In films or stories, we often see the Minister asking the audience “if anyone can show just cause why this couple cannot be legally joined in marriage, let them speak now or forever hold their peace.” Because it is a film or story, the lover bursts into the room, announces his great love for the bride and comedy ensues.
In reality, we no longer do this. The above statement clearly says “legally”. In today’s world, that means:
- You both must be at least 18 years old. If you are 16 or 17 years old, you may marry if you have written consent from your parents or legal guardians.
- Marriage is voluntary, and you both must willingly give your consent to be married. You cannot be forced into marriage, regardless of your age.
- You cannot be close relatives by blood or adoption (grandparent-grandchild, parent-child, brothers-sisters).
- You both must be physically present to be married. You cannot get married by telephone, webcam or by proxy.
- You both must not be currently married. If you are divorced, you must show proof of your divorce when you apply for a marriage licence.
These conditions are checked when obtaining the marriage license at City Hall in Ontario. In Quebec, there is a 20 day posting of notice of the marriage. This is considered the official time period to legally object to a wedding. Anyone who wishes to do so, can apply to the court to have the wedding stopped.
In practicality, the asking of legal conditions during a ceremony is not necessary.
Unless, you want to play around with it.
In my ceremonies, I usually ask the audience for their support for the couple, wishing them a wonderful life together.
One couple decided is was a good time to have some fun. As I was asking the audience the question, the bride, groom and their respective attendants all reached under a table to retrieve Nerf guns. They stood at ready, guns leveled, when I finished my statement.
One guest stood up, ran into the aisle and proclaimed “I object”. He was quickly shot by a volley of Nerf bullets led by the bride and groom. Obviously we had planned all this and he was a plant. We all had a good laugh and I continued with the ceremony.
So to answer the question, has anyone every objected at a wedding? Yes, and he was shot.