Addressing the Persons that are to be married, the Authorised Official shall say (and this may differ from place to and place):
"I require and charge you both, in the presence of God, that if either of you know any impediment why you may not be lawfully joined together in Holy Matrimony, you do now confess it. For be well assured that so many as are joined together otherwise than God's word does allow, are not joined together by God; neither is their Matrimony lawful in His sight..."
The continuity and completion of the ceremony hinges on an affirmation to the negative of this question; and the sanctity of the marriage depends upon whether the solemn declaration made at this point is truthful. At this point any faults, restraints, reservations and adverse agreement to having God as the centre of the marriage must be confessed. (Be warned, God already knows) It is a vow, an oath, a covenant sworn to God and the Heavenly Host present - it is the crux of a successful and guaranteed blessed marriage - and quite amazingly, I believe, the only part of the ceremony that DOES NOT REQUIRE the attendance of any officials, witnesses nor congregation, not even the intended spouse - yet it is crucial in cementing a completely new stage in the journey of life, as a unified one, amongst these and all other people.
The 'I do's or 'I will's or 'I shall's (incidentally, 'I shall' is the correct contextual English) - the '...for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health...', MEAN ABSOLUTELY NOTHING if this FIRST VOW to and before God has not been met. Before you resign your marriage to counselling, separation, 'time apart', and even 'frivolous' renewal of your wedding vows - address, truthfully confess and recommit to this INITIAL COVENANT every day; and God forbid, should the day arise when you cannot, and your resolve be exhausted, it would be far better for all parties that your union be dissolved - I know, harsh and scary.
Just recently I discovered that some couples have requested this part of the ceremony to be omitted; and shamefully, in many cases, the authorised Person or Registrar have shortsightedly obliged. This is tragic, because at this initial point, at this impasse, the true God-sanctioned marriage and union is written. This is the true marriage vow that will guarantee a successful and God-blessed partnership which will withstand anything the world may throw at it...
"I require and charge you , in the presence of God, that if you know any impediment why you may not be welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven, you do now confess it. For be well assured that so many as are shallowly expecting Eternal Life otherwise than God's word does allow, are not welcomed by God; neither feign bemusement that is your welfare is not precious in His sight..." - your free-will, your choice!
I take this opportunity to thank God from the depths of my heart for the inspiration and guidance He bestowed on me to be His instrument in documenting and sharing these words - All glory and honour I give to Him, Amen. (",)