The act of shortening a marriage ceremony due to outside circumstances.
This is when for some reason the actual ceremony has to be abbreviated or sped up, perhaps to thwart the Wedding Smashers
. It can be either for the benefit of the Heroic Official Couple
, or a plot by the Big Bad
involving an Arranged Marriage
. Whatever the reason, the ceremony needs to be sped up. A subversion can occur if the judge, priest or pastor refuses to alter the altar vows. This may become a plot point if leaving out parts of the ceremony invalidates the marriage.
Compare with Altar the Speed
, when the wedding date
is moved up due to outside circumstances.
- Rabbi Bob Alper tells about a sweltering outdoor summer wedding, where the bride asks him to make it short. The ceremony consisted of, "Do you both want to be married?" "Yes." "You are." See it here, starting about 2:15.
- Joked about at the beginning, and then executed at the end of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
- The end of the film version of The African Queen. "I now pronounce you man and wife. You may proceed with the execution."
- In Irma La Douce, the groom (Jack Lemmon) needs to speed up the wedding because his wife-to-be is going into labor. The priest even starts speed-reading the wedding rites. In Latin.
- In Joe vs. The Volcano the marriage has to be rushed because the volcano god is getting hungry for his sacrifice and the groom has to jump in like NOW.
- Or maybe the natives' traditional wedding ceremony is always done that fast; the film doesn't make it clear.
- In The Legend of Zorro the remarriage has to be rushed because the Zorro Bell is ringing.
- In Lethal Weapon 4, Riggs' wedding is sped up due to the bride going into labor. And done by a rabbi, because that's the only clerical person Leo Getz could find.
- It's explicitly not a real wedding, just something she asked to be thrown together since she wanted to say the words before giving birth.
- The mid-battle marriage in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End skips rather a lot of the traditional ceremony and is frequently interrupted in very, very strange ways.
Barbossa: "Dearly beloved, we be gathered here today...to nail yer gizzards to the mast, ye poxy cur!"
- In The Princess Bride, Prince Humperdinck rushes his wedding to Buttercup because the good guys are Storming the Castle. Subverted later when Westley points out that she never said, "I do." (In the book he gives the significantly less satisfying observation, "Well, divorces happen all the time, don't they?")
- He's correct either way, especially considering the marriage is never consummated, and thus can be annulled. In addition, the whole deal was made under duress, although if Humperdinck's plan had worked, there wouldn't have been anyone to contest the matter, least of all Buttercup, as he planned to kill her immediately afterwards to foment a war.
- Several of the Robin Hood films use this trope.
- Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Particularly notable in that the Sheriff (who's evil and everything) won't "go all the way" with Marion until they are legally married. It even gets a bit of Lampshade Hanging: the whole way through the wedding, Mortianna is shouting to the Sheriff to just take her now, but he snarls back that, for once in his life, he wants to have something good and pure. Never mind that he's marrying Marian against her will. Of course, he also needs a legitimate child to put on the throne, and while a matter of minutes wouldn't make much difference, one way or the other he has to succeed in marrying her; so it's just as well to do it in that order.
- Subverted in Robin Hood: Men in Tights, because of the chastity belt the bride is wearing, though the Sheriff doesn't know about that until he actually does attempt to "deflower her in the tower" after Robin and company break up the wedding. Then it's played straight in the same film when Robin and Marion are so eager to get married that they get the nearest holy man (the Rabbi) to marry them very quickly (interrupted only by King Richard, who asks to kiss the bride as per tradition).
- Shrek: Fiona asks the vicar to cut straight to the "I do"s so that she can be kissed by Lord Farquaad before the sun sets and so break the spell on her.
- Spaceballs. Parodied (of course); they're skipping to the end because the minister is fed up with all the interruptions and wants the ceremony over with. And this after he already tried his regular short version only to be interrupted there! The (current) principals don't mind all that much.
Minister: "Alright, here we go! The short, short version! Do you?"
Lone Starr: "Yes."
Minister: "Do you?"
Princess Vespa: "Yes."
Minister: "Good! You're married. Kiss her!"
- In Flood Tide, a Merovingen Nights anthology edited by C. J. Cherryh, the short story "Marriage" by Lynn Abbey: The Kamat family is determined that Marina Kamat's marriage will take place before her baby's birth, no matter what. She goes into labor during the ceremony; the main tension is provided because one city dignitary hesitates to sign the paperwork under the circumstances, opening up the real possibility that concessions might be extorted from the Kamat family in the heat of the moment just to get things finished in time. The baby's birth is announced just after the contract is declared to be ratified.
- In Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, Ivan and Tej do a very minimal wedding due to a Wedding Deadline involving the police trying to break down the doors.
- In The Most Happy Fella, Tony's wedding ceremony has to be done quickly and in private because of his serious injuries requiring urgent medical treatment. The big wedding party has to be postponed to a later date.
- Older Than Steam. Leonato, from Much Ado About Nothing, tells the friar " Come, Friar Francis, be brief; only to the plain form of marriage, and you shall recount their particular duties afterwards." In modern terms, that's saying "Marry them first then give them the lecture on how to behave when you're done." Not that the marriage succeeds, mind you, but that's another story for another time.
- This occurs in the Woody Woodpecker cartoon A Fine Feathered Frenzy. Woody spots an ad in the personals of a 'Gorgeous Gal' who is rich, has plenty of food and wants to marry a young man. When he calls her up she entices him with her sexy voice so he rushes over to marry her. Unfortunately when he meets her he sees that Gorgeous Gal is a white haired featherless crow that is much larger and older than he is. Gorgeous Gal falls in love with him but the Woodpecker is no longer interested. Eventually he enters a room where Gorgeous is wearing a wedding gown with a priest on hand ready to marry them. Woody runs clear across the country and swims to a small island. Soon he spots Gorgeous Gal's chubby arm sticking out of a golden submarine motioning for him to come hither. He tries to escape but she grabs him by the tail feathers and drags him into the watercraft. The very next second the priest comes out and hangs a 'Just Married' sign on the submarine. The actual wedding ceremony was over really fast for comedic effect.
- Futurama has Alcazar, a scheming, shape-shifting alien, insist on skipping straight to the vows as he tries to marry Leela, in part because it was the first wedding of five he'd planned that day and he was in a hurry to go through with them all. Fortunately for Leela, Fry and the other four brides turn up.