A wedding is, in most cases, a once-in-a-lifetime event that you’ve been anticipating for a long time. You want it to be as wonderful as you imagine it to be, but what if something unforeseen happens?

What if when the officiant asked if anyone objects to your wedding, “speak now or forever hold your peace,” someone actually says, “I object”? You want to be ready for anything so that your wedding goes off without a hitch, as much as possible.

Catholic Church Tradition

You might be wondering why it is necessary for a wedding officiant to ask if anyone objects to the marriage. After all, it’s only a thing that happens in Hollywood movies when a family member stands up and tries to stop the ceremony.

In the 12th century, this custom was started. There were no marriage records available back then. As a result, the Catholic Church established this practice of expressing one’s objections to a marriage relationship in order to ensure that it was legal.

At that time, it made sense if someone discovered why a couple shouldn’t marry, then spoke out when the pastor asked. Marriage can be objected if the bride or groom has pre-existing vows, if they have close blood relations, or if one of them is underage.

Modern Wedding Ceremony

Since most of the legal issues associated with marriage are sorted out well before the wedding date when applying for a marriage license, this custom has become unnecessary for modern weddings.

Most officiants no longer say, “speak now or forever hold your peace” during the ceremony anymore in order to avoid the awkward silence. However, this may not deter some guests from speaking up if they don’t want the couple to get married.

Wedding Party Support

While an objection at your wedding does not necessarily prevent you from getting married, it can really put a damper on the special ceremony if not handled carefully.

If your wedding party members know of anyone who may object to the wedding, ask them to help talk to the person before the marriage ceremony takes place. If they know some wedding guests that have wedding objections, it may be better not to invite them at all.

So, if a wedding guest decides to speak up, unless it’s a legal matter, the ceremony would likely continue as planned. You can also discuss with your officiant and wedding party beforehand what should be done in this case. Perhaps, the officiant can simply say that they are not legitimate legal reasons and just silence the person with a glare.

What if a Member of your Wedding Party Stood Up?

What happens if someone close to you stands up and objects during the actual ceremony? What if your brother raises his hand when the preacher asks? What if the best man objects?

You or someone close to you may want to have a private talk with those who object. Someone could pull them aside and speak with them without an audience for the next five minutes while allowing the wedding officiant to proceed with the ceremony uninterrupted.

Consider why the person is objecting, especially if he or she is close to you. However, if that person continues to disagree with you and you can’t come to an agreement, the only thing you can do is to accept your differences.

Wedding Objection Stories

The following are some real-life objection stories that we have been fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to have to deal with:

  • The groom cried and confessed to the bride that he had fallen out of love with her but had no idea how to end it. They both went outside for a while, but then 10 minutes later they returned and got married since she told him she was pregnant. He wasn’t even aware it was a shotgun wedding!
  • The best man interrupted the rehearsal because he was in love with the bride. Everyone was shocked and horrified. The bride and groom never spoke to him again after that day.
  • After the pastor announced “speak now or forever hold your peace,” the bride thanked her maid of honor for sleeping with her fiancé the night before. Then, she hurled the bouquet and walked off in a huff.
  • A drunken childhood friend of the bride objected to the marriage and professed his love for her. The bride’s dad was so furious he pulled that drunken guy out by the ear and partially severed the guy’s ear.
  • The father of the bride stood up and said, “Her mother and I object,” and after a long pause, sat down again. The preacher responded, “Okay,” waited for a few moments, and then proceeded with the ceremony as planned.
  • This happened during a father’s wedding for his third wife. His 10-year-old boy was sitting with his 6-year-old half-brother (from the second wife). The little stepbrother objected. When the dad asked why, he replied “because I want you to promise to take me fishing whenever I want, first.”


The last thing you want to happen is to have a wedding go wrong. If you’re concerned about someone objecting to your marriage, don’t worry. It can’t be stopped if there are no legal reasons for them to do so.

In most cases of objections, people just don’t know how or when to speak up before things get too far along in the process. So it’s better to address any potential concerns before the big day arrives.