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Altar the Speed

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"Of course, there are only two reasons to procure a special license and race to the altar: true love, or concealing a scandal."
Lady Whistledown, Bridgerton

The act of moving up a wedding date due to extenuating circumstances.

For some reason the wedding needs to occur sooner rather than later. Common versions include Elopement, when the parents oppose the marriage, and the Star-Crossed Lovers need to make it official before the parents stop them. Might start with a Perilous Marriage Proposal. The exact opposite justification is the Shotgun Wedding, when the parents insist on the lovers marrying, usually because "My daughter is not a slut" or even more serious, a baby is on the way. Might be considered a Dead Horse Trope in these versions nowadays.

It can also be a very moving and realistic event; either in a war movie (still a Truth in Television trope, but due to Values Dissonance between Hollywood and the Heartland, it isn't seen much anymore), or in some cases someone very close to the bride and/or groom is dying, and everyone agrees to move up the wedding so they can live to see the couple get married.

For some cases where a wedding was rushed because the couple wanted to, see My Own Private "I Do". Can lead to a Wartime Wedding and may be a Last Wish Marriage. If the couple can't get the official wedding, they might opt for an unofficial, deeply felt wedding-like private ceremony that leads to Metaphorical Marriage. Contrast Wedlock Block.

If the actual ceremony is sped up, see Skip to the End.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Aggretsuko, Retsuko makes the snap-decision to fill out a marriage registration form (a sort of declaration of intent-to-marry to the Japanese government) with Haida after he is almost backed over by a truck.
  • One chapter of Black Jack revolves around a young lady with cancer so advanced that only the titular charater's skills can save her life. However, she's absolutely certain she's going to die and is obsessed with the idea of getting married to the point of refusing to so much as be treated without being married first. So Black Jack marries her in a quickie ceremony, and once he's done giving her life-saving surgery, immediately divorces her.
  • In The Secret Agreement, Kyuusai sees Iori leaving a famous tearoom with his family and fiancée and tells Yuuichi about it. When Iori turns up later the same night, he confirms it was an omiainote  and casually mentions that the wedding is the next day, and if it weren't for keeping up appearances they probably wouldn't have bothered with the omiai at all.
  • In Sword Art Online, when Asuna is still trapped in Alfheim, her family begins to consider marrying her to Sugou while she's still unconscious, because they want Sugou to take over their company and have no idea if Asuna will ever wake up (note that Asuna was already engaged to him through Arranged Marriage before she went under). They don't actually decide to go through with it before Sugou is exposed for the criminal he is (including being the one holding Asuna's mind in a virtual prison in the first place) and the idea of him marrying Asuna is promptly dropped.

    Fan Works 
  • In Harry Potter and the Old Friend Neville and Hannah marry a little sooner than planned due to pregnancy.
  • In When Ginny and Harry Eloped - Sort Of a Ministry official threatens to take control of Harry and Ginny's wedding plans, so they decide to get married secretly at the Burrow the following Sunday.
  • In Where In The World Is Harry Potter Harry and Hermione decide to elope a week before their intended wedding in order to fool the Weasleys and the press.
  • In Tears and Rain Harry and Snape have to move up their bonding ceremony due to Harry's pregnancy.
  • Black Sky: Trusting in his daughter's intuition that it would be better for her and her groom to marry right now, Sirius gives her his blessing to use a wedding ritual to locate the perfect husband and send her to the guy for consummation. When he lays eyes upon Dorea, Xanxus is more than happy to comply. He's frozen not even a week following the event.
  • Dangerverse Harry and Ginny get married on May Day of 1997, before Ginny even turns sixteen. This is partially because they want some powerful symbolic act to finish off the spell-breaking year, partially because there is a prophecy that the "lion's line" must continue before Voldemort can be defeated, but mainly it's because Draco Black is prophecied to die that summer and wants to be there for his brother's wedding.
