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Speak Now Instead of Forever Holding Your Peace

Nancy Franklin


People should be speaking up at half the weddings they attend. And by half, I mean 44% of weddings. That’s the divorce rate in the U.S.


“If any man can show just cause why they may not be lawfully joined together, let him now speak, or forever hold his peace.” I have yet to hear anyone object to a marriage other than in The Graduate. And someone should have objected to that objection since we can assume Dustin Hoffman’s Benjamin Braddock eventually marries Katharine Ross’ Elaine and we all know that Benjamin slept with Elaine’s mother and it won’t be long before every argument begins with “You slept with my MOTHER!” 


Wouldn’t you want to know you’re headed for disaster before you make that life-long commitment that might go sideways a few years later leaving you and your new baby financially ruined and living with your parents?


I know I would!


It might be important to know that the groom was canoodling with the bride’s cousin in the vestibule before the ceremony. Or that the bride has just extended her car’s warranty. And she doesn’t even have a car!


Sure, if you speak up you may not get to belly-up to the hosted bar at the then-cancelled reception. But isn’t saving a friend from catastrophe more important than a free mimosa? Doesn’t it show how much you care? Is it too much to ask that you bring that forth? I think not!


You saw it coming...that first, drunken, crazy hook-up followed by Instagram posts of every date. You lived through the break-ups and make-ups. You know the wedding partner is a jackass, a Karen, a horse’s rear end who hates children, old people and puppies. This marriage will be about as real as their engagement photos that showed a proposal on a sandy beach in a tropical paradise which turned out to be the hostess desk at a Rainforest Café.


‘Forever holding your peace,’ just means you’re shirking your moral duty. If you know that peace eventually is going to be broken at 5 AM by a S.W.A.T. team surrounding their home asking them to come out with their hands up because their spouse is connected to a drug cartel, I think that qualifies as ‘just cause’! Let your “I object” carry from the bowels of the church to the vestibule where that cousin is still crying over her broken heart.


Feedback is important. Giving feedback at the right time? Equally important. Maybe we should go back to Medieval times where ‘banns’ or announcements of marriage were proclaimed 3 weeks before a wedding-- in time to prevent a huge mistake and before the objecting lord or lady purchased a non-returnable crystal candy dish as a wedding gift from the town square Macy’s. Or maybe an intervention requiring the bride or groom to hole up in a preschool and watch 30 days of “Dateline.”


On the other hand, if you wait until the actual wedding, the bride or groom’s parents will probably not object and I bet you can get a doggie bag of hors d’oeuvres, a bottle of champagne and a slice of wedding cake to take home.


If you enjoyed today’s moot, follow Nancy Franklin on Twitter and check out her website. If you are feeling generous, consider donating to the Providence Trinity Care Hospice, Nancy’s charity of choice.

*For each moot, we generate a cover image using  DALL·E, an AI art platform that generates images using natural language processing. This image on the right was generated using the title, 'Speak Now Instead of Forever Holding Your Peace' in the style of Paul Guaguin, the Nancy's artist of choice.*

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