How to Talk about Weddings in English

This is the ultimate guide on how to talk about weddings in English.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to talk about every aspect of a wedding. And I will provide you with all the English vocabulary and phrases you need.

You might need to talk about a wedding for

 

  • the IELTS speaking test
  • General English
  • talking about your own culture
  • an interview for college or a job
  • general conversation

 

So let’s dive right in and take a look.

 

 

What is a Wedding?

 

A wedding is where two people, usually a man and a woman, but can be two men or two women, get married to each other.

It is a celebration of this special day. A party to celebrate two people who love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together.

A wedding can show the culture and customs of the country where it is held.

A wedding can be very religious — or it can be completely non-religious.

If you attend a wedding in India, this could be a completely different event from a wedding in Brazil.

 

Useful Sentences in English

 

A wedding in England is usually held in a church and the couple invites all their family and friends.

 

I went to my brother’s wedding — it was a really great day.

 

Weddings in England often take place on a Saturday.

 

Questions

 

How would you describe a wedding in your country?

Give a brief description of a wedding in your country using THREE sentences.

Have you been to a wedding? Try to talk about what you experienced.

 

 

Where Does a Wedding Take Place?

 

A wedding is usually held in a big building to accommodate all the guests. But also to provide the right place for such an important occasion.

Many weddings are religious and so therefore held in a place of worship.

For example:

  • church
  • chapel
  • temple
  • synagogue

 

Even for non-religious couples, having the wedding ceremony in a church or temple can give a sense of grandeur and occasion to the wedding.

And it looks great in photographs too!

 

But for more modern weddings, the location could be:

 

  • a 5-star hotel
  • a stately home
  • a beautiful beach

 

Some couples like to have their wedding in a hotel. The hotel can provide everything — the room for the wedding, the catering, the rooms for guests to stay overnight and the music.

And in England, where there are many old stately homes, a couple can get married in the old traditional style of a 17th-century building.

In recent times, couples have had their wedding on a beautiful tropical beach.

But this means flying all the guests to the location…

And some couples choose to get married in a very different location.

They want their wedding to be very special.

These places include:

 

  • a library
  • on top of a bridge
  • a treehouse
  • inside a cave

 

Take a look here to see some very strange wedding locations — Top 10 Unusual Wedding Venues for Quirky Couples 

 

Useful Sentences in English

 

I went to my friend’s wedding — it was a very traditional ceremony held in a church.

 

My brother and his wife had their wedding in a hotel in London. It was a five-star hotel. The food and the wine were excellent.

 

My friend is a librarian and so she and her husband thought it would be fun to get married in the library.

They had to have the whole ceremony with very little noise!

 

I would like to get married on a beautiful beach somewhere — but trying to get all my family to fly out there would be very difficult.

 

Questions

 

Where do people get married in your country?

Are there modern weddings in your country? Where are these ceremonies held?

Do you know of any unusual wedding locations in your country?

 

 

What do People Wear at the Wedding?

 

The people at the wedding usually wear clothes to show respect to the couple.

In England, this means that the men wear suits and the women wear dresses.

These are some of the clothing styles people wear at weddings

  • traditional clothing
  • morning suits for men
  • formal suits for men
  • formal dresses for women

 

In many countries, it is considered disrespectful to attend a wedding in casual clothing like jeans and an open-necked shirt.

Some weddings might have a theme for the ceremony.

That might mean that all the guests have to wear very formal clothing or a style from a particular era like Victorian or Edwardian.

For more images of wedding themes, take a look at these articles — Wedding Themes for Every Bridal Style & Wedding Theme Ideas 

 

Then there is the wedding dress of the bride.

In most western countries, this is white. This is to show the purity of the bride.

But more modern styles may choose a different colour, such as light grey or pale blue.

At some weddings, the bride may change her wedding dress several times.

 

Useful Sentences in English

 

At my sister’s wedding, everyone wore traditional clothing styles. All the men wore formal suits, and the women wore dresses.

 

My friend decided to have a 1920s style wedding. Everyone wore suits and outfits from the 20s. Even the music was from the same time.

 

I went to a wedding where we were told to wear morning suits and top hats. It was in the middle of the summer and the hats were so uncomfortable to wear because it was so hot!

 

Questions

 

What do people wear at weddings in your country?

Describe the clothes that people wear at a typical wedding in your country.

What do the bride and groom wear?

Do people have special themes at weddings in your country?

Are there certain traditional wedding outfits that people wear in your country?

Try to describe these outfits.

 

 

When Does the Wedding Take Place?

 

When talking about this you need to think about:

  • the time of year
  • what day of the week
  • what time of the day
  • special holidays

 

For example, in England, the summer is a popular time for weddings. The weather is reasonably reliable, the sky blue and the sun shining.