  • Inverted in the Elemental Chess Trilogy. Roy and Riza's wedding, in Flowers of Antimony, is repeatedly delayed by various extenuating circumstances, not least the bridegroom falling deathly ill.
  • in The Elements of Friendship, it's implied that Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy were seeing each other romantically before NightMare Moon's return, but they accelerated to becoming engaged within a day of NightMare Moon proclaiming nighttime eternal.
  • Severus and Lily in The Peace Not Promised planned to wait at least for graduation, but after the sudden death of her father, meaning that Lily will no longer have anyone supporting her, and will be selling her home and everything else with little left after paying off the mortgage, and she can't have her dream wedding anyway without her father giving her away, Lily doesn't want to be alone any longer.
    Lily: Though I wish for my friends to be there, and perhaps even Petunia, I don't wish it enough to wait. I don't wish it enough to endure another Christmas without being family.
  • Queens of Mewni:
    • Asteria's marriage to Orion happened a lot sooner than they had planned because Asteria had conceived Etheria, and since tradition had the heiress crowned queen at her wedding, Asteria became the youngest queen of the Butterfly Kingdom crowned (until Luna the Child) at sixteen.
    • There's a persistent rumor that Sideria sped up her marriage to Patric for the same reason, as they got married only two months after their engagement was announced and it was known that Sideria and Patric had already had sex. That they announced that Sideria was pregnant with Celena two weeks after the wedding does not help the rumors.

    Films — Animated 
  • In The Book of Life, General Posada coerces Maria and Joaquin into getting married less than a day after the latter's proposal so he'll stay in San Angel to defend it from Chakal.
  • Played with and averted in Frozen (2013). Prince Hans of the Southern Isles lies to the other dignitaries that he and Anna spoke their vows just before she died of the frozen heart curse placed on her by Elsa, in order to create a false claim to the throne of Arendelle and have Elsa executed for "treason." Note that Anna originally wanted to do the same thing at the coronation party, and Elsa refused. Hans tries to reason with her, but Elsa refuses to hear him out and asks him to leave.
  • In Shrek, Fiona insists that she marry Lord Farquaad before sunset, so that Lord Farquaad will kiss her and no one will see that she's an ogre at night.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Bend It Like Beckham: When the Beta Couple of Pinky and Teetu manage to browbeat their parents into letting them restart their marriage preparations, the wedding ends up being a lot sooner than anyone would like because the temple didn't have another opening for six months. Unfortunately, the opening they got was the same day as Jess's championship game.
  • In Canyon Passage, George and Lucy have been engaged for an indeterminate period of time (certainly months, and possibly years). Lucy is pushing for him to set a date, but he keeps putting it off as he wants to strike it rich first. Then George suddenly surprises her by announcing that he'll marry her this coming Sunday. What Lucy doesn't know is that's doing it because he plans to skip town immediately afterwards. Fate intervenes before the wedding can take place, however.
  • Controversially used in The Count of Monte Cristo (2002) when Mercedes explains to Mondego that she only married him because she was pregnant with Dante's child.
    Mercedes: He is not your son. Why do you think I wanted to marry you so quickly?
  • In Curse of the Headless Horseman, Mark and Brenda are putting off getting married until he finishes his medical degree. Towards the end of the film, Mark suddenly decides that they should get married immediately (possibly because of the curse) and they are married by the local Justice of the Peace in the church at the western theme park.
  • In Dark Victory, Bette Davis, who is terminally ill with brain cancer and has less than a year to live, asks her boyfriend to marry her so she can have a wedding and some happiness before she croaks.
  • Deep Impact, where Leo Biederman marries his girlfriend in order to get her and her family into the giant fallout shelter before the comet hits Earth.
  • In The Farewell, the Wang family learns that their matriarch has cancer and they want to arrange one last family get-together to say good-bye... without actually letting her know that she's dying, in keeping with a long-standing cultural idea that it is the family's responsibility to carry that grief in her place. As a result, her great-nephew Hao Hao proposes to his girlfriend of three months, Aiko, so the family can gather for their wedding.
