know if either of these yahoos is married in another state" from back in the olden days when information wasn't so easy to get from one location to another.

Basically, if you wanted the "traditional" wedding words you could have it as an option, but most folks went for the newer standard.

I suppose there are still some folks who want the "traditional" version (which also includes the bit about the wife obeying her husband) but I have the impression that it is very rarely used these days.
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Old 08-16-2013, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Lemur866 View Post
The phrase isn't an invitation for people who think the marriage is a bad idea to speak up. It is an invitation for people who know that the two people cannot be legally married to speak up. Like, say, if you know the groom has another wife in the next village, or that the bride is actually the groom's mother.
Interesting - I didn't know that. Are most people like me, though, in assuming it's out there for the airing of personal objections? If so, are any ever expressed?
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Old 08-16-2013, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Rodgers01 View Post
Interesting - I didn't know that. Are most people like me, though, in assuming it's out there for the airing of personal objections? If so, are any ever expressed?
That's a pretty common belief and that's how it's usually played in the movies.
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Old 08-16-2013, 03:57 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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It happened on "Downton Abbey", although in this case, it was the GROOM who said he really didn't want to do this. He turned around and walked out of the church.


Last edited by nearwildheaven; 08-16-2013 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 08-16-2013, 04:02 PM
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I've found that most people neither speak now nor forever hold their peace.
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Old 08-16-2013, 04:17 PM
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Yes, if you are Marie Barone in Everybody Loves Raymond. She spoke so long that everyone - including the priest - sat down on the steps.
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Old 08-16-2013, 04:17 PM
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In my entire life (52 years), I've only been to one wedding where the officiant even asked the question.
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Old 08-16-2013, 04:28 PM
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I used to think about this all the time...of how embarrassing it would be if any one had any objections...........
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Old 08-16-2013, 04:32 PM
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I wonder if ever, even in ancient times, it was ever used in the way it was intended. I would think that if there were a legal problem, someone would have notified the proper authorities prior to the ceremony. It probably entered the standard ceremony as the equivalent of boiler plate legalese due diligence.
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Old 08-16-2013, 04:38 PM
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I always wanted to stand at the back and say, "well, I...never mind."
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:08 PM
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Here in Québec it's never done. Except...

I did once attend a wedding where the bride and groom had convinced the priest to ask it anyway, because they found it cute. One of their friends did speak up, improvising for laughs, and the priest seemed pretty pissed. The ceremony continued after that.
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:12 PM
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FYI, it's not part of the Catholic ceremony. The church posts the marriage banns in the bulletins for a few (three?) weeks prior to the wedding so if there is any legal issue it can be raised before the ceremony.

Of course this assumes that everyone attends church and in the same parish as the wedding . . .
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Nawth Chucka View Post
It was said in my first wedding ceremony; no one spoke up but I learned later that a 'friend' took that opportunity to repeatedly jab the ribs of my ex-boyfriend who was now a good enough friend of mine to attend the wedding. Classy.
I went to the wedding of an ex-girlfriend back in the day, and sat next to another of her ex-boyfriends (hey, it was the 80's). When they got to that line, we both sort of glanced at each other and shrugged, and the people around us cracked up a bit, but we said nothing.
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:50 PM
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I have never been to a wedding where that was said. If I had and felt that the couple were making a mistake - I would not speak up, and I am a pretty outspoken person. Does saying something actually stop the wedding? It's really none of my business. All of us make mistakes and hopefully learn from them, no?
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Old 08-16-2013, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Rodgers01 View Post
We've all had a friend or loved one who's entering a marriage we think is a terrible idea. But have you ever heard of anyone actually taking up the minister's famous offer?
Not in person, but I recall an atheist on another forum complaining about a relative who stood up and denounced him for being an atheist and therefore unworthy of marriage. Probably the same sort of guy who stands up at funerals and announces that the deceased is burning in Hell for being an atheist or gay.
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Old 08-16-2013, 06:52 PM
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When I married the question was not a part of the ceremony. But after the vows were made, and we were actually married, the minister addressed us and said that if we knew anything which would alienate our union, it was now to be forgotten and left to the mercy of God. He then addressed the congregation and said "If anyone should henceforth try to divide their(our) heart and sould from one another, let them do so at the peril of offending a creation that God has made."
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:07 PM
ZPG Zealot ZPG Zealot is offline
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I have seen it happen a few times, usually in situations where the bride or groom had been lying about something their potential partner would probably consider a deal breaker and someone else spoke up rather than see the marriage go forward (and the resulting trainwreck of a divorce result). In all cases it was a move of last resorts by the speaker who had been trying to get the bride or groom to tell the truth prior to the actual ceremony.
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:54 PM
Kimmy_Gibbler Kimmy_Gibbler is offline
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Originally Posted by scootergirl View Post
Does saying something actually stop the wedding?
Above, I said I'd expect the priest to ignore the objection. Thinking about it more, I think the couple's having a marriage license (as they almost certainly would) would create an irrebuttable presumption, as least as far as solemnizing clergy are concerned, as to the marriage's legality. Thus, not only would the priest ignore it, but he/she would do so on the strength of the civil license.
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:02 PM
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I got married in a court room, by my favorite judge. Told the baliff that if anybody spoke up, she should shoot them. She nodded solemnly. I has connections in this town.
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:15 PM
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Told the baliff that if anybody spoke up, she should shoot them. She nodded solemnly. I has connections in this town.
Good job!

