Can a person - like an ex or a (possibly) soon-to-be-in-law - object to and stop your wedding in New York State? It's the like a scene out of a Tele Novella. The officiant asks “Should anyone present know of any reason that this couple should not be joined in holy matrimony, speak now or forever hold your peace”? A beautiful wedding between two people is underway and it comes to a screeching halt.

Photo by Beatriz Pérez Moya on Unsplash
Photo by Beatriz Pérez Moya on Unsplash

According to, the phrase is from the marriage liturgy section of the Book of Common Prayer, which was First published in 1549. It provides guidelines for religious services, customs, and worship in the Church of England, or Anglican Church. Now, imagine all of your family, friends, and loved ones are gathered to watch you and your fiance finally join in Holy matrimony. Then, a person in one of the back rows stands up after the officiant says that phrase and dramatically objects, and your world crumbles.

Can A Person Object At Your Wedding And Stop It In New York?

It sounds like something out of a nightmare for every couple about to take their nuptials. But, what would happen legally speaking, if someone stood up and objected at your wedding? Well, first of all, it would have to be something legal. It couldn't just be a bitter ex, upset that you've moved on and are now in a happy, healthy relationship. According to the U.S. Sun,

If someone objects at a wedding, there are no rules to follow. Because it is so uncommon in the modern age, the wedding officiant isn't typically trained on what they should do in such a scenario.

If someone did object, they would have to provide a legally valid reason.

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Photo by Shardayyy Photography on Unsplash
Photo by Shardayyy Photography on Unsplash

What Legal Objections Can Stop A Marriage In New York State

There are a few reasons that a marriage could potentially be stopped before it is officiated. In order to obtain a marriage license in New York State, a few different things must be verified,

1. Age Requirements

Marriages of minors under eighteen years of age is prohibited. If either applicant is under 18 years of age, a marriage license cannot be issued. Both parties are required to present to the clerk documentary proof of age.

2. Family Relations

A marriage may not take place in New York State between an ancestor and descendant, siblings (full or half blood), an uncle and niece or nephew or an aunt and niece or nephew, regardless of whether or not these persons are legitimate or illegitimate offspring.

3. Previous Marriages/Divorces

Information regarding previous marriages must be furnished in the application for a marriage license. This includes whether the former spouse or spouses are living, and whether the applicants are divorced and, if so, when, where and against whom the divorce or divorces were granted. A certified copy of the Decree of Divorce or a Certificate of Dissolution of Marriage may be required by the clerk issuing the marriage license.

Photo by Al Elmes on Unsplash
Photo by Al Elmes on Unsplash

Before you get married in New York State, you should take a look at the rules here. Another thing to consider about getting married in New York is the reality of divorce. According to World Population Review, New York does actually have a relatively low divorce rate at 2.2%, putting it in the top 10 lowest divorce rates in America.

These Are The 7 Legal Grounds For Divorce In New York State

These 10 Cities In New York Have The Highest Divorce Rates

Almost 50 percent of all marriages in the United States will end in divorce or separation. With odds like that, where are the highest divorce rates in New York State?

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