  • In Independence Day, Captain Hiller and his fiancée have a ceremony that takes all of about five minutes. There's a battle that could save the human race the next day.
  • In the ending of Lethal Weapon 4 Riggs and Lorna finally agree to marry when Lorna is giving birth. Lorna, however, insists on getting married before she gives birth, despite being in the middle of contractions, so Leo Getz is sent to find a priest in the hospital... and then he ends up bringing in a rabbi, who uses a butchered and heavily abbreviated set of the vows.
    Leo: You said "anything"...
  • In Korean film Marriage Blue, Yi-ra and Dae-bok have to get married because Dae-bok knocked Yi-ra up, and she doesn't want her Christian minister father to find out she had sex before marriage.
  • In Meet the Fockers, the happy couple decide to bring their planned wedding date forward as Pam is pregnant, and they don't want her dad to realize they have had premarital sex.
  • Mission: Impossible III: Ethan and his fiance Jules rush to do their vows the night before he leaves in the chapel of the hospital she works at when he starts taking active missions again. They use plastic rings out of a vending machine for the hurried ceremony.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End combines this with Married at Sea: Will Turner asks Elizabeth Swann to marry him in the midst of the epic climatic battle at sea in the middle of a maelstrom (their planned wedding at the beginning of the second film having been interrupted with a few arrests among the wedding party). Elizabeth at first protests ("I don't think now is the best time!") before agreeing and asking Barbossa to marry them right there mid-battle ("I'M A LITTLE BUSY AT THE MOMENT!"). Barbossa thinks she's mad, but recites it anyway while all three keep fighting Davy Jones' undead fish-men crew.
  • This is the main plot driver of The Proposal.
  • Repeated almost verbatim in Robin Hood: Men in Tights, although it's the engager's request to be married quickly so that they could finally get down with the consummation part.
  • The end to Seven Brides for Seven Brothers features a sextuple shotgun wedding to which the brides trick the townspeople into agreeing because both they and the brothers want to marry, but the townspeople are against it. Also applies to the stage musical adapted from it.
  • Lampshaded and averted (sadly) in Since You Went Away.
  • In Spaceballs, Altar the Speed meets Skip to the End. The wedding ceremony has already been interrupted a couple times, and then Lone Starr shows up and reveals he's a prince to Princess Vespa before proposing to her. The priest, who's incredibly fed up by all the interruptions, proceeds thus:
    Priest: Okay. Here we go. The short, short version. [to Lone Starr] Do you?
    Lone Starr: Yes.
    Priest: [to Vespa] Do you?
    Vespa: Yes.
    Priest: Good! You're married! Kiss her!
  • In A Walk to Remember, the young couple gets married after an extremely short courtship. It's because he knows she's dying, and "getting married at the same church her mom did" was one of the things she wanted to do before she died.

  • In Orson Scott Card's Harmony books, the main character and his three brothers get quickie weddings with women they barely know so that they'll have someone to repopulate the Earth with. Somewhat justified in that, in their culture, marriages usually last for one year with the option to renew, meaning that most of the parties involved are accustomed to a pretty cavalier attitude toward the whole thing.
  • In Arcia Chronicles, after rescuing his Childhood Friend Jaquelin re Flo from his own brother Geofrey, who tried to force her into marrying him for her money, Alexander storms the Archbishop's house in the middle of the night and demands he and Jaquelin be married right that moment. While everyone thinks this a case of Nobility Marries Money, he is actually doing it to protect the poor girl from any more unscrupulous suitors—especially since a marriage conducted by an Archbishop can only be ever annulled by The Pope himself, who can hardly be bothered to.
  • An attempt to do this in Around the World in Eighty Days inadvertently saves the day when the happy couple discovers that a minister can't be retained because it's Sunday, not Monday, meaning there's still time to win the eponymous race.
  • In A Brother's Price, the Whistlers have signed a contract to buy a piece of property in their hometown. If they don't pay for it before a certain date, they forfeit their deposit and the owners will sell it to someone else. Since the sisters don't have the money in hand, they need to get Jerin betrothed, quickly, to a family that will pay a high brother's price for him up front.
