The Doctor has been married a couple times now, I don’t think “Till death do us part” is really fitting for a fellow of his ilk. This made me think about what a Time Lord says for wedding vows.

Do we have the vows he made for his wedding(s)?

  • 3
    His wedding vow to River Song is "Look into my eyes", IIRC.
    – F1Krazy
    Oct 18, 2019 at 9:20
  • Related
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Oct 18, 2019 at 13:39
  • @VogonPoet My comment was actually tongue-in-cheek - he says that to River during his wedding ceremony, revealing to her (and the audience) the means by which he survived his apparent death in "The Impossible Astronaut". It's not really a vow, per se.
    – F1Krazy
    Oct 18, 2019 at 13:44
  • I feel that simply having watched the episode would tell you the best answer we can come.up with for this. It's never actually shown so we don't know.
    – Gnemlock
    Oct 21, 2019 at 22:53
  • He can still say it. I mean many people who say those vows get divorced and nobody blinks an eye, so the "til death do is part" part is largely ceremonial even for us.
    – Misha R
    Oct 21, 2019 at 23:01

1 Answer 1


There have been two of The Doctor's weddings seen on screen in the TV series.

The 10th Doctor's wedding to Queen Elizabeth I of England was first mentioned in The End of Time and then shown on screen in The Day of the Doctor. We hear the tail end of the wedding ceremony:

"I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride".

Although that's all we hear, it does appear to be a traditional Christian wedding, being officiated by a priest. Based on what we see and hear, it seems fair to assume that it would have contained the traditional wording, including the words "till death do us part", which are the focus of your question.

I presume you feel that a Timelord's long lifespan coupled with the ability to regenerate and live several lifetimes invalidates the vow "till death do us part", but I don't see a problem with it at all. It means that you promise to be wedded to the other person and remain faithful to them until one of you dies, and then the surviving spouse is free to marry again. A Timelord could sincerely vow to remain married to someone until one of them died (Timelords can die!)

The other wedding seen on screen is the Doctor's marriage to Riversong, which The Doctor, despite being the groom, officiates himself. The ceremony goes as follows:

  1. He takes a foot-long piece of cloth and wraps it around their hands.
  2. He asks both parents of the bride to say "I consent and gladly give".
  3. He whispers his name in her ear.

And that was it! They were married. This may be a traditional Gallifreyan wedding, although The Doctor begins by saying that it would be "the short version", so the full ceremony could normally contain vows, but they clearly are not a "legal" requirement. It is strongly suggested that saying his name is part of a wedding ceremony, as Ten, upon finding that River knows his name, says "there's only one reason I would ever tell anyone my name. There's only one time I could".

Alternatively, this quick ceremony may just have been a mix of wedding traditions - the cord wrapped around the hand is a Hindu tradition (also seen in Demons of the Punjab when The Doctor officiates a multi-faith wedding). The Doctor may have just quickly put the ceremony together by mixing different wedding customs - the cord was an outward symbol of the marriage (like rings), Rory and Amy spoke up as witnesses, and him whispering his name was like a verbal exchange of vows. Perhaps this last element only is Gallifreyan tradition.

It would seem then that The Doctor just goes along with whatever the customary wedding vows are according to where/when he is and who he is marrying. There is no reason to say that he wouldn't have said "till death do us part" or any other part of the ceremony.

It is also worth noting that the Tenth Doctor hinted in "Blink" that he may have had a wedding before these two.

  • In a UK (and I'm guessing general Common Law) marriage all that is required is a licensed registrar and a declaration by both parties, before a witness, that they are married, and that they are legally able to be married. No "outward symbol" or vows required.
    – OrangeDog
    Oct 23, 2019 at 15:55
  • @OrangeDog True, I phrased that wrong (too many edits). I meant to say that these are the usual things different wedding customs have in common. Although the ceremony itself is an "outward display", and in UK law you also have to publically announce your wedding ("banns"). You can't get married in complete secrecy.
    – Astralbee
    Oct 24, 2019 at 7:38
  • In his wedding to River, after he whispers in her ear, he say in front of Amy and Rory that he told her hist name. However, River later tells Amy that what he whispered was "look into my eyes" causing her to see how the Doctor escaped death at River's hands....
    – Blackwood
    Nov 7, 2019 at 4:16
  • 1
    The audience is initially inclined to believe the Doctor whispered his name to River, because she whispered his name to the 10th Doctor the first time he meets her. 10 later tells her "There's only one reason I would ever tell anyone my name. There's only one time I could." which we always assumed referred to a (for him) future wedding.
    – Blackwood
    Nov 7, 2019 at 4:21

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