And many weddings in England take place on a Saturday. Most people are not working and they can enjoy the whole day. Then they can have a rest on Sunday before going back to work on Monday.

Weddings in England are usually an all-day event.

The day might begin around 9 am for many weddings and go on throughout the afternoon and then a big party in the evenings.

And some people in England might choose a special day to get married. Maybe on a Bank Holiday or some other occasion.

 

Useful Sentences in English

 

We got married in late Spring. The weather was not cold, and we thought the weather would be nice too. It was actually a nice sunny day in England for a change!

 

My friend got married on a Saturday. It was the whole day — from 9am to about midnight.

By the end of the day, I was exhausted. But I had all day Sunday to relax.

 

My brother got married on a Friday. It was a bit difficult as all the guests had to take the day off from work. Not everyone could do it, but they came to the party in the evening.

 

Questions

 

What time of year do people get married in your country?

Is there a special season that people like to get married in your country?

What times of the year do people avoid getting married in your country?

What is the most popular day to get married in your country? Why this day?

Can people get married on any day of the week if they choose?

What time do weddings take place in your country?

Are weddings an all-day event in your country? Or only in the morning, in the afternoon or evening?

Do people get married on special days of the year in your country?

What days should people avoid getting married in your country?

 

 

How do People get to the Wedding?

 

Of course, people need to get to the wedding.

How do they get there?

Here are some of the forms of transport that people use to get to the wedding:

  • limousine
  • special cars
  • horse and cart

 

Special theme transportation:

  • police car
  • firetruck
  • tractor
  • taxi

 

In many countries, people like to arrive at the wedding in style. Some weddings will arrange big limousine cars for the bride and groom and all the guests.

Other weddings may just have a fleet of sedan cars for the guests.

But at most weddings, the guests have to make their own way to the wedding — either in their own car or by some other form of transport.

Sometimes the bride and groom go to the church by horse and cart. Or they could arrive by taxi or boat.

It is all down to the choice of the bride and groom.

And as with the kind of clothes people wear at a wedding, there can also be a special theme for transportation to the wedding.

The bride and groom might arrive by:

  • police car
  • firetruck
  • tractor
  • taxi
  • barge

 

This is often related to the city they live in or the jobs that the bride and groom have.

Take a look at the pictures here to see different ways people get to the wedding – Wedding Transportation Ideas

 

Useful Sentences in English

 

My sister and her husband arrived at the church by limousine. The car was decorated too, so they looked great as they got out of the car.

 

At my friend’s wedding, he hired six cars to take him and his wife, and many of the guests to the church. All the cars were white and decorated with flowers.

 

I would like to go to my wedding by horse and cart. I think it would look very traditional.

 

My brother is a fireman, so he chose to arrive at the church with his wife in a fire truck. They even used the sirens!

 

Questions

 

How do people travel to a wedding in your country?

Do they go in a special car? What kind of car?

Do some people like to use more traditional transport to go to the wedding? What kind?

Do people use any special kind of transportation to go to a wedding?

 

 

What Special Customs Happen at the Wedding

 

Different countries will have different kinds of customs at a wedding.

It all comes down to culture and the differences between each country.

These are some of the special customs that can be seen at a wedding in England.

  • wedding rings
  • wedding veil
  • wedding cake
  • something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue
  • throwing the bouquet to the single women
  • cans tied to the bumper of the car
  • just married sign
  • throwing confetti or rice at the couple
  • drinking

 

In England, there is a custom called ‘exchanging of the rings’ where the bride and groom put rings on the ‘Ring Finger’.

This is the fourth finger on the left hand.

It is not so common now, but some brides like to wear a wedding veil. This is a thin piece of fabric worn in front of her face.

She lifts the veil as she meets her groom.

Most weddings have a wedding cake.

A big part of the ceremony is for the bride to cut the wedding cake.

Another British tradition at weddings is for the bride to wear ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’.

This is supposed to bring good luck to the married couple.

At the wedding party — not in the church! — the bride will often take a bouquet of flowers and throw it over her shoulder.

Behind her are all the unmarried women.

Whoever catches the bouquet will get married next.

And as the married couple leave the party at the end of the day, they leave in a car with tin cans tied at the rear bumper.

There will also be a sign that says ‘Just Married’ displayed on the rear window.

As the married couple leave the church, the guests throw rice or confetti — small pieces of coloured paper — over the bride and groom.

And at most weddings in England, the guests will often drink a lot of alcohol.