  • Teresa Edgerton's second Celydonn series features this.
    • The Castle of the Silver Wheel: Tryffin hadn't planned on courting, let alone marrying, his cousin Gwenlliant for years, since she was only twelve years old. When her father planned an Arranged Marriage for her with a man known to have killed three wives and several mistresses with bad treatment, however, Tryffin stepped in at the last minute, claiming a Childhood Marriage Promise with Gwenlliant's help.
    • The Moon and the Thorn: Mahaffy's Arranged Marriage was moved up due to war — in case Mahaffy died in battle, the girl's father, Lord Macsen, wanted to ensure that his daughter would have the legal rights of a widow. Since Lord Macsen's troops were vital, Mahaffy had no choice but to agree.
  • In the second Codex Alera book Academs Fury, Bernard and Amara are trapped in a cave by the, the Vord, and don't expect to survive battle the next day, so they have a quiet conversation about Bernard's earlier offer of marriage.
    Bernard: But if this is to be my last night as a man, I would have it be as your man.
    Amara: I never thought anyone would want me, Bernard. Much less someone like you. I would be proud to be your wife.
    Doroga (Having been standing there unnoticed): Well, good enough for me. I now pronounce you man and wife.
    Amara: What?
  • From: the Deryni works by Katherine Kurtz: Duncan McLain and Maryse MacArdry fell in love in April 1107 and planned to ask their parents' permission to marry at the end of the summer. A McLain man killed Maryse's eldest brother, and the clan chiefs decided to separate their clans to avoid a full-on blood feud. The night before Caulay MacArdry was to leave Culdi, Duncan and Maryse secretly wed in the castle's chapel, then consummated their union in the stable loft.
  • In Edgar Rice Burroughs's The Mad King, the American hero is visiting his mother's native land.
    Neither his mother nor his father had ever returned to the little country since the day, thirty years before, that the big American had literally stolen his bride away, escaping across the border but a scant half-hour ahead of the pursuing troop of Luthanian cavalry.
  • George MacDonald Fraser's first Flashman book - Flashman seduces the daughter of his Scottish host, who finds out and insists they get married. When Flashman initially refuses, the host's son threatens to duel him; Flashman and Elspeth are duly wed. It is a surprisingly successful marriage - those two deserve each other.
  • In Harry Potter, Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks are married after a relatively short courtship because of the war. The marriage nearly disintegrates when Tonks becomes pregnant, prompting Remus to panic and attempt to pull an I Want My Beloved to Be Happy bailing on her (he's afraid their child will be, one way or another, a victim of his "affliction"). Harry, who has some experience with losing parents and parent figures, rightly calls him on his B.S.
    • Apparently a common occurrence during the wars against Voldemort. Molly and Arthur rushed their marriage the first time, and Bill and Fleur the second.
  • In the Homecoming Saga, protagonist Nafai and his three brothers get married to four women they barely know, in order to pair them up in preparation for a journey to reestablish humanity back on Earth. Somewhat mitigated as they all belong to a culture where marriage is a one-year contract, renewable annually, so this isn't so out of the ordinary for them.
  • Used in the Inheritance Cycle before Roran went off to battle, and because Katrina was pregnant.
  • In I Shall Wear Midnight, there is a lot of magical power in a wedding. Tiffany needs an enormous amount of power to defeat the Big Bad, so she marries Roland to Leticia the night before the scheduled ceremony in order to harvest this power.
  • Kris Longknife ends up having to plan and execute her wedding in a matter of hours, because she knows that orders have been cut that would put her and her boyfriend in the same chain of command, making the relationship against regulations. So they hurriedly get married before the orders arrive so that their relationship is grandfathered in as legal before they are officially aware of the orders.
