In The Wedding of River Song we believe we are seeing the Doctor and River exchange vows, accompanied by parental consent and everything, but: the hand-fastening is done between River and The Tesselecta!! So did young Melody marry a Time-Traveling Robot from the future, the Doctor, who was after all inside the thing, or maybe even neither?

Related to: Is the Doctor still married?, but asking whether he has been married to begin with.

  • 1
    The Doctor was in control of the Tesselecta at the time... Besides, who is going to go after them? Theres no law saying that they are married. They say that they are married.
    – calccrypto
    Aug 26, 2014 at 13:06
  • 7
    In the UK, the answer would be yes. A robot under full control would be considered a prosthetic device.
    – Valorum
    Aug 26, 2014 at 13:06
  • 1
    @calccrypto That is done in The Wedding of River Song via flashback.
    – BMWurm
    Aug 26, 2014 at 13:10
  • 3
    @BMWurm My point is, that it doesn't matter. River Song and the Doctor agree that they are happily married, and that is that. Is the happiness of two people not enough for you?
    – calccrypto
    Aug 26, 2014 at 13:27
  • 3
    @BMWurm In that case, I VTC because Doctor Who is not a legal drama, and any answer, no matter how good, will be most likely be pure speculation.
    – calccrypto
    Aug 26, 2014 at 13:41

3 Answers 3


The ceremony itself may be of dubious legality or even historical accuracy as it can be observed to have never happened at all (as it took place in an aborted timeline), but the Doctor and River have both been shown to retain their memories of it, and they both consider it to be legitimately binding between themselves.

From "Asylum of the Daleks Prequel":

MESSENGER: There is a woman who wants to meet you.

DOCTOR: That's nice, but I'm married.

From "The Angels Take Manhattan":

GRAYLE: What does that mean?

RIVER: It means, Mister Grayle, just you wait till my husband gets home.

  • 2
    You can add quote from The Time of The Doctor: "They created a psychopath to kill you." "Totally married".. :)
    – user931
    Jan 23, 2015 at 0:56

There's no reason to assume that the marriage was legally binding, or even that the "battlefield marriage ceremony" The Doctor performs actually exists.

  • Captain Rory (native to that time period) has never heard of it.
  • River Song (noted historian and archeologist) has never heard of it
  • There seems to be no further attempt to notarise any sort of binding contract.

On top of that, the whole thing happens in a timeline that no longer exists and never happened.

If I had to guess, I'd say that the Doctor made the whole thing up so that he'd have an excuse to tell River a big secret without it seeming weird.

  • 2
    Who's going after the couple because they weren't legally married?
    – calccrypto
    Aug 26, 2014 at 13:25
  • 1
    @calccrypto - Probably the same people who want 5 billion years of back council - tax from him
    – Valorum
    Aug 26, 2014 at 13:28
  • oh boy. maybe the Face of Boe can lend the Doctor some money
    – calccrypto
    Aug 26, 2014 at 13:30
  • 3
    “without it seeming weird” — mission accomplished! Aug 26, 2014 at 14:07
  • @calccrypto - He would, but you know how it is at the end of the month, hey, is that the time?
    – Valorum
    Aug 26, 2014 at 16:50

At the end of rebooting the universe when Amy and River are chatting, Amy talks about murdering someone and River says it was in an aborted time line, but Amy says she remembers it so it happened. This is like a hint that the Doctor and River remember their marriage (so its real) and was next mentioned as Amy being the mother-in-law.

  • 2
    Welcome! You should include some quotes and other evidence in order to support your answer!
    – user112267
    Jun 27, 2019 at 21:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.