Kerjen fanfiction: River!
Please…The doctor was a teselecta,they are NOT married!
Since you say you know what makes a marriage legal, you must be married because they tell you about this when you prepare for your wedding. So, remember what they said, because you’ll remember that your above…
It pisses me off every time I see someone pull the “but it wasn’t legal, it didn’t count!” card.
Well guess what, cultures outside of your own culture exist, like it or not! And although this is fiction, within the context of this fictional universe, Gallifreyan culture(s) do exist and they exist very different to Earth/human cultures. They’d have to, because how would “until death do us part” work with Time Lords, who are a race that can die twelve times and come back looking like a completely different person (in fact, they don’t even have to come back looking humanoid at all!)? Would they have to get remarried each time just because one of them regenerated? That’s crazy! You would have to have different laws and procedures for this. Moreover, Time Lords deal in time: controlling it, altering it, etc… So by extension, they also deal with negated timelines, multiple sets of memories, alternate realities, and the like. That also has to factor into how they do marriage. Logically, they would have to cover that, so that you don’t have to constantly get remarried every time an alternate reality becomes reality or time is rewritten.
So yes, River and The Doctor got married. The Doctor performed the shorthand of a Gallifreyan tradition that he was intimately familiar with. He considers River is wife and River considers him her husband. Earth/human culture doesn’t get to dictate the validity of this marriage because it wasn’t performed using Earth/human cultural rituals. You have to gauge it by the culture that it was performed in, otherwise you’re in for all sorts of problems!
Moral of the story: quit being so ethnocentric.