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  • English Wedding Vocabulary with a Royal Wedding Guide

    For royal watchers (people who follow the royal family), the event of the year is the royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton which takes place in London on April 29. Here is a guide to the royal wedding for English students that includes wedding vocabulary and phrases in English.

    Will you be watching it?

    Here is a general wedding vocabulary guide if you want to chat about the event with your English friends and colleagues.

    The Participants

    The woman getting married is called the bride.

    The man getting married is called the bridegroom or groom.

    Before The Wedding

    Marriage normally starts with a proposal in which one of the parties, almost always the man, asks the question:

    Will you marry me?

    After the marriage proposal is accepted the couple is officially engaged. Once the two people are engaged, engagement rings are exchanged and the man becomes a fiancé and the woman a fiancée. The period of engagement can last hours or years.

    Traditionally, the ‘last night of freedom’ before the wedding ceremony is celebrated by the bride and groom alike with a special party.

    This party is called a ‘hen’ or a ‘bachelorette party’ by the bride and a ‘stag’ or ‘bachelor party’ by the groom.

    The Ceremony

    The actual ceremony of getting married is called the wedding ceremony.

    Wedding ceremonies can be civil, in which case they take place in a registry office and/or religious, when they take place in a church.

    The ceremony involves the wedding party including the bride, the groom, best man (who assists the groom) and the bridesmaids (assisting the bride).

    A young girl, usually a relative of the bride, who carries the flowers is called a flowergirl and a young boy, usually a relative of the groom carries the rings. He is called the ring bearer.

    The bride walks up the aisle (the middle) of the church, generally accompanied by her father. The music playing, normally on a church organ, is called the Wedding March.

    The priest stands at the altar. The service includes religious songs called hymns and religious passages from the bible called readings.

    Generally, after the official ceremony, the newly married couple signs the marriage register.

    As they leave the church, the guests throw pieces of colored paper called confetti over them.

    After The Ceremony

    After the ceremony the couple and the guests go to a special lunch called a wedding reception.

    The best man usually makes a speech and the guests raise glasses of champagne to toast the couple.

    After they cut the wedding cake, the groom invites the bride to her first dance (as his wife).

    She throws her bouquet of flowers and, there is a superstition that the girl who catches it will be next to get married.

    Then, the couple goes on honeymoon, a romantic holiday which generally lasts two weeks.

    Probably the most famous Royal wedding took place in 1981 between Prince Charles and Diana Spencer. Let’s watch some of it now.

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