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There is an term 'wedding', when you put your signature and it becomes official. But what is the right term for a religious act when two swear to be faithful, to love each other e t.c. in front of the God and a priest in church? Is there such term in English speaking countries? I mean, in some countries young people prefer to "marry" only in church and not to sign any documents officially. I heard about such terms as 'crowning' or even 'church wedding' but I'm not sure it is correct to use any of them.

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  • In the US, the couple needs a civil marriage license even if the wedding ceremony is conducted in a religious setting and/or by a religious minister.
    – TimR
    May 18, 2017 at 11:59

2 Answers 2

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There is the word Nuptial which can be used either as a noun or adjective.

As a noun, Nuptials refers to the ceremony of marriage, wherever it may take place.

As an adjective, nuptial describes things related to the marriage.

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It might depend not only on regional customs but religious customs as well. The term that I am familiar with in AmE is church wedding as you suggested:

church wedding
a wedding ceremony performed in a church and having a religious rather than civil content
(Collins Dictionary)

Wedding by itself can be somewhat broad. It does not necessarily mean signing a marriage license and becoming "official". It really depends on the context, taking regional, religious, and personal factors into consideration.

As for the "official" one, as far as I know, that's a civil marriage or a civil wedding.

  • civil wedding
    American English
    a wedding that is not performed by a religious leader
    (Longman Dictionary)
  • civil marraige
    a marriage performed by a justice of the peace, judge, or similar official, not by a clergyman
    (Collins Dictionary)

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