  #33  
Old 08-16-2013, 09:52 PM
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... If any of you can show just cause why they may not lawfully be
married, speak now; or else for ever hold your peace. ... "


does that mean that, once upon a time, even had it been illegal; it would have been swept under the rug and ignored once the church ceremony is done?
  #34  
Old 08-16-2013, 10:02 PM
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"If anyone besides the mother of the groom objects to this..."
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Old 08-16-2013, 10:11 PM
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... If any of you can show just cause why they may not lawfully be
married, speak now; or else for ever hold your peace. ... "


does that mean that, once upon a time, even had it been illegal; it would have been swept under the rug and ignored once the church ceremony is done?
Well, divorce wasn't necessarily an option once they were married in the eyes of God...
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Old 08-16-2013, 10:15 PM
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"If anyone besides the mother of the groom objects to this..."
Rabbi: "If anyone besides the mother of the Chatam objects to this already..."
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:43 PM
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It's not part of my wedding spiel, but I was asked to include it once. Interestingly, it was one of the few weddings where both the bride and groom were from America.

Nobody spoke up, BTW.
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Old 08-17-2013, 02:28 AM
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"If anyone besides the mother of the groom objects to this..."
........not including the father of the bride.
  #39  
Old 08-17-2013, 03:11 AM
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I think it's part of the legal wording for marriages in England and Wales. It has certainly been said at every wedding I have ever been to. And no, no one ever speaks up because the wording is pretty clear that it's about legal obstructions 'if anyone knows if any lawful impediment'.
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Old 08-17-2013, 04:08 AM
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Originally Posted by scootergirl View Post
I have never been to a wedding where that was said. If I had and felt that the couple were making a mistake - I would not speak up, and I am a pretty outspoken person. Does saying something actually stop the wedding? It's really none of my business. All of us make mistakes and hopefully learn from them, no?
It's not about that, it's about things like "by the way, was your divorce finalized? Actually, did you ever get around to serving your previous spouse?"

Last edited by Nava; 08-17-2013 at 04:09 AM.
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Old 08-17-2013, 06:36 AM
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ELAINE!!!!i!!
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Old 08-17-2013, 09:42 AM
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I've had a couple of couples ask me to include it. I will, and then when no one speaks, I use it as a segue into a little speechifying about how the community might consider their role in this marriage, and how their support in times of trial and tribulation will help to strengthen the marriage, and how gossip and judgey-judginess can weaken it.
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by boozilu View Post
FYI, it's not part of the Catholic ceremony. The church posts the marriage banns in the bulletins for a few (three?) weeks prior to the wedding so if there is any legal issue it can be raised before the ceremony.

Of course this assumes that everyone attends church and in the same parish as the wedding . . .
I don't think publish it the bulletins anymore ( at least not everywhere)- but when they did, it wasn't just in the parish where the wedding was to take place. The banns were published in every parish where the bride or groom had ever lived.
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:24 AM
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the point about making a call for any legal reason why they can't be married is a good one, but fails to address the question whether, if you find out the next day that the groom is now a bigamist....you still have to speak up, no matter what the minister/priest/marrying-Sam said.
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:26 AM
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I have seen it happen a few times, usually in situations where the bride or groom had been lying about something their potential partner would probably consider a deal breaker and someone else spoke up rather than see the marriage go forward (and the resulting trainwreck of a divorce result). In all cases it was a move of last resorts by the speaker who had been trying to get the bride or groom to tell the truth prior to the actual ceremony.
Really? I can imagine that someone here saw it happen once, but...'a few times'???
  #46  
Old 08-17-2013, 11:15 AM
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does that mean that, once upon a time, even had it been illegal; it would have been swept under the rug and ignored once the church ceremony is done?
I don't think it would have been possible for the law or the church to ignore a case of bigamy. But if the legal problem with the marriage was that one of the parties was underage or there'd been some sort of procedural error relating to the banns or license then I'd guess that it would have been considered best to just let this go once the marriage had been performed.

