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No one really anticipates one of their friends piping up during their wedding to register an objection. Everyone’s seen it happen in films and television shows, but that’s where the stereotype tends to live these days, in The Graduate and Coronation Street.

In real life, even just the opportunity to object is pretty outdated outside some religious ceremonies. A lot of couples drop this bit of the ceremony altogether, recognising an invitation for trouble when they see one, but like a lot of wedding traditions it gets included simply because a lot of couples expect it to be there.

Overrule any objectors

Someone could of course still object. In fact, anyone can object at any time; you’re not even really supposed to lock the doors on your marriage ceremony in case someone with evidence that your union wouldn’t be legal needs to burst in and stop the wedding at the 11th hour.

The good news is as long as your wedding is legal, they can’t stop it unless they can prove your nuptials would break the law. You could potentially ruin someone’s big day by charging in and bandying about false allegations of the couple being related or already married, but unless you can actually prove it you can’t stop the wedding.

Though someone could ruin the spirit of your day, that’s about it; if they can’t present concrete proof, the person you’ve asked to conduct the ceremony will just ask them to leave.

Don’t give them an opening

Not that this stops people trying. It’s extremely rare, but every now and again the right mix of jealousy, angst and wine come together and someone decides to speak up during the ceremony. We’ve read no shortage of wedding drama stories where jilted exes, disgruntled relatives and even passing pedestrians at beach weddings have launched their objections, but the only one we’ve heard of actually working was when the bride herself objected and walked out of the ceremony.

If you’re really worried someone might think it’s okay to launch an objection, don’t let the person conducting the ceremony give them a chance. Even if you need to include the invitation to object for religious reasons, instruct the person conducting the ceremony not to leave enough of space for the objector to get their answer in.

No laughing matter

Also, just as a bit of parting advice, don’t ever think about trying to pull off a mock objection for the sake of a laugh. We know you’re hilarious, and clever too, but no one’s funny enough to get away with that.

The only time we’ve ever heard of a mock objection working was when, at the crucial crux of the ceremony, the pastor offered the gathered guests the chance to object to the wedding. The groom’s six-year-old son meekly raised his hand, and was asked why he objected. His reply was simply that we wanted a promise he could still go fishing with his dad after he was married.

If you just can’t let the idea someone might object go, double-check your guest list, talk to the person officiating, and try to relax with the knowledge that no one can stop a legal marriage.

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