The Wedding Objection Tradition: Do You Need It at Your Wedding?

"If anyone has reasons why these two should not be married, speak now or forever hold your peace." It's a pretty standard line in romantic comedies, but do you really need to give people the opportunity to object at your wedding?

Today, more couples are choosing to forgo the tradition of allowing a wedding objection, but there's a good reason this line was once an essential part of marriages. Here's what you need to know about wedding objections and how to decide whether you want to participate in this tradition on your special day:

The History of Wedding Objections

Centuries ago, there were many laws and religious doctrines that dictated who could get married. Some of the rules, such as if you're already married or underage, still apply today, but back then, there were other bizarre rules as well. For instance, if you had taken a vow of celibacy or hadn't been baptized, you weren't supposed to be wed.

Because people often tried to get around these laws, priests began asking during wedding ceremonies if anyone in the crowd had a legal reason the couple should not be wed. It was essentially a check to make sure the matrimony was legal—and sound in the eyes of God—before proceeding.

From Legal Check to Quintessential Rom-Com Scene

Over time, "Speak now or forever hold your peace" has become less of a legal question and more an opportunity for romantic gestures.

Today, people use this time to profess unrequited love or voice their (often unwelcome) opinions about the union. The wedding objection tradition has also become a common plot device in romantic movies, used to bring soulmates back together at the last second. It might seem sweet in the movies, but objections are mostly just awkward in real life.

Do You Need to Follow Tradition?

Today, there's no reason you have to include a moment for objection in your wedding ceremony. The legality of your marriage will be determined before the big day, so you don't have to give people a chance to speak out against your nuptials—in fact, you might not want to.

You may think no one ever objects at weddings, but Brides has true stories that prove otherwise. Scorned exes, unhappy relatives, or even just drunk wannabe comedians can use this opportunity to make a scene at your wedding, and who wants that? For this reason, many couples choose to have this line stricken from their ceremonies to avoid potential awkwardness.

What to Do When Asking for Objections

If you want to stick with tradition and ask for objections, go for it! It's your big day, and you have final say on how the ceremony will proceed.

You might not know the best way to react when the officiant says, "Speak now or forever hold your peace." Do you laugh, or do you stay somber? Again, it's really up to you. If you and your soon-to-be spouse are a silly couple, you might share a giggle during the moment. However, you can also just make eye contact with your fiancé and wait for the ceremony to proceed.

Whatever happens, just enjoy your special day. You'll cherish every moment of your wedding in the years to come.