  • The Last Days of Krypton: After he's framed for causing an accident that killed an alien envoy, Lara moves up her and Jor-El's wedding date. She does this out of a determination to stand by Jor-El through the worst. Zod volunteers to be the presiding official for the wedding (in a self-serving ploy to earn Jor-El's loyalty), speeding up the ceremony even further to accommodate his schedule.
  • In the Little House on the Prairie series, Laura and Almanzo have to get married quickly because his sister wants to come out and help plan a big wedding neither of them can afford. (Counts as a Real Life example too.)
  • In L. M. Montgomery's Rilla of Ingleside, Rilla's friend Miranda and her sweetheart Joe have a rushed wedding because Joe is about to ship out for World War I and Miranda's father doesn't approve of the marriage.
    • This happens hilariously in Anne of Windy Poplars. Anne facilitates a hasty elopement for two young people, Dovie and Jarvis, who have been engaged for over a year but were unable to get married because Dovie's father did not approve. So, they elope and Anne is left with the task of telling Dovie's notoriously temperamental father. She goes to break the news... only for Dovie's father to announce with relief that it's about time. He'd picked out Jarvis for his daughter when they were children and had only pretended to not like the relationship so Jarvis would hang around more!
    • This is inverted with Anne and Gilbert, however. They wait three years to get married, since Gilbert wanted to wait until he was finished medical school.
    • This also happens in a few of L. M. Montgomery's short stories, with the most extreme case occurring in "The Twins and a Wedding". Twins Sue and Johnny, having never been to a wedding, are upset that their parents refuse to take them to their cousin Pamelia's wedding, even though they were invited. They decide to buy train tickets after their parents have left and attend anyway, but unfortunately get off a stop too early. While looking for their uncle's home, the two come across a couple in the midst of an argument, as the man has to leave for a four-year trip to Japan and the woman refuses to get married with two days' notice. Upon discovering the twins' distress over missing the wedding, the couple decides to get married that afternoon so that Sue and Johnny can still get to enjoy a wedding.
  • Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens features the somber and rushed marriage of Eugene and Lizzie. The ceremony takes place sooner rather than later because the groom is believed to be dying from injuries inflicted by the bride's Stalker with a Crush.
  • Paul Sinclair, hero of John Hemry's Against All Enemies (and three previous books), was planning to get married shortly after transferring off USS Michaelson. But Paul's made some powerful enemies in the earlier books, and someone arranged for his orders to be changed: now he's going on a four-year posting to Mars. Two days after leaving the Michaelson. It's practically a miracle that his fiancée manages to get short-notice access to the chapel.
  • In the original Pride and Prejudice, the courtship between Charlotte Lucas and Mr. Collins is quite short, as his character was not suited for a long courtship, and Charlotte Lucas just wants to be married rather than wooed.
    The stupidity with which he was favored by nature must guard his courtship from any charm that could make a woman wish for its continuance.
    • In the same book, Mr. Wickham and Lydia. He at first is not planning on getting married to Lydia at all, and only when they are found and some monetary pressure is judiciously applied does he agree. She then needs to be married out of the Gardiner house because she's been living with him, and coming home unmarried would cause a scandal.
  • Used rather tragically in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Charlotte Lucas marries Mr. Collins shortly after meeting him because she knows she is infected with the zombie plague and wants her last months of actual life to be happy.
  • In the first book of Robin Hobb's The Soldier Son trilogy, Gord and his betrothed do this in face of the encroaching plague, as well as Epiny and Spink, after she ran away from home and spend the night with him, ruining her reputation.
  • Played for Laughs in 1632. After discovering that Alex Mackay got his fiancée, Julie Sims, pregnant, Gustavus Adolphus himself marches them down to the bridal shop to ensure they're married before the birth so the child isn't a bastard in the genealogical sense, and even serves in the bridal party.
    "Won't tolerate such behavior on the part of one of my officers," gruffed Gustav, in blithe disregard of his own not-entirely-reputable history. "Bastardy is a shame before God!"
