"If any of you know cause as to why these two should not be wed..." in real life

In practice what would the registrar/cleric have to do if somebody stood up and raised an objection?

If it was a valid legal objection - e.g. one of the parties is already married, and not divorced - then he would stop the ceremony and wait until the matter was clarifed, most probably by the courts.

But neither of those are legal impediments to a marriage. (There would be far fewer marriages if they were!)

Yeah, this seemed to mostly be aimed at people who were already married, but with some of the other stuff, too. For instance, there’s the Crazy Wife In The Attic. She counts as a living wife, and the husband couldn’t divorce her. And there’s the STDs. Those were pretty much not curable in centuries past.

I’m not sure, but lots of us have made the same thing up, if so - at least according to conversations I’ve had with other clergy from many faiths. The way you state it is how I use it when performing marriages and handfastings, with a few words added in about the importance of social support in the whole marriage and family business just to make it perfectly clear. Put up or shut up, y’all.

If it was a legal objection, yes, I’d stop the ceremony and get some clarity about the situation. If it was an emotional objection or Family Drama, I’d try to gauge the reaction of the people being joined, and take my cue from them. I might try to address the concern in a clergyish way, or I might nod at one of my goons - er, I mean, assistants - to escort drunken Uncle Mike out to the coffee table and try to sober him up.

While I’ve given it some thought, just in case, it’s only come up for me in reality once in 10 years. Dad of one of the brides had a bit of a meltdown, but I was able to work with it and made it part of the ceremony and it ended up being really awesome.

I’ve never heard it at a wedding, and it certainly wasn’t said at mine 40 years ago. I’ve only heard it in TV and movies.

See http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=493991 from 2 years ago.

In England the state does indeed mandate the wording for the wedding, at least for civil ceremonies. All sorts of restrictions are attached to the ceremony: the registrar reads from one of three officially prescribed scripts, chosen by the couple, from which he may not deviate; the wedding must take place indoors at an officially recognized venue (each council normally having three or four to choose from); and while background music and additional wedding vows spoken by the couple are permitted, they may not be religious in nature.

A coworker’s sister recently was to have been married in the UK, and the groom’s ex-wife showed up (I think not literally at the moment in the ceremony this line gets said, but as I understand it, on the day of the wedding nonetheless) to announce that she had never actually processed the divorce papers he’d sent her and as such they were still married.

It was quite a scene, I’m told.

The way I’m seeing it is that there are two categories of objections:

  1. Evidence or allegations that that the marriage itself would not be lawful (e.g. would be null and void or perhaps annulable) either under civil law or under church/canon law. Examples could be that one party is currently married to someone else, the couple are too closely related (e.g. long-lost brother and sister), etc.
  2. Evidence or allegations that the union would be a bad idea for social or practical purposes (e.g. warning the bride that her parents will disown her for marrying Boy, warning that a study by the National Institutes of Health in 2006 indicates that 85% of all couples with the same demographic backgrounds as the about-to-be-married couple split up within 5 years, one of the parties has a history of domestic violence, etc)

It seems that the only socially acceptable objection is one that falls under #1 above.

I’ve seen it happen a few times. All in highly religious communities where premarital chastity at least by the bride was an issue.

Remember that the Church of England is the official state religion of the United Kingdom. Since the days of Henry VIII, the monarch is the Supreme Governor of the church and Defender of the Faith. All archbishops and bishops are appointed by the monarch (nowadays, on “advice” of the prime minister). There is no separation of church and state there.

Is that you son?

– Daddy?

Is that accurate, in the UK legal system? Seems like that would make it possible for either party to stop a divorce, by just refusing to respond to the legal papers!

In the US, I believe that if one party is non-responding (or unknown location) the other party has to publish notice of the divorce action, and wait a specified time – if the other person does not respond after that, the court will proceed with the divorce.

No idea. Second-hand story. But I know I wouldn’t consider going forward with a second marriage if I couldn’t lay my hands on my copy of my divorce decree anytime I wanted to. But then, I try to keep things like that organized. Perhaps the groom-to-be simply lost track of the fact that he should have gotten a piece of paper at some point that said “You are now divorced.”

I’d have to track down our copy of the Judge’s words to be sure, but I believe it was asked at my wedding. I remember a vague moment of unease really, really hoping nobody had cause to object.

In my jurisdiction, the marriage licence has a box to tick if either one of the prospective spouses has ever been married and divorced before. If either one answers “yes”, then the licence can’t issue until they provide a divorce certificate. That goes far to eliminate the chance of there ever being a legal impediment to the marriage.

I once had a couple turn up at my office at 3.45 on a Friday, needing help to get a divorce certificate, so they could get their marriage licence for the wedding the next day! nothing like leaving things to the last minute…

Fortunately, it turned out that the guy had got divorced at the court-house just down the street from my office, so I called the local registrar and explained the situation. He chuckled, and although the office normally closed at 4, he agreed to keep the door open for them to come right away and he would issue a certified copy of the divorce certificate. I sent them off to the courthouse and wished them good luck.

Not at all. It’s a required part of a wedding in the UK and has been part of every wedding I’ve ever been to. It was said during my wedding (though the phrasing wasn’t exactly the same - I think there’s some leeway there).

I’ve never seen anyone respond to it.

It’s completely legal. It isn’t so much “state mandated wording” as “certain things need to be said in some manner”. The wording isn’t specific.

A civil (as opposed to a religious) wedding in the UK has a form you fill out selecting which options of wording you prefer. It makes sure all the legal bases are covered. I’m not sure if a religious wedding has the same - I’ve only gotten married once, and it wasn’t religious.

No. If you refuse to respond, you eventually get served. The best you can achieve is to delay the inevitable if the other party is set on it.

We had dozens and dozens and dozens to choose from. Pretty much every large hotel, castle, old building, town hall, etc. within 50 miles seemed to be licensed for marriages.

Also Family Guy: “GENITAL WARTS!”