You can read more about wedding traditions here — Wedding Traditions

 

Useful Sentences in English

 

At my brother’s wedding, I was the best man. And I made a joke about losing the rings. He was so angry with me!

 

My friend had a very traditional wedding. She even wore a veil in the church.

 

My cousin had a really great wedding cake at their wedding. It was a three-tier cake and had two little figures of a bride and groom on the top.

 

My friend insisted on wearing something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue at her wedding.

So she wore her mother’s wedding veil, a new wedding dress, a scarf that she borrowed from me and wore blue shoes.

 

My sister threw a big bouquet of flowers over her shoulder at her wedding and all the single ladies tried to grab it. It was kind of funny!

 

As my friend left the wedding party to leave in his car, we tied a load of old tin cans to the back of his car and put a huge sign on the back that said: Just Married.

 

We threw confetti over the bride and groom at the wedding. I keep finding small pieces of confetti in my shoes and clothes two weeks later.

 

My friend got married and when we got to the party in the evening, we all drank so much.

Everyone was dancing by the end of the night.

 

Questions

 

What wedding traditions do you have in your country?

Are there any special customs that people carry out at a wedding for good luck?

Is there any special kind of clothing that the bride or groom should wear?

What kind of funny things do the guests do at a wedding in your country? Are there any jokes that you play on the groom?

 

 

What Do People Eat and Drink at the Wedding?

 

And no wedding can be complete without food.

Most wedding ceremonies have food on the table for their guests.

And for each country, the food will be different of course.

A Chinese wedding will serve Chinese food.

An Italian wedding will give their guests Italian food.

And a wedding in Senegal will serve Senegalese food.

Let’s talk about the kind of food that a wedding in England will have for their guests.

  • three-course meal
  • buffet
  • canapes, hors d’oeuvre, aperitifs

 

These are the main kinds of meals or food at an English wedding.

The food is usually traditional English-style food — roast beef, chicken or lamb — and is usually served in three courses.

Other weddings might have a buffet where the guests help themselves to food that they like.

And some weddings may just serve food that comes in small portions and you can eat while standing up. For example, canapes.

Of course, the bride and groom can choose to serve whatever food they wish.

This could be pub food or even fish and chips if they want.

But most weddings in England will avoid food that is not British — unless the people getting married are originally from another country.

It is usually considered bad taste to serve fast food like cheeseburger or pizza!

And for drinking, an English wedding usually serves champagne, wine and beer.

Check this article to see the kind of food served at weddings — Wedding Food Ideas 

 

Useful Sentences in English

 

We had a delicious three-course lunch at my son’s wedding. Roast lamb and all the trimmings.

 

My friend had outside caterers at his wedding. They served some really great canapes and hors d’oeuvres.

 

My best friend thought it would be a really great idea to have fish and chips at his wedding. And that is what the guests got.

 

They served some really nice wine at my daughter’s wedding.

 

Questions

 

What kind of food do people eat at weddings in your country?

Do people have a full meal or just some light food?

What kind of food can never be served at a wedding in your country? Why not?

 

 

Who are the People at the Wedding?

 

  • bride
  • bridegroom/groom
  • bridesmaids
  • best man (but could be best woman)
  • groomsmen
  • ushers
  • mother of the bride
  • father of the bride
  • the groom’s parents
  • flower girl
  • ring bearer

 

The Bride

This is the woman who is getting married.

 

The Bridegroom/Groom

This is the man who is getting married.

 

The Bridesmaids

These are the women who help the bride to get ready for the wedding. They accompany her to the wedding and they also help her with much of the wedding planning.

 

The Best Man

This is the man who helps the groom from before the wedding right to the end of the wedding day.

He has to organise the event and prepare many of the things that are needed for the big day.

The best man will make a speech at the wedding.

These days the best man could be a woman.

 

The Groomsmen

These are the closest friends of the groom.

Usually his family members such as brothers, cousins and maybe his father too.

They help the best man with much of the wedding preparations.

 

The Ushers

Close friends of the bride and groom who greet people when they arrive at the wedding. They escort people to their seats in the church.

 

Mother of the Bride

The bride’s mother. Often crying!

 

Father of the Bride

The bride’s father. Usually makes a speech at the wedding.

 

The Groom’s Parents

The mother and father of the man getting married.

 

The Flower Girl

Usually, a young girl who arrives at the church and brings flowers to the bride.

 

The Ring Bearer

Usually, a young boy who brings the rings.

 

Useful Sentences in English

 

The bride looked absolutely wonderful in the church.

 

The groom wore a grey morning suit.

 

All the bridesmaids were good friends of the bride, and they helped her with her dress in the morning.

 

The best man did a fantastic job of organising the wedding.

 

The groomsmen were the brother, two cousins and the father of the groom.