Just speculating here, but this tradition dates back to a time when a woman known to have had pre-marital sex was considered seriously damaged goods. In the absence of other evidence it would have been polite to assume that an unmarried woman was a virgin, but the morning after her wedding a new bride would have been presumed to be a virgin no more...even if it turned out later that the wedding wasn't legal to begin with. So if the marriage could be legally undone just by pointing out some bureaucratic error a day or more after the ceremony, the man could skip town and the woman's life could be ruined.

Not being a virgin wouldn't have been as big a deal for the not-quite-legally married man, but he would be vulnerable to blackmail if someone else had information that could void his marriage at any time. Ambiguity as to whether a marriage was really legal could also complicate the inheritance of titles and property by children born to this couple.
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Old 08-17-2013, 11:41 AM
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Have heard it often, though not of late, perhaps it's finally gone the way of the dinosaurs?

What I always wanted to see, but never did, was, as the question is posed, for the bride to face the congregation, and, with finger to lips, make that conspiratorial, 'Shhh!' sound. I always thought that would be a good giggle!
  #48  
Old 08-17-2013, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by SanVito View Post
I think it's part of the legal wording for marriages in England and Wales. It has certainly been said at every wedding I have ever been to. And no, no one ever speaks up because the wording is pretty clear that it's about legal obstructions 'if anyone knows if any lawful impediment'.
It's part of the service for Church of England marriages. In the Book of Common Prayer the wording is

Quote:
Therefore if any man can shew any just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter for ever hold his peace.

And also, speaking unto the persons that shall be married, he shall say,

I require and charge you both, as ye will answer at the dreadful day of judgement, when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, that if either of you know any impediment, why ye may not be lawfully joined together in Matrimony, ye do now confess it. For be ye well assured, that so many as are coupled together otherwise than God's Word doth allow are not joined together by God; neither is their Matrimony lawful.
and in the modern Common Worship it is

Quote:
The minister says to the congregation

First, I am required to ask anyone present who knows a reason why these persons may not lawfully marry, to declare it now.

The minister says to the couple

The vows you are about to take are to be made in the presence of God, who is judge of all and knows all the secrets of our hearts; therefore if either of you knows a reason why you may not lawfully marry, you must declare it now.
However, for non-CofE marriages the law does not require the audience to be asked; only the spouses have to declare that they are legally allowed to marry:

Quote:
(3) Where a marriage is solemnized in a registered building each of the persons contracting the marriage shall, in some part of the ceremony and in the presence of the witnesses and the registrar or authorised person, make the following declaration:—

“I do solemnly declare that I know not of any lawful impediment why I, AB, may not be joined in matrimony to CD”

and each of them shall say to the other:—

“I call upon these persons here present to witness that I, AB, do take thee, CD, to be my lawful wedded wife [or husband]”:

(3A) As an alternative to the declaration set out in subsection (3) of this section the persons contracting the marriage may make the requisite declaration either—

(a) by saying “I declare that I know of no legal reason why I [name] may not be joined in marriage to [name]”; or

(b) by replying “I am” to the question put to them successively “Are you [name] free lawfully to marry [name]?”;
  #49  
Old 08-17-2013, 01:10 PM
Springtime for Spacers Springtime for Spacers is offline
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Where a couple are conducting a sham marriage for immigration purposes they are often busted during the actual ceremony by immigration officials. That way they can show them actually carrying out an illegal act rather than just planning one. Sometimes other conspirators, including the celebrant are caught up in the swoop. I'm not sure if they actually wait for the lawful impediment bit though.
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Old 08-17-2013, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Maggie the Ocelot View Post
We included the phrase at our wedding. Why? Because we know that our friends are a bunch of smart-asses*, and that having it there would severely tempt them to speak up, just to say something hilarious and be the center of attention - but that, because they love us, they wouldn't want to ruin our big day - but they would really really want to - but they couldn't...but...but...and their minds would go around in little circles for about 15 seconds.

So we were basically trolling our friends. Which is a FINE reason to include it.



*both of us are involved in improvisational theatre. 'Nuff said.
It would have been great if EVERY person in the room had stood up and started talking at the same time!
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