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Ramsay Snow kidnaps the recently widowed Lady Hornwood (her only son had also recently died). Immediately after doing so, he marries her and then rapes her in front of witnesses in order to make clear that they are married and the marriage is consummated, so he can claim her lands. He then locks her in a tower where she chews off her own fingers before starving to death.
    • Edmure Tully's engagement to Roslyn Frey lasts exactly as long as it takes to get the groom and certain VIP guests to the Frey ancestral castle for the wedding. It is an Arranged Marriage to secure a vital alliance between Edmure's liege lord Robb Stark and Roslyn's father, who "has come to mislike long engagements" ever since Robb broke a marriage pact with him. The marriage goes forward as planned, but the alliance doesn't last past the consummation.
  • Bella and Edward have a very quick wedding in [1] so that Bella can be turned into a vampire before she is too much older than Edward is.note 
  • In X-Wing: The Bacta War, Corran Horn and Mirax Terrik become engaged partway through the novel. When Mirax's father Booster finds out about this later, he strongly objects (understandably, as Corran was the son of the policeman who caught him and sent him to Kessel for five years). He's called away on business, but fully intends to "discuss" things with them once he's finished. To avoid this, they have a brief marriage ceremony aboard Lusankya (with Commander Antilles, temporary captain of the ship, in the role of "priest", and a few droids as witnesses). Booster takes this surprisingly well, though he loses a bet with fellow smuggler Talon Karrde because of this - Karrde had bet that they would do exactly this.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Big Bang Theory, Howard and Bernadette move up their wedding day so that they'll be married by the time Howard is sent into space. After failing to find anyone willing to conduct the ceremony at short notice, all of their friends get ordained as ministers online (Sheldon apparently gets ordained twice, once by the State of California and once by the Klingon High Council) and conduct the ceremony as a team on the roof of Leonard and Sheldon's apartment, just as the Google Earth satellite was photographing the area. They time it so that the photo is taken just as the newlyweds kiss.
  • Mike and Paige in The Big Leap decide to get married after only dating a few months because Paula's cancer is back and she doesn't want to go through chemo again, so they only have a little more time left together. Since they're both on a reality show, they use executive producer Nick's resources to make it happen because Paula knows orchestrating a wedding for the show is like catnip to him.
  • Bridgerton: This being Regency England, a couple needs a license from the church in order to marry right away and skip the bannsnote . Simon and Daphne apply for one, and the gossipy narrator Lady Whistledown comments that the only reasons they would apply for one are "true love or concealing a scandal". Unbeknownst to each other their love is mutual, but they do it primarily to stop Simon dishonoring Daphne with a private makeout session at a party from being public knowledge. Queen Charlotte initially intervenes against their license because she's pissed Daphne dumped her nephew, but Simon makes a moving speech about his love for Daphne that changes her mind, and Simon and Daphne wed.
  • In Charmed, Piper and Leo have to get married quickly before the Elders split them up. They end up getting split up anyway, but eventually they're able to get married. In the final season Paige and Henry decide to turn their engagement party into a wedding ceremony after Paige and her sisters defeat The Triad.
  • On Downton Abbey, deconstructed, somewhat; Daisy feels pressured into going through with the wedding due to William's impending death, and subsequently feels that the whole thing was a lie.
  • Farscape: Towards the end of the Peacekeeper Wars miniseries, Aeryn demands that Stark marry her to John Crichton immediately as they're caught in a warzone and she's moments away from giving birth to their son. To be fair, they had tried to get married before but kept getting interrupted by their enemies. Stark wisely keeps the ceremony very short.
  • In The Flash (2014), Iris tries to do this with Barry when the whole city seems to be experiencing a lot of bad luck. Things don't go according to plan, however, as the priest they try to get to do the ceremony has a severe allergic reaction to the cinnamon-based incense the altar boy used by mistake.
  • Friends: One episode after getting engaged Ross announces that he and Emily will be getting married in one month. Emily wants to get married in the same place her parents got married but it's about to be torn down so they have to marry now or choose somewhere else. The day before the ceremony Emily, Ross and Monica head over to view the location only to discover the demolition was moved up and the place is already in ruins.