 

The ushers helped us find where to sit inside the church.

 

The mother of the bride looked so proud but also sad to see her daughter finally getting married.

 

The father of the bride gave a really heart-warming speech at the wedding.

 

The ring bearer was a little nephew of the bride. He was only 8-years-old. But he did a great job bearing the rings, and he didn’t drop them.

 

Questions

 

Who are the people at a wedding in your country?

What are their roles?

Is there a best man at a wedding in your country? What does he do?

Does the bride have bridesmaids? What is their role at the wedding?

 

 

What Happens Before and After the Wedding?

 

There are many things to prepare before the wedding and one major event after the wedding.

Here are the main parts:

  • the proposal
  • engagement party
  • engagement
  • stag night
  • hen’s night
  • the wedding ceremony
  • the honeymoon

 

The Proposal

This is where the man gets on one knee and asks the woman to marry him. He usually gives her an engagement ring.

 

The Engagement Party

If the woman says yes, then the man and woman become fiance and fiancee.

They might have an engagement party. This is usually a small affair just for close family and friends.

 

The Engagement

There then follows a period of engagement. This could be a short time or as long as two years.

 

The Stag Night

A party where the man to be married and all his close friends go out and have a party.

Often things might get a little crazy.

 

The Hen Night

This is a party for the woman to be married and all of her close friends.

Things can get crazy here too.

 

The Wedding Ceremony

The big day of the wedding.

 

The Honeymoon

The bride and groom travel somewhere and spend time alone.

 

Useful Sentences in English

 

My brother was very nervous when he proposed to his wife. But she said yes immediately.

 

I had a big engagement party with my wife. We hired out a big pub and invited all our friends and family.

 

My sister was engaged for a year before she got married.

 

My friend’s stag night was so crazy. We all drank too much, and we lost one of our friends in the middle of the night.

 

My brother and his wife went to Thailand for their honeymoon.

 

Questions

 

What are the events before the wedding in your country?

Do people get engaged in your country?

Does the man have a stag night?

Does the woman have a hen night?

Do people have a honeymoon in your country after they are married?

 

 

What Do People Do at the Wedding?

 

These are the main things that people do at a wedding:

  • eat and drink
  • make speeches
  • cry
  • laugh
  • shake hands
  • hug/kiss
  • first dance
  • play games

 

Eat and Drink

People usually eat a meal and drink wine at a wedding.

 

Make Speeches

And it is customary in England for people to make speeches at a wedding. The best man may make the first speech, then the bride’s father and then others.

 

Cry

People often cry at a wedding. Especially the bride’s mother.

 

Laugh

And people often laugh too. It is a happy occasion.

 

Shake Hands

People greet each other by shaking hands.

 

Hug/Kiss

Other people may hug each other or even kiss each other as a greeting at the wedding.

 

First Dance

In England, the groom will have a dance with the bride. This is called the ‘First Dance’.

 

Play Games

And people like to play games at a wedding.

 

Questions

 

What do people do at weddings in your country?

Do people make speeches? What do they say?

Do some people cry? Who cries at a wedding in your country?

Is there a first dance at a wedding in your country?

Do people play special games at a wedding in your country? Try to introduce them.

 

Essential Vocabulary

 

This is a list of vocabulary associated with weddings.

Use your dictionary to find the correct meanings of these words and write them down in your vocabulary notebook.

bride groom maid of honour
bridesmaid flower girl best man
page boy wedding vows wedding reception
speech toast groomsmen
ring bearer guests MC
DJ photographer caterer
church wedding bells champagne
bouquet honeymoon wedding cake
confetti veil engagement ring
wedding dress invitation proposal
down on one knee ring invitations
fiance aisle honeymoon

 

Go through all the words and phrases and look up the meaning.

This will help you remember the words and phrases more clearly.

 

Practice Questions

 

Go through all the questions below and try to answer them.

It would be better if you have other people to practice with together.

 

Do you want to have a big formal wedding?

Or a small friendly one?

Do you like to go to weddings? Why/why not?

Have you been to a wedding? What was it like?

What is the best part of the wedding ceremony in your opinion?

Are there any unusual wedding ceremonies in your country?

Have weddings changed much in your country?

Is it important to have a wedding when two people get married?

Is a wedding the happiest day of a person’s life?

Do people spend too much money on a wedding?

What are some wedding traditions in your county?

Are weddings expensive in your country?

Are weddings very religious in your country?

Is it important for the guests to bring wedding presents? Why/why not?

 

Conclusion

 

This guide doesn’t cover everything. But I hope that it helps you to talk about weddings.

You can use the steps one day at a time to help you.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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