English for Weddings


We can enjoy a wedding even if we are not familiar with any of the vocabulary used on such a special day. When we watch movies or read articles in newspapers and magazines about famous people who have arranged everything for their wedding ceremonies, we can’t avoid but wonder what the meaning of certain words is. Here is some wedding vocabulary that people usually come across and have a hard time deciphering.

The Wedding Party
The wedding party refers to all of the people who are at the wedding and stand at the front during the ceremony. After the ceremony, a dinner party is organized where everybody celebrates the couple’s new life.

A typical wedding schedule would be as follows:
1 Guests arrive at the ceremony Wedding party.
2. Bride’s father escorts her down the aisle to music.
3. Bride and groom exchange vows (promises to be together forever).
4. The groom kisses the bride.
5. Minister invites the guests to congratulate the newlyweds.
6. The wedding party walks back down the aisle to music and relatives and friends take pictures with the newlyweds.
7. After the party begins but before dinner is served friends and family deliver speeches such as stories about the couple or cheers to the couple.
8. After the bride and groom have their first dance all the people invited can dance, too.
9. The bride and groom cut the wedding cake and the dessert is served to all.
10. The bride throws her bouquet or bunch of flowers to single women while the groom removes the garter which is a small band worn around the bride’s leg and throws it to single men.
11. After the last song and then the bride and groom depart for their honeymoon.

What Is a Stag Party and Hen Do?

There are a few differences between American and British cultures that truly set the two apart. Case in point: Americans call it a bachelor or bachelorette party, while in the U.K., it's a stag party or a hen do.

Why is it called a hen do?

A common misconception is that the terms 'hen' and 'stag' both originate from simple social stereotypes.  It’s more likely that the word HEN hasn't always meant female chicken. In middle ages English, the HEN could mean the female of any bird and so a hen party was a party exclusively for ladies. The terms 'stag' and 'hen' parties originated in the mid-19th century, although they were not necessarily tied to weddings at this time. Instead, they referred to entertainments attended by just men or just women. Although hen parties have been around for quite some time, it wasn't until the 1970s that they started to gain traction.

A stag party is what Brits call a bachelor party, which is a party thrown in celebration of the man about to get married. A stag night is usually planned by the groom's friend or brother. Similarly, a hen do is a bachelorette party. 


Why is it called a stag do?

A stag do is called a stag do after a male deer who, in the animal world, is considered a strong leader of its group. In the instance of a stag party, the groom is often referred to as the stag (the main man in the pack), though it is widely used as a collective term for all the guys. In medieval England, the word or term ‘’stag ‘’ was not solely a reference to a male deer but also a male animal in general.

What about you? What are some traditions that are typical on a wedding day or wedding party? Do you find any similarities to the ones listed above? If not, take your time and write down yours. Who knows what your wedding party was like or would be like in the future?

After all, we learn as we live.