  • Fuller House : Fernando and Kimmy get back together, following their divorce in the first season finale. This is possibly to piggy-back onto Jesse and Rebecca renewing their vows.
  • The The Ghost and Mrs. Muir episode "Haunted Honeymoon". On their way to get married, Gladys and Harvey's car breaks down outside Gull Cottage on a very wet night. Mrs. Muir puts them up, much to the captain's annoyance, as he wants to update his sea charts and Harvey is to sleep in his alcove (room). As Claymore is a justice of the peace, the captain gets him to marry the couple so they can sleep together in the spare room.
  • Grace and Frankie: Robert and Sol push up their wedding plans when Robert is scheduled for emergency heart surgery, leaving their titular ex-wives scrambling to find an officiant. After a rabbi they grab in the hospital hallway backs out because Robert isn't also Jewish, Frankie, who got ordained over the internet, officiates the wedding herself.
  • In Kamen Rider Kabuto's movie God Speed Love, an AU to the TV series, Hiyori and Kagami hastily marry in hospital because Hiyori is dying.
  • Malcolm in the Middle, Hal and Lois's wedding. Lois is going into labor during the ceremony.
  • In the My Hero Wedding seen here (5:00 -> 6:11), the wedding is literally sped up without dropping anything.
  • One episode of NCIS ends on a happy example. After rescuing a Marine who missed his wedding due to being a POW, Tim and Delilah rush to get him to a Justice of the Peace so he can be reunited with his fiancée and married before the Justice's office closes for the weekend. They technically miss the deadline, but upon hearing the circumstances, the Judge agrees to work a little late to perform the ceremony, and Tim and Delilah stand as witnesses for the wedding.
  • In the penultimate episode of NUMB3RS, Charlie and Amita get a chance to teach at Cambridge for a year, but it would mean they'd be in England for their chosen wedding date. Rather than make everyone travel to Europe or postpone the wedding until they get back, they decide to have a small wedding the next day.
  • On The Parkers Kim and Jerel go to Las Vegas to elope. Nikki and The Professor try to stop them, but they are too late. The marriage is annulled when Jerel's mom reveals that he is only 17 and not 19 like he told Kim.
  • In Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Usagi and Mamoru set up their wedding so suddenly and in such a hurry that Ami is abroad, with the rush and Usagi's mood swings implying she's pregnant.
  • The Sandman, "Dream a Little Dream of Me": A member of the British royal family has a hurried private wedding to a celebrity football player, wanting to get it done before her family can object.
  • Stargate SG-1: In season 9, Vala is transported to the Ori galaxy and, once there, finds herself unexpectedly expecting. Since the village is full of extremely religious people with very old-fashioned values, she marries the first guy she can so as to avoid getting in trouble for having a child out of wedlock.
  • Played straight then averted on an episode of The Steve Harvey Show when Romeo and his Girl of the Week decide to go to Missouri to elope. Butt-Monkey Lydia spills the beans to Steve and Regina. They arrive just in time to stop the couple from getting married. Of course, the girl is never seen or mentioned again.
  • In an episode of Titus, Titus and Erin decide to have a quickie wedding, without their families. Guess who shows up. Then they try to speed it up, before something bad happens, especially with Titus's insane mother and her abusive husband there. Guess what happens.
  • On The West Wing, Ellie Bartlet and Vic Faison ("The Fruit Fly Guy," as the President calls him) can't wait until after President Bartlet leaves office to get married because Ellie's pregnant and will be showing by then.
  • A mix of this and Citizenship Marriage happens on What's Happening!!. Rerun tries to do this with a girl named Maria played by Irene Cara who needs a green card so that she can stay in the US. The judge realizes that in addition to them getting married just for a green card, they know nothing about each other. The judge stops the ceremony explaining that just because they get married she could still be deported. He offers to help her find another way to stay in the country instead.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Liz and Anthony's wedding in For Better or for Worse is put on the fast track in order to allow her ailing grandfather to witness the event before passing on. Gramps ends up getting rushed to the hospital the day of the wedding, but still manages to hang on until after Liz's first kid is born.

