A wedding is when two people marry.
Family and friends come to a wedding.
People getting married wear special clothes.
Everyone has a party.
There is wedding cake at the party.
A celebration is a happy time when people get together in honour of something special.
Different religions or countries each have their own celebration or way of celebrating.
The word ‘wed’ comes from a Greek work for ‘pledge’, which means a very solemn promise. When two people marry, they make a pledge to be together and care for each other. They say the pledge out loud in front of other people.
A woman getting married is a bride, a man getting married is a groom. Most brides wear a long white dress and a veil. Most brides and grooms give each other a ring to show they are married. Some weddings are in a church, but can be somewhere else. There is a big party with wedding cake. Sometimes there is a tiny bride and groom on the cake.
There are different ways that weddings are celebrated.
In Fiji the groom sends a fancy feast to the bride's family. Before the wedding, the bride is given a tattoo, which is a sign of beauty in Fiji. At the wedding feast a drink called kava is served. There is much singing and dancing.
In Hawaii there are lots of flowers at a wedding. The bride and groom wear necklaces made of flowers. Both wear white, but the groom also wears red or black cloth tied around his waist.
In The Philippines there are many ways of celebrating at a wedding. The bride and groom each light a candle, and then together they light a third candle to show they are husband and wife. The groom gives his bride 13 gold coins, which are for good luck in their life together. After that there is dancing and feasting for hours. People pin paper money to the bride’s dress as gifts.
In Thailand the bride and groom put their hands together to pray. Their hands are joined together with a chain of flowers.
The oldest relative pours water from a little jug over their hands to wish them luck. Then their parents and other guests do the same.
In Venezuela in South America people get married twice. Once is in a government office and the second, two weeks later, is in a church. There is a party after each, but the bigger one follows the church ceremony. The bride’s family and the groom’s family give each other 13 gold coins for luck. For good luck, the bride and groom sneak away from the party without saying goodbye.
In China a bride has three wedding dresses. She wears one to get married in, then for the party she changes into red, which is the colour of good luck. Before she leaves the party she changes into a third dress with pictures of special lucky flowers and birds on it. The bride and groom are given money inside red envelopes.
In India a sari is a traditional dress for women. A Hindu bride wears a pink or red sari.
After they are married, the groom’s father or brother shower the bride and groom with flower petals. A special necklace is given to the bride which she wears to show she is married.
In Morocco and in other Muslim countries, a wedding ceremony lasts for up to 7 days. After a special bath, the bride's hands and feet are painted with designs with a paste made from the roots of a henna plant. When the bride gets to her new home, she walks around the outside three times to show that it is now her home.
Now in more and more countries, laws have been made that allow changes to traditional weddings so that the two people getting married can both be men or they can both be women. This is called ‘marriage equality’.