How to Stop a Wedding

Three Parts:Approaching the CoupleTaking Other ActionWaiting it Out

We've all seen the movies where a person halts a wedding in progress in order to get back the one they truly love. In reality, stopping a wedding is a much more serious undertaking. It involves a lot of thought and planning and taking an honest look at your motives and intentions. If you truly believe the couple shouldn't be together and if you believe you're justified in doing so, we have some suggestions for going about stopping a wedding with logic and legal action.

Part 1
Approaching the Couple

  1. Image titled Stop a Wedding Step 1
    Consider your motivations. Before attempting to stop a wedding you need to think about why you have decided to take this on. Ask yourself if you believe you have the best intentions for both individuals by stopping their wedding. Try to understand why the couple has decided to get married and if you may be the only person feeling otherwise.
    • Talk with family members or other people involved in the wedding to find out if someone else feels similarly.
    • If you want to stop a wedding it's best to find legal reasons why it shouldn't happen.
    • Do not base halting a wedding purely off of emotions like jealousy or hatred. Those can be worked through with communication and therapy.
  2. Image titled Stop a Wedding Step 2
    Meet with the bride and groom privately to talk. Go directly to the couple-to-be and calmly discuss why you believe their wedding should be stopped. If there are legal reasons they should not be married bring these up and show the facts.
    • Imagine how you would feel if someone tried to stop you from having your wedding. Go into your discussion with the couple thinking carefully about the words you use and your reasoning.
    • Make sure to stay calm and collected to get your point across in the best way.
    • Voice your concerns and why you feel so strongly opposed to the wedding, but also listen to them and hear their side.
    • Offer solutions if you bring up legal problems and it's more likely the couple will listen and cooperate.
  3. Image titled Stop a Wedding Step 3
    Address your concerns one-on-one. If you need to, ask to speak individually with the couple-to-be. This is beneficial if you don't think you can keep a cool head talking with them both at the same time. Discuss your concerns with them separately.
    • This may be a good time to ask questions about how they are feeling about the wedding, and what their future looks like in their eyes; why they believe their significant other is the one for them etc. That kind of discussion could bring up uncertainty they may have about getting married and you can use it to enable them to think a little more, and possibly call off the wedding.
  4. Image titled Stop a Wedding Step 4
    Convince the couple to wait a year. If you can't convince one or both of the lovebirds to call off the wedding, you can try getting them to hold off for a year.
    • The expense of a wedding is a great excuse to need to wait to save up more money.
    • Planning a wedding is a lot of time and effort. For some, schooling, athletics, or current hobbies may take up much of their time and you can use this as another excuse to wait.
    • Another excuse to hold off until another year would be family events coming up such as grandpa's 80th or the birth of a new baby. You could use these by saying how much nicer it may be to have a wedding when the celebration will be all about them.
    • If none of these are true, and you feel the couple actually isn't a good match, you can also tell them the truth if you think they will listen; you believe they should wait a year to see what comes of their relationship, and if they're still together and happy its testament of their bond and they can decide to get married then.
  5. Image titled Stop a Wedding Step 5
    Suggest a “fake” wedding. Discuss holding a wedding celebration, but without the minister and paperwork. No one else has to know it's not legally binding and everyone can still enjoy themselves. This may satisfy a couple looking forward to the event and festivity but avoid any trouble later with divorce lawyers if it doesn't end well.

Part 2
Taking Other Action

  1. Image titled Stop a Wedding Step 6
    Call out the lies. If you know the wedding is a fraud, or there are legal reasons the wedding should not go through as planned, you have at least 28 days to take legal action. Couples must let a registrar know of their decision to get married and the registrar is required to make that information public for at least 28 days.[1]
    • Laws vary by jurisdiction, and each case is situation. Call or visit your local courthouse to discuss the steps you need to take once you have legal reasons the couple cannot get married.
  2. Image titled Stop a Wedding Step 7
    Involve others. If you have a good reason to believe the wedding should be stopped it will help if you get others to feel the same way. If you feel it may be your only way to stop the wedding, share your research you've done with the family and friends of the couple to obtain a greater opposition. Use this pressure to divide the couple.
    • This should be done as a last resort as it could be very traumatic, or it could actually bring the couple closer together in their possible attempt to escape and elope.
    • Crashing a wedding is not advised. It is a dramatic and reputation-damaging route which may not even work since some couples are legally married by signing the marriage license before the wedding ceremony.
    • The recommended plan would be to talk way ahead of time with the couple to avoid expenses and chaos and to have a rational discussion where you all share your sides.
  3. Image titled Stop a Wedding Step 8
    Follow the money. If the couple are relying on both or one set of their parents to support the wedding, you may want to try to stop the money source so the wedding will be called off. If you have legal reasons, again, share this with the parents and let them know they may be financially supporting a harmful situation. If there aren't legal reasons you can still voice other concerns and attempt to stop the money flow.

Part 3
Waiting it Out

  1. Image titled Stop a Wedding Step 9
    Void the marriage after the wedding. You can use an annulment to legally cancel-out the marriage as if it never happened.[2] After the wedding one of the two newly weds can call for an annulment for several different reasons.
    • The marriage was with a minor and required approval from the court and/or parental consent.
    • The marriage was not consummated and neither spouse were able to have sexual relations.
    • Either spouse were mentally ill or mentally incapacitated; involved with drugs or drunk.
    • If the marriage was illegal based on incest
    • If the marriage was fraudulent; one spouse marrying the other based on lies.
    • If a spouse was forced or blackmailed into the marriage.
    • If either of the two were still married to someone else at the time of the wedding.[3]
    • If you know the wedding is going to happen on any of those pretenses then you may still be able to null out the marriage after the wedding. Talk with the person whom you believe should initiate the annulment and show them how they can escape the marriage.
  2. Image titled Stop a Wedding Step 10
    Wait for the marriage to fail down the road. If the couple are fairly young and it's their first marriage there's a 40% chance the marriage will end in divorce.[4]
    • Waiting is not a fantastic solution since there may not actually be an end in sight. This should be your very last resort.
    • This could be a good plan if you believe the relationship is already particularly unstable.
  3. Image titled Stop a Wedding Step 11
    Move on. If you feel you've done all you can rationally do to stop the wedding without success, it's time to accept the inevitable. It may take time, but since you have no control over the couples' decisions, the best way to get over your opposition is to move forward with your life.


  • It will be more effective if you are not seen as the crazy person coming to ruin wedding plans. This means have your plan well thought out and your facts straight when you talk with the bride and groom to-be – along with evidence if you need it.
  • If you dream of running into the wedding shouting “I object!” after the minister asks if anyone disagrees with the marriage, think again. Unlike the movies, most ministers nowadays do not use that line and instead call for noise in support of the marriage.


  • Even if they haven't signed the marriage license, the couple is still legally married by state laws after saying the oath in front of the minister.
  • Be aware that often couples will legally be married before the wedding. They may sit down with the minister and sign the marriage license to get it over with before the celebration.

Article Info

Featured Article

Categories: Featured Articles | Weddings