  • In Dream Girl, one of Georgina's later dreams has her eloping with Clark and insisting on having someone marry them at two in the morning because "it's an emergency."
  • In William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Lord Capulet - seeing Juliet's "repentance" - moves the date of Juliet's wedding to Paris up a day, from Thursday to Wednesday, which prompts Juliet to fake her death sooner, which causes Romeo to kill himself.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Umineko: When They Cry, after Eva Ushiromiya noticed that her father Kinzo was upset that Natsuhi and Krauss were having trouble having a child, she decided to convince her then-boyfriend Hideyoshi to marry her quickly so that they could have a child who could usurp the place that Jessica would eventually have in the succession. Hideyoshi, who had already lost his relatives and was eager to start a family of his own, agreed. Despite Eva's motives, the two are quite Happily Married and actually the most stable of the married couples.

  • Kevin & Kell
    • The relationship between Lindesfarne Dewclaw and Fenton Fuscus has zig-zagged this trope every which way:
      • Initially, in the immediate aftermath of the Microtalon incident, Fenton decided not to return to Caliban Academy, got a job with Flea-Bay (later Hare-Link), and immediately asked Lindesfarne to marry him. Lindesfarne, however, wanted to remain in Caliban, and decided they needed to wait.
      • When they finally did get engaged, it was on the condition that they wait until Lindesfarne finished getting her bachelor's degree before getting married. She had expected to need another year to finish, but a new ruling decreed that the AP Foraging credits she had earned as a herbivore (before officially changing her diet to insectivore) do count on her transcript, meaning Lindesfarne could graduate in May. She kept her promise to Fenton to go ahead and marry.
      • And Fenton's mother, Desdemona, had been trying to invoke this trope. Why she did so was only found out the day before the wedding: Desdemona is really a vampire bat, and she was afraid once Lindesfarne found out, she would call off the wedding.
    • Later, Aby Eyeshine proposed to her boyfriend, Mark Meadowvole, so he could adopt his orphaned nephew, Tyler. This being Aby and Mark, they later turned this into a Literal Metaphor by marrying during a MOUSCAR pit stop. The ceremony took just 20 seconds.
    • Averted with Rudy Dewclaw and Fiona Fennec: Following Their First Time, they agree not to rush to the altar, choosing to see what happens once they graduate from Beige University. Though they begin to feel pressure specifically after the engagement of friends Edgar Carnassial and Miranda Hutch.

     Western Animation 
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
    • In the episode "Slice of Life", Cranky and Matilda's wedding gets moved up a day because of a mistake on the invitations. That the Mane 6 are indisposed fighting off a bug-bear doesn't help matters, and as a result the Ensemble Darkhorses have to step up in order to make the wedding happen.
    • In "The Perfect Pear", when Bright Mac finds out that Pear Butter's father, Grandpear, is going to move her and the whole Pear family out of Ponyville, Bright Mac arranges for him and Pear Butter to be married that very same night, with Mayor Mare presiding and their friends Chiffon Swirl/Mrs. Cake and Burnt Oak to act as witnesses.
  • On Phineas and Ferb, the kids' aunt Tiana and her guy Bob get married the same day he proposes, because they have a trip planned right after and Candace is holding Tiana to an old promise that she gets to be a bridesmaid at her wedding.
  • In Steven Universe, Ruby proposes to Sapphire and they get married a couple of days later. This is because they love each other deeply that they don't understand that a wedding traditionally takes months to arrange (usually because people want to take the time to plan it perfectly and then have other things to do in the meantime, as well as wanting to spend some more time unmarried). The Gems see no point in holding off a procession for that long; they actually have the time to do it so soon, and to cement that their relationship is by their choice and not by Rose's approval (as they had just learned that Rose lied about her true identity, which put into question the validity of their own relationship).