marriage / married / wedding

The wedding is the official ceremony/party. (The party is usually called the “reception”):

  • I’m going to my cousin’s wedding on October 7.
  • We want to have a band at our wedding reception.
  • The wedding will be at the church, and the reception will be at a restaurant. The marriage is the relationship in general, or the institution in society:
  • My parents have a strong marriage. They’ve been together for 35 years.
  • New York has just legalized gay marriage.
  • Over 40% of marriages end in divorce.

    The word married describes the status of a person. Use married to (not “married with”) when you describe the person’s husband/wife:

  • My sister isn’t married. She’s single.
  • I’ve been married for 5 years.
  • He’s married to a woman from another country.
  • She’s married to a successful businessman.

    We use marry or get married for the action of formalizing the marriage:

  • He married a woman he’d known since high school. They finally got married after dating for ten years.
  • She’s going to marry a famous actor. They’re getting married next month.