In the stereotypical wedding, the officiant addresses the audience and asks that if any person knows any cause as to why the couple should not be wed, they should “speak now, or forever hold their peace.”
- Is this as common as pop culture says it is?
- When is it socially appropriate to actually speak up and give a reason to stop the wedding? The message I have gotten from living in society is that this phrase is primarily a rhetorical question and/or for formality’s sake, and if someone were to actually raise their hand and say, “Yeah, the groom has a criminal record. I’m afraid he’s going to become abusive.”, then that person has committed a major social faux pas and is second-guessing the entire process, since hopefully the couple will have already discussed this with each other and perhaps with a marriage counselor. Or possibly, is this really only for raising impediments to the marriage? E.g. someone standing up and saying, “Stop the wedding! I was a nurse who took care of the bride when she was a baby, and I actually swapped her for another baby. She’s actually the groom’s sister!”