Traditionally it all starts when the man proposes with a diamond ring, after which the couple are officially engaged.
There are many different types of wedding, so what I'm going to describe below is a "traditional" English wedding.
Before the wedding, the woman has a hen party with her female friends, and the man has a stag party with his male friends. This is a celebration of being single before the wedding, and what happens at these parties usually stays a secret!
On the big day, the bride traditionally wears a white or ivory dress, often with a train and veil. She chooses some of her closest female friends, and sisters if she has any, to be her bridesmaids. They usually wear matching dresses chosen by the bride, and carry bouquets of flowers similar to the bride's.
The groom wears a suit, often with tails. He also wears a buttonhole with flowers similar to the bride's bouquet. He chooses ushers who help with the logistics of the wedding day, such as showing guests to their seats, and a best man. His role will become clear later!
Tradition states that the bride and groom mustn't see each other on the morning of the wedding, and that the bride should wear something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.
The wedding ceremony can take place in a church or, if the couple prefers not to have a religious ceremony, in a registry office or a building (such as hotel) which is licensed to hold weddings. The groom nervously waits at the top of the aisle for this bride to enter. She arrives with her dad and bridesmaids, and they walk down the aisle together to a piece of music they have chosen.
The couple make vows to each other and exchange rings. It's the best man's job to keep the rings safe until this point! The couple often choose friends or family members to do readings, and if the ceremony is in a church, everybody sings hymns.
Look out for the next blog about the wedding reception and celebration soon! In the meantime, what are wedding ceremonies like in your country?
to propose = to ask someone to marry you
engaged = agreed to be married
bride = the woman who is getting married
ivory = a colour similar to cream (the word comes from the colour of an elephant's tusks)
train = the long part at the back of a wedding dress
veil = a very thin piece of cloth worn over a woman's head, which sometimes also covers her face
bridesmaid = the women who help the bride before, and on, the wedding day. They also plan the hen party
bouquet = a collection of flowers tied together
groom = the man who is getting married
tails = a man's formal jacket that is longer at the back
buttonhole = a flower worn on clothes
usher = men who help on the wedding day
best man = the groom's brother/best friend who has special duties on the wedding day and organises the stag party with the ushers
aisle = a passage between rows of seats
vow = promise
reading = a passage from the Bible or elsewhere that is read aloud to the wedding guests
hymn = a religious song